Monday, January 31, 2005

See You Auntie

I'll post once more tomorrow, before I bravely trek to MEPS to wait.

That said, being that I haven't figured this blogmonster out just yet (see? I'm not even a good nerd...) I'm going to have to ghetto-link someone else's blog until I can pull my head out of my ASSessment of my current state of idiocrity (and yes, that is a new word copyrighted by me, use it at your leisure, kiddies).

The blog I'm talking about is the blog of an Iraqi, and one whose English seems to be better than mine. I'm going to go ahead and post this URL right here,

http://democracyiniraq.blogspot.com

and for everyone that has told me, "But Bush iz stoopid! The Iraqians don't even lyke us an' they dont want us there! LOLZ!" Please, read a few entries, and rethink your life. Imagine people with slightly educated opinions, wow, wouldn't that be something to see? That being said, his blog is a bit inspiring, not to mention refreshing. I could also link someone's news blog, someone Gilliard or something like that, but that would be counterproductive. If I wanted nothing but bad news and negative outlooks on the overall situation, I'd watch CNN. But hey, Gilly, as long as you're doing your part to inform the people and make a difference with your pessimism, as opposed to taking SOME form of action and trying to physically make the situation better, more 'power' to you. But just to play fair, I'll read more of what you've written, and if I DO find something uplifting in there, then I will post a follow-up to this and will clearly state that I WAS WRONG. That is, if I can wade through your spirit-crushing reports without asphyxiating myself with an oversized sandwich bag first.

"Ok, Ryan, shut your stupid mouth about all that stuff that no one cares about. Get to the GOOD stuff! Tell us about your day! We want to know! We can't get enough of you! MORE! We are RAVENOUS FOR RYAN!!!"

Fine fine, ok, you win.

I awoke early in the morn, while birds sang and cherubs played their harps for me, and Michael Jackson decreed that he would receive a fair trial. What a great day. The paper talked about the SUCCESS of the Iraqi elections. If Al Qaeda were smart, they'd see the error in their ways (and how much time, energy, money, LIVES they are wasting) and give up, and take up.... I dunno... ship-in-a-bottle building or something. Follow the French national slogan, "We surrender." Just kidding, France. I'm jus playin', y'all know I love you.

My car has officially been sold, got that title changed over. Waited for a notary for an hour, and once she finally arrived, she told us that the previous notary-ationismness was still valid, and we didn't need her. I could have clubbed her with a baby seal for that one.

Met with my recruiter, cool guy. I felt compelled to harass him about his 103* fever, and why he bothered to come to work, or why he wasn't atleast golfing or something, but then I realized that this is the dude that's going to count my pushups, situps, and time my mile run. So I played nice. All bets are off tomorrow though, pal.

Pushups? Sucked. Did I get the minimum? Ha ha ha ha ha, yes. And then some. And by some I mean SOME. Leave it at that.

Situps? He stopped me after one minute and said that I was good to go. I've never had a problem with situps. But personally, I felt I could have done a lot better....no, I KNOW I could have done a lot better, on all three tests.

The mile? Come on, I'm a skinny dude with long legs, running is no ordeal. Wait.... Oh yeah, I hadn't eaten all day, and hadn't COMPLETELY totally given up smoking altogether (though it had been a few days, so that's no excuse...). So there I am, running my little heart out, feeling good about life and how unbelievably man-gorgeous I am, and I finish my first lap, and I'm thinking to myself, "Well shit, this is gonna be over before I know it. That kind of sucks." And pretty soon, I hit my brick wall. And I can clearly see the writing on the wall. It said thus:

YOU ARE A GODDAMN MORON, YOU DIDN'T EAT AND NOW YOU HAVE NO ENERGY. OH, AND ANOTHER THING. YOU SUCK AT LIFE.

And so I'm still frollicking down the track, the drawstrings from my hoody hitting me in the face due to all the fucking wind. At this point, I decide to set a pace for myself and maintain it so that I dont totally die. The rest of the mile was pretty uneventful, aside from one point at which I decided it was necessary to spit that sticky shit in the back of my throat out. They say hindsight is always 20/20, and it proves true in this case. It would have logically been a good idea to consider the direction and force of the wind along with my momentum and inertia. Long scientific explanation short, I spit, spit hits face, Ryan feels stupid. It wouldn't have been so traumatic, had it been NORMAL spit. That stuff doesn't cling like a frightened child at a drive-thru daycare. Check-A-Child.

But since I am incredibly resourceful, I managed to wipe all the spizzit from my fizzace, much to my disgrizzace.

Now, NORMALLY I don't like to eat. Sorry, I just don't care for it. Fuck food and fuck you. Its a pain in the ass. But as I left the recruiters', I stopped in at Kicker's to kick it with Rachie, and that compassionate and kind soul offered me free food. I put that food down like Old Yeller.

I am so going to get my shit rocked in basic. There's my post and I'm sticking to it. More to come tomorrow.

Oh, and looks as though I'm starting to get more traffic. To those of you who don't know me that are checking this totally tubular website, welcome. Feel free to post comments, even anonymous people can. Those that know me, leave your name in the post. Those that don't, if you want to leave your email address, go right ahead. And here is my civilian salute to you.

\m/(>_<)\m/

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Still Preparing

If I denied you my down moments, I'd be denying you my experience.

I came home this afternoon, and even though I've been busting my ass to see everyone one last time (most people won't be around here in four years), there isn't enough time. Starting to feel like a ghost already, which is basically what I will be in Great Falls. A face on a milk carton.

On one hand, I could focus on what I'll be doing when I get there, but what would the point be? I'll have plenty of time to worry about it then.

Talked to one of my uncles, who was an MP during Desert Storm, and he personally wouldn't have suggested infantry. Don't worry, I too wonder what the hell I'm getting myself into. His advice for pretty much everything during that conversation was "Duck and cover." Pretty soon, I came to realize that 'duck and cover' translates to 'you're fucked, pal.' When one is ducking and covering, one can kiss their ass goodbye.

Personally, I prefer "Just fucking do it." That will be my personal mental mantra for some time. Beats the other one.

My family wants to come to Butte with me. Understandable. Not much to say about that. My old man isnt too cheery about me leaving, which again, is understandable. What are you gonna do though? Just fucking do it.

I won't lie though, I'm feeling incredibly low right now. I'd like to just go to sleep, but that would be throwing even more time away. I've got phone calls to make, but I should also relax. I may spend a long time in the hottub tonight. I guess there isnt a whole lot to say really, feeling down, but chin up and all that cliche shittyness. Just fucking do it.

"This thing is ugly, and it scares me, but I'm the one who put it there."
-A particular "Hypobu" to remain anonymous.

Friday, January 28, 2005

The Wait Continues

Bless me reader, for I have sinned. It has been three days since my last post.

Phew, now I feel better. I haven't been up to anything notable the past few days. I opened a bank account at the same bank that I swore off, funny how that works. My recruiter recommended this particular bank, saying that it had the best military benefits. Roger that.

Haven't successfully screwed anyone into joining along with me, so there goes Private First Class. As for the memorization of all sorts of information such as rank structure, etc, that's no problem. And the PT test? Situps, no problem. Running? No problem. Pushups? Eh... problem. Not enough time to improve. I'll need a strong dissociative while I'm doing that PT test, so that I won't realize how badly my arms are dying from the evil and hateable pushups I must do. (This babbling roughly translates to "...And there goes Private E2 as well. Hello Private E1.")

The family is having a farewell party for me, but I prefer to call it a "One less mouth to feed, one less tax break" party. Don't worry, you'll get used to the dry and cynical humor. On a serious note, everyone has been reasonably cool about this entire ordeal, and there are a lot of people who are demanding that I write them. Why do I have the feeling that I'll hardly ever find the time?

I should probably throw an uneducated opinion or two in here while I'm at it.

Right now, APPARENTLY, fit is hitting the shan with the whole Iraqi Elections Ordeal. My banker said that he hopes that there's a good turnout for the elections, and that this doesn't all erupt into civil war. Yeah, after hearing that, I started smoking again. You've got to wonder what the deal is with some of these people. They're going to better their country by killing people so that everyone else is afraid to use their voice? Call me narrow minded, but I'm really not seeing things from their point of view. They consider the rising amount of civilian casualties to be acceptable loss to ensure that one religious sect or another is in power? Does this mean that they WANT conflict to resume in this area? They would rather NOT have a collective government, elected on merit vs who you know (well.... I guess I have to leave that one alone)? I guess that's one thing I won't understand.

I think I'm butchering something I heard from a comedian here, in fact I'm sure that's what I did. Heard something funny, and I tainted and slaughtered and Frankensteined his idea, fashioning it into some mindless tirade of my own, that would be funny, if it didn't suck so badly. But here it is anyways, eat it up, kids:

Ever wonder about the psychology of suicide bombers? They've been told that they will die and go to paradise, where they are met by 71 virgins (or maybe 71 crystal clear raisins =P). Well, if you think about it, I suppose it adds up. Assuming that there is a place that dead people can go that does in fact house 71 virgins, then the rest slowly starts to make sense.

You strap a bomb onto yourself and kill a bunch of people, because that's the brave thing to do, and you die oh so gloriously and the world is a better place. The bomb goes off, and you are liquified. Well, part of blowing yourself up is that your man-genitals are ALSO destroyed. We've all learned from popular news that the penis is NOT indesctructable (cough, John Bobbit, cough) so therefor, we can assume that the Brave and Intrepid Suicide Bomber of Ultimate Righteousness is going to sacrifice his life and his wang at the press of a button. Then this brave and caring soul is transported to the Land of A Bunch of Virgins.

Upon arriving, the ethereal matter that WAS a suicide bomber realizes that he no longer has a penis. Therefore, the 71 virgins will REMAIN virgins. Welcome to hell, you thick fuck.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Ye Olde Update For Mine Wait Of Yore

Guess what, girls? NOTHING NEW.

Today, I was briefed by my recruiter, and then we went and ate at a Chinese Buffet with another recruit who will be in my unit, unless of course something crazy happens, like Dogs and Cats start living together, or the Buffalo Bills win a SuperBowl (one of these days, you non-Bill-fan-bastards!).

I suppose I should offer an actual opinion now and then, seeing as my views are the gospel truth and anyone who disagrees is just plain wrong, and should go eat worms.

Whenever I talk about having enlisted, a lot of people's reaction is something along the lines of, "Good luck man, I hate your boss." I usually respond by saying, "I've never met him." I'm glad he's the President and not me. I don't want to do that. That just doesn't sound like the relaxing job that would suit me. I'd prefer to run a LOT and get yelled at by drill sergeants a lot, and do a LOT of pushups, and train with weapons (actually that part I really DO want to do) yaddah yaddah, goober-dee-gop. Insert humor here.

"Dood, u r fighting for oil, lolz."

K, first off, not every enlisted person is a combatant. Second, I do believe that the oilfields have been turned over to the interim government o' Iraq. "U R stoopid, that iz just a puppit orgunization uv the yoonited states!" Well, I'm very sure. I'm kind of curious as to where this obsession with conspiracy comes from?

Sure, we all like to think that the world is a big evil scary place and you can't trust your government, because they just HAVE to be stiffing us, and we're all just subjects, and only Eddie Vetter can save us. If you want, I can prattle on with more sarcasm, but I think I laid that on thick enough. If not, take a look at the alternative/grunge generation. Yeah, where are they? They either all got a clue and became normal people, or the hardcore ones died, like Kurt Cobain (and no, I will not debate as to whether or not Courtney had him killed, because I really don't care).

So let's be purely hypothetical and assume that Mr Bush truly IS the boogeyman that my peers feel I should see him as...... Wait, hold on, I'm trying to stop laughing, give me a minute. Great, I just imagined Kerry cutting all of our budgets to increase UN funding, cutting CIA and NSA budgets in half and FBI budget by 80%, voting against BODY ARMOR FOR U.S. TROOPS, as well as the M1 Abrams, and oh, pretty much every military bill that came up for review since 1980something or another. Wow, I sure want HIM to lead.

I remember reading about infantry training after their budget had been cut a few years back. During training exercises, rather than using blanks or training rounds or whatever, the soldiers would point their guns and yell "Bang bang bang," or my favorite of the two, "Budget cuts! Budget cuts!"

I don't claim a political party, because I'm just too cool for that, I'm like M.C. Hammer, and you can't touch this. But I don't mind having a Republican increase defense spending. It sounds like a good idea to me.

"Well, dood, no 1 is a threat to us in the werld!"

You know, I think that maybe that's because we have the funding, the experience, and the training. Oh wait, since right now, all is good and peachy, should we cut loose? Yeah, the hell with research and training and all of this nonsense gobbledygook. What a HORRID idea! Because without working to stay where we are, I'm POSITIVE that we'll just magically stay dominant and able to defend ourselves. For anyone who has the opinion used as example above, please rethink.... well, everything. Especially if you're paying money to be taught to think that, which I'm sure you aren't, but one can never be sure. There are overly liberal college professors, aren't there? I wouldn't know. I'm letting the Army toss $37,000 to whatever college I decided to slump into. Student loans? What the hell are THOSE?

So far, Bush hasn't done anything to make me think that he is completely evil.

"Omg you stoopid Hitler luver! He made us go to war with Iraq! What a poophead!"

Yyyyyyeah. Well, unless I'm mistaken, Saddam and Co. weren't very nice, so please, don't try to jerk my tears out that way. And if you think that the people of Iraq were better off with that leadership, do me a favor and read up on Uday and Qusay Hussein. Then I might consider talking to you, after I'm done GUTLAUGHING.

I like Bush. I like Clinton. Al Gore kind of makes me nervous, but I'm sure he's a cool guy.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

MEPS: An Oddyssey of Suck

We rolled on into the building, where the twenty of us enlistees were crammed into the little entryway room. Some guy who I imagine probably works there briefed us on not having knives, or some weird mumbo jumbo like that. Long story short, he talked a lot.

Then we entered Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, I mean, MEPS, and had our bags checked and we got metal detected. That was only the first time of the day that I was to feel violated. After that, we were handed folders full of paperwork about us and how bad we sucked. We were sorted into lines based on some weird criteria, like who needed full physicals, and who needed to be put in a cannon and shot into space, or somehting like that.

So, we all were sent into this little classroom where this angry old doctor briefed us on a bunch of medical shit, then we did a bunch of paperwork, and god forbid anyone got ahead of him. He didn't like that, and he'd chew their ass, and it was funny, because people are morons, and I'm tired and cranky, and right now, I wish that scary old doctor had his finger up your bunghole just because you suck.

After a couple lifetimes of really stupid paperwork that we had already done, we were then ONCE AGAIN herded like cattle through a series of obstacle courses, I mean, stations. Another old doctor touched my scrotumhood and made sure that I still had an anus. And no, he did not stick his finger in there. Go back to your romance novels.

Then, I think I had my hearing tested, and then my blood pressure, then my sight, then they took some of my blood to make sure that I didnt get AIDS from all the sexual relations that I have with everyone because I'm so attractive and want-able.

We'd all been drinking shitloads of water so that we could all have a nice piss in a cup so the doctor, who was scary, could stick some kind of home pregnancy test paper in there, or something like that. I think it actually checked for diabetes, but hey, who knows? A few guys got stage fright. I pissed like a motherfucker because I'd been guzzling down water to make sure I weighed enough, because again, I want your tax dollars.

After that, I dont really remember. Give me a minute.... Ok, yeah, then we sat around and were really bored, and I was so tired I didnt know what the hell was going on. So I kept drinking water to make me fat. Then the fun part.

The Doctor of DOOM herded all of us sexy man specimens into this room and made us get nekked except for our boxers. Then we had our height and weight measured. After that, the Master Sergeant guy had us do these really strange and stupid maneuvers, which actually determine whether or not you have joint problems, etc, but since I'm tired and cranky, they are stupid and so are you.

Then we ate, and by this time, I had no clue where the fuck I was, when I was, or why I was. And I'm exaggerating. The food wasnt that great and I didnt feel like eating, but what can ya do?

Then we all sat around a TV and waited until we were singled out to do more paperwork and then talk to a career counselor to lock our jobs for the final time, and get some stuff in a backpack. At this point, I was tired, miserable, and wanted to go to sleep, but I couldn't. I really wasn't thinking straight, and I was very bitter and angry and I wanted to hurt something. But since I'm a smart cookie, I didn't say anything. 'Son, have you ever smoked marijuana?'

"Yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir."

I signed up for my job, and apparently, the guy had had some kind of conversation with me. After I left the room, he said to my recruiter, "Damn, that kid looks fucking tired as all hell."

Then I sait in a chair for a very long time, kind of watching Comedy Central, more spiraling around in my own sleep deprived insanity, hating the slow and tedious process that is MEPS. After a few more millenia, I had to do a bunch more fucking paperwork, give fingerprints, have my recruiter pay my parking tickets for me, and do more paperwork and answer an assload of questions.

Then I waited for another ungodly amount of time, and then Aaron and I played some pool, and I rocked his shit, but barely. Which translates to 'he scratched on the 8 Ball when neither of us had any left, and no one cares about pool'. We were then paged to go to the front desk thing. When we did in fact GO to the front desk thing, this short stocky blonde navy dude escorted us to this small and prestigious looking little room. He then read CRUCIAL INFORMATION about what happens to us if we go AWOL, Dessert, or Dessert during wartime. Oh, and he read all of this EXTREMELY IMPORTANT INFORMATION so fucking quickly that you couldn't understand what the fuck he was saying. He was basically making a joke out of the whole thing, while also informing us that if we dessert the Army during wartime, we can be executed.

Call me uptight, but that guy is a fucking prick. I later found out that he's probably going to be kicked out of the Navy, which explains why he sucks more ass than a toilet seat.

After that cockless piece of shit left, a 1st Lieutenant came into the room, stood at the podium, and swore us in. At the same time, Bush was being sworn in again. I thought that was cool. But the gravity of the whole situation really hit me as we were swearing in. Aaron and I were both standing at position of attention, with our right hands raised, repeating the words we're supposed to, vowing to serve this country, and acknowledging that it is now our duty to obey the orders of the President of the United States.

I'm too tired to talk about this shit now, maybe later.

I ship out February 3rd.

The Pre-MEPS Experience

First off, it will easily become apparent as to exactly how ri-goddamn-diculously tired I am. I'm back from MEPS, but I havent slept at all since I left. So I'm very vershuvvled.

I went on down to the recruiter's office and waited. There, waiting was a dude whose last name I won't give. Instead, we'll call him Polsen. Polsen and I are chilling at our designated chill spot, and a the brother of a dude I mentioned before then showed up. He was also drinking an asston of water. His name shall be Sam.

Fuck it, I am too tired and fucked up to accurately paint a wonderful storygraph for you. I'll give you the cut and dry so I can go fuck off.

At the recruiters', two other guys and I waited for a very very long fucking time for the guy who was supposed to drive us to Butte. There was also another delay, being that one of the dudes had to go get medical documents, because he had a previous injury that the MEPS people might need to know about.

There's no way to make an interesting story about a long and boring wait, so instead, I'll just tell you that it was a very fucking long and very fucking boring wait. And believe it or not, we waited patiently, but as I type this, I am not patient, so please go screw a cow if you don't like having to wait....I think.

Finally, after Jesus Christ had risen again and become a Reggae mogul, we were ready to leave. So we piled into a minivan and we sat in the aforementioned minivan and waited and waited while Butte moved closer to our idiotic asses. Then one day, we magically arrived there in Butte, and we descended upon the golden heavens that is The Red Lion Hotel, or something like that. We checked into our rooms, and decided that we were hungry.

So, being that we were hungry, and hungry was what we were, we decided to use our MEPS benefit, and get some free food from the restaurant. And so we did. The three of us neat dudes were joined by another dude who had already done some academy shit, and so he naturally knew everything, and oh, what do you know, I really don't care. I ate a lot because I had to be sure that I made my weight class for my height, being that that would be a good thing, so that I could qualify and thus finish my enlistment, so that I can get paychecks from your tax dollars, you dirty fiend.

My recruiting Sergeant of ultimate Sargemanly recruitingness suggested that I eat a lot of bananas, because apparently they make you heavier or dont leave your system too soon, or some stupid Wiccan bullshit like that. So being the total dumbfuck retard that I am, I ate all of the bananas he brought me except for one. I ate....A LOT OF FUCKING BANANAS. I mean a lot. Enough to the point where if I see another banana, I will projectile vomit off-white banana cream goo, and then kill someone. I think I made up a new word, since we're on the subject: 'banana-shits'. Yeah, fuck you.

We ate, and then we decided that we were bored. Sam = my roommate for the night, also infantry. Aaron = a very cool lineman-high-shool-jock kind of guy. You need to know this. Or I shall kill you.

So there was a rather decent number of us (we, as a collective were known as MEPSs. MEPS stands for Military Entrance Processing Station, or Military is Entering your Poop Shoot.) and we decided that we were bored. So, we coerced a woman who operates the hotel shuttles (really oversized fuckin weirdo van things) to take us to WalMart. Upon arriving, we secured a Nerf football, a whiffle ball and bat, jello, and I think we forgot the duct tape...

Anywho, we returned to the hotel, after much ragging on the weird old shuttle driver lady, and proceeded to head back upstairs to our corridor. Once there, we decided it necessary to play whiffleball in the hallway. Needless to say, we made mucho noise while stupid people tried to get stupid sleep. After POSSIBLY (I cant be sure) breaking a light fixture (it may have just been loose, you know, and not totally destroyed. Honest), we did the diplomatic thing and laid the whifflebat to rest. We then proceeded to the swimming pool area where we played with the Nerf football, which for some reason involved making a really big mess and knocking all the patio furniture over and/or in the water, and hitting people's room windows. After a rather short time, the bartender lady bravely trekked to our location and (strangely enough) asked us to play outside in the most polite of manners. So we did. And we had lots of fun sliding around in the slush, and getting in the way of the hotel's traffic. We just couldn't win.

So, we headed back upstairs, where nearly all of the MEPS males (and a Navy recruiter who was surprisingly cool) decided that we should all sit in the hall, throwing the balls against random doors and walls as we conversed loudly about whatever we wanted. Then some old guy walked out of his room with his suitcase (the one with the cute little wheels, AWWWW!!!!) and stormed down the hall, bitching because he couldn't sleep. I played the world's smallest violin for him.

Ran into a kid I used to know from a different town who is joining the Navy, blah blah blah, boring boring boring your mother never loved you, bling bling blah, and then everyone went to bed. Sam, Aaron, and I couldn't and really didn't feel like sleeping. So Aaron and I had fun at his roommate's expense with a thread and a bottle of shaving cream, as the worthless mug was sleeping. Unfortunately, he woke up before I could take a picture, but I did get a good one of Aaron and I running around the hotel as shirt ninjas. Anywho, the chode woke up, and we retreated to our own room and fetched Sam, and the three of us brave souls trekked to Denny's, where we enjoyed coffee, food, laughter at the waiter's expense, and coloring crayons (I'm not kidding. We drew some cool shit on our meal tickets).

Before ya know it, the night is pretty much gone, so we retreated to our room, and watched a very shitty B movie action flick piece of fucking crap, and I wanted all of the actors to die by coughing up their lungs in thick bloody gobs of goo.

We had already showered before we received our 5 AM wakeup call. So we foxtrotted on down to the restaurant as I pounded down more bananas, and we enjoyed coffee. I really don't remember why, but the waitress called me an asshole under her breath. What a bitch.

Then this femmy stoner guy drove us to the MEPS building. AAAAAAHHHH!!!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Message to King Arthur

In a single phrase whose meaning can never be fully grasped, thanks.

I'll see you when I come back from Butte, and you can't escape that, pal. And then when I return again, I'll get what I told you I'd get for you. After all, you got one for me, so its only fair.

You know what the millions of thank you's are for. Thermodynamics failed miserably.

-Special handshake-

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Spirit Vacuum the Demoralizer

What a funky little day. Realized that 4 laps around my block must be more than a mile, being that I ran four laps in fifteen minutes. So if I'm right, that means that I've been running a LOT more than just three miles. If I'm wrong, well I dont think I possibly could be. I remember watching kids WALK the fucking mile and get 15 minutes for their time. And I was sweating balls.

I leave for Butte, Montana, where the MEPS station is, tomorrow. Got to be at the recruiters' at 1:00. This whole waking up before sundown thing is really wearing me out, let me tell ya.

Hung out with some people, my ex girlfriend Chris and some of her friends. Met a cool sophomore named Neil. We had good and gay fun in Target, some dollar store, and the mall. But all things must come to an end, and when this sophomore guy with the coolness joked about me becoming a Splinter Cell kind of guy, killing people for the government, I had to disagree. He meant well, of course, but he said, "Well, it won't be YOU killing anyone, they'll just get in the way of your bullet."

I went home.

At that point, I did my run, avoiding the ice and slush as best as I could, but no one's perfect, and dry pantlegs are for gay people. Upon coming inside, exasperated at the unknown distance around my neighborhizzy, all was tense among my family members. Groovy.

As I downed a glass of water in the most ravenous of manners, as one can imagine, my parental units began to enquire as to when I go to MEPS, when I sign things, and when I leave. They received the bad news that they would get nothing to look over, that they could protect or shelter me in no way. I'm kind of afraid that the E,pty Nest Syndrome will hit my dad a bit harder this time, and for more reasons than the fact that I'll be living further than two blocks away.

He asked what kind of training I'd receive, which meant, he wanted to know what my decided MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) was. I couldn't lie to him. So I told him that I was to become an Infantryman. So much approval there.

He said that no matter what, he'll be proud, and he wishes me the best. He hates the idea that I didn't take his advice. That I'm not learning Satellite Communications or Electrician first. That I'm not joining the Navy or Air Force.

You've been in a similar situation before, many of them. You knew the apprehensive fear when you had a shitty report card, or a phone call home from a teacher (or you know that the UPS truck that you nailed with a rock flung from your WristRocket slingshot carried a driver that knows your family, damned small towns). You've been there, for the wait, walked your own long mile to the chair. You've had the drymouth.

It was always worse then. I don't know what was so different now. Was it because they already knew that you have been planning on doing this for some time, and had slowly been taking each step to join? Was it because you knew there was nothing they could do? Or was it because you knew that it didn't matter, because this is what you had to do anyway.

Your overweight Siamese cat senses your calm amongst everyone else's anxiety now, and jumps in your lap, wanting a taste of your apparent ability to maintain clear headed and tranquil. Your mind wanders as you listen to what they say. You're told that you've never been proficiently athletic, which you already know, and always have. You're told that they have no doubt that you CAN be proficiently athletic, which you also already know, and are already working your ass off to prove that to yourself.

Your father then mentions the fact that you've played Real Time Strategy games, and that you seem to be better fit in a job with technological training, or one where you're coordinating the troops movements. This is the part where you stifle a smile and snicker as you think about how BADLY you suck at StarCraft, and all other RTS games for that matter.

They want to know WHAT drives you to be an infantryman? Have you spoken to anyone who was an infantryman? And you tell them no, not personally. You then realize that they won't give up if you play clueless, so you tell them a little bit, praying to god that they might understand atleast a little bit. You tell them:

"When you read the paper or turn on the TV, you hear about these guys that are my age that are deployed in some country they've never been to. They work their asses off, doing a nearly thankless job, while a lot, not all, but a lot of people back in the States either don't care, or even look down on them for what they have to do. And I think about the way people are afraid of being drafted, and the ways they used to avoid it. I realize that the politicians put soldiers in some really screwed up positions, but what can I do about that? I could be another person who stays in their home and shakes their head, but I'd rather raise my hand and offer to help."

There you guys go. Now you have one of my bigger reasons, and you're more than welcome to shake your heads now and call it corny and idealistic.

One thing my dad said tonight:

"You'll go, and you'll be strong. Because now, you HAVE to be."

Why Am I Doing It?

I figure this question may come up now and then, in between the question of "What's the meaning of life?" and "Where the hell is the remote?", so I might as well attempt to answer it now and then.

First off, trust me, your guess is as good as mine.

I don't see myself living the normal life, not yet anyway. College? I'm sorry, but something about it, it just doesn't fit. Maybe some other day. A dead-end job? No rhetoric necessary.

I've got things to prove to myself, I suppose. That, and there is an incredible sense of duty which I will probably babble about some other day, when I'm really really drunk and can't find a phone to fuck with people with......with. Plus there's this whole "My Calling" kind of thing. Just seems like the thing I'm supposed to do. It always has.

Another surreal moment for me today, as I was babbling on the phone to a friend (most likely making as much sense as a peso [cents? peso? please laugh]), I paced around my basement living room, fiddle-fucking with all sorts of inanimate objects that most English speaking people would call "decorations" or some weird French word like that. It soon came to be that I had chosen to handle several pictures that were placed on top of the wood house thing that holds your TV and all your shit (entertainment center). As I scanned these pictures of we, the offspring of my parents, all at young dumb and ugly ages much like we still are, one in particular caught my 'football shaped' eye.

The picture had me, the incredibly attractive narrator of this waste of cyberspace, standing alongside his good homedog and cousin, who hath been dubbed Brandon by his parental units. The two of us were no more than six years old, both playing with toy guns (because our moms were so mean, they wouldn't buy us Barbies). Brandon was wearing woodland camo pajamas and a helmet our uncle brought back from Desert Storm. I was wearing olive drab khakis (olive drab = the color of the olives that have that evil orange shit in the middle, the greenish olives) and an olive drab T-shirt, along with my helmet that the said uncle had retrieved from the said military operation. When one who is lucky enough to find this picture inspects my shirt a little closer, they will find, to their supreme amazement, A PARATROOPER on the shirt.

I noticed this after I came home from the recruiter's place of business. I'd completely forgotten about that shirt, and that picture. Seeing it, well, it was a "trip". Follow the white rabbit? Should we? What would BUDDHA do? Yeah, that's what I thought. Hold the pin, I want to save this one.

I'm tired, and right now, I don't like you because you probably expect more mindless babble, and I'm afraid your implied needs are superceded by my laziness. So I'm going to crawl into my bed and lay there for the next 14 hours, and only an act of Congress will be able to force me to move. One of these days, I'll add more to this whole "Why, Ryan, Why? Say it aint so!" subject. Again, likely with alcohol. Just no low crawling.

Word.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Hi Ho SILVER!!!

I enlisted today. I head to Butte on Wednesday to do the MEPS fun stuff. I'll tell you ALL about it.

Kind of a surreal moment for me, I walk into my bathroom, brushing my teeth, and there's a spider chilling out in my toilet, along the inside of the bowl, above the water. I find this to be kind of odd, and I wonder to myself exactly why a spider would feel the uncontrollable urge to do so, why he would be beyond compelled to traverse my porcelain throne. I could come up with no logical answer. So I asked him.

He didn't say anything.

Not even Name, Rank, and Serial Number. What a rebel. So I considered flushing the toilet. I actually sat there and deliberated for probably a minute, watching that funky little arachnid just sit there. Like any good person who doesn't want a welt on their ass the next time they grab a cold white chair, I hit the flusher.

The survivalistic bastard crawled like a salmon spawning upstream to a spot where water wasnt threatening to wash his 8 legged ass down the pooper pipe. I stared for a moment, then promptly wrinkled my face and scratched my head, completely perplexed, as this was not a simplistic enemy as I had once thought.

Once again, I stood in deliberation, trying to decide if killing a creature after it had worked that hard to live was morally wrong. I mean I was seriously stuck on this. So I decided that I'd let him go and hope that he got enough common sense together to escape from the death trap of shit gobbling goodness.

When I returned a half hour later, completely curious, I noted that the poor bastard was laying in the middle of the water, drowned. After all that confusion, and him working like a mofo to not get flushed, the idiot decided to go for a swim.

Can't save em all.

I didn't like the idea of a corpse in my crapper, so I flushed. Only the dead have seen the end of toilet bowls.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Nothing New, Nothing.

Tomorrow I'm going to see my recruiter at 1 PM, and 'locking my job', which really means nothing because its at MEPS that they truly lock you in, but who's keeping score?

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous or apprehensive. This is going to suck, I have no doubt in my mind. It'll be very hard. Nothing familiar to touch base with. (No women?!) Right now I can only imagine. And honestly, I hope that each night I AM so worn out that I just rack out and sleep. Don't want to lay awake missing everyone. I'll have plenty of time to wish I was elsewhere when I'm in the gas chamber with snot from my nose to my boot, trying my damnedest to give my name, rank, and serial number, or whatever it is they ask for while you gasp for CS filled air.

Pushups, so many pushups. I'm sure that after basic, when I can use a computer again, I'll tell you ALL about these damn exercises. But for now, I can just worry. And wonder whether or not they'll give me BCGs (birth control glasses) to correct my estigmatism. Sgt Clegg pointed out that I have football shaped eyes. Way to make a girl feel good, Sarge.

So many things I'm wondering and thinking about.

Waking up at 4 AM, PT, proper gig line, blousing BDUs, zeroing an M16, maintaining equipment, pushups, running, pushups, running, PT tests, pushups and running and more pushups, chow hall, latrine duty, Drill Sergeants smoking the bejesus out of you because they can, inspections, realizing right now that I don't even have a CLUE what this will be like. All my insight and imaginations can be set to fire right now, because it won't mean anything once I get there.

I'll post again before I leave, I'm positive about that one. And after Basic, then maybe this will actually be interesting. Who knows.

Tip your waitresses. I dont.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

First Footstep and Mouseclick

Originally, these quirky and ultimately soon to be forgotten blog was to be hosted on xanga.com, but its my personal opinion that xanga.....either really sucks, or it is me that sucks and just can't figure out why. In either case, I'm here now, and you're going to have to bear with me.

I'll copy and paste my old xanga posts, which are nearly useless, so I'm sure they'll be in good company with future posts.

The purpose of this is to record my experience with the United States Army as an Airborne Infantryman. Please excuse my smartass humor, and also bear in mind that the opinions expressed, wonk wonk, are mine and only mine. I'll make up a better disclaimer later, so I don't get sued as badly.

\m/(>_<)\m/

The Story Thus Far

Here's your fucking updates, you textmongering fiends.

My dad seems to have accepted the fact that I'm going. Which is a huge boost to something. Probably mood. I dont know. He wants me to bring everything home in writing, as he's trying to ensure that I don't get fucked over. But doesn't everyone? I'm sure I will to a degree, but that's the price you pay. It was also his idea to invite him over for dinner. I laughed at this one, and Barlow says I should, because its always fun to make recruiters sweat.

And while I'm on that subject, apparently I am no longer Sergeant First Class Clegg's bitch, I am now SFC (if I messd up the abbreviation, blow me. Same rank as the dude before) Hanback's bitch. Ok, sure, whatever works. Hanback bought food, so I suppose he deserves the commission or whatever for suckering me into this shit. =)

Final score for my ASVAB came in, and yes, I rocked it, so I get bonuses. Yay. Probably not tax free. So now all that remains to be done is lock my job in place and go to MEPS, where some guy will touch my scrotum. This sounds good so far. (Oh, and I'm not writing abbreviations out if I dont feel like it. Open another window with google, U can't touch this.)

At the moment, I am sore as all hell from pushups, situps, and running. And I have more memorization of possibly usefull information to do. Might as well shoot for Private First Class. Mo' money, mo (fill in the blank). My god, I look good when I'm on the floor covered in my own sweat, struggling for air, writhing around like Gollum. This is a good career choice for meeting women, I can already tell. I'll look exactly like all the other recruits, so competition won't be as fierce and.....wait. Surrounded by only guys for.... 9 weeks. Hmm. K, scratch the romantic endeavors. If only Barlow would re-enlist. RAR!

I think I'm done posting. The gay jokes might get out of hand. Love me.

Previous Posts From Xanga.crap

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Ok, I did tell Rachie that I'd start up a xanga so that she could fascinate herself with my incredible and awesome life. So, in theory, I'll do this. For how long, I dont know. Shut up. Rachael.

I suppose that this blog (dear jesus mary god moses chris farley I hate that word) can be put to work to document my pre-basic days, and then my days afterward. So you masses of Ryan fans can be endowed with the knowledge of what's going down.

Talked to another recruiter today, ate food at his expense, thank you, Sergeant, and listened to Jenny lecture me on how the Air Force was shat from God's Holy Tukkas itself (Tukkas being my guess as to how to spell took-iss, the assword substitute). And I take the ASVAB again tomorrow night. Funny story, those things are only good for two years. Now they're going to find out just how MUCH i've retardified over the past three years.

Egads.

Word to your mother.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Ok, here's the next worthless goddamn post. Somebody better be happy. And yes, Rachael, I fixed the colors, so now, you are more than welcome to drink a nice tall glass of Shut The Fuck Up. =)

I rocked the ASVAB, go figure. Met a pretty cool guy who's also enlisting. Provided that he can clean his piss enough to pass the test at MEPS. I have no worries in my case.