February 23rd, 2008 at 10:48 pm (Iraq)
The one thing I absolutely love about being here now and last year is all the fascinating people you meet that touch your life. Tonight after work a small group of us sat around discussing some of our dreams and aspirations in life. One of mine, that I kind of threw out half jokingly, was to write a book. Specially, a science fiction or fantasy novel. Well, the group took me very seriously and started interrogating me – as friends sometimes do. “What would it be about? Why haven’t you started yet? Are you scared?” Etc.
Last year I met people who changed my life, for the better I like to think. People who taught me the importance of an education, how to deal with stress, working long days, and not giving into that desire to give up – when I really wanted too.
Now here I sit again, with people whom a month ago were relative strangers, but now hold serious swaying power over my opinions and at times decisions. Taking me seriously and attempting to convince me to take that first step and write my story.
Its truly amazing how you meet people in your life that touch you in some way or another. It could be that one guy, that said something to you 10 yrs ago, and it held such significance for you that you will never forget it.
February 20th, 2008 at 11:17 pm (Iraq)
In writing the title I feel like I’m writing my own prison sentence. I imagine that actual prison time would drag by, while this is flying by. Last year when I was here I felt as if every moment dragged by. No matter how busy I was, I felt like each day, each month and finally the year would never end and I would be stuck here in Iraq forever.
So why the change. What has changed my mindset so completely that I no longer notice the passing of time. I barely notice as the days flow in and out. Is it Curtis being here? Is it me being a civilian? Is it this sense of feeling less obligated to my country for some reason, even if I still work hard?
When I was here as a soldier last year I took so much pride in serving my country. I wore the uniform and served with all my heart and soul. But now it’s different. I’m not here in uniform. While mine and Curtis’s job are important (more his than mine), its somehow different. Last year I would have laid down my life in an instant, but I no longer feel that way.
I’m sure as I spend the next 347 days grappling with these thoughts and feelings I will eventually come to some kind of conclusion. Until then I remain as ever, confused and learning.
February 14th, 2008 at 6:50 pm (Iraq)
Today is V-Day. Not only is it V-Day, but its also my co-workers B-day. So in celebration of these two occasions, we all cram into an SUV and jaunt over to the next base and eat chow at a bigger and better DFAC (Dinning Facility). And we eat alot. We eat all kinds of things that we can’t get at our chow hall. Like toppings on our Ice Cream. Not only do they have nuts and snickers bits, but they also have melted caramel and chocolate and maraschino cherries.
Life can be stressful, so its things like hot toppings on our ice cream every once in a while, that can make it all worth it. I hope your V-Day was filled with such things as moments like hot toppings.
February 13th, 2008 at 10:54 am (Iraq)
Curtis has an addiction. It comes in a green can. Yes, it is Mountain Dew. He averages (so he says) 4 to 8 cans a day. But I swear it seems like we’ve purchased a case every other day. Which would equal to about 12 cans a day. And he wonders why hes constantly pinging off the walls!
February 11th, 2008 at 11:01 am (Iraq)
We live in a trailer, that we share with other married couples. But its all good b/c there are walls between us. Thank goodness! So we get quite a bit of privacy. Especially since we work off hours. Noon to midnight.
The hardest part is living so far away from the bathrooms. So for all those late night potty breaks, it can be a little frightening and is quite a distance away.
The connectivity is horrible right now! Or at least it has been for the past week. Thing are rumored to improve, but we’ll see. I miss my internet. You get so dependent on it, its almost impossible to go without. Errr.
February 6th, 2008 at 7:12 pm (Iraq)
This picture was taken yesterday after someone drove the car forward, right into the lake. How does this happen you might ask. Not paying attention! While funny to see, probably not so funny to be the person behind the wheel. Don’t worry, thankfully, it wasn’t Curtis or I!
In other news, the office has started to call me ‘Shiny Dime’. Everyone has a nickname and this is now mine. I am only called this because of Curtis. But nonetheless, its kind of funny.
February 5th, 2008 at 4:25 am (Iraq)
As I haven’t been here the last couple of months, I get to hear all the back stories of the daily Curtis activities. We all know that Curtis can sometimes be ADD (attention deficient disorder) ish. His attention span is that of a gnat. I’ve always thought it was bad, but I never knew just how bad. His co-workers have given him a few nicknames, including ‘Genius Boy of Destruction’ (because he brought down the database… twice), ‘Doc’ (because hes scary smart), and my personal favourite ‘Shiny Quarter’.
They call him Shiny Quarter because he’ll be sitting there working and like a young child will suddenly bounce – randomly – to another topic/issue/thought. This habit is apparently not predicable and can come upon him quite suddenly. I’ve decided that its probably due to the MASSIVE wall of mountain dew cans that gets built up daily at his desk, but hey, who knows.
February 4th, 2008 at 12:56 am (Daily Life, Iraq)
I have arrived. Curtis was waiting at the plane when I stepped off. He brought me home and we stayed up all night bullshitting. Its now 7am and his 12 hour shift doesn’t even start till noon, so I might be feeling a little guilty for keeping him up all night. But only a little.
Its strange being back here. So much has changed and yet so much remains the same. Most of the differences are in the fact that I’m no longer in the military. I haven’t been here 24hrs and its already blaringly apparent that I’m a contractor and will be treated as such. More on this later though.
Just wanted to let everyone know I arrived safely. Will be posting some pics in the next few days.
February 1st, 2008 at 6:36 pm (Adventures, Daily Life)
I leave within the next 24 hrs. I’m packed up . . . for the most part. This will be my last post till after I arrive in Baghdad. I’m not sure how good the connectivity is over there. If Curtis is anything to go by, then its not very good!
I have our new address so if you’d like it just ask and I’ll send it to you. I’m going to try my hardest to keep up with the blog, as its a good link to the rest of the world and will let you’ll know we’re still alive and kicking.
I will miss everybody! I haven’t left yet and I already do. Write when you can; as will I.
Love ya’ll. Later, juls