Monday, October 24, 2011

As a Lobsterman's Wife

Today I am whimsical and cheerful.  My running is improving.  I've got plans to take care of some tasks today and will report on that... my mood is better, and I think it was getting away for the weekend.  Oh when the water is blue and the people are new... haha... it's true.  It was like another life for one night.  It never stops.  Gotta keep moving forward.  Making friends is important, but keeping your chin up is more important than worrying about what everyone else is thinking.  So today I am going to be cheerful and see what happens.  Okay, well this post had to the short so I can get to work... but I promise to add more later!  Tchau!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Seriously... Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

I also wish my life was more organized.  I have to take care of some things for this TBOLC and I just don't know when I'll have the time... which isn't entirely true, but it's in between socializing that I'll have to do these things.  I'm just frustrated and tired and trying to tolerate idiotic behavior from otherwise decent people.  And I'm trying to learn from and exemplify the maturity to know when to let go of a fight not worth fighting.  It's definitely important to learn to hold a neutral expression while dealing with someone you hold in contempt, and I value that lesson because it's my weakness.

But my strength is in my stupid will to fight, and fight, and keep fighting no matter how impossible the goal seems.  It's in my inability to be close and socialize much with people I cannot truly respect.  When circumstance deems necessary, I can bite the bullet and make it through the evening, but I don't consider it a weakness to be alone when the alternative makes me want to scream.  I know I've been talking a lot about wanting to scream, but I don't mind because I know my limits. I won't break, when worse comes to worse, I'll just shake a little.  Too much is at stake, namely my pride and my reputation.  I've got to have enough humility to maintain that pride, and I've got to hold my tongue to keep a reputation of being only intense as opposed to overly emotional and unreliable.

I know that and while here it has not been a major problem, I know in my heart how my past is not far behind enough yet for me to drop my guard (and probably never will be).  Tomorrow we've got another exam, and I have to study, but not before I get out some venting, and some pointless, meaningless expression to calm my anger and steady my hand.  Sometimes it seems like everything is peachy-keen until the un-f***ing-thinkable just blindsides you and you're reeling in your head while outwardly you just laugh awkwardly and try to think how to deflect such a sucker punch.  Folks open themselves to injury and it's in their insecurity they strike out against everyone.  So much insecurity and posturing makes me tense and defensive.  Whatever.  Just... whatever.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Socializing Should be Easier

So today I got to go on a zip line adventure... it was great! A little work out - nothing too strenuous - and a chance to feel a little tough. I want to get into rock climbing also. As there are places to be taught the skill, I could start there and move on once I found a group around my skill level, and it would be motivation to stay in shape and get out every once and a while.

I also got my hiking boots in a package recently and that's also calling me... the weather still isn't bad but even when it starts to get chilly I've got a nice fleece and a good jacket... I'm ready enough and there are people around here who are in better shape than I am. They would be great people to go hiking with!

…which brings me to my next point sometimes I am not a people person. It's just frustrating for me to be around a large group of people a handful of who are loud and obnoxiously so. It doesn't really matter how many of them are loud and obnoxious, it just makes me wonder whose parents didn't teach them volume control when they were younger. And I mean when I am repeating myself three or four times in a row to relay one sentence of a story I start to lose interest in telling the story at all. Except that whoever you're talking to will - after they've loudly shouted over your sentence - look at you with innocent expectancy, as though they really want to hear what you've got to say. And it's not even that important of a story and it doesn't really matter and I don't really feel like talking at all anymore. Then I look like the snippy person in the corner, which isn't my intent and I just want to retreat and get away from the whole situation.

It doesn't help to be watching train wrecks in progress. It's great and all to socialize, but sometimes I feel like it should be easier. Like if some people didn't get too loud it would be all the more pleasant. I'm not one to 'shush' a crowd, in fact I think that's rude, but I can't help but wince and roll my eyes at someone who feels like what they have to say is so important they have to talk louder than everyone else in the room; or someone who says subtly demeaning things to or about others to make himself look better. I just wanna kick a person like that in the chest especially when others start mimicking the scapegoat-ery of such a subtly scummy person. Not that either of those sheep are that intimidating either, just shooting them a look after they try to jump on a bandwagon like that and they usually have a fleeting look of guilt or embarrassment. And catching that fleeting look makes me feel a little bit better. It's just the guy shows no sign of knowing he’s doing anything wrong. He may not be bad at heart, but he just injects the room with a vibe I don't really like. And maybe I'm coming from a conservative background in this category, and maybe it's a mood brought on by Benadryl wearing off on an evening where I've got to do some work, but either way I hope I haven't offended anyone - too badly anyway. Burning bridges is something too easy for me to do as my past only shows.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Makes No Sense

So today this is word for word what occurred.  We have a large classroom at the ALU, and there are more boys than women in class, so the boys stayed in the classroom and changed.  Not a bad decision, I have no issue with that, and I even believe that makes perfect sense.

However, after the inspection I was in that same classroom to get my stuff.  I was not trying to change or prohibit anyone from changing.  A peer of mine was complaining that the guys got the classroom to change in.  I can see how it's annoying, but personally it's not a battle worth fighting.  It is not these gentlemen's fault the layout or composition of our class and building...

...I do not, however, appreciate dumb comments.  To be honest, I may just have less patience than others when it comes to toleration of the stupid, but that didn't make this next part any less irritating to me.  And yes a lack of sleep didn't help, but still.  One man insisted on announcing - as he removed his shirt - that he was going to change and the women who didn't want to see better leave!  First of all, of all the men I could have died peacefully having never seen even half-naked, he was in the top ten percent.  Second of all, it was not a locker room!  I could see his point as valid if the room was at the very least sealed off, but the doors have little windows!  Now while his argument held some validity when spoken so brazenly to his peers, would it have held if a civilian had walked into the room to ask about travel vouchers?  Would it have held if someone's daughter or wife had walked by and seen a group of men half-clad in ASUs and ACUs?  No, the plain and simply - and maybe unfortunate - answer is that his argument would have fallen on deaf ears.  It's just not wise to get half-nekkid in a room with a window that no one was bothering to cover up.  It may have been allowed and nothing may have happened but the chance was there.  Personally, I picked up my belongings as quickly as I could and left, but not before this man tried to reference me as being on his side.

I made it clear he should just shut up.  And I'm sorry, but I just don't agree with him on a personal level.  I am not deeply offended, merely slightly annoyed.  Additionally he started to ask if anyone hadn't had sex before, or if anyone in the room was a virgin.  As though having seen a naked person qualifies one to see all naked people, or having seen one naked person suddenly I have no qualms seeing anyone naked.  There are plenty of people who I think would benefit from wearing a burqa.  Anyway, catty comments aside, I merely expressed my distaste which I wouldn't have done if no one had tried to say I was "cool" and I left the room with a bad taste in my mouth for the whole thing.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pode Ser

Portuguese for literally: To be able to be.  Usually it's said when you don't want to say yes, and you don't want to hold back enough to say maybe.  You say, "[It] can be."

Currently, struggling to stay focused enough to succeed in TBOLC.  Next week we have the Terminal Exam (about boats and those sorts of terminals... not terminal illness).  We also have to turn in our Battle Analysis... a paper which is an absolute steaming pile of crap with a strange format and confusing instructions.  I think it is possible to complete it successfully, but it's a cross between an outline and a paper.  It's supposed to be about three or four typed pages and with maps a good several.  It's got to have Chicago style footnotes, but it's split up into these wonky sections that make no sense.  A sentence introduction.  A second paragraph that is a monster that you still divide with the good ol' bullet format as follows:

I. Paragraph Dois
  1. Sub-Subject of Paragraph Dois - Um
          a. Sub-Sub-Subject of the Sub-Subject - omfg

But we've got use full sentences like college graduates.  But it's still just... confusing and way outta left field, even for the Army, even for TRADOC in the Army.

By the way to all you non-Army types: TRADOC is Training Doctrine.  It's basically the less realistic, obsessive compulsive, nerdy little brother of the sort of stuff you apply in Combat.  It's very details oriented and can drive a person with common sense mad.  It's a good test of your ability to adapt and overcome though... just in a very different arena than that of down range.

Anyway, shortly after this is the informal memo.  Now I should already have that done, and I'll get on it... soon.  But there seemed to be an awful lot of complaints about that assignment and I don't really understand.  There's one format, the instructions are a little confusing sometimes... but really it's just one document with one standard.  The application of that standard may be more or less strict depending how much help we enlist as a class, but in reality there is really only one standard and there cannot be that many points deducted for the style of our memorandum.  If it's clear, to the point, and obeys the rules of grammar - basically the opposite of what you're reading now - than the grade should be okay.  And if they're graded to a strict standard... well everyone will be held to that standard so there shouldn't be any feelings of resentment on this one.  That's how I feel now anyway, I'm sure when I get my grubby little informal memo back I'll cry foul play if I think I was slighted.  Still, I'll try to go into this one not quite so frustrated as I am with the Battle Analysis.

Only 10-ish more weeks of this.  Oh TBOLC... can we make this work?  Pode ser.  Pode ser.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Walking Paradox

I'm frustrated and happy at the same time.  While TBOLC has been a good experience so far, and there's so many people to learn to get along with... it's also just simply coinciding with the next level of my self-development.  I want to do the right thing, but also play to my strengths.  I want to learn people better, but also increase my tolerance for traits I generally find annoying.

I think dealing with others is still difficult, and that maybe I should talk about that less.  I need my outlets... artistic expression isn't always enough when the feelings are bigger than a sheet of paper and too complex for words.  And when I have this nagging feeling I cannot put a finger on... I cannot help but be agitated and worried.  What am I forgetting?  What am I missing?

And sometimes - as in my last post - I want to scream, and sometimes I want to retreat like a little hermit crab.  But I've held my ground thus far, and so I'll keep on... but it feels awfully lonely in spite of my relatively strong network of support.  I feel supported by, but not necessarily close to, anyone.  And I wonder if these feelings are like that of any individual human being who in his or her private moments wonders why no one is there.  Is this why faith exists?  Because there is not exactly a single human consciousness, so in that unique moment where you are feeling absolutely singular you can turn to some greater power whether real or imaginary and draw strength.  Or I guess, as I usually do, just wait a little and the feeling passes.  Still, a trifle to one man is a tragedy to another.

I say wait... but wait is the wrong word.  It's merely holding on until the feeling passes.  Time for us, as far as we can perceive, only goes one way.  In the sense of time, you aren't really waiting only always moving forward.  We can only time travel in our minds' eyes and those are faulty tools.  A friend explained to me that abstract art, the big blocks of color that at first glance seem incomprehensible, are actually more true to how we perceive the world around us than pictures in great detail.

This makes so much sense when you think of how you look at the world.  Rarely do you stop and really take in a whole scene.  It's well impossible anyway because you don't look at the world with blinders on.  So besides when you are focused on some small section and taking in minor details - like the tiny flourishes on Times New Roman - you generally see the world in similar blocks and random shapes that your brain automatically finishes in your mind to give you an idea of your surroundings.  Even your peripheral vision is being automatically completed.  This explains so much, for instance why IMAX movies can still make you dizzy when you think that you whip your head much faster than the camera is panning, but you're not in sharp focus the whole time.  Or why witnesses get so many details wrong.

So right now my emotional life is that abstract.  I see the shapes, and I am getting a feeling, but the reason eludes me at the moment.  I guess gotta get back to class.  Lates.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

So Frustrating You Want to Scream!

I know what I'm about to say is unoriginal, but the umpteenth time a question is addressed to a group of people says something to the inefficiency of the system being used to keep track of whether the question is being answered.  I do not need to waste another 5 minutes of my time - every time - we're in a group setting.  Because with formation before class, class at 0815, then questions after lunch, and right before we leave, we're losing at least 20 minutes... to one - ONLY one - of the stupid repetitive questions being posed before us.  Having no stake in the questions being asked for the thousandth time, I am more than frustrated up to here - insert violent hand gesture around neck area - with these time wasters of topics of discussion.

In addition to asking people with important relatives to fess up already, I think I've been asked a million times if I'm still getting paid, if I understand Travel Vouchers, if I am really sure I've signed up to take TBOLC.  The information is regurgitated and chewed and regurgitated again... slowly and steadily losing all semblance of taste or import.  I don't care Treasurer/Finance guy if you have an announcement!  I don't care News and Weather team if you want to have your 5 minutes of attention focused on you!  Just get to the point and let us go... my patience is thin and my fuse is short today.  All I need is my zero-balance lease for my Travel Voucher and God grant me the patience to get through the day without assaulting anyone... if I lay hands on anyone today I will burn bridges and create a lifelong enemy.  Hopefully this entry was therapeutic and I won't be responsible for hurting limbs or feelings later...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Strong Poetry

(!Caution ~ explicit!)

It's Called Humor and Sometimes we use it in our Conversations

I want a parakeet

And I want a violin

I love all the sparrows

And I love your strong chin

I long for the ocean

Vast ocean of sand

I can hear waves crash

And hold my grandmother’s hand

I’ll make the menudo

With patience and care

And cry only a little

For she used to be here

But my tears will be salty

And mixed with some lime

And a shot of tequila

My heart will be fine.

It’s not all the heartache

Of living this life

It’s the hung over mistakes

And laughing ‘til you cry.

I’ll always feel the same

As I did in the past

That I was in the rough

Until you gave me a blast

And the water did wash

And the sand pushed past

And the facets were shiny

A diamond at last.

My eternal jewel, my sonnet, my soul

All given a purpose, a meaning, a goal.

I’m sorry to have hurt both outward and in,

I’m sorry I fail and my confidence is thin,

But I’ll grab on the rail and stagger up a few more

Though fragile and frail, I’m not on the floor.

I screw things up quick and more than I should

But you cannot just quit when the going’s no good.

So tear-worn and tired, I’ll vaguely press on

Insulted, admired, engaged until gone.

This life it’s worth living, it’s worth dying for,

It’s reward it’s regret it’s a menial chore

It’s great when it’s good

Or by the skin of your teeth,

Some have all the luck

And some fall beneath

Pick up your burden and toss all the rest

Man or a woman, get it all off your chest.

The truth! Oh the truth, the truth is all I desire!

I want to leave this world with the truth on my lips.

I want it so bad even if it sinks ships.

Because the truth is the truth no matter how hard

You try to conceal or camouflage or discard,

It comes backs relentless, infinitesimally still,

It comes with a vengeance, it comes sometimes to kill.

But the death would be sweet at the hands of the truth,

Bitter and beautiful, like a bit of vermouth.

It would sink in your skin, like a passionate lover,

And trail it’s fingers and possibly linger,

Like the glazed death expression of a man who’s just gone

Or a man in a whore house, considering what he’s done.

The truth is quite easy and the Truth is quite clear,

It’s just all our fuck ups that make things a bit queer.

It’s our societal shackles, it’s our instinct to blame,

It’s fighting our urges and hiding our shame.

It’s the clothes on our backs, and the ones on the floor.

It’s the sickening secret that we have in the Core.

So give me a parakeet,

Give me a gun.

I’ll play the violin

And have me some fun.

The rifle will crack

The shot will go awry

The wine will be good

Though just a bit dry.

But pour out a bit

For the boys ‘over there’

And maybe their wives

And their girlfriends mon chere…

But don’t spill a drop

For the women who fight

They simply won’t stop

And find it a bit trite

They fight for their sons

They fight for their men

They fight for a privilege

With a voice with a pen

We constantly struggle,

We try to walk a line

Called bitches and yatches

Oh to you it’s just fine

Well if the roles were reversed

And you were confined

I might be a sexist

I might be inclined.

To keep all my power, my say and my wealth,

To keep it and choose ethics over your health.

If you were a machine that made babies it’s true,

I wouldn’t give a fuck what you wanted to do.

I’d preach and I’d ramble,

I’d kindly opine,

What you ought to do,

As though you were mine.

As though you had no thoughts or dreams of your own

Like you wanted to be pedestaled up on your throne

And chained up in gild and surrounded by things,

It’s the Truth who knows why the caged bird sings…