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February 2011

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Feb. 18th, 2011

Writer's Block: Sweat it out

Should physical education in schools be mandatory, and why?

It's been a long time since high school and grade school, but I remember that I always had to take PHYS ED....I thought it was always mandatory....But, no, if people want to sit around and be fat and\or lazy, that is there perogative...

Feb. 15th, 2011

Diversity

I'm taking a moment to celebrate diversity since this is Black History Month. Let us not forget the past, but forge ahead to create a better future for ourselves, our loved ones, and our children's children. America is still a great country for opportunity as long as you work hard, save, and make wise choices. My parents came here years ago with nothing but a couple hundred dollars in their pockets which they had diligently saved; they worked their asses off, saved, spent wisely, lived the upper-middle class American dream, and are both retired. I remember the sacrifices they made to build a life for us and the discipline it took them to get where they are today. I use that as my inspiration and know that when things get hard I have to keep going and keep hoping.

Here is a great website I found on Black History Month and other links celebrating different heritages. Enjoy!

http://www.biography.com/blackhistory/photo-gallery/biopics.jsp

Feb. 14th, 2011

V-Day

Is V-Day anything like D-Day? D-Day was once a big day to celebrate, but it isn't celebrated with the same fervor the way Valentine's Day is. I think that D-Day should be a day to celebrate the accomplishments and spirit of "the Great Generation". Our country was at an all-time high; we were united in one purpose, had overcome a great depression, and had put an end to tyranny and evil. That is certainly something to cherish and to remember, just like love is something we cherish and remember.

I have a lot of love for history and those who paved the way for us, which is maybe why I joined the Navy. One of my favorite photos of all time is the one called "Kissing the War Goodbye" (and another one is the one of the marines lifting the American Flag on Iwo Jima); it's the one of the Sailor kissing a nurse in the streets of New York. There have been many sacrifices from service members since then, my husband and I rank among the many who have answered the call to serve. I met my husband serving in Baghdad, Iraq. Of course, I was a bit stand-offish to him at first not wanting to have any attraction to any man in the situation we were in, and when I left Iraq, I had no idea that we would become great friends and fall in love. Thinking about how we met and the immense time apart we have to endure on a regular basis due to the nature of the military and deployments, Valentine's and D-Day have a new-found meaning for me. There would be no way that I could be with anyone who didn't serve in our military and who didn't understand the incredible sacrifices we have to make. We have missed several birthdays, two anniversaries, and too many Christmases and Thanksgivings. We live and love with the knowledge and certainty that we will miss more special days together, but we go on....

So here's to all the lovers, friends, sweethearts, wives, husbands who are together or apart...May your lives go on filled with love, hope, opportunity. May you make the necessary sacrifices that keep people together and keep people in love.....The world can only be a better place because of it....


Feb. 6th, 2011

Kentucky Fried Chicken




There is this kid in my division who I will call Schwarma. He first came to the division obviously intent on dodging any kind of hard labor and of getting out of the Navy, or off sea duty to say the least. He said he couldn't "look up", so he was always put on flag detail for morning and evening colors. He was also claiming that something was wrong with him physically, but could never give us a medical definition for it. It was difficult to give this kid a task because he would sometimes cause re-work for my other guys or he would take twice the time a normal person would to complete a simple job. One time one of my guys who I'll call B-dub found Schwarma doing something which B-dub apparently found to be disgusting, I believe, in a room on the ship that he had been assigned to clean and organize. That, and I caught him in the same space, on his laptop with his World of Warcraft cards laid out on the table when he was supposed to be cleaning.

At that time, Schwarma probably disliked me. It's my job to make sure that my division does what it needs to do, and, usually, someone in this position is not always liked. Usually, kids who are lazy or don't like authority (why they joined the military is beyond me) don't typically like me because I get in their ass when they aren't working or are trying to get out of work or do something stupid. Schwarma also had an anger management problem and may have had mental issues which he seemed to be using to attempt to get out of the Navy. That is the way it appeared to myself and others at least.

So one day he wanted to go to an unscheduled eye appointment. Mind you, this kid had two medical appointments to go to already every week. The LPO (Navy acronym for Leading Petty Officer) told him he had to go another day, and he freaked out. He went down to male berthing (place on a ship where people sleep) and told everyone he was going to kill them and then stormed out. Of course, in this day and age, you sort of take that stuff a little seriously, especially because this kid was known for having a couple fries short of a happy meal.

The Captain of our ship was pissed! He saw me in the p-way (Navy term for passageway) and asked me with a scowled look on his face, "Where is Schwarma?", and I told him that we were looking for him at that very moment. He walked off abruptly as if I was the one who decided to reproduce and give birth to this kid. We kept calling Schwarma's cell phone, and I even drove around base to see if he was walking around. I knew he didn't have a car, and he is a bit lazy, so I knew he wouldn't be walking very far.

When I got back to the ship, I found out he was in medical. Being the "one in charge" of him, I went directly there and was let inside by one of our friendly corpsman. There was Schwarma looking a bit defeated with a big bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken and sides in a large plastic KFC bag. He said he "felt bad for what he said, so he got all of us chicken". Can you fucking believe that?! It's still the joke of the ship! Eventually, his demeanor and lack of concern made me kick him out of the division and his mental stability, due to this incident, and others before it, came into question. He went to work in deck department, which is much harder, daily manual labor than what my division does. We use brain power, while Boatswains Mates use arm and hand power. A few weeks later, he came to the door angry again because he couldn't take the advancement exam to Petty Officer Second Class\E5. I had marked "retention not recommended" on his eval, so he couldn't take the advancement exam. He was apparently upset. I told him he should have remembered because he did sign his evaluation.

My next run in with him was actually much more pleasant. After spending a few tough months with the BM's (Boatswains Mates), he approached me and said he checked out fine (mentally) and asked when he could return to the division. Shocked with this so-not-obvious news, I told the division he was returning (The guys in my division hated that he would cause re-work and wouldn't pull his weight.) and they were to allow him access to our spaces. I can't fucking believe it, but not one word about him having any physical or mental issues which would prohibit him from doing any work in the division and no complaints about the Navy whatsoever has come from his mouth! WOW! At least this kid isn't a waste to tax dollars anymore!


10 Things I Miss Most




1. My husband and my dogs...I miss waking up next to them in the mornings...I never take that for granted.

2. Being able to hang out with my friends or family.

3. Space and privacy: you can't walk through any part of the ship without touching something or someone...and the only privacy I have is a blue curtain that I pull closed whenever I get into my rack (Navy term for bed the size of a coffin, literally) to go to sleep.

4. My comfortable bed: I have safety straps on my rack to keep my from falling out when the ship is rocking very hard.

5. Not feeling disgusted every time I eat the heavily greased and processed food.

6. Not having to wear shower shoes (or slippers) every time I take a shower.
7. Not having to dodge a swinging dryer door while moving my clothes from the bottom washer to the top dryer.

8. Sunshine coming in through the windows.

9. Being able to cook my own meals.

10. Being able to run outside.

Feb. 2nd, 2011

Writer's Block: Everything's coming up rabbits

The Dragon....and, yes, I am like a sleeping giant Dragon....

Jan. 26th, 2011

(no subject)

I was peeved when my husband blew $200 a night on a hotel in Singapore, $300 on sunglasses, and another several hundred on alcohol.

He could have spent it on clothes, food, and books, and I would have been less annoyed. I, too, had crazy days in foreign ports as a young

Captain's Mast

Yesterday was not a good day...I had to take one of my guys to Captain's Mast. He has been disrespectful, absent without authority, ignored lawful orders, ----pretty much a drain to taxpayers' money. I had to listen to his "excuses" of why he is constantly late to work and why he almost "missed ship's movement". He pretty much attempted to blame all of his shortcomings on everyone else except himself. The Captain was close to kicking him out, but he played on his sympathies and told him that he loved the Navy and wanted to be in the reserves....which is the exact opposite of what he said the day before...He talks a good talk....He still received NJP, Non-judicial punishment, is restricted to the ship for 45 days with 45 days extra duty, and is reduced in rank, from E5 to E4, which also means a monthly pay-cut. Hopefully, he will turn around, not only for himself, but for his 2 children and whoever he decides his better half will be....

Jan. 20th, 2011

Goodbye Livejournalists!

I will see you when the leaves have not yet fallen....

Jan. 19th, 2011

Dilemma

Do I take the vibrator with me or not? I know this almost sounds against my nature, but I would forego the vibrator if I could take my dogs instead....The vibrator will not be considered contraband if found during a health and comfort inspection- just a little embarrassing...That is too much information for people I am not close to....

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