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[ artillery and stupid excuses ]
i couldnít sleep last night. itís almost a suicidal sleeplessness, when you are exhausted, hardly able to keep your eyes open when officially ďawakeĒ and doing things--but the moment you lie down, you cannot sleep. five hours will pass with nary a blink, and all the time you roll around without end to a new position, hoping that this one will find you enveloped in dreamless rest.
really, it can be that discouraging, with no embellishment. and for someone who then forces himself to get up and run 10k after four hours or less of sleep, itís a killer.
my days are boring, and nothing can be done. one can only run so many miles before the flesh gives out; one can only drink so much beer before becoming tired of drinking alone; video games lose their allure when old and familiar. there really isnít even anything worth spending money on, since itís too hot to leave the room in the first place.
also, the rotating shifts are starting to get to me, rendering me unable to sleep. my body seems to have developed a hibernation cycle. luckily, college classes are starting soon, giving me something to distract myself.
iíve been reading franz kafkaís
and other short stories. i must say, i do not like his writing style one bit. his thoughts seem unorganized and improvised. the sentences are too long, addressing too many subjects, frequently without completing a full statement.
the family accepts gregor turning into an insect the way you might accept the morning newspaper. inexplicably, the story never really imbues itself with any sort of closure, the family simply accepts that the enormous insect has died, and moves on without fanfare. that sort of ending is unforgivable, and i recommend that you avoid kafka altogether.
the library here at osan is a joke, obviously constructed for the sole purpose of advertising that ďleadership cares about the welfare of the troops.Ē browsing the shelves forces one to accept the truth about modern america: we would rather watch nascar and read trash romance than participate in anything of substance.
there are damned few classic authors represented, but the bodice-ripper genre is out in force. i think there is an entire section dedicated to books with fabio on the cover. sometimes i truly believe that there is no hope for the future; they develop in a cultural vacuum.
i write frequently these 100 word articles at work. i have an incredible amount of free time there. my coworkers complain they are constantly busy, but i find these menial tasks simple and quick.
thatís pretty much the story of my lifeóthat which is difficult for the rest of the world, i complete with ease. people always ask why i donít strive for moreóhigher grades or pay, a better position, more authority or rank. where, then, would i get my free time?
itís a hot commodity, and i appreciate the time to play mindless games or read news.
iíve been working on being more lyrical, in trying to collaborate on a song with my friend, the composer. heís very good with the piano. i admit i am not the most lyrical, and rhyming does not come naturally for me in the least. this is a draft:
pleasure me the way the
beaches pleasure the sea,
softly, rollingly as tidal
driftwood in virgin bridal
thinking sheís found something in me, call out,
pass by, lick lips, tug ears with no doubt;
make obvious your want for my skin,
beg me, pleadingly, gently give in
to your pretty face.
wondered how it would have been, had we lastedó
without wishing it still could be.
itís over by choice, with lessons learned;
now youíre getting exactly what you wanted all along.
truly, i am happy for you, without spite or malice;
enjoy it, with all the blessings iím able to give.
itís funny how the world turns out,
and you thought it would all stay the same,
but suddenly youíre overseas again.
how people change, unexpectedly and without preparation,
some better and some worse.
donít worry, each one of these transformation
brings a higher evolution, and a chance to grow.
reasons to ride your bike to work:
1. you donít have a car
2. itís more convenient than walking
3. itís faster than walking
4. itís fun!
5. the wind in your hair will cool you down
6. when itís this hot outside, the less time spent sweating, the better.
7. your little reflective vest and helmet make you look like a child with hyperactive, hypochondriac parents.
8. you like to take up an entire lane of traffic, as if you were a car.
9. your bicycle is named the ďcaptain lesboĒ
10. did i mention you have no car?
why a typhoon sucks:
1. people seriously expect you to know what an act of god is going to do.
2. everyone, and i do mean every single person, will be calling you to get the latest forecast, even though you mail it out ever six hours.
3. extra customers, due to pilots arriving from other bases to get their aircraft out of the path of the storm. this means extra work.
4. the hysteria generated by the chronically uninformed, who tend to ignore the aforementioned tropical bulletin in favor of panicking.
5. sandbagging the buildings.
6. advisory level winds.
strong thunderstorms left 3.99 inches of rain on base today. itís the monsoon season in korea, after all. this was my first introduction to real flooding, which can apparently be dangerous. the binjo (drainage) ditches on base were overflowingóand the one outside my dorm is more than 8 feet deep by 10 feet wide.
the thunder woke me up; iím usually a daytime sleeper due to shift work. looking out the window, i saw big, fat raindrops falling like it was the most common thing in the world. weíve been far under the the normal june and july totals.
she called today.
how to react when she says she doesnít want to marry her boyfriend, but sheíll settle for security?
believe me, everything would be perfect with us together, raising little francophone children, but how could that ever be? our worlds would never meld like that.
she always drunk dials me from the opposite side of the planet, waking me. the scary part about it is, i was dreaming of her. how do you reconcile your decisions with a coincidence like that?
how do you tell yourself youíre not the other guy in her relationship? i canít do it.
i am a terrible forecaster. people give me the benefit of the doubt, but thatís only because i made rank quickly. in reality, i care not at all about accuracyói just want to get home each day with the least amount of hassle possible.
i canít look at charts to predict things, and i rely solely on the model; unless i can see something coming on the radar, which is easy enough to predict by using ďthumb extrapolationĒ.
i only made rank because iím really good at test psychology and short-term memorization of useless facts. There, i said it.
most of the technical duties have been pushed off on me, now that the hardcore geeks are leaving. i can puzzle out things like visual basic and excel spreadsheet, to fix broken programs or products. when it comes down to do-or-die, though, i just donít have the expertise necessary to create products from scratch.
this scares me, actuallyóthat people will expect more from me than i can realistically handle; will, in fact, eventually hold me accountable for this sort of thing. thatís why itís usually best to let people underestimate you. otherwise, you will get in over your head.
downtown last night, my bossís korean girlfriend was sitting flirtatiously close to me, leaning into me talking quietly, drunk. i went to the bar to have a drink with him.
these girls act demure and virginal, but theyíre really oversexed and slutty. not to the extent which american girls are guilty, but still the shame of their gender shines through. itís sad, to me, that we are living in such an age of gender reversal and moral ambiguity.
most of the time, i want to bitch-slap everyone for their arrogance and hubris. what a shame that they celebrate this attitude.
canít pinpoint why
just this terrible
feeling of discontent
difficulty with sleep
troubles with drink
waking queasy with
terrible aching head
run the day
sweaty and dehydrated
clearing the mind
mostly forgetting problems
shrouded by exhaustion
focus this genius
each step away
another step toward
gaining again ground
lost to culture
craving the warmth
of old friendship
long held kinship
thrown among unwashed
uncleanly snarling masses
strewn restless unconnected
slovenly and superficial
wandering distraught friendless
searching feverish for
that nonexistent bond
kept silent wordless
of awkward glance
both elbows propped
atop the bar
disconsolate glare into
bottom of the
the fog is thick outside right now. each time i go out for an observation, iím afraid iíll get lost trying to find my way back to the building.
there is this stephen king story about a thick fog that settles over a town, unleashed by some secret government project that unlocks the gates of hell. monsters come out in the fog, and they start eating people. thatís all i can think about when i am out there. not to mention, the fire department goes at top speed through that fog all the time, and i almost get hit sometimes.
itís always so balls-hot here. by that, i mean sweaty and swamp-assed-out. when you soak through two shirts and a pair of jeans because the humidity is likely greater than 100%, itís far too hot.
today, i decided to do something about it. i bought two new sets of clothing, consisting entirely of underarmor productsóthe stuff made from polyester so it will not soak through. itís probably a dorky thing to do, but iím getting a little old for popularity contests. iím not trying to impress anyone here, anyway. thatís the best way to live life, after all: independently.
today, angry at korea. especially rude people. something about this god-forsaken hell-hole leads people to affect rudeness in the way that midwesterners affect politeness. and iím not even just speaking about americans, koreans pretty much lead the bad attitude charge.
the farther i get from the midwest, the more i realize they really are the best people on earth. isnít the breakdown of civility one of the symptoms of a dying culture? heinlein posits that, once society reaches the point where a man cannot be trusted at his word, itís surely doomed. where will our people be in 100 years?
i couldnít find simcity3000 a minute ago. itís one of my favorite games. i grew up on simcity2000 and sid meierís civilization II. both great games, and with mostly that ďbuildingĒ theme. civ II is really more of a building game than a destroying game. i always enjoyed the prospect of picking strategic places to build cities or station my troops, and especially of prepositioning my forces where i think there will be future troubles. i loved provoking attacks, then unleashing a horde of tanks on a bunch of archers or pikemen. imagine the sheer terror! i miss that game.
i donít like to be bothered at work. i just want to do my job, not have a bunch of people joggling my elbow or trying to distract me from getting the forecast done.
i like to have everything done as quickly as possible, then i can screw around for the remaining time. i always feel uneasy unless i have a finished version ready to go, because sometimes i get extremely distracted by a news story or a game or something, and then i have to quickly send out whatever i have ready. itís best to plan ahead like that.
moved out to the squadrons to provide direct support, i find hot girls out there. this is a big delightóin my shop, itís all men. even my friend, the hot girl from airfield management, went back to the states. i never really did get along all that well with most guys. itís always better to hang out with a few girlsómakes everything seem more legit. also, girls make a group of people less threatening.
at times, i get so distracted by pretty faces. i want to go to my grave able to say i was an honorable man.
she hasnít called in days, and when she did, i was so exhausted from 12 hour shifts, i couldnít even talk. i get lonely here. when i was growing up, i had the closest friends iíve ever known anyone to have. people just donít have the bond i have with my friends. theyíre less friends, more family. i felt more like blood with my best friends than with my brother.
i guess iím still seeking that companionship, and i wonder how iíll ever find a wife that can give me that close bond again? i could never marry a foreigner.
small trivia fact about me: i listen to enya, enigma, sade, and paul simon when iím trying to sleep, and especially in the morning. Used to like to have coffee by myself in the mornings, so i would wake early just to listen to music and be alone.
i stopped doing it here, because iím usually alone in my little office in the mornings. now iím off-center because they moved me out to the customersí squadrons, and iím surrounded by arrogant frat-boy officers, constantly asking me the same questions without end. theyíre like children, with their infinite hooting and chanting.
iím a tribe of one, here.
there is no way i could ever fit in as native, like i did in france.
i have no desire to learn this ugly language.
i do not want to explore this land in the oppressive heat and humidity.
everything seems so unclean.
iím afraid to order something new, because i might end up with squid intestine or muskrat colon.
the men here stand far too close, and try to touch you as they speak.
i donít like my hands touched by people i donít know, but they always want to shake my hands.
i miss strip clubs. it was not really so much the sexual aspect that lured me, although that was also fantastic. really, it was the unconcealed attention from women. itís nice to go somewhere where you are pursued, instead of always being the pursuer. so many women would rather play games with you, but strippers have no bashfulness in approaching, letting you check them out. itís ok that you donít act coy with themóyou donít have to. they want your money, and you want to place it in their underwear and have them their rub nipples on your face.
these girls, they play games with your head. it always makes me uncomfortable, and iím at the height of discomfort to begin with, when i get sweaty. iím a sweaty mess, when iím drunk and dancing, and frankly, i feel a little self-conscious when pretty girls try to touch me when iím at that stage of the night.
most of the time, i wish i was back in florida over the three months of cwt school. that was one of the happiest times iíve ever had. drinking all day, falling asleep on the beach, getting slightly sunburned, talking to strangers.
j., iím sorry about how the world turned out. you still call, regularly. usually, drunk, when youíve summed up the world and decided that i should be added, but you donít know how. iím really not afraid of it not working, iím more afraid that it would work superblyóand i simply do not know how to explain that.
you have a really bright future, and you should not waste it on me. iíll never make money or care to own a big house or pay a huge tax bill. i would lavish that kind of money on my friends.
last time you called, i told you it just would never work, and that you should get on with your life and marry him. heís stable, and he obviously cares about you. the very fact that he trusted you when you came to st. louis was why i couldnít bring myself to place my hands on you, no matter how much i wanted to. but you knew that, and it made you all the more bold.
you always knew exactly how to get me, and you still appear in my dreams frequently. i tell you, this is best: marry him.
they say my grandma has alzheimerís. she got six wrong on the twenty-question test. i talk to her all the time, and sheís about as spry as she has been for ten years. the last time i cried, was when her husband died. i was ten. i still place flowers on his grave every time i go home. i try to live my life as if i would have to explain it to him some day, in heaven. i will do the same for my grandma. sheís the finest person i have ever known. just thinking about it upsets me.
this is a secret little website for me. i tell these hundred words things iíve kept inside, because iím a lonely wanderer in the world.
i canít wait for the hard desperation of winter. i love that bleakness, that crisp air so ripe for walking; crystalline snow flakes falling to punctuate your thoughts. this will be a winter to remember, like paris.
iím hoping big things will happen inside me, this winter, and that iíll have the great epiphany of thought that iíve felt like a deep weight in my mind. autumn is the best time for harvest and reflection.
today, my last as an airman. i am promoted to staff sergeant tomorrow. people will be looking to me for leadership and example. i still look like i swiped my fatherís uniformólike iím 17. i canít imagine that most people will take me seriously with my babyface.
really, i donít care about that, so long as they get my pay increase correct. i donít need other peoplesí opinions to validate my genius, iíve already done that for myself. besides, the very fact that iím already promoted ahead of them pretty much proves that they have no room to talk.
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