Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tales from Afghanistan, Chapter 13: Don't pee on that dead guy.

Nate's blog: Jan 16
Common sense is an uncommon virtue. I feel like that’s not how that quote is SUPPOSED to go, but it applies. There are certain things that you would think you don’t need to explain to other people. Don’t stick your hands in that fire. Don’t jump the fence to pet the lion at the zoo. Don’t film yourself peeing on a dead guy. Leave it to the Marines to screw that up. To be fair, I’m sure stuff like that happens all the time, and lets be honest, the bad guys do waaaay worse stuff. But still, not the best way to win hearts and minds. Ahh, and it must be an election year, because the politicians are all over it, putting their spin on things to win votes. Don’t you guys have anything better to do? You know, like try to work together and for once have a functioning government?

I can’t wait for these elections to be over. I swear every 4 years it gets more and more ridiculous. Without getting into my political views, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be an embarrassing landslide victory, and the losing party has no one to blame except themselves for giving their power away to political terrorists who’s parents never taught them how to share, compromise, or work with others. Meanwhile the TV comedians are exposing our joke of an electoral system with super-PAC shenanigans. It’s sad when the “fair and balance” news reporters are the joke and the comedians are the main source of real information. I’m sure I’m missing out on the most hilarious political commercials.

So Marines are peeing on dead guys, and politicians are crapping on our country. What a wonderful world. Iran is one blocked strait away from the annihilation of their entire military structure (which would probably mean ANOTHER desert vacation for me), and Pakistan looks ready to dissolve into anarchy. Most of this hasn’t actually affected us here in any real way; it’s just another thing for us to joke about when we aren’t being shot at. This last week has been nice for me actually. Working out, running, watching my tummy shrink and my muscles grow, it’s good to be back where I used to be with my fitness level! It’s been a long time since I was happy with what I saw in the mirror, but right now I’m feeling really good about myself. And of course, reading a billion books a week and attempts at online flirting keeps my off-time interesting.

I should find out some news about my Embassy Guard goals this week, my fingers are crossed for good news! If everything works out, I will be starting the request process next week. And there’s only 11 weeks till I am home!!! I can’t wait till that countdown gets below 10. I’m already making plans for when I get home. A post-deployment tattoo (thinking Huginn and Muninn, the 2 ravens in Norse mythology that belonged to Odin), and Vegas parties! I’m going to be taking a month of vacation where I’m planning on making up for the 7 months gone. I’m expecting a crazy month haha.

So that’s all the news for now. Next week I’ll be mailing some of my stuff back home, I can almost taste the freedom! This party blows and I can’t wait to ditch it.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Tales from Afghanistan, Chapter 12: My New Years Resolution is to finish this blog.

Nate's blog: Jan 8
I haven’t updated this in a while, because the last few weeks have been so crazy for me. Also, I’m really really good at procrastinating. It has been an eventful few weeks though. Flying around in Ospreys, dealing with bad guys who look like a lawnmower ran over their face, and of course the zillion care packages we received for Xmas.

Well Christmas sucked. I’m used to taking a few weeks off, driving up north and spending Christmas Eve at my Aunts house, where she throws an amazing party every year. Then the next day I basically drive a thousand miles to make sure I see everyone in my family on Xmas day. It’s a stressful crazy time and someone in my family is always upset at someone else, but I would have given anything to be there again! To my mom and Aunt Joy, thank you for the Christmas cards and letters! I really appreciated them. And Aunt Joan you KNOW I am loving all those pistachios! Thank you!

New Years came and went, and I didn’t even notice. I’m pretty sure I went to bed at 9pm haha. But what’s to celebrate here? It’s 2012 but it’s still in Afghanistan. My new years resolution is to work on “future Nate”, and find some of that inner “me” that I’ve felt I lost. The key to resolutions, if you didn’t know, is to keep them generally vague, so it’s harder to fail them and the standards for success are more flexible. To be fair, the last 2 years of my life have been pretty rough, with the one shining exception of meeting my soulmate, Saija. The struggles I went through in 2010 won’t be shared, but moving to 29 Palms (again) and finding out I’m deploying to the most dangerous part of Afghanistan, wasn’t exactly the relief I was looking for. And I’ve found that in times of stress, I kind of withdraw from the world, and I feel like I lose more of my self the longer it goes on. So, 2012 gives me the perfect chance to get some gorilla glue and duct tape, and fix myself up! At least until the world ends later this year. Saija and I have a lot planned, and I have things planned that she doesn’t know about, so I think this will be a good year.

The last week or so has been full of planning for everyone here. We are OVER halfway done, and everyone is looking forward to returning home! Everyone is talking about their post-deployment plans. Aside from getting a couples massage in Palm Springs and going wine tasting with Saija’s grandparents, one of our first plans is the same as everyone else here, the Marine Corps Ball! It is our late 2011 Ball, and we aren’t supposed to call it that, but that’s what it is. We will be going to Vegas on Cinco De Mayo, and spending 2 crazy nights there. Saija has just finished shopping for a new dress and shoes, and I am excited to be wearing Dress Whites for the first time. I’m 99% sure the white pants will not survive Vegas hehe.

2012 also seems to have brought out all the crazies! For those that don’t know, I’m a representative for the AnyMarine program, which means people and groups send care packages to me, which I distribute to everyone. I have my own profile with our info on it (kind of like a Facebook). I have a stack “this” thick (you can’t see but I’m showing with my hands) of penpal letters people have sent me lately. The VAST majority of them are 17 year old girls (or in their words, “almost 18”) looking for a Marine to holla at. I give all of those letters to the single guys (so Saija put away the knife!), but it’s been very entertaining reading. Some of these girls are motivated haha!

I also had some crazy drama with a crazy lady! I recently found out that one of my very close friends, who had deployed with me previously, was potentially going through a divorce. And he is about to be deployed for a year! We started talking, and through her Facebook page, I found out she was messing around on him with some army guy. Of course it would be through social media I find this out. So he basically makes me his private investigator, and when he finally confronts her, she denies it. Well of course, don’t they always? She puts on her crazy pants and threatens to take me to military court for “slander”. FYI, slander is not a military offense, I’m sure the legal people on base had a good laugh when she showed up. And I’m pretty sure that if your husband asks you to look into their relationship, and you tell him, that’s NOT what slander is. This was all good and fine until the husband, who like I said was one of my closest friends, decides to forget he asked me to look into this, and tells me he supports her decision to go to base legal and that I shouldn’t have gotten involved. Are you kidding me?! Am I in the Twilight Zone or something? You got me involved in this “buddy”, if you want to bury your head in the sand and ignore what’s going on, fine, but don’t pull a 180 and all of a sudden decide it’s MY fault. So there goes one friendship I guess. On the bright side, I’ve made some new friends out here, and I’m looking forward to tagging along with my best pal Hiisi while we drive Saija crazy! Hiisi is our Savannah Cat, and thinks he’s her boss. It’s HILARIOUS.

So this has been my life for the last few weeks. Airplane rides, scarfaces, reminiscing of the holidays, and planning for the future. And crazy people. Life would be boring without crazy people! I hope that everyone else has had a good time with their loved ones over the holidays, and enjoyed a wild new years eve. But the holidays are over now, so get back to work!