Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Commitment and Change

I did it. Let 29 June 2004 go down as the day I committed yet another four years of my life to the U.S. Air Force. I guess that's all I have to say about that.
So, we're leaving today. We have to have our bags packed by 4 this afternoon, but the plane doesn't leave until 9 tonight. We'll spend a day and a half at Al Udied, and then fly to Misawa. I was packing up all my stuff earlier, and thinking about how comfortable I've gotten here. I had such a nice, little routine and no worries. If someone told me today that we've been extended for another three months, I probably wouldn't be too upset. Don't get me wrong. I miss everyone back in Misawa and I want to get home. I've just gotten mentally lazy, or something. I'm sure that once I get off the plane and see everyone and get back to my house, I'll be completely filled with joy. My only major obstacle will be the post-deployment depression that sets in every year.
Anyway, I'm going to go finish packing and get some food and shower and wait around until 4. Take care. No worries. God Bless.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Lighter and Fluffier

I ran with Joe Salazar this morning, and afterward, when we were leaving the gym, he stopped at the scale to weight himself. I've noticed the scale there before, but I've never stopped to weight myself. Today I did. I've lost a whopping 15 pounds since I got here 3 months ago. Yeah, I'm pretty proud of myself. I just hope, when I get back to Misawa, I don't gorge myself on Pizza & Curry and Santa Baby's and get all fat and stuff.
Anyway, I don't have much else on which to report. Work is almost non-existent. Half of the new guys are here, and they've already been trained on our duties. We're just sitting around the shop waiting to leave. Only five more days. Take care. No worries. God Bless.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Overmanned and Under What?

I was supposed to go to the ziggurat yesterday, but due to the fact the Services squadron here stinks, I will have traveled entirely around the globe, coming within a mile of the birthplace of Abraham and the second oldest building in the world, only to be shot down. It's a story too long to narrate here. A little bitter? Yeah, but I'll get over it.
Also, yesterday, we got in four guys from the new crew. Three are from Beale and one is from Hickam, and they all seem pretty cool. So now, we have entirely too many people in our shop. I've spent most of today sitting around and daydreaming of home. Fortunately, tomorrow, those of us from Misawa are going into half shifts, so I'll be working from 1 PM to 7 PM. Good news, indeed.
Anyway, I just wanted to shoot out a random update. Only six more days till I get to see all my Misawa buddies. I can't wait. Take care. No worries. God Bless.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Almost There

So, it's Friday, and I'm supposed to be off today, but I had to attend a big mass out-processing briefing this morning, so I figured I'd just hang around the shop for a while and get some e-mailing done and stuff. They really shouldn't have had us out-process four days before we leave, because now we'll be totally useless and the next team won't be here for two more days.
I finished "Mere Christianity" and have now started on "Porno" by Irvine Welsh, which is kind of a follow up to "Trainspotting." However, since I've started running again, my reading has suffered a little. I guess it's because I'm getting up so much earlier, and I'm much more tired at the end of the day.
The big question everyone keeps asking everyone else is, "What's the first thing you're going to do when you get home?" Well, we're supposed to be getting home on Saturday, July 3rd, so after we get our luggage and turn in our weapons and stuff, I'll probably head to my house (which will most likely be filled with people) and unpack and socialize. Saturday night will be Bible Study, followed by more socializing at Paddy's. Of course, anything could happen. This is just one potential course of events. All I really want is just to see everyone and talk and laugh.
I got my hair cut the other day, and it's really short. Apparently, "trim up the top" in TCN-speak translates to "I wish to look like Sinead O'Connor." Oh, well. It's a good summer hair cut, I guess.
I'm heading out to the ziggurat tomorrow, which should be really fascinating. I'll be sure and take lots of pictures. I hear the tour guide is very knowledgeable about the history of this area. I hope I can remember everything.
Anyway, I'm going to grab some lunch and head back to my tent for some afternoon relaxation. Take care. No worries. God Bless.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Big Poppa

Happy Father's Day to all the big daddies out there. May you celebrate this day by burping, grunting, and scratching yourself with no shame.
Everyone is totally lacking in motivation and starting to get on each other's nerves and stuff. I'm doing my best to avoid all the drama, and spread a little sunshine wherever I go; but some people just don't seem to appreciate it very much. I just focus on the wonderful time I'm going to have during my two weeks off work upon my return to Misawa. Socializing. Sleeping. Movies. Cooking. Beach-Bumming. Japan. This is what keeps me going.
I had Friday off, and watched a delightfully quirky little French animated film called "The Triplets of Belleville." The visuals were pretty cool and it involved a particularly funny sequence involving an inventive way for catching frogs. There was very little dialogue, so even if you don't understand what they're saying, you don't really miss anything. I also packed up a few boxes to send home and went for a nice run. I've started up my morning gym routine again, as well. Besides running, I've added the stairmaster to my regiment in preparation for the big Fuji climb.
Anyway, it's lunch time now, so I'm going to head over to the chow hall. Take care. No worries. God Bless.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Reels, Rumours, Riding, etc...

I forgot to mention before when I talked about my day off the movie I watched. It was called "Monster" and it was based on the true story of Eileen Wournos, a prostitute / serial killer. So moving and so sad. I've rarely felt such pity for a character. Charlize Theron played the lead character, and now I see why she won the Oscar. Simply amazing. However, nothing could have prepared me for the disturbing movie I watched last night. It was called "Elephant" and was directed by Gus Van Sant. It was obviously based on the Columbine shootings, but the feel and look of this film makes it seem like I'm right there. It borders on being artsy, but the more I think about it, everything was done so purposefully, the messages within are all too clear. Highly recommended.
My friend Heath showed me this really cool website: It's all about urban legends and rumours. It includes everything in every subject from religion to celebrities to politics to sports to medical findings and everything in between. Ever heard the one about Richard Gere and the gerbil? Look it up here. Did you get the chain e-mail from Bill Gates asking you to forward it to 20 people? Look it up here. I could peruse this site for hours.
Speaking of rumours, we got an official e-mail from the Shirt today informing us of our departure date. I'll be leaving this sacred plot of ground on June 30th and heading to Al Udied (where I was last year). I stay there until July 2nd, and then fly to Misawa. I still don't know the exact date / time of arrival in Misawa, but I will be sure to let everyone know as soon as I find out.
I ran the water route today with Heath, which was pretty cool. I'm on stand-by this week, which is NOT cool. I've been looking online for hiking boots for this year's Mt. Fuji trip. I'm getting excited about it already. I still haven't been running in the mornings. They received new treadmills the other day, but they're not very nice. I guess I should be picky. Anyway, that's about all I can think of. I'll probably write more random things later this week. Take care. No worries. God Bless.

Friday, June 11, 2004


I'm off today, and normally, on days off, I lay around my tent, watch movies, go for a run, read, etc. However, today there is a power outage for most of tent city, so, rather than lay around in a makeshift oven, I decided to come to my shop for a while to surf and shoot out a few e-mails. I've decided I should never surf the internet without a specific purpose because Curtis + boredom = shopping. It wasn't all bad, though. I succeeded in getting my Dad something for Father's Day. But after that, it was all downhill. I've been looking at video cameras for almost a year, and finally broke down and bought one, which leads me to another interesting development. The main reason I was putting off buying a camera was that, even though I had pretty much decided on the one I wanted, I still wanted to have a hands-on look at it. Thus, I was waiting until the end of this deployment when we were supposed to go through the States so I could head down to the nearest Best Buy and peruse all the fabulous gadgetry. But now, it appears that won't happen. We were informed a couple days ago that we will now depart on a chartered aircraft from the AOR directly to Misawa. This has two aspects. The bad: I was looking forward to some major shopping in the States, as well as visiting my friends Dan, Ben, and Abby. The good: we won't have to drag all our luggage through multiple airports during the 4th of July, and I'll get back to Misawa a little sooner. We've been told to estimate arriving in Misawa around the 3rd or 4th of July. Either way, I'm just glad to be getting out of here in 19 days.
Anyway, the power should be back on now, so I'm going to head back to my tent and enjoy some slacking time. Take care. No worries. God Bless.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Make Over!

So, do you like the the new layout? I've had the same template for a while, so I figured it was time for a change. Plus, there are lots of cool new features with this new one. I can put mini-titles on each individual post and insert links. And, you, the reader, can access my profile and insert comments at the end of each post, as well. Sounds fun, huh?
Other than that, the day has been pretty routine. It hit 118 degrees today, and everyone hates it except me. The weather here reminds me of Vegas.
Anyway, I'm gonna take care of a few minor things before the day is over. Take care. No worries. God Bless.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

There's not really anything new to report, but everyone in my shop has gone over to the chow hall for dinner, and I'm just chillin' here in the shop, so I thought I'd post some random thoughts.
I finished "The Story We Find Ourselves In" last night. Good stuff. It expanded my ideas without negating my beliefs. Now it's on to "Mere Christianity," which I've read twice, but sometimes you just gotta stick with the classics. It never hurts to have a solid foundation on which to stand.
A lot of guys around here are getting really cynical, and I'm doing my best to not let it get me down. However, I have to confess, it's difficult to keep your head up when the job is so monotonous and we don't really have any kind of a sense of accomplishment. There's not much of a mission here, so the work we do isn't very appreciated. Regardless, I'm still managing to keep somewhat of a smile on my face.
My friend Heath told me about this photographer Joel-Peter Witkin who's images are rather disturbing, to say the least. We were looking it up on the computer during lunch, and even as dark as these pictures were, I still couldn't turn away. Very interesting stuff, but not for the weak stomach.
Anyway, it's almost time to head home, so I'll close. Take care. No worries. God Bless.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

So, you know how there's sometimes an issue that you don't think you really have a problem with, but then one day you get a spiritual smack in the face and you realize how much you do? Yeah, that happened to me this week. I was walking across the compound, when, in the distance, I saw a guy from my squadron who isn't exactly Mr. Positive. I took evasive action and ducked behind another shop to avoid him. Afterward, I felt like crap. I mean, would it have killed me to smile at this guy and say "Whattup?" I've kind of realized that having poor expectations of someone is basically the same as judging them. If I never take the risk of interacting with someone, then I'll never have the experience of being pleasantly surprised by them.
Work has been going pretty good. I kind of alternate between driving the water truck, doing maintenance, and working various other jobs. My day off has been moved (again), this time to Fridays. I don't really care, anymore, though. In fact, days off are kind of overrated. All I ever do is watch a movie or two, take a few naps, and read. In fact, yesterday, I was so bored, I almost considered coming in to work. I eventually chose to go for a run at the gym. I'm pretty sure I made the right choice.
So, we latest rumour is that we'll be leaving here around the 28th, flying to Al Udeid (where I was for 7 months last year), and taking the rotator out of there on the 1st. I'm looking forward to spending some time in the States, but I'm going to do my best to control my compulsive buying, especially if I plan on making this trek to China in the fall, and a big trip around the States in March.
What other good things can I report? I'm finally getting a decent tan. Some of the guys here are so dark, and I'm so jealous. Regardless, my deepening pigmentation is manifested in my raccoon eyes, and that's more than I had when I got here. Also, I'm getting to know a couple of the guys in my shop pretty well. It's all about healthy relationships, right?
Anyway, I'm going to ride out the rest of the afternoon, and head home, and by "home," I mean "tent." I miss everyone more than words can express. Take care. No worries. God Bless.