Operation: GTFO (Day 23)

Disclaimer:  This is not an accusation.  This is not directed at any particular person.  In today’s SHARP climate I don’t find sexual harassment or sexual assault to be a joke, and neither do I find it amusing to fling accusations at someone who did not do anything.  This is all very general and nothing inappropriate has happened.

The Devil You Know

We're not even 30 days in and these dudes are already dehydrated.

We’re not even 30 days in and these dudes are already dehydrated.

You know what happens during these things:  people get thrown together so much they feel like they are attracted to each other and they start forming attachments and liaisons.  These romances are never real and when you get back to the world, you discover everything that attracted you to him in the first place are the very things that annoy the shit out of you.

I was never so desperate and lonely that I tried to seek out a deployment husband; rather, I avoided everyone like the plague so that no one could get the wrong idea about me.  I wouldn’t make eye contact with anyone.  I wouldn’t laugh at anyone’s jokes.  I did not want to seem flirty at all.  I just made it clear that I was not interested.  

Unfortunately, some people did not get the message.  I still had two Creepy McCreepersons in my face.  This is the thing about harassment.  You got those perves that are utterly blatant about their predilections.  Then you got the undercover creepers, the ones that are real sneaky about who they really are.  These dudes aren’t going to jump out at you in a dark alley.  They show up at your barracks door and act like you’re the one that invited them there because you happened to look at them on your way to the copier.

When you have to avoid the guy from S2, the two dudes from Supply, the chick from S1 and everyone from the Maintenance Platoon.

When you have to avoid the guy from S2, the two dudes from Supply, the chick from S1 and everyone from the Maintenance Platoon.

I received a gift from one Creepy McCreeperson and I was completely skeeved.  The item was small and unsuspecting, less than $5.00.  A person on the outside wouldn’t see the big deal, but that’s how these jerk-offs operate.  They make it seem like you’re the one with the problem.  “When I saw it, I thought of you.  No big deal.  It’s not that serious.”  Now everyone is looking at you like you’re seeing rapists around every corner.

I think I have picked up a creeper… already!  Usually, people don’t start getting thirsty until a few months in.  These dudes are damn near dehydrated, and it isn’t just the males.  Seriously, don’t ever believe that men are the only ones that can’t control their hormones.  The ladies too.  Especially these young ones, hot in the ass.

If I could walk around like this for the entire deployment, even in uniform, I think I might be able to survive.

If I could walk around like this for the entire deployment, even in uniform, I think I might be able to survive.

Other females have reported potential creepers.  And let me be clear, I’m not here trying to point anybody out, because on its face, nothing inappropriate has happened.  It’s not like that.  It’s far more subtle.  These individuals are making themselves visible.  What do I mean by that?  You go down to the day room to heat up a frozen pizza… he’s there with a Hungry Man.  You’re headed out for a run and he just so happens to be on his way for a run too.  You’re sitting by yourself in the chow hall, enjoying an all-purpose patty, here he comes, “Can I join you?”  

These guys are not rapists.  They’re not trying to sexually assault you.  They just want to let you know as soon as you’re ready, they’re ready.  Just name the time and the place and he’s gonna be there with a triple pack of Magnums.  

Time to take evasive action.

Operation: GTFO (Day 17)

Chow Hall Blues

I don’t care what anybody says, the chow hall is still a home-cooked meal.

~Anonymous Civilian

You do know that's a camel's rump, right?

You do know that’s a camel’s rump, right?

Uh, have you actually eaten at the chow hall?  I mean, really, we’re like one step above dog food.  Actually, no, I take that back. That’s being too generous.  I was lulled into a false sense of security when I learned this place was run by the Air Force.  I remember the days when I lived overseas and we considered it a treat to eat at the O Club on the Air Force base.  I remember my siblings and I would get real excited when my dad said we were going out to Kadena Air Force Base for dinner.  They had this bomb ass Mongolian BBQ and a guy who played the xylophone in the corner.  I don’t know what I was thinking to believe that such would be the case here.

The first day wasn’t really that bad.  Maybe because I was tired and really hungry.  But two days later they served pink chicken.  No, the meat wasn’t pink, as in not cooked all the way.  The sauce was pink.  Candy coated chicken?  They said it was sweet and sour chicken but I was scared to eat it because food doesn’t usually come in pink unless it’s some kind of sweet or something.  That was like the hot topic of the day, the pink chicken.

The struggle is real.

The struggle is real.

In every unit there is a Soldier who actually enjoys chow hall food.  It could be for a variety of reasons:  he doesn’t get home cooked food at home, there’s not a lot of money at home so he eats what he can get, he doesn’t know that dog food is not to be served to humans.  It could be anything.  We’ve been here about two weeks now, and even the most stalwart chow hall advocate is starting to fail in his resolve.  It is little wonder the Day Room is STACKED with take out menus.  Last night a Chinese carry-out sent a representative to the Day Room to take orders.  We were literally lined up, giving this man our money because there’s nothing else to eat. Even the broke mother truckers are coming out their pockets because it’s that serious.

For whatever insane reason we put in a request at the chow hall to help us with our Mandatory Fun Picnic we had on Fourth of July.  They denied our request because we didn’t get together a committee to form a discussion to submit a memorandum on time.  They said it had to be done five days out.  Trust me, I didn’t shed a tear over the fact that we wouldn’t be getting chow hall hot dogs and hamburgers.  But since none of the Soldiers were in the training area, that meant none of us were around to eat at the chow hall.  So what did they do with all the food they had prepared for the day?  Uh, how about they served it the next day?  And the next day.  One Soldier told me the menu stated sausage and peppers for lunch and ham and potatoes for dinner.  Well, when he got there, it was indeed sausage and peppers for lunch.  It was also sausage and peppers for dinner.  And breakfast.  And dessert.  They just put whipped cream on top of it and called Creme de la Sausage.

Dead.

Operation: GTFO (Day 15)

And So It Begins…

Thankfully, she's not going on the deployment with us.

Thankfully, she’s not going on the deployment with us.

There wasn’t much opportunity to begin writing up until this point.  Now that we’re settled into somewhat of a routine, I think I can get this blog up and running again.

Why Operation:  GTFO?  Well, the last operation was called WTF, for obvious reasons.  I decided to name this one GTFO because this is essentially a mission to draw down operations over there.  The whole plan is to pack some shit up and get the fuck outta of other people’s countries, so yeah, why not?  Get the fuck out.  You don’t want us there, we don’t want to be there.  Works well for everyone.  I just hope that other stuff going on in the region doesn’t pop off, because then I’d have to change this to Operation:  OMG Lulz Deux.  Don’t worry about it, if you didn’t understand that.

I do promise that I’ll keep up with everything, but I don’t promise that this will be as juicy as the last blog.  If that makes you not want to read, then get lost.  It seems like people are only interested when you’re talking trash.  That’s cool; I’m like that too, but that shit got me in trouble last time.  We’re trying not to go that route again.  Yeah, there might be a few thinly veiled insults but I won’t be launching a full-fledged assault against the Real Housewives of Baltimore.  I received an actual death threat from an individual on the last deployment.  The goal is not to end up with my body stashed in a 55-gallon drum behind a bunker somewhere.

Anyway, I hope those that do follow our antics across the Atlantic enjoy what I’ve got to say.  If not, well, have a nice life.

Life Hacked

I know what you did last summer.

I know what you did last summer.

You’re a new parent and you are just now able to get your wee precious baby to sleep.  The kid is resting comfortably in  his crib, and you and your spouse have an adult beverage and decide to turn in for the night, hoping to catch a few hours’ sleep before the kid wakes up screaming to be changed.  You doze off and just before you get to REM sleep, you hear, “Wake up, baby!  Wake up, baby!” in this menacing, death metal, horror-movie voice.  You think, WTF?!  Did someone break in?  You and your spouse race down the hall to the baby’s room.  Imagine your surprise when you find out that your kid is still sleeping peacefully and there’s no one in the room.  Turns out, the creepy voice is coming from the baby monitor.  Some lunatic on the other end starts screaming obscenities at you and you just stand there completely confused as to why this is happening.

Apparently, this happened to an Ohio couple.  They have a Foscam baby-monitoring camera installed in their kid’s room, which some lunatic hacked into.  They have not caught the weirdo yet, but I’m pretty sure the couple has disengaged that particular monitoring system. 

I have a new friend, and he lives in the speaker.

I have a new friend, and he lives in the speaker.

I see two issues with this.  First, what kind of maniac are you that you hack into baby monitors to aurally assault an infant?  The fucking kid can’t even understand the string of curse words spewing out of your mouth.  Do you really not have anything else to do but curse at three month old babies? 

Second, why is everything now connected to the Internet?  Look, I love the Internet.  I’d probably die without it, but I don’t think everything I own should be connected to it because of weirdoes like the one mentioned above.  Why is a baby monitor connected to the Internet when the parents are home?  I could see how useful it might be if you left the kid with a babysitter and you want to make sure everything is kosher.  But you’re in the next room and the baby monitor is livestreaming to YouTube and random people in China are watching the BabyCam like people watch that damn PandaCam.  Unnecessary!  There’ve been a few articles about webcams getting hacked.  Don’t you people learn!

I just think it is weird that we’ve started connecting everything in our lives to the Internet.  Your home monitoring system, home thermostat system, and home lighting systems are a few things that have become internet connected recently.  In theory, it sounds really awesome.  You’re at work and you want to check on your house.  Your home monitoring system is on a webfeed that you can monitor when you’re not around.  So can everyone else.  Home thermostat internet system sounds like it would save you a ton of money.  You’re on your way home from work and you click a few buttons on your phone to cool the house a bit before you get there.  Home lighting system works the same way.  You’re gone on vacation and you want to turn the porch lights on in the evening and off in the morning. 

Some hacker got into our iSprinkler but customer service couldn't help us.

Some hacker got into our iSprinkler but customer service couldn’t help us.

Normal criminals don’t have time to fuck around with your lights and AC, but fucktards who hack into baby monitoring systems would love to set your AC to 55 while you’re at work, thus ensuring a super high energy bill.  Winter time?  Freezing outside?  Hahah, now you have no heat, bitch!  I will just fuck around with your lights and turn everything on and off, all night long because I’m a dipshit and have nothing else to do.  Apparently, there are people out there like that.  These systems are supposed to have security but hackers prove everyday if they want in, they can get in.  If the CIA can get hacked, I think your $9.99 Wal-Mart lighting system can get hacked too.

A little discretion can go a long way.  We want life to be easy but is it that serious you need  iThermostat?  You do know they have the thermostats you can time.  It’s digital but not connected to the internet.  Why isn’t that good enough?  If you have a BabyCam, why is it on the Internet when you’re home?  Maybe only turn it on when the help is watching the kid.  They will also be around when the lunatic starts in on the creepy catcalling.  The baby will never be alone with Random Hacker Guy. 

And I won’t even get started on allllllllll the data that is being collected from your Internet-connected devices.

In the Pockets

Two years' worth of rent well-spent

Three years’ worth of rent well-spent

I’ve spent a small fortune this weekend, and I wish I could say it was on something awesome like a jetpack or an invisibility cloak.  When you become a responsible adult you don’t get to blow your money on things that matter.  You have to buy dumb stuff, like food, rent and car repairs. 

I hate owning a car.  I hate driving.  If I lived in a place where I could walk or ride a bike without fear of being run over, I’d totally do it.  The shitty part is that my office is about 10 miles away, a reasonable biking distance that is rendered impossible because of the ultra-dangerous conditions of a mega-highway and everybody driving like NASCAR.  I took the stupid vehicle for its 90,000-mile preventive maintenance check.  I hate doing stupid things like this, but if you want the car to last you have to, or it turns into a piece of shit and you spend even more money.  Just to check the car, it cost $600.  Naturally, they’ll find the slightest thing wrong, which in my case, it was something to do with the drive belts and brakes.  What I hate about the whole thing is that you really don’t know, you have to trust these people.  Am I qualified to inspect brakes?  Not at all.  Do I want to die or kill other people in a fiery death because my brakes failed at the worst time?  No, I don’t, so I agreed to the $350 to redo the rear brakes.

Ma'am, you're definitely gonna need nitro boosters and a cloaking device, state law, you know.  Also, your passenger seat ejector is busted.  You're looking at an easy million, but I can get you a 10% off coupon.

Ma’am, you’re definitely gonna need nitro boosters and a cloaking device, state law, you know. Also, your passenger seat ejector is busted. You’re looking at an easy million, but I can get you a 10% off coupon.

Is that a lot of money for brakes?  Probably.  But you know what you can’t do in the car world?  You can’t call around for a better price.  Everybody wants you to bring the vehicle so they can look at it and assess you a price.  Usually, they’ll charge just to look and then they’ll say something slick like, “Of course, if you need brakes, we’ll deduct the cost of the inspection from the amount you pay for the brake service.”  It makes you feel like you’re getting something, but you’re not.  That’s shitty.  It’s not like you can use one of those price comparison apps to find the best price.  You have to drive all around town and these car places know you don’t have time for that. 

I do what I can to save money on car repairs without being too cheap.  Because my car is relatively new, I do want it to last for quite some time, so I got to take care of it.  Yes, I’ll get brakes.  Yes, I’ll get tires.  Yes, I’ll top off the fluids.  No, I won’t wash it.  And no, I won’t get an oil change every 3000 miles. 

I knew I should have got the premium air freshener.  Now what?

So that’s what he meant by “you won’t get far on 1/8 tank of gas.”  Damn.

I will not even begin to pretend that I know shit about cars, but I started to wonder about this 3000 mile oil change thing when I bought my first car in 2001.  Everyone had all this advice for me, including change the oil every 3000 miles.  I did this diligently because I wanted the car to last, but every time I went to the oil change place I was kicking out $40 to $50.  For a lot of people that ain’t a lot of money, but that was a small fortune for me back then.  I just wondered why all the car commercials talk about how their cars are so advanced with the latest technology but yet they still needed to have their oil changed every 15 minutes.  Even the car oil commercials talked about how awesome their new oil was.  It didn’t make any sense to me, but I kept on changing the oil until one day I didn’thave any money so I skipped the oil change.  Skipped another and another and another.  By the time I had some extra money my Corolla had gone 8000 miles without an oil change.  It still worked fine so I kept doing it that way. 

Who needs an auto repair shop?  The manual makes it easy.  By linking the windshield wiper mechanism to the radiator cooling system and bypassing the fuel injection pistons I should correct the "empty gas tank" problem.

Who needs an auto repair shop? The manual makes it easy. By linking the windshield wiper mechanism to the radiator cooling system and bypassing the fuel injection pistons I should correct the “empty gas tank” problem.

There wasn’t any Google back then, so I couldn’t look it up.  Forget about that little book they stick in the glove box.  No time to read it, but my Corolla went on to drive more than 250,000 miles with an oil change around 7500-10000.  I sold it because I wanted something new, and when I bought that car I actually did look in the book.  Hmm, amazingly my brand new Hyundai said to change the oil every 7500 miles.  I knew it.  Total conspiracy.  That car went 200,000 miles with random oil changes.  The only major issue was air conditioning and the fact that I wrecked it eight times.

I dated this guy for awhile who is a car fanatic.  He loves everything about cars and reads up on them as a passtime.  He looked at me like I was stone cold crazy when I told him I only changed the oil about 7500-9000 miles.  Of course, him being a man and me a stupid woman who cannot fathom the complex intricacies of the car world, he scoffed at this.  I don’t need to know anything about cars.  I only need to know how to read.  I told him to look at his car’s manual but he just rolled his eyes.  Hey, it’s your money.  Even worse, it’s your time.  I can now afford $40 to change the oil, but I can’t afford the four hours it takes to drop off the car, wait and then ignore them while they try to sell me magical floor mats and a special engine flush that allows the car to hover over traffic during rush hour.

According to the manual in my current vehicle, I should change the oil at 3000 miles only if I drive at low speeds for long distances, make frequent 5-mile or less trips in freezing temperatures, drive on rough or muddy roads frequently, or while towing long-distance. 

So, yeah, screw you, sleazy car maintenance guy and ex-boyfriend so-called car afficionado person.  One of you just wants in my pockets, and the other is just stuck in his ways.  Either way, you see why neither relationship could ever really work out.

The Internet Morality Police

Morality Police

Morality Police

Who are the Internet Morality Police?  Who even fucking knows?  A random set of douches hiding behind their tablets, too afraid to stand up to their own opinions.  I should actually title this The Anonymous Internet Morality Police, because they are awesome pointing out your faults and judging you, but amazingly, they cannot actually say it to your face.  These people lurk on blog comments, CNN comment threads, and the Fox News Channel.  They are silent on Facebook and any other site that requires you to login with real information and possibly a photo.  These people rarely have the guts to tell you to your face how they feel about you.

I think confession is good for the soul.  It’s painful to keep secrets.  Constant lying only exacerbates a situation and makes it more difficult to forgive and be forgiven.  I am not and never will be a perfect person but when the time is right I usually ‘fess up to all my sins.  It’s like a colon cleanse, I think.  You get all that bad stuff out and you look down at it in the toilet and say to yourself, “Okay, no more of that.”  I think if you confess you are less likely to commit the same transgression again.  I think a lot of people grow from admitting their mistakes.  Or maybe that is just me.

But in confessing, you’re also laying yourself open to all judgement.  People say judging others is wrong, but I disagree.  It’s a fact of life.  We all do it everyday.  If someone says to you, “That guy is a horrible person.  He cheats on his wife and doesn’t take care of his kids.  What a bastard.”  That’s a judgement.  If someone else says, “She volunteers at an old folks home and regularly saves children from house fires.  She’s so nice.”  That’s also a judgement.  So if we’re going to say we should not judge anyone, then we also cannot give compliments.

If I wear this hood, they can't read my nefarious thoughts.

If I wear this hood, they can’t read my nefarious thoughts.

I’m okay with judgements, but you can’t be a coward about it.  Don’t say behind my back what you can’t say to my face.  I am baffled why we engage in this behaviour.  If you really don’t like a person or you hate their behaviour, why can’t you tell them?  If you say, “Hey, you know what, I don’t like your lifestyle.  I don’t like anything about you.  I’d rather not associate with you,” what is wrong with that?  Why are people afraid to say how they really feel?

Anyway, I wrote this confessional piece back in October 2010.  I admitted to some very shady behaviour that did not bode well for me.  My life kinda sucked while I was engaged in this behaviour but at the time I was too stupid to realise it.  Although I wrote the piece in 2010, the events took place in 2003 and 2006.  I wrote about why I did what I did and why, at the time, I felt I was right.  Then I wrote about why it actually sucked, what happened to me and the consequences. 

Forget about the homeless, she has to anonymously bash an unwed teen mother AND an atheist before dinner.

Forget about the homeless, she has to anonymously bash an unwed teen mother AND an atheist before dinner.

The backlash I got from the Anonymous Internet Morality Police was truly amazing.  I guess every person who responded was a saint, who fed starving children, donated their incomes to the homeless, and stands out in front of clubs on Friday night, quoting Bible scriptures.  What’s even more insane is that I wrote that shit back in 2010 but yet I am still receiving comments on it.  I got one this morning, which prompted me to write this.  None of the comments are even useful, just name-calling and bashing.  It is my most active post.  Nothing I’ve written before or after gets comparable traffick.  I think that says more about our society than my actual behaviour. 

There are going to be a thousand more confessions from me, and I welcome any and all comments.  But if you’re going to be lame and hide behind Anonymous, then get a life.  Your entire opinion is invalidated because you cannot back it up with your own face.  Most of the commenters are probably people I do not even know, but there were a handful of comments that were specific enough to only have come from people I knew.  Random person I don’t know, yeah whatever, but supposed “friend” lurking behind Anonymous or even person who’s always hated me lurking behind Anoymous:  come at me.  More than anything in the world, I hate bitches.  Punk ass bitches:  people who cannot stand up to their own words or whatever it is they believe in. 

At any rate, I password-protected that post because it had long since passed ludicrous levels.  I mean, how do you even respond to “semen dumpster face?”  Yeah, I don’t know either.  And if that actually came from an adult, then I’m done with humanity.