piplover: (Enduring)
So, I'm at work, and even though it's been busy today, I'm bored. I'm bored of customers complaining to me, and dealing with whining and pettiness.  I'm bored of the stupid. 

And because I'm bored, I've been thinking of things, and rambling down memories and trying to figure things out. So this is going to be a long, rambling post with probably no redeeming factors. 

Rambling rambles this way )

Yeah.  That's all I got now.  
piplover: (Merlin)
You know, sometimes our world seems so large that it's easy to forget that we are, in the end, basically the same.  Other times, however, I can't believe how small and connected we are. 

I think 2011 is going to be a good year, despite what is happening around the world. That, even such horrific events as are taking place in Egypt right now, can be for the good.  It's horrible that a nation has to riot and rise up against their government, but...

Great change comes at a price.  Russia, China, Germany, even the US and France, if we want to delve deeper into the past.  When there is oppression, the people will eventually rise up and fight it.  There will be death.  And there will be horrible moments when the world looks like it is going to fall apart.  But we are a strong, adaptable species, and I fully believe that the people will come out of this stronger and for the better.  

I have no doubt there will be a long road to travel.  Anytime you change an aspect of government that affects peoples lives it will take time. But I am hoping, and praying, that the loss won't be too devastating to get there.

Our world is changing, but I don't think it's a bad thing.  Sometimes, out of the rubble can be erected the most sturdy of foundations.

My thoughts and prayers are with those who are struggling.  You aren't alone. 
piplover: (sorrow)
It's kind of hard to believe that 9 years ago the world changed.  So many people killed, on such a horrific day.  I hope we never forget what happened, but I also hope that it doesn't accomplish what the bastards set out to do:  tear us apart.  

We rose up strongly after the attacks.  There was unity in our grief.  Now it seems to be sliding towards hatred, and that's one of the biggest defeats we might suffer.  It shouldn't matter what religion you are, or what color your skin.  We all lost something that day. 

I hope I never forget.  But today I'm going to go to work, and help people out.  I'm going to be happy as I can, and try to make someone else's day better.  I'm going to remember those who lost their lives that day, and I'm going to honor them by trying to be the best person I can be.  I hope we all can.  

Let us never forget, but let us also never let it color the memories with anything other than honor. 
piplover: (Default)
Ok, I'm going to write my predictions so that when the end comes and next season starts answering all the questions, I can look back and either say, "I so called that!"  Or, "Whoa, I was so off base I'm not even in the same ball park."  So, without further ado, here are my predictions on how this is all going to, ahem, hell in a handbasket.

Spoilers, be warned )So, those are my thoughts.  What do you all think?


Apr. 21st, 2009 10:22 am
piplover: (Merlin)
So, [livejournal.com profile] katakanadian  posted a little video about a group of guys doing their bucket list, and it got me thinking.  What do I want to do before I die?  A lot of times recently it feels as though I have no direction, that a good wind will blow me whichever direction the world wants me.  I haven't felt really - I don't know, worthy? - to have ambition.  But this whole Hire Me thing for the TV has got me thinking.  What do I want?  What do I want to do with my life, to make a difference?  I felt it once, in the Army, when I knew that even if we did the same shit every day, it was toward a goal, that it was worth doing because the bigger picture held a place for all of us.  

But I've been drifting so long now I think I forgot what it was like to dream, to have wishes and to want to do something!  So I made the beginnings of my own bucket list, and although a lot of the items are large and life changing, it's also giving me something to think about when I forget look around me and remember that there is more to life than sitting in my living room watching TV.  

Therefore, before I lose my courage or the impetous to dream some more, I present to you my bucket list, a work in progress for a hopefully long time.  

-Own a house
-Learn to fly an airplane
-Ride a motorcycle
-Publish a book
-Go to Australia, Egypt and NZ
-Get another tattoo
-Teach English in a different country
-Get my Ph.D
-Buy brand new furniture, just for myself

What are your dreams?   Make sure you don't forget them, like I nearly did.  

piplover: (Obiwan)
So, still no job, and I'm going slightly crazy with nothing to really do.  You all get to benefit from the hours and hours of thoughts I've been pondering.  Aren't you lucky?    Never done this before, but I thought I would start a meme.  Is this how one goes about starting a meme?  I have no clue.  Perhaps it is just idle curiosity,  you be the judge.  Looking forward to what you all have to say. 

Have you ever had a moment in your life when you could feel that everything was about to change?  Not something momentous, like 9/11, when the world shifted under our feet, but a single moment or thought that effected only you, when there was no doubt in your mind that everything you knew, everything you had experienced, was leading up to that time and place?

I've experienced this twice in my life.  The first time, and the one that will forever be ingrained in my heart and head, is when I decided to join the Army.  I had been trying, rather unsuccessfully, to join the Air Force for several weeks.  The recruiter was never in his office, my weight was off, everything was conspiring against me.  I had just come back from one such attempt, bitterly frustrated with my life and how things were going.  I pulled into my parking space, turned off the truck, and then sat there for a moment, contemplating my life.  

I was working part time at a Big Lots as a cashier, couldn't afford college, and was living with my dad who had suffered a stroke several months earlier.  I was, in effect, going nowhere fast, and as I sat in that truck, the engine pinging in the cold air of January, I could feel the weight of all my decisions settling on my shoulders.  I could see the "what ifs" and the "should have beens", everything that I had lived through and would yet experience.  It was as if my whole life had been leading up to me sitting in that parking lot, debating if it was worth it to start the truck again and drive all the way back out to the recruiters to try and talk to someone who wasn't Air Force.  

When I turned the key and started the engine again, it was honestly like I could feel myself being steered in the right direction, like a neon sign saying, "Yes, this is the choice that will change your life forever."  

And you know what?  It really did. 

I won't go into my second experience, not now anyway, because it was extremely profound and religious.  But I have to wonder, am I the only one who has ever felt the world change around them in a single moment?  

piplover: (soldier)
So, I was in the VA clinic last week, waiting for my appointment, surrounded by veterans of varying ages, when I hear one man, about 50 or 60, calmly say to a total stranger in a very loud voice, "So I got the crotch rot 15 years ago, and the stuff they gave me hasn't worked worth a damn..." 

I found myself listening to him, nodding my head in sympathy over his plight.  When I caught myself, I looked around and found that, even though the waiting room was filled and everyone else could hear this man's very personal problems, no one was the least bit embarrassed to be hearing about it, or even paying that much attention.  Just an ordinary conversation. 

I think I'm going to put this under a cut here, because the next part got a bit away from me and it's long!

piplover: (soldier)
I talked to a friend the other day in AZ.  She was telling me the latest gossip and what's been going on with the guys I used to serve with.  I never thought I would miss being in the Army so much, but I do.  Those last few months I was in I couldn't wait to get out, and now I look back on it and think,  it really wasn't that bad. 
I miss the lifestyle, and I miss my friends.  I miss being a part of something bigger than myself.  I regret not going to Iraq with my unit.  Those were my friends buddies over there.  I was a senior operator, which means I had a lot more experience than most.  I don't know if there was anything I could have done, if I could have made life a little better, but I will always regret not going.  I don't know what that says about me. 
The military was such a large part of my life.  It changed me forever, in ways that I can't explain.  Some days I wake up and don't want to do anything, like nothing I do will make a difference.  And yes, I was only a radio operator in the military, but I was part of something that was making a difference.  And no matter my point of view on the war or what my thoughts on politics, I was proud of what I was doing and what I had accomplished. 
Some days, I regret, with all  my heart, getting out, and wish I had had the balls to suck it up and stay in. 
Maybe one day I can look back and not think of myself as a shirker.  Maybe one day, I will be part of something again. 
I miss my friends.
piplover: (hope)
Just watched Wedding Wars on A&E. A very cute movie that dealt with the issue of gay marriage wonderfully. I wish there were more shows out there that presented both sides of the issue in such a way as to be aproachable to all people.
My family thinks I'm very strange for being so passionate about gay rights. They keep asking if I'm gay, or bi and just not telling them. They just can't seem to understand why I would be so - firm - in my belief otherwise.
I don't know how to explain to them that for me, gay rights is as important to our country as black rights, or women's rights. A very large minority of people are being desicriminated against, simply beccause of something they do that is outside the norm. Black people were treated poorly becuase they looked different. Women are still seen as second class citizens in a large part of the world.
So why is gay rights my call to arms? I don't know. I do know that when I was younger I, too, had a lot of prejudice. Then I read a book that was written with a gay character as the lead, and it literally changed me. One of my best friends when I was younger was gay. We used to do everything together, and I trusted him like I rarely trust anyone. We drew apart over time, but I still think of him fondly.
I don't know if I'm going anywhere with this. I know there are a lot of people out there who oppose gay marriage, who oppose gay people in general. I can respect that, just as I am forced to respect the right of people to hate black people or women. But I think it wrong when our country wants to make bigotry legal. This is supposed to be a land where everyone is equal. And sadly, I'm finding it more and more a land where you are equal only to those like yourself.
I know my family will never understand my passion for something that does not affect me directly. But all I can say in answser to that is that something that hurts my fellow man, does affect me. And I would hope it always will.


Jul. 1st, 2006 03:04 pm
piplover: (soldier)
On January 23, 2001, four days after my 23rd birthday and a little over four months after September 11th, I raised my hand for the first time and said the words that changed my life. It was the day I joined the military.
I didn't leave for Basic until March 7th, and I found it rather auspicious that it snowed for the first time that year on my final morning in my hometown.
I had never been away from home for more than a week at that point, and the concept of being away from those I loved for so long terrified me. Getting to the recetption center didn't help.
When you enter the military, you don't go straight to Basic. You go to the reception center first, where you are issued your uniforms, given your handbook of guidlines and such, and start to work with Drill Sgts. You don't sleep the fist 24 hours you get there.
Then...then you meet your Drill Sgts, and Basic truly begins.
We were issued bunkbeds, and my bunkmate got an expression on her face that told me exaclty what she thuoght of me. It wasn't good. I remember crying myself to sleep, and hopeing nobody saw me. I didn't feel strong. I didn't feel confident. I felt broken and shattered, and I had no fucking clue how the hell I was going to survive.
On the third day, someone stole my boots. I was panicking, becuase like an idiot, I hadn't tried on my second set issued to me, and when I tried to put them on, they were too small. I had to tell my Drill Sgt, and a comdey of errors ensued. I ended up wearing a pair of my other Drill Sgt's boots, that were two sizes too big. Oh, yeah. Clown feet.
Then, on the fifth day, yet another of my Drill Sgts (I had three) cut in front of me in line for lunch. I flinched, and he looked at me and said, "Jesus Christ, Frankenfield. Quit being so afraid of your own shadow and grow a backbone!"
I decided right then and there to do everything within my power to face my fears, to stop being so timid and shy. I was determined to do what everyone told me I couldn't.
I found out later, after I had been stationed in Korea, that I had been voted most likely to the one of the first people dropped.
Why am I posting this? Because there I was, a slightly pudgy bookworm who used to run from physical activity, scared out of my wits, determined to prove everyone wrong.
And I did.
I graduated Basic Training, and then AIT, and was stationed in Korea of a year. I made some of the best friends of my life, got engaged, traveled to Arizona, and made some more friends.
Then I fell off the back of a truck, and my life started to go downhill. Suddenly, it wasn't about being determined. It was about pain, and not being able to do my job, and the comments people made about me behind my back.
My car tire was slashed. I was called lazy and fat, and even had a few Sgts say things behinid my back that don't bear repeating.
I spiralled into depression, and eventually, was medically discharged.
One year ago today I left Ft. Huachuca, Arizona, and in so doing, left my military career behind. Now I work at Walmart part time, though for how much longer I don't know. I go to school full time, doing the best I can with students who seem younger and younger every day.
I have to remind myself that these people have never had to carry a rifle and a thirty pound rucksack on a six mile ruck march through the rain and the cold. That they never had to sleep in mud, stand outside in the freezing morning and hope that the only reason you can't feel your toes is becuase you are wearing two pairs of socks and not becuase you have frostbite.
I have to remember that these kids were never awakened at 3 in the morning by pounding on the doors and told to get into "battle rattle" becuase they were going to the field for a week.
These people never crammed themselves into a tiny metal radio shelter on a freezing January day with five other people, never laughed about Mountain Dew being dumped into your Kevlar and then having to hold it up to the heater to try and keep it from freezing, and then complaining about sticky hair until your next shower, three days away.
No, these kids never had to do anything like that. And although the memories are somewhat, somewhat sad, they are mine, and I wouldn't trade them in for anything.
I may still be a bit pudgy, still be a bookworm. But I know now that I have done things others can only dream about. I never quit at Basic, and I hope to Gods I don't start now.
Now, just for shits and giggles, some pictures of me in Uniform.


Feb. 6th, 2006 09:33 pm
piplover: (soldier)
I'm sitting here listening to The Gambler, by Johnny Cash. Before I joined the Army, I never, ever would have listened to country music. But then I went to Korea, and met my best friend Adam and my now ex-fiance Lucky, who were diehard cm fans.
Now, though, listening to this song, I can't help but think of my last days in AZ. I was a mess emotionally, frazzled and not knowing where I was heading or what I was going to do when I got there. My roomate at the time (yes, the child that drove me to distraction) had me get in the car and she popped in this song. She made me listen to it over and over again as we drove aimlessly.
Even though she was a bit of an airhead, she did have one thing right. She wanted me to know that I wasn't alone, and that sometimes, you just have to know when to lay the cards down.
Its funny, the little things in our lives that add up to huge moments or realization. She's in Iraq now, where I would be also if I hadn't got out when I did. I wonder if she still listens to the song. Or if she's found a new one.
I don't know about me. For now, I think I'll keep listening.
piplover: (soldier)
The past few days I have been feeling rather like the stuff you find in the bottom of the sink drain. Not physically, as I have been feeling all right, but mentally drained. I think part of it is being so far from home. Granted, I get to go home for Christmas this year, which is a dream come true, but for the most part, I am missing out on being with my family. My first Christmas away from home was terrible. I was in Korea, and it was terribly cold, though it had not snowed very much. It was a biting cold that seemed to get into your bones and leave you shivering even an hour after you were warm back in your bed. We had been pulling guard duty since Thanksgiving, as the Koreans were rioting and there had been some incidents of them breaking onto posts and injuring Americans. At first it was 24 hour duty, pulling QRF. That stands for Quick Reaction Force. We slept on icky smelling cots in an abandoned laundry on post, with the walls and windows all boarded up and drafty. We had space heaters placed about the room, but we couldn't take even our boots off, in case we were needed at a moment's notice. After a time, we started to pull gaurd in 8 hour shifts. I pulled from either 5pm to 1 in the morning, or from 1am to 9. I was one of the lucky ones who got Christmas day off. My boyfriend at the time was what really pulled me through. We made macaroni and cheese for Christmas dinner, because the defac was close, and none of the Korean resturants really celebrated Christmas. I think the hardest part, however, aside from being so far away from my family, was that there were no Christmas movies. Silly, isn't it? There I was, far from home, and the straw that broke the camel's back was no Christmas movies. My family always watched movies on Christmas, eating pizza Christmas eve, drinking hot chocolate, and watching the fire burn down before going to bed. I guess now I'm thinking of all my friends who are so far from home and family. My best friend, Adam, who just got engaged over the phone, and has only seen his girl once in a year. My fiance, who I have not seen in a year, and who I worry about constantly. So many of my brothers and sisters are away from home this Christmas, and I wish, in some odd way, that I could be there with them. Because I guess the one thing I learned in Korea that I hold so dearly to my heart is this: Some days, all we have is each other. My Drill Sgt at Basic used to tell us, "Just get through until lunch, and you will be all right." After lunch, he would tell us, "Just get through until dinner, and you will be all right." After dinner, it was, "Just get through until you can sleep." I guess that all we can do when things start to seem too much, is take it minute by minute. Just make it through until I can sleep. Just make it through until breakfast. Just make it through. And it will be all right. It will be all right. I'm sorry if this rambled on, and for those of you who read the whole thing, I am very impressed. Take care, all, and talk to you soon.


piplover: (Default)

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