Friday, December 31, 2004

Accomplishments - 2004 Edition

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
1. Sprained my ankle, causing me to miss four whole weekends of snowboarding.
2. Saw Belle & Sebastian in Tokyo, and Beyonce, Alicia Keys, and Missy Elliott in Atlanta.
3. Went to the Sapporo Ice Festival which was, like, so cool.
4. Put up with more than my fair share of military bullshit.
5. Spent three months in Iraq involuntarily supporting a stupid war, but still managing not to kill anyone or be killed.
6. Committed yet another four years of my life to the US Air Force.
7. Bought two new trucks.
8. Turned 30.
9. Climbed Mt. Fuji for the third time.
10. Ran a total of about 1200 miles.
11. Taught Paul to dance.
12. Became thoroughly addicted to Interpol's new album "Antics."
13. Got another tattoo.
14. Started "Tripping Lucid," my dream blog.
15. Voted in the Presidential Election, but apparently it didn't do much good.
16. Got the courage to reveal myself to more and more people.
17. Went to my first Japanese strip club.
18. Went 11 whole days without masturbating, which is longer than any living male on the face of the planet has ever gone. Ever.
19. Got the most intoxicated I've been since January 2001.
20. Deepened my friendships with Paul & Trish, Caleb, Jimmy, and M-Dogg.

Yeah, it's been a good year.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

You want a sticker, kid?

Since I've been living in Japan for the past four and a half years, there's something I've had the luxury of avoiding - Wal-Mart. And, well, since I'm moving back to the States in a month, I've decided to continue to avoid this massive, corporate evil. Back when I was in college, I always joked that Wal-Mart was my worst enemy. I had to park 3 miles away from the entrance, and I couldn't leave without spending $80. Now, it's an enemy for different reasons. Here are a few:

* The average Wal-Mart associate works 32 hours a week at $8.00 an hour--a monthly gross of barely $1000. Union members in retail occupations (which Wal-Mart does not allow) earn about 32% more on average. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

* Former Wal-Mart cashier Dana Mailloux, 33, worked for eight years at a store in Fort Myers, FL, moving up to $9.15 an hour. In the Fall of 2002, her manager called her and more than a dozen other longtime employees into his office and told them he had to lay them off because of lack of work. That same day, Ms. Mailloux says, she passed a room with six new hires, red vests in hand, filling out paperwork. Returning to the store that weekend, she says, she saw newly advertised positions listed on a bulletin board. (Wall Street Journal)

* A July 2000 internal audit of 128 Wal-Mart stores found 127 were "not in compliance" with company policies concerning workers not taking breaks. In a class-action suit in Texas, on behalf of more than 200,000 current and former Wal-Mart workers, statisticians estimate that the company underpaid its Texas workers by $150 million over four years by not paying them for the many times they worked during their daily 15-minute breaks. (New York Times)

* Most Wal-Mart employees cannot afford to pay the expensive premiums and deductibles required for health care coverage. The average worker would have to pay one fifth of his paycheck for health care coverage at Wal-Mart. On a wage of about $8 an hour and 29-32 hours of work a week, many workers must rely on state programs or family members or simply live without health insurance. Wal-Mart increased the premium cost for workers by over 200% since 1993. Medical care inflation only went up 50% in the same period. (United Food and Commercial Workers)

* Women make up 65% of the company's hourly employees, yet men hold 90% of top store manager positions. Women working at Wal-Mart make on average 4.5-5.6% less than men for the same work. (Institute for Women's Policy Research)

* 10% of all Chinese imports are imported by Wal-Mart. If Wal-Mart were a separate nation, it would rank fifth in the world in importing Chinese goods. (LA Times)

* Wal-Mart has more than 1,107 international operations. Bangladesh workers earn as little as nine cents an hour making shirts for Wal-Mart. (USA Today)

* In 2002, 1,436 child labor law infractions were discovered at 20 Wal-Mart stores in Maine. (Maine Department of Labor)

And if that isn't enough for you, I'll give you one more reason. In 1981, a Wal-Mart was built in Morganfield, Kentucky - my town of 3,500. Within a few years time, Clements Drug Store and Fritts Drug Store (both locally-owned), a locally-owned hardware store, and a locally-owned auto-parts store went out of business. Then, in 1998, Wal-Mart abandoned the old building to build a brand new building where a Super Wal-Mart now exists. Since then, French's Food Mart (locally-owned) and Sureway (a western Kentucky business) have both gone out of business. A town of 3,500 has no need for a Super Wal-Mart. My hometown has lost its soul.
True, it could have been K-Mart or Target or any of the giant retailers. But it was Wal-Mart. For these reasons, I will never purchase anything at Wal-Mart ever again.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Artificial Sweetener

Paul's comment (paraphrased): "When I ask if you want to do something and you answer, 'Okay,' it makes me think you're going along with it just to appease me."
Good point, Paul.
Do I go along with people's suggestions and ideas just to placate them? Maybe sometimes. But, is that so bad? Isn't making sacrifices a big part of friendship? Who wouldn't want to make his friends happy? However, I wouldn't want to begrudgingly drag any of my friends along to something they didn't want to do. Not only would that bring them down, it would probably bring me down, as well.
So here's my solution: anytime any of you ask me any kind of question, and you think I'm giving you an answer just because I think it's the answer you want to hear, challenge me. Is that what I really want to do? Is that what I really think? In return, I promise to be completely honest. Furthermore, I'm going to challenge each of you to be equally honest with me. I figure it's the least I can do for my friends.
And don't bullshit me. I can totally tell.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Post-Yule Sentiments

When I was younger, every year after Christmas, I always went through a little depression. All the build up, decorating, anticipation, wonder, and excitement was over. Now, I'm just grateful I lived through another year, thankful I have such a loving family and great friends. True, it's still kinda sad to see everything end so abruptly, but now I'm more concerned with the results of Christmas than the preoccupation with the add-ons.

Friday, December 24, 2004

39 1/2 Foot Pole

Yesterday, I got off work at 1:30, so I went home and showered, then Jimmy and I did some last minute Christmas shopping at the BX. What a madhouse! People everywhere. Long lines. Screaming children. After we finally got out of there, I just wanted to go home and lay on my couch, but I had to go over to alterations to get my measurements to send to Brad so he can order my tuxedo for his wedding. While I was in alterations, my cell phone rang, and it was Paul. He and Trish were next door in the furniture store and saw my car parked outside. So after I left alterations, I went into the furniture store to say "hi." I know I've explained before how much I love Paul and Trish, but it's rare for someone to have such power over me to be able to turn my mood completely around, especially with just a quick chat.
In a somewhat related story, today is Christmas Eve, and this morning I, along with the rest of the Praise Team, was invited to Chaplain Sackett's house for brunch. It was one of those things where you're asked to do something, and you don't really think about it. You just say, "yes," but you really don't want to go. You just kinda want to blow it off. Well, I figured that I should go anyway, even though I don't really know Chaplain Sackett or his family or, except for Jimmy and Caleb, even any of the other people on the Praise Team. I'm friendly with them, but they're barely more than acquaintences. Jimmy went with me, and we were the first ones to show up, which was a little unnerving. But as soon as we walked into the house, and were greeted with such big smiles, I was glad I showed up. The Sacketts have five children and another on the way. They live in base housing, but you can tell it's a house filled with love. The others showed up soon after we did, and as we were all hugging and wishing each other a Merry Christmas, I had a nice warm feeling inside.
I know most people will say when we celebrate Christmas, we're celebrating the birth of Christ, and that's all very true. But to me, Christmas is just about being together. Love. Relationships. Family. And when I say "family," I mean everyone I love, not just blood relatives. One of the reasons Jesus came to Earth was to really be with us. Giving gifts and singing carols is great and all, but just being with all the people I love is the best part of Christmas for me. Tonight, we're going to have our annual Hospitality House Christmas Eve All-Nighter, and I'm going to do my best to hug everyone as much as possible. I've spent too many Christmases in the desert, and I'll never take for granted any of the time I get to spend with my family. I love those people.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004


Let me talk a little bit about my Dad. I have an amazing amount of respect for my Father.
He loves the Lord.
He teaches by example.
He stresses honesty and education above everything else.
The man can fix anything.
We didn't always get along; but now, when I look back, I see how he was trying to point me down the right path.
For such a considerate, kind, wise, cheerful, loving Father, I'll forever be grateful.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Delerium Tremors

Sometimes, I think I'm overdosing on friends. Or rather, my friends are overdosing on me. I have this paranoia they're getting sick of me. Of course, they would deny it if I asked. But if they denied it, would it be because it isn't true, or they just don't want me to feel bad? Everytime I ask them to hang out or go to lunch, they look at me wide-eyed, and their minds frantically try to think of an excuse of why they can't go. They're probably thinking, "Well, we only have to put up with him until he PCSs next month, so we'll just suffer through it." Yes, friends. Endure me. Withstand my cheery, fake, annoying personality. I think I'd just rather be tolerated for the next month and not leave here with a bad taste in my mouth.
This sounds rather cynical, and I'm not really sure I feel this way. I really do love my friends, and I hope they feel the same. Sometimes, you venture so far in your relationships, and there's just nowhere else to go. No more you can give. Maybe the depth of my friendship has its limits.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

That pear tree TOTALLY has a partridge in it!

It's been a rather exciting past few days. Thursday night was my squadron Christmas Party. I guess I had really high expectations or something, because it was fun, but not THAT fun. Jimmy and Amy went with me, and they both said they had a good time, so that makes me happy. The big thing about Christmas Parties is the prizes. I won a little gift set of body scrub and lotion, so I gave it to Amy. I also won the centerpiece, which was a nice little poinsettia.
Last night was the NSGA Christmas Party, and Paul and Trish bought me a ticket. Jimmy went with Amy, so we had a nice showing from the Hospitality House crowd. Well, I started off early with mixed drinks. And I continued with mixed drinks. In fact, I got pretty liquored up.
Let me take a brief moment to talk about our prizes. First off, Jimmy won a bookshelf stereo. Then Amy won a mini-disc/mp3 player (but traded some guy for a portable DVD player), then I won a palm pilot, then Paul won a treadmill. We totally had the winningest table in the ballroom. I was proud of us. Let me rephrase that. I was drunkenly proud of us.
So, like I was saying, I had a lot to drink. Have you ever been out, and you start drinking, and then you totally lose track of how many drinks you've had, but you're moving around and feeling good, and you just don't care because you're having so much fun? Yeah, that was me last night. I'm not sure what time we left the club, but it was obvious I wasn't going to be driving anywhere. So I hopped in with Paul and Trish and they hauled me to their pad. We sat down and chatted for a while, and Paul gave me some pajama bottoms and t-shirt, and I went to sleep in their guest room. Let me rephrase that. I attempted to go to sleep in their guest room, but as soon as I lay down, that whole really annoying spinning thing started happening. I hate that. And you know and I know there's only one way to cure it. So I staggered to the bathroom and Mr. Finger met Mr. Gag-Reflex, and I rid myself of the spinning, so to speak. After that, I slept like a little drunken baby. The next morning, Paul cooked pancakes for us. I felt really horrible, because even though I rid myself of the spinning, I didn't really rid myself of the nausea. I managed to shove down two extremely small pancakes (we're talking nickel-size pancakes, here), and I felt bad that I couldn't eat more. But there was just no way. Then we sat around for a few more hours, watched a movie, and eventually made it to the BX to return our new prizes for what we really wanted - MONEY! Actually, I totally would have kept my palm pilot if it was compatible with Mac OS (Come on, people! We Mac users represent 5% of the home-computing world! Live in the now!). And Paul's treadmill wasn't big enough for him on which to run. I'm not sure what the grand total was for everything, but I ended up making $135. I gave the Dinki have the value of the palm pilot, since it was they who bought my ticket.
And so, let me just reiterate how much I love Paul and Trish. They bought me a ticket to their Christmas Party, totally took care of my drunken self, let me crash at their pad, and even made me pancakes the next morning. Yeah, definitely going to miss those two.
One more thing: I have some great pictures from the parties, but I've just about reached my upload limit on flickr, so I won't be able to post them until next month. But definitely check back, especially if you want to see me dressed up like a ROCK STAR (with eyeliner and all)!

Friday, December 17, 2004

Again From the Top

Well, it looks like we can start the count back at zero.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

By definition, a crush must hurt, and they do.

My friend Jay separated from the military about nine months ago, but we've been e-mailing each other a lot lately. I think he's in the same funk I am, though I think he's in a little deeper. In his last e-mail, he wrote, "It's incredible how deceitful we humans can be." I couldn't agree more. Why can't people be just upfront with their feelings? Why say one thing and act completely different? If someone says, "Yeah, I'd like to hang out," but then avoids contact, should I believe this person's words or this person's actions? I think it's a lot easier to just say, "You know, I'd rather not." I'd rather be dealt with honestly than have false hopes. I get so sick of developing these stupid crushes on people. And it's always someone who's unattainable. You'd think after years and years of this, I'd be able to control it by now. Nope. And this is all territory I covered about a year ago. I can learn math, english, history, music theory, etc., but I can't learn emotional restraint.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

(Rein)Deer in Headlights

Kerry's Antlers
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Kerry's twin sister, Simone, is visiting for a while, so last night, Paul, Trish, and I met them at Shimoda for some social shopping. At the 100 Yen Store, Kerry found a delightful little teaching aid, and here she is modeling it.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Going Bananas

It has been seven days since my last...
I wonder if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Cat, Chicken, Turtle, Dove

So, last night, Jimmy and I went to Hachinohe for the purpose of finding a place called "the DX." The DX is basically a strip club. I'm not really a big fan of strip clubs, but, for some reason, we felt compelled to explore this one. I guess it was just the curiosity of a strip club in Japan. I'm not going to go into all the details, but I will tell you one thing: Jimmy likes his women a little more "mature." After we left, I was thinking, "Well, checked that one off my list," and that I'll never go again. However, now our friend Caleb is curious as well, so maybe we'll take him, too.
In other super-great news, my weeks and weeks of hounding MPF have paid off, but in a much better way than I'd expected. I was actually on the receiving end of a call from MPF today (I damn near fell over), and the young man on the other end told me he was sorry things got so out of whack with my folder. And here's the best part: since there's absolutely no way I can finish my out-processing in 18 days, he's going to send up a request to have my DEROS pushed back to January, which means I'll get to stick around Misawa for another month. This is good on so many levels. Not only do I get to hang with everyone here longer, but I'll actually get to enjoy Christmas. I'll have another month to save up some funds. I'll have enought time to pack out all my stuff. Yeah, I'm definitely happy about this.
I've had major slack time at work, lately. Today, I took a three hour lunch, and nobody even noticed I was gone. I think they just assume I'm outprocessing or doing stuff for the Christmas Party. I grabbed a pizza and went over to Paul and Trish's house. Paul was off today, so even after Trish went back to work, I stuck around and we had some good conversation. Then, after work, Paul and I went to the onsen, where we had more good conversation. I so appreciate that guy.
At PQ2 earlier tonight, we decorated the Christmas tree, which always puts me in the Christmas Spirit. This is gonna be such a wonderful Christmas. It will be my last one in Misawa, and I'm going to take it all in as much as I can. My friends here are so great.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004


I'm feeling really overwhelmed this week. Not because of how much I'm doing, but because of how much I'm getting ready to be doing. I still don't have my orders, which means I can't do any out-processing. But I know when I finally do get them in my hot little hand, all hell is going to break loose. Visiting pretty much every office on base, even ones that have nothing to do with me. Turning in bags and mobility equipment. Packing out household goods. Packing out unaccompanied baggage. Turning in FMO furniture. Cleaning my house. Painting my walls. Selling my truck. Ugh.
I'm already dreading saying my good-byes. I think about how great it would be to stay here longer, but then I think about how I felt the same way when I was leaving Vegas. I still miss Vegas sometimes, but I'd never trade anything for the experiences I've had and the friends I've made in Japan. I'm sure that's how I'll feel about Utah in a few months.
It's so hard to have faith sometimes. Faith that all this crap I have to do will get done. Faith that God will take care of me financially once I get to Utah. Faith that I'll meet lots of new and exciting people when I'll get there.
Pressing on. Running the race. Claiming the prize.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Walnut! Hey! Come on!

Making Mochi
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
This morning, Jeni-Bomb, Caleb, and I went with Kerry to a festival at her elementary school in the village of Shingo. There were about 40 kids, and lots of adults. When we first got there, we socialized with the kids, and they recited to us the greeting they'd learned:

"Hello. My name is *****. How are you?"
"Fine, thank you. And you?"
"Fine, thank you."
"Let's shake hands and be friends."

After that, we watched them perform a little skit about the Japanese legend of Momotaro. Then we all made mochi, which was amusing, to say the least. To make mochi, you take cooked rice and beat the living crap out of it with a big wooden mallet until it forms a pasty dough. By itself, mochi has no taste at all; but if you prepare it with bean paste or soy or in soup, it tastes much better. After that, we played around with the kids for a while. This involved marbles, cards, walking on stilts, origami, etc. A little girl named Kasumi kept grabbing my hand and taking me to all the different games. She was much better at walking on the stilts than I was. After that, we ate the mochi, and left to come back to Misawa. Overall, it was a really fun morning, so cheers to Kerry for inviting us along.

Kasumi and Me
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Three Ring Circus

Things got a little crazy tonight at PQ2. It all started innocently enough with hand stands. And it can't be just one person doing a hand stand. Everyone has to get in on the action. But the one thing of which I can be sure after witnessing these hand stands is this: Jeff has the hairiest belly of all participants (which probably comes as a relief to Amy).

Jimmy's Hand Stand
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Jeff's Hand Stand
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Amy's Hand Stand
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

After the hand stands, we decided to take the acrobatics a little further and make a little human pyramid. Being the lightest, Kerry got to be the princess and get on top and wave to everyone down below.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

And, since everyone was so hyper, the inevitable wrestling was sure to follow. Now, I understand it really looks like I'm humping Jimmy and making my 'O' face (and look how much he's enjoying it!), but I assure you, it takes a lot more than writhing around with Jimmy and Mike to get the job done. Well, most of the time, anyway. Normally, I wouldn't post a less-than-flattering picture of myself, but this one just makes me laugh. I'm so NOT photogenic.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

So, yeah, it was another fun night at PQ2. Some nights are mellow. Others are more spirited. I honestly don't know what sets us off. Maybe we should lay off the sugary snacks. Anyway, it's getting late and I have PT tomorrow. Take care. No worries. God Bless.

Monday, November 29, 2004

The Weather Outside is Frightful

We are currently having our first official snowfall of the winter, and that makes me a happy boy. Okay, yeah, back in October, it spit a few flakes out of the sky, but now, it's REALLY SNOWING. Snowflakes. You can actually SEE. Accumulating. On the ground. Of course, there's also four inches of snow on the ground in my future home of Utah, but I'm trying to concentrate on the blissful light powder covering Misawa. I'm so ready to strap a big piece of wood to my feet and slide down a mountain. What could be more fun?

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Sleepy Cinema

Long weekends are great. My house has been constantly full of people and eating and socializing and watching movies. I fully intended to get extra sleep, but I've been staying up late, and my annoying biological clock won't let me sleep past 8 AM.
Normally, when I'm at work, I'm really anticipating all the super stuff going on for the upcoming weekend. But when I realized I had a whole four days with no work, I was kinda worried. How am I supposed to fill up four days with no work? Too cold for camping. Trying to save money, so I can't shop or go on a road trip. No snow for snowboarding. However, I didn't realize how much fun it is just to chill out with my friends. Ah, friends. Something else I'm going to miss about Misawa.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Gifts from God - 2004 Edition

1. Thick wool socks.
2. Paul's accountability.
3. 4-day weekends.
4. Trish's honesty.
5. Lipizzan horses.
6. Ben's playfulness.
7. Abby's depth.
8. Having the most comfortable couch in the world in my living room.
9. Don's openness.
10. Parents who are still married.....after 35 years.
11. Meredith's classiness.
12. Jeni-Bomb's innocence.
13. Candles that make my house smell good.
14. Caleb's talent.
15. Kerry's gentleness.
16. The Bop-It.
17. Melissa's thoughtfulness.
18. Brad's companionship.
19. Heath's intelligence.
20. Books by Bret Easton Ellis.
21. Dan's closeness.
22. M-Dogg's realness.
23. Chips and salsa (a-d-d-i-c-t-i-n-g).
24. Mike's vulnerability.
25. E-mail conversations at work.
26. Jeff's balance.
27. Sales at Armani Exchange.
28. Jimmy's craziness.
29. Hugging. Not with anyone in particular. Just hugging.
30. Laying under a blanket on Thanksgiving watching movies while it's bitter cold and windy outside.

Victims of Tryptophan

Yoshida and Ichikawa
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Every year in our shop, on the day before Thanksgiving, we have a big meal and take a really long lunch. Even though 75% of our shop is deployed, the Japanese really appreciate it, so we did it again today. I brought bread, stuffing, and some veggies. Our new boss made the turkey (thank God, because I'd have no clue how to cook that thing), and the Japanese brought yakisoba and some amazingly delicious cheese rolls. I think turkey must be hard to come by in Japan or something, because the JNs in our shop really maw down on that stuff. Afterward, we all sat around the break room and watched movies and played cards. As I was walking to the bathroom, I spotted these two guys all layed out on the work bench. I couldn't resist taking a picture. Anyway, here's to a four day weekend!

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Born to Blossom

Album of the Week:
Gwen Stefani

I'm probably a little biased due to my unconditional love for this fine, fine lady, but this album is spectacular. I've been anticipating its release for a few months, and now that it's here, I'm addicted. No Doubt albums tend to circulate around relationship woes, and usually, when artists take time off from their groups to do solo projects, it's more of the same. Luckily, Gwen followed her child-of-the-80s instincts and created an album of dance tracks for the ages.
She enlisted the help of several different producers, including Andre 3000, Nellee Hooper, Dr. Dre, and the Neptunes; and even with all these different influences, the album still holds together well. Gwen's style and attitude never falter or fade into the background. The songs range from disco pop to sensual R&B to stomping hip hop to indescribably weird. And a few could have easily ended up on a New Order album in 1987 (and wouldn't you'll find Peter Hook and Bernard Sumner of New Order in the liner notes). The other interesting attribute is the recurring shout-outs to Japan. She mentions the fashion sense of Harajuku girls more than once. Standout tracks include the first single, "What You Waiting For?" as well as "Bubble Pop Electric," and, "Crash."
So, what is it about Gwen that's so appealing? Well, I'd say she's got moxie. Individuality. Spirit. Skill. Initiative. She's sexy without being slutty. And above all...class. And if this album is any clue, she's got enough moxie to last a lifetime.

Sunday, November 21, 2004


I'm not going to get into all the details, but last night, I came close to getting a fist in my jaw. At one point, I had my eyes closed expecting it to happen. I could see it all so clearly in my head. The pain of the impact. The sting of my skin splitting. The throbbing and aching. The taste of blood in my mouth. I wanted it to happen. I was hoping for it.
Why was I so desperate to get hit? What did I want out of it? There's a lot to do with it, I think. And it all starts with lack of feeling. For one, I'm getting ready to PCS, so I've been emotionally preparing myself for the pain, and it's made me numb. Second, I just feel like a big wuss, physically. And finally, and probably most importantly, I haven't really been intimate with anyone in a long time, physically or emotionally.
I don't know. Maybe I'm way off. Maybe it's just a phase. Maybe I want sympathy. Maybe I've watched "Fight Club" one too many times. All I know is I've been feeling rather empty lately, and I don't like it.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Brush with Greatness Number 5 -or- Feelin' Hella Good

One of the many benefits of living in Las Vegas is all the great shows that come through town. I really took advantage of it, especially the last year of my tour. I was going to see a cool band or singer at least twice a month. One such occurance took place in October of 1999. No Doubt was doing a seven-city mini-tour about six months before the release of "Return of Saturn," just to test out their new material. All the places they played were in Southern California, their home turf, except for one--a nice, little venue called The Joint, inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. It was one of the better places in Vegas to see shows, and I was really excited because I'd never seen No Doubt before.
A large group of us went, and I remember standing in the crowd when the curtain came up. Gwen was sporting cool, black space pants, a pink, glittery tank top with one strap, a big pink cape attached at her wrists, and bright pink, feathered hair. She looked amazing. They started out the show with "New," one of my favorite No Doubt songs. The crowd was jumping and screaming, and I was having a blast. About 2/3 of the way through the show, I decided I was going to surf the crowd. I had my friend Rick toss me up, and I must've stayed up for quite a while. Before I knew it, I was almost at the front of the crowd. I looked behind myself, and saw Gwen standing at the front of the stage, singing "Sunday Morning," another favorite. As is the case with most concerts, there is a big metal gate in front of the stage to make a little passageway between the band and the crowd for the security guards. I knew I was going to be tossed over the rail any second, so I decided to take the opportunity at hand. I steered myself in the direction of Gwen, and as I was falling over the rail, I flipped over and managed to grab the inside of Gwen's left thigh with my left hand. I could feel the security guard tugging on my leg, so I screamed the only thing I could think of:
The security guard yanked on my foot, and my hand lost its clutch of Gwen's leg. Gwen never missed a beat. I was dropped on the floor, but I jumped up and ran around the side to the back of the crowd, receiving smiles, nods, and pats on the back on the way. I surfed a couple more times, but didn't get as close to the stage as the first time. One of the more humorous times, I got dropped on two 12-year-old girls who gave me nasty looks. Then one said, "Cut it out, mo fo!" Those were her exact words. "Mo fo"? That's why I hate all-ages shows.
Thus ends "Brush with Greatness" week here at the wax. I hope you've enjoyed your time of living vicariously through my narratives. If you have any ideas for future themes, please let me know. My e-mail address is on my profile. Thanks for your time and attention. Take care. No worries. God Bless.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Brush with Greatness Number 4 -or- A Diamond in the Rough

The set-up for today's BWG is similar to yesterday's. Only this time, instead of working at Caesar's Palace, I was working at GAP Kids in my own mall. Working at GAP Kids is not something I enjoy, mostly because I'm not very good at it. Folding all those really small shirts isn't as easy as you'd think. And when children start to run amuck, I run for the break room. So, whenever they asked me to go next door and help out at GAP Kids, I wasn't exactly thrilled, even though it was usually only for a few minutes while someone was on break or at lunch.
Well, it was December of 1999. Every December, there's a big rodeo convention in Vegas. The entire city is "countrified"--cowboy hats all over the place, belt buckles that could double as hub caps, twangy accents, a Reba or Garth concert every night. Total insanity. But, I digress.
I was helping out for a few minutes at GAP Kids, basically staring at the ceiling. I saw a lady come in wearing boots, jeans, a suede vest, and a cowboy hat. She kept her head down, so I didn't get a good look at her at first. I walked over and gave my standard greeting. "Are you finding everthing okay?" She lifted her head and faintly smiled. There, less than two feet away from me, was Jewel.
Now, before I go on with the story, let me just say that I'd never really been a big fan of Jewel. I've always thought she's talented, and doesn't sell out or compromise herself. I bought her first CD, mostly because everyone else on campus had it, and I figured it was, like, a requirement to officially be a college student. People would go on and on about how attractive she is, but I thought her talent was more attractive than her looks. She was a little thick for my taste. However, when I was face to face with this woman, I was totally smitten. Her smile almost knocked me off my feet. Her eyes emitted equal parts class and sexiness. She radiated beauty like no one I'd ever seen before.
Now, back to the story. She spoke very quietly, "Thanks, but I'm fine."
"Well.....uh, my name's Curtis, so let me know if you need anything," I muttered.
"Alright, I will," she replied.
I walked back behind the counter, and did my best not to stare. She browsed for a few minutes, and left the store, turning and giving me a quick, shy glance as she exited.
After she left, I reasoned she must have been in town with her boyfriend, Ty something, who was a really famous rodeo guy. I kept going over and over in my head how I behaved, and wondered if I stared too long. Maybe if I had just minded my business, she would have stayed longer. I'll never know.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Brush with Greatness Number 3 -or- Last Dance with Mary Jane

As many of you know, I spent two years working at GAP as a second job while I was stationed in Vegas. There are seven GAP stores in the Las Vegas area, and I worked primarily at the Boulevard Mall, near UNLV. Occasionally, we had the opportunity to work at other GAPs, which I usually passed up, unless it was working at the Caesar's Palace GAP. This store was the largest in Vegas, and one of the biggest in the country. One particular time I was working at Caesar's in February of 1999. I was running stock to the floor from the stock room, when I happened to see a mother with her children--a girl, around 16, and a boy, maybe 12. The girl was holding a dress up to herself, so I thought I'd go offer some help. As I walked up, I could hear the girl asking her Mom to buy it for her.
"Are you finding everything okay?" was my standard greeting. The girl turned around, and it was Kirsten Dunst.
"What do you think?" she asked, referring to the dress.
"I like the blue one, myself." I replied. I wasn't really that familiar with Kirsten's movies. I'd seen "Interview With the Vampire" and "Wag the Dog," but the Kirsten movies with which I'm most familiar ("The Virgin Suicides," "Drop Dead Gorgeous," and "Spider-Man") still hadn't been released.
Kirsten turned back toward her mother.
"Whatever you want. You're going to be the one wearing it," her Mom reasoned.
"Let's look around some more," Kirsten replied. They both smiled, "Thank you," and left the store.
I pretty much kept my cool this time. But, like I said, she wasn't near as famous then as she is now. If it were to happen again, I probably wouldn't be as well-spoken.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Brush with Greatness Number 2 -or- Magnified Plaid

It was April of 1998, and there was a big independent music festival in Las Vegas. My friend Jim had become a big fan of the female pop-punk band The Halo Friendlies. He'd even started e-mailing them, and their lead guitarist was e-mailing him back. They were playing at a really small venue during the festival, so we went to see them. We really enjoyed the show, and after they played, they came out to say "hi" to us. As we were talking, some other guys walked up and were standing kinda off to the side. I didn't really look at them, because the Halo Friendlies were some pretty hot chicks. As the conversation was winding down, I asked them if they were going to see the MxPx show later on. All four of them got this really weird look on their face, and glanced over at the guys standing to the side. I looked over, and it was MxPx! Then I got all goofy and started stumbling over my words and stuff. I think I said something stupid like, "Oh, yeah, you guys rock, too." They were really cool, though. I couldn't believe how many piercings the singer had in his face.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Brush with Greatness Number 1 -or- Over the Edge

I decided to do a little series this week called "Brush with Greatness." Basically, it's the stories of my encounters with celebrities. There are five major stories--one for every day, today through Friday. Here's number one:
It was late October of 2000, and I was on my way from Las Vegas to Japan for the first time. I was in LAX and had to switch from the domestic terminal to the international terminal. I had all my luggage on a cart, and was wheeling it outside, along the sidewalk, when I looked over and saw The Edge. He was wearing really cool rock star jeans, a black jacket, and a skull cap. I desperately wanted to say something to him, but he was with his family, and I thought it best not to disturb him. I stood there and basked in his rock star glory for a few minutes, then began walking again, in order not to look like a stalker freak. I realize this may not actually qualify as a "brush with greatness" since there was no actual contact, but when you're talking about the guitarist for a band as legendary as U2, I think walking within 20 feet of him is close enough.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Kiss Bliss

I don't mean to brag or anything, but I'm a great kisser. It's not like I've had a lot of practice, or at least, not as much practice as I'd like, but I believe it to be true. So what brings me to this conclusion? The biggest supporting argument I have is I was once talking with an ex-girlfriend of mine who told me I was the best kisser ever. So good, in fact, that she was once making out with her next boyfriend, and said my name. (How cool is THAT?) Of course, that's not the only evidence. I've had subsequent make-out partners tell me the same thing. It's a label I'm proud to wear.
So you're probably thinking, "Gee, Currt-Dawg, how can I become a better kisser?" Well, I'll tell you. The key is to be gentle and subtle. You have to start out light, and build to the heavy stuff, but not too quick. It's a fine balance between taking charge of the kiss, and reading the lips of your make out partner. As an added touch, I like to caress the side of the neck, and then move back to cradling the back of the head. It shows tenderness. Of course, if you're kissing someone ever so softly and she (or he) starts to stick her tongue down your throat, then I say go with it. She's obviously there for one thing, so you might as well give it to her. However, if this is someone you really want to impress, you have to be tender and suave. Kissing is an emotional thing, and you don't want to ruin the moment.
Of course, this only covers basic technique. I haven't even gotten into oral hygiene, setting the mood, picking music, head movement, breathing, saliva control, when to stop, etc. But, like all things, practice makes perfect. If you'd like a more thorough lesson, I'm available for hands-on training on a case-by-case, first come, first served basis. Thank you.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Wondering Whether Winter Weather Will Wait

So, if you'll look at the date, you'll see it's November 11th. That's the 11th day of November, normally one of the colder months here in Misawa. However, when I walked out my door this morning to go run wearing track pants and a sweatshirt, I damn near fell over. It's gotta be at least 65 degrees outside. We don't have weather this nice in July, much less November. This could only mean one of two things: global warming is happening a little sooner than expected, or we're gonna have one helluva winter.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Three Amigos

Jimmy, Currt-Dawg, & Caleb
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Caleb, Jimmy, and I played for CrossPoint tonight, which is always rather interesting. Afterward, we went to Paddy's to toss back a couple pints of Guiness, since we don't have to work tomorrow. Few things in this world are better than good conversation over a couple pints of a good Irish stout. We're going to hit up Paddy's again on Friday because there will be a cool, little Irish band performing. Ah, Paddy's...something else I'll miss about Misawa.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Hit the Ground

Album of the Week:
"Gold Medal" by The Donnas
The Donnas debuted in 1998 with a self-titled album that was basically four high school girls doing their best Ramones impression. Original, maybe not, but definitely something that showed promise. On their sixth album, the Donnas' message is essentially the same: "They like boys and they like to party." But the evolution of their sound has been rather interesting. They've shed the basic three chord punk song, and developed into an all out rock force to be reckoned with. The tunes are catchy without sacrificing raw, speedy energy. They've transcended novelty and developed into a slick package full of attitude and sexiness. Oh, yeah, did I mention they're totally hot, too?

Sunday, November 07, 2004

...and Jimmy on skins.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
There's not much I can say about Jimmy because he's so eclectic and unpredictable. This I know: he plays the drums for our praise team, and since the piano is right next to the drum set, it's not like I could ignore it, even if I wanted to. I appreciate Jimmy's mad skills. Go Jimmy!

Saturday, November 06, 2004

It's a good thing.

I've come to the conclusion you can make quesadillas out of just about anything. Just go through your refrigerator, pull out random leftovers, mix it up with a half pound of cheese, slap it between two tortillas, and microwave for four minutes, flipping half way through. I've made some good stuff out of leftover tuna, rice, tofu, salmon, soy meat, and who knows what else. I bet you all read my blog just to peer inside my erratic mind, but who knew you could get great recipes, as well? Eat your heart out, Martha!

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Hot Stuff

Mike, Zach, & Jeni-Bomb
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
In the grand tradition of weird things we do at the Hospitality House, tonight, Mike (who will henceforth be referred to as M-Dogg), Zach, and Jeni-Bomb engaged in eating extremely hot, little bitty jalapeno peppers right out of the jar...just because. Of course, this is really nothing compared to the baby carrot stuff or the great gum chew, but it was still humorous to watch them all squirm because their mouths were on fire. If you look closely, you can see Kerry in the background inspecting the bottle from which the peppers came, and wondering why these crazy Americans would want to inflict such pain on themselves. (I'm tempted to insert a Bush joke here, but I won't.) Afterward, we played several rounds of Speed Scrabble, which has become a Thursday night tradition of sorts. Ah, PQ2. Something else I'm going to miss about Misawa.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

"You're like a lobster in a pot. You're thrilled 'cause the water's getting toasty."

All I can really do is sigh. All along, I was kinda thinking Bush would win, but now it's really sunk in. It's not that I'm a big Kerry fan, either. In fact, for those of you that were wondering how I ended up marking my absentee ballot, I voted for Nader. Now, if it would have come down to the big eight electoral votes in Kentucky and Kerry lost by one vote, I would have willingly cut off my left testicle as punishment, but this is Kentucky we're talking about. Bush won the Bluegrass State by a landslide.
The part that hurts the most is that 11 states had gay marriage ban amendments on their ballots, and all 11 passed (by a 3-to-1 margin in Kentucky!). It's a shame that we live in the 21st century, yet people are still so bigoted, fearful, and just plain red-necky that they feel the need to legalize discrimination. I guess I really shouldn't worry, though. Those amendments will all be overturned easily within the next 10 years. It's like the proposed amendment in 1912 to ban interracial marriage. Today, we laugh at those people and wonder how they could have been so intolerant and foolish. That's what people will be saying about us in 50 years.
So, the people of our country have chosen George W. Bush as their leader. The country's reply? "Where are we going? And why are we in this handbasket?"
I guess there are some good points to re-electing Bush:
1) Plenty of ammunition for late night talk show hosts' monologues.
2) Increased possibility of seeing Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly get in a fist fight over who hates liberal commie faggots more.
3) Four more years of Bush will make our country see that maybe Hillary isn't such a bad choice for President in 2008.
Anyway, I'm not going to pout and be bitter. I've somehow survived the past four years, including two wars and three trips to the desert. I think I can handle another four, unless the war output is increased. I wonder who's left to fight? Paraguay, maybe?
By the way, the quote in the title is from Lucia, Lisa Kudrow's character in "The Opposite of Sex." If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it.

Democratic Research

Caleb and Mike
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Caleb and Mike came over tonight to eat some pizza and chill out for a while. I think the main reason Mike comes over is to read the Jon Stewart book. (Golly, man, buy your own copy!) This is one of the things I'll miss most about Misawa. Just having people over and chatting and lounging. Good stuff.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Rise & Shine

Band of the Week:
The Cardigans

I've liked the Cardigans, a suave Swedish export, for a while, and a couple weeks ago, they put out an exclusive album on iTunes, which revived my interest. Their first two albums available in America, "Life" and "First Band on the Moon," were very upbeat and poppy. The latter was far more commercially successful, mostly due to the radio hit "Lovefool", but artistically inferior to the former. Soon after, they released "Gran Turismo" in 1998. This album was much colder with an almost metalic feel, yet it didn't take away from the allure of Nina Persson's voice. After that, the members seemed to go their separate ways, with Nina doing a delightfully country solo project called A Camp. Finally, in 2003, they reunited and released "Long Gone Before Daylight" which is as warm as "Gran Turismo" is dark. Overall, their sound has gone through many phases, but each is appealing in its own way. And there's nothing quite like Nina's sweet voice floating over whatever her bandmates give her. For a good time, I recommend their cover of Black Sabbath's "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" on "Life." You won't even recognize it. Good stuff.

Sunday, October 31, 2004


I give up. It's just too much, and I can't take it anymore. I've decided to avoid any kind of discussion, web site, television program, radio broadcast, or other propaganda relating to the election for the next three days. I've had my fill of it all. There's too much slander, back biting, animosity, and plain ol' hatin'. The only thing it does is provoke me and get me all ruffled. It saturates the media, and has begun to take over my normal thoughts leaving me anxious and edgy. Therefore, I will not discuss anything remotely political or do any kind of research into opinion polls, predictions, and the like until the last state's polls have closed and the tally is well underway. So, if you ask me a question about Bush or Kerry or stem-cell research or the economy or abortion or gay marriage or, heaven forbid, the war in Iraq and I run away with my hands over my ears and humming loudly, please don't get upset. I'll be back to normal Wednesday around 3:00 PM (JST), unless we have another debacle like in 2000. Then I'll just crawl up on my couch and wait for England to re-stake its claim on our country.

Friday, October 29, 2004


Yes, you're reading it right. It's 3:30 AM, and I'm up. I just got back from a stand-by call. There were some, ahem, pipes that needed cleaning, so to speak.
Is there such a thing as being too lazy to go to bed? I mean, I was in bed before, but then I got a call, so I had to get out of bed. I just got home from said call, and decided to check my e-mail for no apparent reason. And, of course, with the e-mail checking goes the inevitable surfing. Actually, what led me to surfing was this evil little e-mail from J.Crew. The J.Crew e-mail reminded me of this really cool leather and shearling jacket at Banana Republic I've been drooling over for a while. From there, I decided it had been quite some time since I browsed Armani Exchange. I'm just torturing myself because, due to my impending PCS, I've made a vow not to spend any more money on stuff I don't really need.
So, yeah, I'm just sitting here on my couch, trying to muster the motivation to walk up the stairs and get back into bed. With such severe sleep deprivation, I can't even imagine what I'm going to be writing tomorrow on Tripping Lucid. I despise stand-by.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


I finally finished. I have successfully re-catalogued my entire CD collection. I basically divided it into three groups:

Group 1 - The CDs from artists of which I am a fan (i.e. Sleater-Kinney, PJ Harvey, Bjork, etc.). These CDs I'm keeping as they are, with the cases and all. There are roughly 300 CDs in this group.
Group 2 - The CDs I want to keep, but don't necessarily have sentimental value (i.e. bis, The Donnas, Pulp, etc.). These CDs and booklets are going into binders, but I'm tossing the cases. There are roughly 700 CDs in this group.
Group 3 - The CDs I was only keeping for a song or two that have already been uploaded onto the iPod, or that I'd bought after reading good things or on a whim or with high hopes and poor results (i.e. The Androids, Katastrophy Wife, The Music, etc.). These CDs I kept in their cases and put in a crate to pack back to the States with me with the intention of finding a second hand store at which to sell them. There are roughly 200 CDs in this group.

So, if you're doing your math, you can guess there are roughly 1200 CDs in my collection. Actually, the exact count was 1218. This is what I was talking about yesterday regarding contentment. I have over 1200 albums in my collection, yet I can't ever be happy with them. I always want more. Insanity.
Anyway, my stairwell looks much neater now. My only problem now is getting rid of all these empty CD cases, but that's a project for another day. I should probably get to bed. I have to go back to work tomorrow. Take care. No worries. God Bless.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Great Gain

I'm starting to get a little depressed, or something. Nothing serious. I think it's just a product of being off work for so long. I run every morning, but somehow, it doesn't really make up for goofing off the rest of the day. I'm sure it will go away once I get back to work and start having an actual purpose every day. There were a few things I wanted to get accomplished during my leave, such as organise my DVDs into a binder (accomplished Saturday), cash in all my spare change and yen (accomplished today giving me a $303 bonus!), organise my CDs into binders (started today; hopefully finish tomorrow), and get a head start on my out-processing (not gonna happen). I can't believe I go back to work the day after tomorrow. Where did the time go?
Another thing I've been concerned about is finding contentment. It's amazing how fortunate I am. I have so much useless crap in my house, yet I still can't ever find a movie to watch or a CD to which to listen. I've got a roof over my head, and a bed in which to sleep. Isn't that enough? And not just material things, either. I have a family that loves me, and friends that support me. I need to realise my blessings. Wise up, man.
One final thought: Today is the Four Year Anniversary of the Day Misawa was Graced with My Presence. Four years. Wow. Okay, I'm gonna hit the sack in the hopes of getting up extra early tomorrow and getting some stuff done. Take care. No worries. God Bless.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Autumn in Japan

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Today, Caleb and I took a drive through Oirase Gorge and to Lake Towada. The leaves are all changing, and it was absolutely beautiful. God's creation is so amazing.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Rapid Eye Movement

When I was in Iraq earlier this year, I was having some crazy dreams, so, as a little experiment, I decided to start logging them in a little notebook each morning. Yesterday, I was rummaging through my bedroom and happened upon this little notebook, and boy, did I have some whacked out dreams!
So, anyway, I've decided to start a second blog devoted entirely to archiving my dreams. I'm going to do my best to update it on a daily basis, but this probably won't happen because: A) I don't remember my dreams every night, and B) I'm occasionally rushed in the mornings. However, I will do my best, so please be patient.
Now, before you go off reading into my brain and stuff, there are a few disclaimers and things you should know. I don't plan on editing ANYTHING. There is some seriously fucked up shit going on in my head that sometimes manifests itself in my dreams. These dreams are just random electric impulses, and I can't really control them. You're likely to read about some very evil and/or deviant behavior (violence, cruelty, voting Republican, etc.). Does this mean that I, too, will act this way when awake? Of course, not! You're also likely to read about some extremely strange, uh, shall we say, sexual dealings. Well, you know what? I'm human, and we're all sexual beings. And, I'm sure there will be sporadic homoeroticism, as well; but I'm sure if you were all totally honest with yourselves, you'd probably admit to similar urges, or dreams pertaining to such things, from time to time. So, don't freak out! If you have any questions, please grow a pair and ask me. I'd rather not have people gossiping about me or the Air Force Office of Special Investigations knocking on my door requesting I go and answer some "questions." One more thing: I seriously doubt anyone reading this is a licensed therapist or anything of the sort, so please don't offer any kind of advice based on what you've read unless I ask for it. The last thing I need is someone coming up to me and saying, "Well, Curtis, in your dream you were walking through the Sahara Desert eating pine cones and talking to Linda Ronstadt while shoving cashews up your butt, so I've come to help you with your obvious feelings of abandonment and strong desires of beastiality." As I said before, these visions in my brain are random electric impulses. I take my dreams with a grain of salt, and you should, too.
I guess that's about all I have to say about that. To get to my dream blog, you can go to, or, you can go to my profile, which lists both of my blogs at the bottom. Remember, my dreams are for entertainment purposes only. I'm taking a big risk by letting you all into my head. Don't make me regret it. Thanks.

Friday, October 22, 2004

A Den of Slack

I've accomplished about nothing this week. I get up and run each morning, and the rest of the day is spent surfing or shopping or baking. Oh, yeah, the baking. I've baked like no man has ever baked before. Cookies. Brownies. Bread. You name it. The weather has been really nice, and I've gone to the beach a couple times, but the temperature drops about 10 degrees by the ocean, so I don't get to lay out. I just stroll along the beach, which is still pleasant.
I had people over Wednesday night, and part of the discussion involved instances of confusing similar words. For instance, confusing "retarded" for "retired." Other ones include "Croatian" and "crustacean" and my personal favourite, "Volvo" and "vulva." Special thanks to Jeni-Bomb for providing us with so many hours of amusement.
Paul and Trish are leaving tomorrow to go back to the States for a couple weeks, so things will definitely slow down around here. I'm gonna miss them. This also means that I'll be leading Bible study on Saturday night. We're going to talk about the importance of worship and fellowship. To emphasize my point, I'll be using a medium that can be used to convey a point on any topic imaginable--The Simpsons. Seriously, the ubiquity of The Simpsons cannot be denied. That show covers everything.
Anyway, I'm going to jump in the shower in preparation for meeting the gang for dinner. Take care. No worries. God Bless.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Will that be all, sir?

There are two things in this world impossible for me to accomplish: 1) leave a store with everything I went there to get; and 2) leave a store without buying something I didn't really need.

Monday, October 18, 2004

I could take this in doses large enough to kill.

I'm basically floating along this week, and it's great. I have no schedule. No limitations. I'm feeling good. Running. Relaxing. I want to hug people. Practice purposeful acts of kindess. Make things beautiful.
One final thought: Is there anything on this planet better than peanut butter? I THINK NOT!

Friday, October 15, 2004


Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
You know, sometimes I hear these extremely close-minded people say the Bible speaks against tattoos; however, I really don't think God has a problem with this one I got earlier tonight. If my body is a temple, then my tattoos are merely the stained glass windows.
I'd like to send a special shout-out of thanks to Jimmy and Caleb for sticking with me through this rather painful experience. I've gotten tattoos before, but nothing could prepare me for when that needle went over my spine. Ouch! If any of you are interested in getting a tattoo and happen to be in the Misawa area, I'd be happy to set you up with Yoshi, the nice young man responsible for this beautiful adornment on my back. Please, let me know what you think...unless you don't like it. It's not like I can just get it taken off, alright?
Anyway, my body has been through quite an ordeal today, so I'm going to hit the sack. Take care. No worries. God Bless.

Try me on. I'm very you.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
I'm on leave from today until the 28th, just to take a little time off work and get a chance to relax a little bit. It was kind of a stressful week, and I think I deserve a long weekend (13 days long, to be exact). So anyway, I went outside this morning to go for a run, and the weather was amazingly gorgeous. The air was so fresh. The sky was so blue. I decided that Interpol was just a little too dark to which to listen before I run, so I programmed my iPod to shuffle all my electronica/dance tracks. And the first one that came on was "Power of Love" by Deee-Lite. I'd forgotten what an infectious groove this little early 90s trio spun. For my entire run, I kept singing to myself:

What is it that can make a lost soul found? Love!
And what is it that can make the coldest day seem warm? Love!
And what is it that can bring a smile to two strangers? Love!

It makes me want to go around hugging people. The next 13 days are going to be spectacular.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Heaven restores you in life

Album of the Week:
"Antics" by Interpol
The second album from this New York band, stylistically, doesn't stray to far from their 2002 debut "Turn On The Bright Lights." But they're still moving forward with their incredibly dark and beautiful art rock. It has a post-punk attitude, and it's tuneful without being too pop-ish. I bought it at Shimoda Mall on Monday, and it hasn't left my CD player yet. Few albums have the power to make me dance and cry at the same time. There's no filler on this album (and since it clocks in at roughly 40 minutes, there's really no room for filler), and its bold moodiness sticks with you long after it's over. This is definitely one of the essential albums of the year.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

She was a young American

So, yesterday was Columbus day, making it a three day weekend. Besides the Navy Ball on Friday night, I didn't really do too much. Went to Paddy's for live jazz on Saturday night. Church on Sunday. Shopping in Hachinohe on Monday. Sunday afternoon, Caleb and Jeff came over to watch "Dogville." I love that movie more every time I watch it. Caleb really liked it, too. Then, just to balance everything out, we watched "Airplane." Funny stuff.
I'm going to take a few days of leave beginning Friday. I had scheduled leave from the 15th to the 27th a long time ago for the China trip. Then, after we moved the China trip (and eventually dropped out of the China trip), I just forgot to take my tentative leave schedule off the board. Then I found out there's going to be a base exercise during those dates, so I decided to just go ahead and take the leave anyway. I've got plenty saved up, and it will be nice to just chill out for a week and a half. They normally don't let people take leave during exercises, but since I already had it scheduled before the exercise was announced, I got lucky.
Anyway, I'm going to spend the rest of the evening writing e-mails and surfing. Sometimes it's nice to stay home alone. Take care. No worries. God Bless.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Hangin' with the Squids

Last night was the Navy Ball, and it was SO FUN! A huge group of us went together, and we had a blast. The Navy Ball is so much more laid back and enjoyable than the Air Force Ball. (I guess I joined the wrong service.) But the highlight of the evening was when, after doing a shot, we managed to get Paul on the dance floor...and he was lovin' every minute of it. God Bless those Sailors.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

I put my thang down, flip it, and reverse it...

I have but one goal teach Paul to dance. I'm not expecting him to moonwalk or even cabbage patch. I just want him to be able to handle a basic groove on the floor at the Navy Ball tomorrow night. He's very reluctant and he's afraid he'll look silly, but it's not really for him. I'm mostly doing this for Trish's sake. All the poor girl wants is a guy who can shake his groove thing a little bit. I have faith he can do it. He's not all white.
I'm acting boss at work again this week. I had to go the scheduler's meeting today (where the big boys go to play), and it always makes me nervous because I never know what they're going to ask and if I'll know the answer. Mr. Futakawame (Futa, for short), the Japanese foreman for our shop, went with just in case they asked any questions about jobs the Japanese are handling. So, the Major asks me a question to which I actually know the answer (!), and all of the sudden, Futa starts in with his broken English, and I kinda felt like a big idiot. I was kinda perturbed at first, but then I thought, "Eh, who cares? I'm outta here in a couple months."
Anyway, I'm gonna shower, pick out some appropriate CDs for dance instruction (I'm thinking Missy Elliott, Basement Jaxx, the Chemical Brothers, early Madonna, OutKast, Electric Six, The Roots, Daft Punk, N*E*R*D*, Peaches, and Felix da Housecat), and head to PQ2. Take care. No worries. God Bless.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Let Me Ride

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
I got word today my loan came through, and I am the proud owner of a 2005 Ford Escape. All I have to do is pick it up at the dealer once I get to Utah. How cool is that? It's got a 5-speed manual transmission, 4 wheel drive, anti-lock brakes, power everything, and all kinds of other cool equipment. I'm really excited about taking it up in the mountains of Utah and stuff. Not only is it gonna rock, it's gonna RAWK!

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Walking Wounded

Walking Wounded
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
I just finished watching "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and started thinking about all the relationships in which I've been. High. Growth. Intimacy. Laughing. Personality. Merging. Shine. Inside. Smooth. Sexy. Flowing. It's all so intoxicating.
But along with all that great stuff comes the pain. Annoy. Sneer. Apathy. Taunt. Empty.
But you know what? I can't think of a single instance where I wouldn't do it all again.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

My Buddy Brigham

So, here's the big news:
Yep, I got an assignment on Wednesday, and it was finalized yesterday, so it's official. I will be leaving Misawa in December in a permanent change of station (PCS) move to Hill Air Force Base in Ogden (about 30 miles from Salt Lake City). First, the down side:
1) I won't be able to go to China with Paul and Trish. I'm bummed about missing China, but I'm even more bummed about missing it with Paul and Trish. They've become such great friends, and I feel our time together is so precious.
2) I'll miss the birth of Baby Dinkins. Damn, that's gonna be a cute baby.
3) I won't get to see Hiroshima next August.
4) No more onsening.
Now, the up side:
1) Salt Lake City is a big city with lots to do (i.e. movie theatres with NEW movies, restaurants with vegetarian entrees, malls with a Banana Republic, etc.).
2) They have the best snow on earth. (Their license plates say so.)
3) Low crime rate. Not as low as Japan, but lower than, say, Vegas.
4) Other various conveniences that come with living in the States that most people who've always lived in the States take for granted (i.e. not hitting 3,859 buttons on the phone to call my parents, being able to read road signs, actually HAVING road signs, etc.).
5) Only a 6 hour drive, or a $90 plane ride from Vegas.
Of course, I was kinda hoping to get another overseas assignment, but being around all those Mormons will almost be like living in another country, so I figure it's an even trade. I'm supposed to leave sometime in December. I'm hoping to spend another Christmas here in Japan, so I wrote December 30th as my requested departure date. Now for the scary part: three months of outprocessing hell.
Anyway, that's the big news. Take care. No worries. God Bless.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Questioning Connubiality

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
So, along with my absentee ballot for President, I also received this nice little piece of paper asking if I am in favor of denying over 1,000 rights, benefits, privileges, protections, and responsibilities to a couple, just because they happen to be of the same gender. It's a shame there isn't a box for "Hell, No!"

Monday, September 27, 2004

Demon Crazy

I made my daily lunch trip to the post office today, and when I looked inside my box, I was pleasantly surprised for two reasons: 1) a wonderful little yellow package notice (new duds from Banana Republic); and 2) my absentee ballot. When I first saw it, I got all giddy like a school girl. "Woo-hoo! My chance to participate in our wonderful democracy!" Then I opened it and saw, listed on the paper, five (5) choices for President of the United States of America. They're listed in this order:

Bush (Republican Party)
Kerry (Democratic Party)
Peroutka (Constitution Party)
Nader (Independent)
Badnarik (Libertarian Party)

While researching Peroutka and Badnarik, I found out that there are 74 actual candidates. 74! That's crazy. It's a shame we have such a bi-partisan system that we barely hear about three.
So, anyway, I pretty much ruled out Peroutka and Badnarik (though Badnarik had a few redeeming qualities). And I think I've made it pretty obvious I'm not voting for Bush. Now I have a rather difficult decision to make. Nader's platform is the one most consistent with my values and morals, and major change in this country usually results due to the minority raising their voices; however, I realize, of the big two, Kerry is the "lesser of two evils," and a vote for Nader is basically a vote for Bush. So, I can vote with my heart, or I can use my vote to do the most good. I don't know what to do. Take care. No worries. God Bless.

Sunday, September 26, 2004


Paul and Caleb
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
This is Paul and Caleb shortly after their MSOC Team victory over the Med Group (3-2) in intramural soccer yesterday. Way to go, fellas!

Friday, September 24, 2004

MC Jeni-Bomb

Dialogue from last night's PQ2:
Me: (in reference to a bill being presented before James Murphy's senator buddy) "Is it legit?"
Jeni-Bomb: (rapping) "Too legit! Too legit, legit!"
Me: "What?! Don't you mean 'Too legit to quit'?"
Jeni-Bomb: "Whatever."

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

I Think I'd Be Good For You

Hmmm, where do I start? Okay, so, Saturday night, we had our first official Group Bible Study at the newly re-opened Hospitality House. Our first Bible study was actually a DVD of this guy explaining his theory on creation. In a nutshell, he believes the Earth is about 6,000 years old and that dinosaurs and man lived on the Earth at the same time. (There's tons of other info, too, but those were the two statements that seem most unbelievable.) While he put forth some convincing evidence, I don't think I agree with everything he said. If you want to check it out, you can go to his website at
The weather in Misawa is crappy today. Rainy and chilly and just plain crappy. It's supposed to be crappy for another week. It makes me want to curl up on my couch and read.
This morning, I had a big interview with the Mental Health Clinic (which the Air Force, in all its political correctness, refers to as "Life Skills"). It's part of all the stuff I have to do for my cross train, and Mental Health is one of my choices, so it's probably a good thing they interviewed me. I mean, I wouldn't want some crazy person offering advice to another crazy person, right? Anyway, part of my interview was a 567 (that's right --567!) question personality test. It was rather interesting, to say the least. It kept asking me if I like to hurt animals and if I love my Mom. Weird. I finished the interview at 10:30 and decided to come home and take an extra long lunch. And yes, I'm enjoying it thoroughly.
Oh, I changed the title of my blog to just "the wax." I think it sounds cooler and there's probably something to be said for brevity...somewhere. Let me know what you think.
Here are a few websites to which I've been addicted recently:
Anyway, I guess I'm going to brush my teeth and get back to work. I'm underneath a blanket on my couch, and it's so warm and cozy. I need some new candles in my living room. I miss Don. And Brad. And Melissa. I'm typing my stream of consciousness in order to delay going back to work. Take care. No worries. God Bless.

Monday, September 20, 2004

...back to the Good Life

Album of the Week:
"Pinkerton" by Weezer.
About two weeks ago, I put this album in my truck's CD player, and I haven't taken it out since. I've had the album for years, but I've never devoted this much time to it. I've deduced that it's basically about Rivers Cuomo's obsession with Japanese girls. Even the album artwork is Japanese. I don't know if that has anything to do with why I'm listening to it all of the sudden. Probably not. Regardless, it's got some great driving guitar and catchy So-Cal poppy tunes. It's defintely a relationship album, and Rivers seems to be wounded, but hopeful. I sing along with it in my car, and it's just out of my range, so I have to sing really loud and my voice cracks a little, but that kinda makes it fun.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Serving Suggestion

Two Too Artificial
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
So, I was chillin at the Hospitality House earlier tonight, socializing while drinking my Pepsi Twist (with artificial lemon flavoring). And Trish, the culinary master that she is, had prepared lemon bars (also with artificial lemon flavoring). Well, I am here to warn all readers that:
artificial lemon flavoring
+ artificial lemon flavoring
horrible taste!
I'm going to push to have the Surgeon General's Warning on these products, just in case anyone (like me) thinks it might be a good idea to mix two different kinds of artificial lemon flavoring. Don't say you haven't been warned.

Saturday, September 18, 2004


Ryan and Me
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
The Japanese in my shop threw a little party for us Friday night. Not for any particular reason. Just to have fun. We smoked cigars and I drank a little more than usual, but I had a good time.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Tossed To and Fro

What a stressful week! And I still have one more day to go. Work is crazy. And when I say "crazy," I mean, "karayzee!" I've been very productive, but it seems the more productive I am, the more work keeps getting piled on. Decorations. EPRs. Inventories. Training new troops. And on top of all my regular work, I'm in the process of applying for my cross-train and an out-of-cycle DEROS extension. I suppose I should explain a little about that last thing. Due to the fact I was originally supposed to leave Misawa in July, but I waited until the last minute to re-enlist, I have busted my DEROS (due date to leave), and now MPF and PACAF are trying to get me out of here by November. And since I was told a few months ago by MPF I shouldn't have a problem staying here until October of '05, you can see how I am a little bamboozled. So now, I'm having to run around like a headless chicken getting endorsements and checklists and signatures to try to get all this paperwork through so I can stick around for another year. Yeah, it's stressing me out, but I guess if I didn't have the hard times, I wouldn't be able to enjoy the fun times.
Other news: I got a new cell phone on Sunday. Jimmy came over Sunday afternoon, and, out of boredom, we decided to go shopping (which is the worst reason ever to go shopping). So, I ended up getting this phone that's insanely small, but it's so cool. Every time someone new sees it, they say, "Is that a phone?" Like it's some kind of toy that doesn't really work. Kinda funny.
More other news: We're officially re-opening the Hospitality House tonight. I'm pretty excited about it. We had a big meeting on Saturday to decide which nights to be open and what to do each night. The whole deal is going to be run by us. Apparantly, Cadence won't be able to put a new family in the House for a few months, maybe even a year, so we've been told by Cadence and the Chapel to go ahead and use it, but we will be responsible for all activities, clean-up, etc. We're going to have social night on Thursdays, large group Bible study on Saturdays, and dinner after Chapel on Sundays. We'll see how this goes for a while, and possibly change things around in the future depending on how everyone's needs are getting met. I'm really hoping and praying it all works out okay.
Anyway, I'm going to take a little 45 minute disco nap to try to get rid of some of today's stress. Take care. No worries. God Bless.

Saturday, September 11, 2004


Third anniversary of September eleventh.
...the people in those planes.
...the people in those buildings.
...the loved ones left behind.
Let it remind us to bring Christ's love to the world.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Erratic Thoughts For This Week

1. You know, if Mama Cass had just given Karen Carpenter that ham sandwich, they'd both be alive today.
2. We might as well have a team of monkeys working in the Military Personnel Flight.
3. I don't think we need to be digging up old Air National Guard records to discredit Bush. I mean, isn't that why we have his Presidential record?
4. One of these days, my habit of leaving burning candles unattended is really going to come back and bite me in the ass.
5. Few things in life are funnier than Trish Dinkins doing her impression of a Lipizzan horse.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

And the 4th thing I learned on my camping trip...

Chubby Bunny
Originally uploaded by currtdawg. that Paul can fit 8 marshmallows in his mouth at one time. He tends to drool a little, though.

In the Rough

Went to the beach and camping with Paul, Trish, Kerry, Jimmy, Caleb, Dan, J.B., Chris, Krista, Kyle, and Joe. Had a really good time. Here are a few things I learned:
1. Never let Jimmy drive your chariot.
2. Never pee on a campfire.
3. Make sure there are no other campers around before you decide to drop your clothes and streak across the beach.
Please take this valuable information to heart, because we learned the hard way.
In other news, tomorrow is Labor Day, and I plan on doing absolutely nothing. The rest of the week is going to be kind of rough, I think. We have all this readiness stuff going on, and it's so ridiculous. Some things you just have to endure, though.
Paul, Trish, and I decided to try to do the China thing at the end of November, instead of October. We came across a great deal that also allows us a lot of options once we get there. We want to hit all the major stops (i.e. Shangai, Beijing, the Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors, Yangtze River, etc.), but we also would like to just travel at our own leisure and see what we can find. Plus, our friend Tania is teaching English in a small town a couple hours from Shanghai, and we'd like to hook up with her, as well.
Anyway, I'm going to grab some food and chill out with a movie or something. Take care. No worries. God Bless.

Friday, September 03, 2004


What a crazy week. So much adjusting. So, the Webers are gone. I miss them, but so much other stuff has been going on, I haven't had time to dwell on it. I'm still adjusting to having new bosses at work. I don't understand why people feel the need to come in and make so many changes. Nothing was wrong before. Plus, when you come in and revise things so drastically, you're bound to upset people. If you want to change things, fine; but a gradual change is much better for all involved parties. But enough ranting about work.
Justin and Jeff left today, but I wasn't really upset about seeing them go. It's not like I won't miss them. They're both great guys and great friends. But I'm so happy for them (they're both entering the civilian world), that my sorrow was overshadowed by my excitement that they're going on to much cooler things. Melissa leaves next Friday, and I think I will be bummed about that. She and I have really been through some shit together, and supported each other through so much. But, she's going to Nellis (my old stomping grounds), and she's going to have a blast. I think I'm going to visit her in March while I'm in the States. The both of us on the loose in Vegas could spell trouble, but it will be a hell of a lot of fun, too.
Anyway, I'm supposed to go out tonight with a few friends, so I'm going to take a nap first. The air show is Sunday, which means about 300,000 Japanese people will be swarming Misawa. And where will I be? Far, far away. I think some of us are going camping this weekend. It should be a good time. More to come later. Take care. No worries. God Bless.

Friday, August 27, 2004


The Webers leave on Sunday. I'm totally bummed, but I've had a couple weeks to prepare for it, so I've kinda been slowly making my peace with it. I don't think it will be really emotional for me when I watch them get on the plane. I only hope that once they're gone and things start getting back into a normal routine, the horrible depression doesn't set in. I think I can avoid it. Don and I have hung out every day this week. Precious little time.
Anyway, I'm going to head to our weekly Friday lunchoen at the E-Club. Take care. No worries. God Bless.

Saturday, August 21, 2004 all times.

So, here it is, almost 2 AM on Saturday night/Sunday morning, and I'm laying here in bed (or rather, on the couch), and decided to write a little bit. It's been a strange week. I was the boss at work this week, which, surprisingly, went rather well. I think the boss's main job is just worrying about what all the guys in the shop are doing. I spent half my week chasing people down and making sure they were completing jobs and not missing appointments. The other half was spent answering e-mails from the superintendent regarding said jobs and appointments. It all seems so crazy and pointless sometimes. I guess I just have to have faith I'm doing some good, somehow, somewhere. All the big management changes take place on Monday, so I'll have a new boss. I'm looking forward to seeing how things will go. It should be interesting, to say the least.
Brad left on Friday. He's headed to his next assignment in Texas. I'm really going to miss him. He's basically the only other person in the shop with whom I can engage in good, intellectual conversation. I'll see him again in March when I go to his wedding, but things just won't be the same in our shop without him. I know he's ready to get out of Misawa and be back in the States. He's gonna have a great time there.
On Thursday, I had the re-birth of Social PQ2. For those of you that don't know about it, PQ2 was a standing weekly social event that used to be held at my house every Thursday back in 2002. Well, things kinda slowed down when other obligations started interfering with the Hospitality House Bible Study, which used to be held on Wednesdays. That, on top of me getting ready to deploy again, kinda caused the demise of PQ2. But now, with events at the HH on an indefinite hiatus, I've decided to start it back up again. We had roughly 20 people on Thursday, which is about the max of what my little pad can handle. I'm sure attendance will die down and fluctuate in the future. Regardless, I think everyone had a really good time, and I'm looking forward to next Thursday.
I went to Shimoda earlier tonight to see Fahrenheit 9/11. Why Japanese people have an interest in this movie is beyond me; however, it was pretty entertaining. Michael Moore does a good job of making Bush look like an idiot, but the movie didn't really tell me anything I didn't already know. Yeah, Bush is an idiot. Yeah, the whole Halliburton deal is pretty crooked. Yeah, this whole Iraq thing is a pointless farce. What bothers me is that he worked so hard and spent so much money to make this film just to bring someone down. It's so mean-spirited. I understand that there are some major injustices going on and these things need to be said, but it's done so biased and it's like a big witch hunt. Maybe if the facts were presented in a more even manner, it would be more apt to sway my opinion.
Other good news: I ran completely around the base today! I was so proud of myself. It wasn't nearly as hard as I thought. The worst part was from the base beach up to the North Area. It's a pretty steady hill, and it goes on a long way. The last half was relatively flat. I think it's about 8 miles. Luckily, tomorrow is my day off of running. I think I'm going to lay on my couch all day long and watch movies.
Anyway, I'm going to close up the PowerBook and get some sleep. Take care. No worries. God Bless.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Mixed Emotions

Golly! So much has happened in the past week. I guess I'll tell everything chronologically, because if I write it stream-of-consciousness-like, I'll probably forget something or distort the facts and whatnot. So, the Fuji trip was last week, and it rocked! We drove down Monday, and went into Tokyo Monday night. We didn't really know exactly where to go, so we ended up in the only place I really knew how to get to - Shibuya. We got coffee at Starbucks and frosties at Wendy's. It was great. Tuesday morning was Bible study, followed by more time in Tokyo. I found a Diesel store, and spent an obscene amount of money. Wednesday was the Fuji climb. I made it in 5 hours, which is about an hour less than it took me last time. Thursday was more time in Tokyo, this time in the Ginza shopping district. We went into the Prada store, and I fell in love with a $700 sweater. One day, it will be mine. After that, we decided to try to feel American, so we went to TGI Friday's. Luckily for us, it was happy hour, so we tossed back a few drinks. Friday, we drove home. The trip was great and fun and relaxing and I got to hang out with Brad a lot and got to know Jen Price a little more as well as meet some other cool new people. I can't wait to go back next year.
In other news, Don & Jean-Marie will be leaving Misawa on the 29th. I really don't know what to say about it. I'm really going to miss Don. It's come about rather suddenly, but I understand why they have to go, and I think their whole family will be better off in the future. God bless them all.
So, on a lighter note, I'm pretty much the boss at work this week. The two guys that out-rank me are both on leave. It's kinda crazy. I never knew all the crap my boss had to put up with from his boss. I refuse to screw it up, though. The motivation I've been feeling since I got back from Iraq is still going strong.
Okay, I'm gonna chill out for the rest of the night, and watch a movie or something. Take care. No worries. God Bless.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004


Me and Brad at the Summit
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
...on life (and due to lack of oxygen). Brad and I made it to the top of Mt. Fuji in five hours. Woot!

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Blissful Trente

All I have to say is "Wow!" Okay, so, I guess that's not all I have to say. I should probably explain myself. Yesterday morning, I woke up unexplainably early, went for a run, called my parents, and washed my truck. As I was driving home, I was listening to the Luscious Jackson album "Natural Ingredients," which is one of my favourite albums ever. And suddenly, it hit me: I am so blessed. As I was driving, I started thanking God and entered this strange state of worship. I looked around and the sun seemed so bright and the sky seemed so blue. I really felt like God was looking down on me as one of His children. It's just that everything is going so great in my life right now. I'm enjoying living in Japan. Work is going great. Everyone in my family is healthy. I have super friends. I'm getting ready to go on this great trip to climb Mt. Fuji. I'm in the best shape of my life and I'll be 30 years old tomorrow. I've had these moments before, but I always ruin it by worrying about how it can't last forever and when it will end. Not this time. Sure, there's going to be drama, but God will take me through it. I mean, look at all the pain I've gone through to get where I am now. And these moments, as rare as they may be, are totally worth it. Thanks, God. Take care. No worries. God Bless.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Area Man

Link of the Week:
(Sorry, you'll have to cut and paste. I'm still working on putting proper links in this thing.)
It's a faux newspaper, and it's hysterical. Headlines like "Rise In Teen Sexual Activity Comes As Surprise To Area Teen" and "Bush Asks Congress For $30 Billion To Fight War On Criticism" make me laugh out loud. Each new edition is released on Wednesday, and it's definitely one of the highlights of my week. Other funny features include "What Do You Think?" and "STATshot". Chances are, if you know me, you've probably heard me talk about it, but just in case, look it up. Good stuff.