Semblence of Life

So, I'm back home, catching up on things, and knicking away at that to do list.

Buy Car, Check. I went with a little Mazda Protege. Its a great little car and has everything I wanted. 5 Speed, great gas mileage, four door, front wheel drive, and a bit of a kick on the road. Me likes. We will see how much me loves when we make it up the mountain this coming week.

I've seen most of my family now, its strange how a part of me feels like I haven't been gone for very long at all, but then I sit down and think about what happened over the last year and realize that indeed, it has been that long.

I've got my job back at my former employer. So they are again my current employer once more. Its strange to think how much I actually missed that job. I think I missed the people I worked with, I don't know if I'll go back to that location for long, I'll likely transfer before to much time passes to a location closer to home.

Got a few more items left on my list. One of them includes acquiring a bed. There is also the pleasure of taking care of medical coverage, in case I knock my head upside a mountain and come back with Global Transient Amnesia after a day of free snowboarding. Again.

I also have to go through a lot of crap. I think I'm going to have a yardsale on eBay. Um, I guess I can alert everyone as to when that happens when the time comes.

And I'll be in the army reserves for at least another year and a half, or so I've discovered.

What else can I say? Well, it feels good to be home. Now I'm going to continue this trend of staying off the computer and having a semblence of life.


Home Free!

The army is done. I just have to clear hand reciepts at my home unit, request for a transfer to the IRR (inactive ready reserve), and then its home free, via car ride with the family.

These last couple weeks consisted of a lot of hurry up and do nothing. They could have easily gotten us through this process in four days, but they chose to spread it over eleven. A lot of days consisted of doing one thing and then we had the rest of the day off to go to the mall and. . . walk around and gawk at how easy we've had it for the last year.

Anyway, I will be home tonight. Its kind of strange to think that these people I've been hanging out with for the last year I may very well never see again. . . and with a few exceptions, I'm totally fine with that.

Well, now I get to continue on with my life and manage my money so I don't go into debt. First things first, I need a car.


My Rack

Get your head out of the gutter already! I just wanted to display my rack.

There may be an exception to this rack, and when I discover exactly what that is, I'll update it. Now, it is easy for any soldier to have a chest full of medals. And I'll tell you why.

Army Achievement Medal - (w/ 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters) I came on my deployment to Kosovo with three unsung AAMs. Although the Army Commendation Medal is more prestigious then the AAM, they give at more ARCOMs then AAMs. Fancy that. I got my AAMs from the POLLEX in Devens Massachussetts, Golden Medic Excercise in Camp Parks, California, and a Mederette in Suriname South America. And I got them all before I hit E5. Because after I got E5, things didn't go as smoothly back in the unit.

Army Good Conduct Medal - This is a Kosovo ribbon. Meaning I got it for not getting in trouble while on Active Duty in Kosovo. Normally I wouldn't get this ribbon because of my lack of being on Active Duty normally, but they make an exception for Reservists who serve on active duty for more then 9 months with no prior military experience. Its a ribbon you get for not getting into trouble. Though some would contest.

Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal - I got this for being a good girl for three years while in a Reserve Unit. I've had this ribbon for a bit now. As long as you behave, the ARCAM is a gimme medal.

National Defense Service Medal - You get this one while serving in a time of war, on Active Duty. You don't have to actually serve in the war, as long as you serve in the military. You would think I would have gotten this a long time ago, but I finally got it when they mobilized me for Kosovo.

Kosovo Campaign Medal - (with Bronze Star) I would consider this medal unique to a lot of the others, in that you specifically have to serve in Kosovo to get it. You don't have to do a lot in Kosovo, just as long as you serve for a period of time in order to get it. Not a lot of people have actually served in Kosovo, so its one of the few medals that I have that is kind of rare.

Global War on Terrorism (expeditionary)
Global War on Terrorism (service) Um, I'm at a loss. I got one of these. I just don't know which one I have. Go back and do some research I guess, I got a piece of paper which tells me which one I got. YOu get this for being involved in the Global War on Terror. In some way shape or form. They are a little different.

Armed Forces Reserve Medal - (w/ 'M' Device) I'm not exactly sure why I get this medal, but it is another Kosovo Medal I got while serving in Kosovo. I don't think I did anything but serve in Kosovo but there was something involved with that that earned me this. Hmm. I'll call it a gimme.

Army Non-Commissioned Officer Development Ribbon - Every time you go to an NCO school, you get one of these. I've been to PLDC. So I have one. I could have gone to BNCOC while I was in kosovo, but I forego the experience on account that I lost all motivation for staying in (another blog post that I will discuss later) and decided it wasn't worth my time. I kind of wish I had now. But the timing was always off and I could never seem to fit it in.

Army Service Ribbon - This ribbon has acquired a whole lot of nicknames. Fruit Loop Ribbon and Gay Pride Ribbon being a couple. You graduate basic training, for being a member of the US Army, you get this one. My first ribbon. Man, your uniform looks mighty barron with just this.

Army Overseas Service Ribbon - You serve overseas for a period of time, like 9 months or so. You earn this. It was questionable whether or not we would get this, somebody said that the Kosovo Campaign Medal basically took presidence over this one. But they gave it to me anyway.

Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon - Say that one ten times fast. I went to Suriname, I came back with a new shiney on my uniform.

So, that is a description of new stuff for my uniform. Well, badge wise, I also got some new stuff. I am now authorized to wear the Bronze Schutzenschnur, though it appears that it is made for the Male uniform with no thought to how females are supposed to wear it. Dang those pesky buttons.

I'm also now authorized to wear a sharp shooter marksmanship badge for Rifle. I can also wear the Expert Badge for Grenades, seeing as it is still on my paperwork.

As soon as I get home, I'll square away my uniform and piece it together. And maybe wear it one last time. Unless my brain escapes temporarily and I reenlist.

Life in these United States

I have discovered Battle Bean. High Speed Internet access. Outlets galore. I can download an episode of Red vs Blue in under a minute. You know how long its been since I've been on a server this fast?

Well, its been a long time. Though my computer is still in need of some serious maintenance. It gets a trip to the doctor (Best Buy) as soon as I get back.

I'm ready for Angel Season 2 and Buffy Season 6. However, currently they are not anywhere to be found. . . on post. And I'm kind of limited to my ability to get off post by availabilty of vehicular transport. So I did the next best thing.

I got Season 3 of Sliders. Yay, Sliders!

Ft Lewis is close to home, I'm in my home state and all, and honestly in retrospect it doesn't feel like I've been gone for a whole year. Kosovo feels like so long ago and I have only been back for a week.

This DeMob process could easily take less then a week to do if they just smoked us and sent us home. But they are spreading it out, giving us a lot of free time this week. Which means lots of trips to Seattle and Mt Rainier and what not. And sitting in the barracks watching Buffy, Angel and Sliders.

Ok, I'm going to write posts with substance as soon as I get home. I promise.

Go Seahawks!

When the Hometeam goes to the championship, everybody becomes a sports fan.


Don't Panic

When I refresh this, it might work. . .

Um, my website was down. Before you start conspiracy theories thinking that the army is out to get me and shut me down for good, rest assured that this is not what happened. It was actually a lot more innocent then that.

Well, see, I was out of the country for a year. I wasn't able to keep on top of certain things as well from out of the country. This included things like Credit Cards.

My Debit Card expired last month. I used it to update my account. But when the webserver doesn't get paid, it tends to shut things down. Including websites.

Fort Lewis is kind of lacking in the internet department. I've been online a grand total of twice since I've been back. This is numero two.

Hopefully the internet thing works out ok.


Deployment Complete

I just flew back into the states in the last hour.

It feels good to be back.


Cars R Us, continued

I had a strange dream. See, I'm kind of shopping a bit for a car at present, though more looking for what's available rather then actually buying one. The whole car scenerio showed up in my dream.

It started off as an ancient Toyota, like circa 1970s. I was thinking "dude, this isn't what I want" but I was told to take it out anyway. So me and my dad hop into this car and take it for a spin. Only somehow it turned into a truck. With two massive steering wheels. That forced me to drive with my face pressed against the windshield.

Eventually dad just said that this probably isn't a car I need to look at. I agreed.

Looking at what is available, I'm beginning to know what I want in a car and what I don't want. This will hopefully narrow it down.

Manual Transmission.
At least 25 MPG, (prefer 30 or better)
Color will not be Red
I'll go 1996 or newer
Prefer four door
Sorry LT, but No Trucks!
Foreign Make

And hopefully I can drive it without having my face pressed against the steering wheel.

The chronicals of Buffy the Vampire Slayer continue. I'm just ending Season 3 now. Season 4 is on deck.

Other then that, I'm still bored. Nothing going on, nothing at least, that I'm at liberty to talk about.

Awkward silence insues.

Did I mention that I'm bored?


Days Go By. . .

So, my days now consist of staying up until 3 in the morning, sleeping in until noon (working on that time zone thing), taking my computer to the chow hall and surfing while I eat, and watching a lot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Other then the fact that I can only remark that Sunnydale High has a lot of deaths within the faculty and student body to not be noticed by authorities, I fear that right now I don't have a whole lot to say.

Except that perhaps I'm a wee bit bored?


Blame Bush!

Ok, even in Kosovo, I can follow the news. One of the stories I've been following is the whole Coal Miners issue in West Virginia and how ate up that story has gotten and how sorry I feel for those people who were given positive news and rejoiced at learning of the fate of their loved ones and that they were still alive and then they learn the heartbreaking truth that their loved ones are in fact dead.

The story had me astounded when I learned what had happened.

But what get's my gall is that somehow, this is all Bush's fault. (I probably shouldn't add to this dude's thunder. He looks to be acquiring enough attention as it is.)

Yes, Bush needs to take responsibility for every little disaster that happens within the US. The fact of the matter is, the government is a huge beurocratic organization that has a lot of responsibility over the what happens in every little nook and cranny that goes on in the country. That's why we have State Governments and City Governments and different branches of Government responsible for different aspects of what goes on in every little world. Each one of these organizations wants a piece of the pie and wants a little attention. One person cannot take responsibility of every little thing that goes wrong in the country. You have to take a look at each situation independently, look at the facts, and try to correct them from there, from within the organization. And when the government gets so huge, it becomes this bloated monster and sometimes its hard to control all of these little organizations, even at the level of the president, especially when there is so much to oversee. Because some of these organizations are not directly under his jurisdiction.

Sure, maybe Bush should have looked more into safety issues within the mines, but I feel he may have had other pressing matters to attend to. The thing is, tragedies like this is what generally tend to alert people of the problem, and then they go about to correct it.

Hindsight is 20/20, its always easiest to blame the highest level of government and leave it at that. That gets people nowhere. We can't always foresee a disaster before it happens, sometimes it takes a tragedy such as this to get things accomplished. To blame Bush on something like this is rediculous.

When you start playing the blame game, in my opinion, you go to the lowest levels and start working your way up. When you find the person that is most responsible with the greatest opportunity to actually fix the problem (and to boot, most likely the subject matter expert of the issue at hand), then you go to that person to get things accomplished. Blaming Bush is not going to fix anything. He's a busy man with a lot on his plate and everyone wanting his attention. Its easy to blame the head of the beast. But by automatically blaming him for everything that goes wrong just means you're looking for a scape goat.

I think that's another title for President in this country. Official Scape Goat for everything that goes wrong.

Hat Tip: Silent Running


Home is on the Horizon

Well, I can't exactly give dates on here, but its getting to be that time again. Between watching AFN and getting up to date on the news back home, reading the tabloids so I'm up to date on the latest celebrity gossip (one reason being out of the country is nice!) and getting all of my crap mailed off, I'm finally on the verge of coming home.

This deployment has definitely been full of its ups and downs. For starters, I met some people I'm priveleged to have known and I'll never forget. I've been to parts of the world I never thought I would ever see. And I got a history lesson in person. Big Duke, the DANCON, doing the Schutzenschnur, seeing Greece, little things like that I will always remember. I picked up a few new hobbies, learned a few things on the side, and learned some things about myself and people in general that I would never have learned if I hadn't stepped away from the shelter of my family and just got up and did this. For that, I'm thankful that I came on this deployment. I don't regret coming here, and overall I've enjoyed my experiences here, though I wish certain circumstances were a bit different.

The let down of this whole deployment has been the army in general. I came here seeking a few things in regards to my personal development with my career in the army and I didn't get that like I wanted to until the last month of my deployment. I've learned a lot, but I didn't accomplish what I had expected to accomplish. If I were to do it over again, I would, in a heart beat. But hindsight is 20/20 like they say.

I just found out my former unit is in Kuwait, preparing to go into Iraq. A part of me wishes I was still with them. But now is the time to move on. Right now, I need to look back and learn from this experience, and look ahead and see where I can take myself in future missions. Or if the army is even for me.

I mentioned that I was on a Blog Hiatus, and then I started posting anyway. Well, now its for real. I might post thoughts and comments in general, but military matters are one of the untouchable topics until I get back at home.

In the mean time, see you all later.


Celebrating New Years

Well, this wouldn't be a proper New Years post without me telling everyone all about my New Years, right?

Oh yes, it was one of those novel things I can tell people about years from not.

I was on Guard Duty. I will not explain the circumstances of what I was guarding or what not, but Guard Duty came and me and my battle buddy ordered pizza and watched the Kosovars celebrate with Fire Works. And Tracer rounds. I think a few people shot up flare guns.

We watched from the distance and observed. It was a quiet moment.

No big ball dropped in Times Square. Our New Year came a full 6 hours ahead of Dick Clark. I had half a mind to call home afterwards and tell everyone I was calling them from 2006. Eerie, the Future! Mwahahahahaha!

It doesn't really feel like 2006. I spent a grand total of seven and a half days in the states last year.

Today was spent doing another MASCAL excercise. This was kind of a final thing, more for practice then anything. I was in shock again, kind of the mental patient thing though I downplayed the whole psycho aspect. In the end I went into a Asthma attack and that ended the whole play thing for me. I got a lot of compliments for staying in character, though I'm not really asthmatic so I couldn't tell you how to work it in the real world.

Dinner was Crab Legs. Messy. Sometimes, on special occaisions they will spoil us with a special treat. Like Crab Legs. They did a good job cooking them. Unlike July 4th where they butchered the Lobster. That was a crying shame.

Here's looking to a promising 2006. Happy New Year to all of you back in the states and around the world.

I'll be home soon.

New Years Resolutions

So, every year I make New Year's Resolutions. This last year, how did I do?

1) Get out of debt - (piece of cake!)

This was one of my motivating factors for deploying. I wanted to get in control of my finances. I have most definitely succeeded in this endeavour.

2) Drive on the Autobahn in a Porsche.

Um, in a Porsche? Whas was I thinking?

But I did drive the Autobahn in a BMW!

3) Max APFT.

Hah!!! (failed)

a) this will require me to work out regularly. I hear Bondsteel has some good gyms available.

Hah hah hah *cough cough*

Um, failed this one too. But I did pick up Kajukenbo and a few other ways of working out. I definitely intend to keep it up when I get back to the states.

4) Upkeep webspace from Kosovo

For the most part, did this, at least with the Blog I did. Can't say the same thing for a lot of the rest of the sight. And as much as the army tried to shut my blog down, I kept it going.

5) Learn how to edit videos.

I learned how to do this, but I didn't do what I wanted to do, which was my motivation for learning it in the first place.

6) See Prague, Budapest, Norschwanstein, etc. . .

Um, scratch Prague and Neueswchwanstein, but I did see Budapest and the etc. . . part. So did my mom. She had fun. So did I. :)

7) Don't get Shot.

Um, this is an unnecessary resolution for Kosovo. I'm more likely to get shot by friendly fire. Honestly.

8) Make a decision on what I want to do when I come home.

*sighs* I'm still not sure. So this is a failed resolution.

So, that's the status of Last Year's Resolutions. I need to make a new set. Yay! Now, let's see how well I keep them. Check here same time next year.
  1. Run Bloomsday
  2. Find a Dojo and get back into some kind of Martial Art.
    -Stick with said martial art unless I get an acceptable reason to get out.
  3. Buy a car (guaranteed to get this resolution done)
    -Make it a dependable, economical, inexpensive car.
  4. Make a final decision with the army. Stay in? Get out? New MOS? ???
  5. Get back into Painting.
  6. Get Creature up and running again.
  7. Go to school.
    -Make a decision on a major.
  8. Look through these current prospects and make a decision if there is anything there or not.
    -If there is, explore it more.
    -If there isn't, work on new prospects.
    -Work on that dating issue altogether.
  9. New Zealand/Australia. Somehow, someway. I hope.
  10. Pilgrimage to Utah to visit friends and family and check out famous Utah powder conditions for Snowboarding Purposes.
  11. NanoWrimo in November. Maybe.
  12. Website. Just, well, it needs something else. Facelift maybe? Who knows?
    -MOre in line of a webserver change.

Eh, that's enough off the top of my head for now. Will give myself a week to add too/change current resolutions and then they are in stone. We'll see how this year goes.

2005: Year in Review

01. What did you do in 2005 that you'd never done before?
Ooh, a lot of things! Some of them I'm not at liberty to talk about :P

Traveled Europe should probably top that list however.

02. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Um, this is a subject for another post. See Here.

03. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not anyone this year that I know of real close, well, other then some cousins of mine, whom I've lost track of.

04. Did anyone close to you die?
My grandmother passed away about two weeks ago.

05. What countries did you visit?
Hmm, let me see. Germany, Kosovo (part of Serbia), FYROM, Greece, Bulgaria, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Switzerland. And if you count it, I hung out in Iceland for about two hours.

06. What would you like to have in 2006 that you lacked in 2005?
How about a life not jurisdicted by the United States Army? And more time in the states!

07. What date from 2005 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
There are a few dates, May 2nd was the LIT concert, December 1st was my last straw with my NCOIC, January 8th was the day I left the states, January 27th was the day I arrived in Kosovo, June 1st was the day me and Nate made it official, September 3rd was the day we broke up. Every day from September 24 - October 12, which was Leave time and spent in bliss, September 22 I got in a car accident.

Um, I got a lot of dates actually.

08. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Seeing as much of the world that I did. Also, the Schutzenschnur was a thing that I wanted to do. Also, doing as much extracurricular activities as I have accomplished, like the DANCON and Big Duke. Things like that really.

09. What was your biggest failure?
My work output this year should have been a lot better. I blame myself and a certain somebody that will remain unnamed, but they know who they are and they know that I can't stand them. In fact, putting up with them and trusting them for as long as I did will be my biggest failure.
I also had planned on doing a lot more then I ended up doing. Like maxing out my PT test. I didn't do to hot on that portion of my New Years Resolutions. Again, another post. Will get there in a minute.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
How about I finally talked to somebody about my mental state? Other then that, nothing serious. I stressed my leg playing Volleyball and couldn't run for about three weeks.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My Guitar. Though I didn't keep up with it like I wanted to, I plan on doing that when I get back home. I also love my new WACOM drawing tablet. :D

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Certainly not mine.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
One person who shall remain nameless but goes above and beyond in this area.

14. Where did most of your money go?
My bank. And there it shall stay until I go home and buy that car.

Otherwise, my vacation to Europe. Which was worth every penny.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Er, Deploying to Kosovo? (hey, this was left here from the last year I did this!

Also, Greece, Bulgaria, going on Leave. . .

16. What songs will always remind you of 2005?
I've been so out of the loop that no song really reminds me of 2005. Most songs I hear are from years past.

I guess that one song "Don't you wish your Girlfriend was Hot like Me", but I won't even mention what picture in my head this song evokes.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?
I'm doing wonderful now. But I was doing pretty good this time last year too. Although I was kind of sad to be leaving my family for a year.

ii. Thinner or fatter?
About the same really. I want to get into better shape.

iii. Richer or poorer?
Definitely Richer. Something about a deployment pads your wallet a bit.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
I regret not going to Bulgaria twice. I should have gone again but what's done is done. And how it worked out, well, I couldn't have gone a second time.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
I could go on. But perhaps my blog is not the place to discuss this.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
I slept in until Noon. And then I went to church. Opened one gift from my roomie, who's a sweetheart (and Ironically, she's Muslim.)

22. Did you fall in love in 2005?
You know, I'm not sure. . . yet.

23. How many one night stands?
(I'll keep last year's answer) I think I need to get laid before I think about this.

24. What were your favourite TV programmes?

What TV Programs? Who am I kidding, when have I ever sat down and watched TV?

Well, anyway, I've been busy collecting the Seasons of Sliders, Twilight Zone, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I stand by my love of Mutants.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
My goodness, I can not for the life of me think of a more appropriate question then this one. I normally do not hold ill will toward people and think that Hate is a very strong word but. . . YES!

26. What was the best book you read?
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Shut up now, I'm a Harry Potter Fan.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Rockabilly and All Girl Cover Bands.

28. What did you want and get?
If I wanted it, I bought it.

29. What did you want and not get?
Freedom and a change of wardrobe.

30. What was your favourite film of this year?
I liked Domino and Just Like Heaven, but I am so out of the loop that I can't accurately answer this question.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Surprisingly, not much. I think they allowed me to sleep in. And I mailed stuff home.


32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Being in another section and under a different person then who I was under.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2005?
Green, brown and tan. Black Combat Boot. Accessorize with M16.

M16 goes with everything.

34. What kept you sane?
Um, this question doesn't apply to me as I am most certifiably insane.

But otherwise, my shrink. Literally.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Who uses the word 'Fancy' in this society.

For some reason, I'm not into any celebrities at the moment, or for that matter, at all during this year. You know how many movies I watched? Well, not very many.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Anything that dealt with Kosovo. Which is mainly a non issue to the rest of the states.

37. Who did you miss?
Everybody back home in the states. My friends and family mainly. THis is a stupid question in my circumstances.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Nate. And all of his buddies. And some of my foreign friends. And a few others that choose to remain anonymous.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2005.
I learned how to stand up for myself and not take shit off nobody. A valuable lesson indeed. I will definitely retain this one.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Jet Plane by John Denver. Well, part of it anyway.