Sunday, February 16, 2014

Y U so sexist?

Watching the Olympics, there's a commercial for McDonald's chocolate covered strawberry frappe.
"Any woman's day can be made better by..."

Monday, February 3, 2014


I've been a reader all my life. Like many outcasts, books were my friends, they wouldn't reject me or hurt me, and so I got to be a very good reader, not just in speed but in depth. Often, when I'm reading something critically, I'll be looking for what the author is not saying as much as what he is saying.
So it's really not a surprise to me that when I took a speed reading test, I came out above average, but just how above average kinda makes my jaw drop.

So. Yeah. Should I feel accomplished or something? Because what I feel is sorta sad.
Edit: And now I feel kinda big headed too, since I thought my score was going to be in that infographic. Well. I read at about 637 words per minute, which is 155% the national average.

Monday, January 27, 2014

It's been a long while.
I'm not in the Navy anymore. I finished my enlistment and was discharged honorably.
I've been floating for a few months, dealing with my own issues. The last few months of being in the Navy were pretty horrible, disappointing, and depressing.
I really wanted to reenlist, see? I had done all the paperwork and was waiting on the bureaucracy to approve it, and the Command Career Counselor told me that if I waited, then I'd get this big bonus.
He lied, it wasn't possible.
I was discharged on Oct 1, 2012, the first day of the government shutdown, and it was a helluva day to try to get anything done.
Mostly, I wanted to curl up and disappear.

I've been sick lately, with a cough and congestion and general lassitude that makes me sleep like a cat. I've lost weight at an unhealthy pace, and while I've been pushing fluids, it's been a week and I'm only just beginning to feel better.

So. I guess I'm alright, all being told. I'm warm and safe, I have food. Things could be much worse.  

Monday, February 18, 2008

love and logisitics in the land of nukes

Being around people that think of themselves as particularly smart actually kinda sucks. When everyone thinks they're special, a number of assholes emerge. Like people who think they're so smart, they can break the rules and get away with it.

A class, three days from graduation, got masted. They broke the rules and were found out, and were publicly humiliated. And for what, drinking underage. And then some especially stupid people went out and got drunk, underage, that day. And got masted. This is a huge thing at this command, they do not tolerate underage drinking at all. They don't even like us going into Spencer's, because there's drug paraphernalia sold there. There's a hookah bar downtown, and someone got masted because she took pictures of herself smoking out of a hookah. Tobacco, not anything illegal. There's a bit of rebellion with people carrying around spoons and rolled up dollar bills. It's just stupid. They tell you not to do something, so don't do it. Aren't people here supposed to be smart?

And yet, there are a few people of good character here. I went out with some acquaintances last night, and one of them picked up the check for me, because that's how he is. I ordered an alcoholic drink, and the waiter gave us two straws. He didn't even touch it, because he's underage. I like him. He keeps himself above reproach.

I'm engaged. To someone on the other side of the country, also in the Navy. I understand that I'll probably see him for a grand total of a month a year. I love him, and I miss him. And I understand that this is the way I will feel for most of the time while I'm in the Navy. My class graduates on May 30, and he deploys for a six month cruise of the Persian Gulf the day after. This is how it'll be. Damn, this sucks.

Friday, December 28, 2007

I made it out of bootcamp...

...And honestly, it was a joke. We were our Chief's last division, and he totally babied us. Even other divisions were like... wtf, you go to the phone center once a week and get candy and red bulls?

What's to congratulate? The ability to run a mile and a half in 14 minutes? Gaining military bearing? Not bursting into tears when I was yelled at (which was often, because I have a hard time keeping my mouth physically closed)? I mean, the worst thing that happened was one of the chiefs yelled at me a few times for having hair in my eyes, got frustrated with my inability to do so, took a pair of scissors and cut the offending lock off. Though I won't forget the expression on her face, the first time she told me to get my hair out of my face, and I tucked that stupid lock behind my ear, and it promptly fell back in front of my face.

I really wanted to get beaten every day, get stronger, that sort of thing. Instead, bootcamp was a classroom-intensive, sleep-deprived (I averaged 4 hours a night, for various reasons) struggle to get things right and pay attention to detail. The physical aspect was almost an afterthought. And for the most part, I had fun. My division did well, earned all our honors (so maybe there was a reason for the phone calls and the red bulls.) But I still wonder if I would've had the same perspective if I had been in my brother division.

Here at Nuke school, though, PT is not an afterthought. And the chaplain leads it. we usually do ten of an exercise, uhh, kinda goes like this:
Chaplain: One!
Nukes: Navy!
Nukes: Navy!
Chaplain: Ten!
Nukes: Nuke Powah!
Chaplain: Hooyah Nuke Powah!
Nukes: Hooyah Nuke Powah!
Chaplain: Hooyah Chaplain Corps!
Nukes: Hooyah Chaplain Corps!
Chaplain: It seems some of you can't count/like your R's too much/whatever he didn't like.

(yeah, he made us do the exercise again because someone said "nuke power" with a hard r. )

And the classes are pretty intense. I like it here. I'm happy. It's crazy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

that wedding -- that asshole

So, my friend had her wedding recently. She had decided to have a fairly small wedding on a boat on a lake. Unfortunately, the waves were pretty choppy for marching down the aisle. I was the last to go before them, and I heard her father tell her that if she started to fall, he was just going to let go.

Granted, he is an old man -- older than 3/4 of my grandparents -- and he isn't in the best health. But just letting go of your only daughter if she happens to loose her balance on her wedding day seems awfully assholish.

Fortunately, no one fell, and the biggest catastrophe was that someone had misplaced the forks for the wedding cake.

But now I can see why she's waiting for him to kick the bucket.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Six years

Today, I'm certain that there's somebody at Ground Zero in NYC exercising their right to freedom of speech by proclaiming that 9/11 is a massive government conspiracy. More than likely, there's a group of them, and they're handing their propaganda out. Lots of people aren't going to like what they have to say, and will probably tell that to them too. It might come to shouting, but if no one throws a punch, no one is going to get arrested. This is the US, that's the way we roll.

Today, there's someone out there who's proclaiming that we should probably just "nuke em all," without the depth of insight that our country would again be guilty of genocide. Wouldn't it be foolish to wipe out a whole region of the world, poison it with radiation, just to satisfy a lust for blood and revenge?

Today, there's someone protesting the War in Iraq. Perhaps they'll say that we're killing Iraqis there... and they wouldn't be entirely wrong. Something like 225 Iraqi civilians have died in 2006 as a result of US actions. Some 16,791 Iraqis have been killed by terrorist actions in the same year. I'm reminded of a line from Reading Lolita in Tehran, where the author passing by posters, and one of them says, "The more we die, the stronger we become." What the hell kind of logic is that?

Today, there is a large, quiet gathering at Arlington National Cemetery. Maybe someone's brought a picnic to spend the day there in memory of their loved one. Maybe someone else will yell at them for irreverence. Or not.

But I imagine that almost everyone today sits and thinks about what they were doing, where they were six years ago, at least for a few minutes. I know that I can't forget, though I was hardly the person who I am now then.

I suppose the same could be said, of the whole world.