Thursday, 28 July 2005

Here vs. There

So many people complain about how bad it is here. By that, I mean this base, this command....

I am here to say that this place is great.

Here's why!

Organized PT. Most people would (and do) gripe about organized PT. Three times a week, at 0630, we get together as either a squadron of a flight and do PT. Normal PT consists of light stretching and strength training and a run. We normally do 5K - that's over 3 miles in english. Other days we do a sort of circuit training where we run a 1/4 mile and do push-ups or some other exercise in between more 1/4 mile laps. It's not easy and I have been steadily improving and feeling good about it. Why is this good? Because in other places, like where I just came from, they made you feel bad for wanting to do PT. My old boss was a civilian and, well to say this nicely, HE SUCKED. He was the classic hypocrite - Do as I say, not as I do. That asshole would go for bike rides in the middle of the day for a coupla hours, but you want to leave 30 minutes early to go to the gym? He'd hear you ask, then ignore you, forcing you to ask again. Then he'd get shitty and say, "I heard you." Well why didn't you respond to me, then, HUH? And he'd dilly dally with an answer until it was the end of the day and finally grace you with the, "Oh, uh, did you want to go to the gym? Well go already!" By now, it was time to leave anyway. What a dick. He did this ALL THE TIME. So let's see: Here vs. There. Here wins.

2. Duty hours and responsibilities. Normal Air Force duty hours are 0730 to 1630. Here it's 0700 - 1600. Some people complain that it's too early and all that. But here's the difference: Here, if you need to get something done during the day, medical appointment or anything else, they are totally lenient. Go! Do it! If you want to volunteer to do something, Meals on Wheels, etc., the folks here URGE you to go. There? Same as PT. Total guilt about leaving the office - even for lunch. The looks of discouragement, the crap attitude. You'd have a doctor appointment, but have to tell the Boss right when you got the appointment, then write it on the calendar, then remind him like three times, just so he'd know. If you were even a few minutes later than he thought, he wouldn't necessarily SAY anything to you about it, but he'd make deliberate looks at the clock when you came back, then ask you with this TONE, how it went. Here? You tell your co-workers right before you're going anywhere, sign out on the board, and no one says jack shit to you. In fact, if you come back too quickly, they are concerned that you didn't eat lunch while you were out. I have been trying to get into the swing of things, because I'll rush myself into illness trying to get back to work in a timely manner to avoid any questioning.... Here they trust that you are just getting your crap done, there, they couldn't care less if your husband was in the hospital or your kid was dying - just as long as you were at the office all day so they could go and do what they needed to do.... Here or there? You're right! HERE.

There are hundreds of examples of here or there. What it boils down to is this: I am so grateful to be out of the HELL of my last office. We just had a recall this morning and I literally jumped out of bed and rushed to work. No shower.... I didn't even brush my teeth because THERE, if you weren't teleported instantaneously to where they wanted to you to be, you were an asshole. Here? I was basically the first one here, and everyone else showed up reasonably, but showered and clean. I feel pretty stupid. Here they keep reminding me to relax. There, I had an ulcer - seriously. And it wasn't the command or the unit. It was one amazingly insecure, total little-dick-syndrome-sufferer that made life miserable.

I was fortunate enough to be able to call him a dick and to fuck off before I left. That was wrong, WRONG. But man, did it feel good! And the even funnier part of it was that the higher-ups were told what I had done, and I didn't get reprimanded at all. I was told that I should try to remain professional. HUH? Oh ok. But apparently everyone else thought he was a dick, too.

I feel like a dog that has been rescued from the pound. So does this place suck? It might, but I wouldn't know.

Sunday, 24 July 2005


In the Air Force, you have your job to do everyday, but you are expected to do more than just your job. There are other responsibilities that everyone has to pitch in to do: Booster Club, Sergeant's Association, Meals on Wheels.... Those things most people just volunteer to do. If no one wants to volunteer, then there's the Manditory Volunteer thing where someone just gets picked as a volunteer. Sometimes that works for you, sometimes it doesn't. I usually just volunteer because, really, I hate it when no one will step up. Hate it with a capital H. Plus, the details aren't that bad.
However, I just got totally screwed on the Manditory Volunteerism.

Two weeks ago, I was getting ready to leave work and my LT came up to me and said that he had good news and bad news. The good news was that I was the "Alternate." The bad news was that I got picked to be the Urinalysis Monitor for my flight.
What does this mean in layman terms? That I was screwed.

In the Air Force and all other services, there is drug testing. It's a NO TOLERANCE policy, so if you piss hot, you're OUT. Don't let the door hit you in the stoner ass. The testing is supposed to be random, so that's the deterrent. You never know when you'll be called in to pee, so just don't get high. The first four years I was in the Air Force, I got called twice to pee -- both times I was 7 1/2 months pregnant. It was great. After that it was more often, just in case you wanted to know.
Anyhow, the people performing the testing are actual drug testing people. That's what they do. Everyday. They call people and tell them that they've got to do Operation Golden Flow. The other people in the process, not the ones peeing, are volunteers. I say that very loosely. I got volunteered.
I was supposed to be the alternate, versus the primary, meaning that some other poor bastard was supposed to be doing it and if something happened, then I was to take the duty. But just the fact that my name came up at all, I knew I was doomed.
To make a long story short, I spent most of last week watching other girls pee into cups, then transfer that pee from one cup to another. Everything happening in my line of sight because they HAVE to. You never know when someone is going to try to slip in an anti-marijuana pill into their urine sample and prove the test faulty, right? I mean, there is a wizzinator for those DUDES who need a different sample than the one that comes straight from the main vein. But chicks? I dunno. You'd have to have a pretty complicated system to get a she-wizzinator.

The detail itself is pretty boring. There's like 3 times as many dudes as chicks, so there are 3 male observers for the guys. They alternate who has to watch. But the girls? Since there are so very few of us, there's only one monitor which means that EVERY time a chick walks in, I get to watch her. Every goddamn time. At least the dudes get to alternate!

Inbetween watching pee, we get to watch TV or read. The beauty of it, and this is sooooo typical, is that there's this HUGE, awesome flat screen tv for us in the lounge. The irony is that there's no cable. There's a set of bunny ears perched precariously on the teeny tiny frame of the tv. And tons of snow. So much snow that it's impossible to watch anything. It is, thankfully attached to a VCR/DVD, so if someone remembers to bring in movies, we can watch that.

This one male observer brought in the new Harry Potter novel to read. My GOD did everyone give him a hard time. It was sad, if I do say so myself.

Anyhow, overall the detail sucks, but there's worse details. Force Protection details suck way worse than the PeePee, but it still blows. And it's not the detail that really bites, it's the comments. Every person has to comment. Every person.

"Who did you piss off to get this dootie?" haha.
"So, did you volunteer for this?" haha.
"You must love this." haha.

And I just want to scream, "No I didn't fucking volunteer for this shit! I would rather be anywhere else than sitting here staring at your cooter! Nice Brazilian, by the way."

There's worse details, but it still sucks

Tuesday, 19 July 2005

I must look like Dear Abby

I don't know why. I guess that's the usual theme from my posts.

I guess that I have an easy face to talk to, and people DO. I find out more stuff about people that I don't know, and not even the usual, "What do you do?" and "Where do you live?" I get the strangest, darkest, inner recesses. I never ask, people just offer the info. It's turned into a kinda joke, really, about how people feel the need to dump all their crap on me.

Ok, wait. Before I go into this, lemme go back. I had to go to an Advanced Electronic Imagery course a few years back. It was at Fort Meade, MD. At the time, I was stationed in Turkey and had to fly halfway around the world for this class. No biggie. It was winter and there was snow on the ground that had melted and re-frozen into ice. The first day of class, I realize that another girl in the class is staying at the same motel as I, and we decide to carpool so that only one of us each day has to deal with the crappy streets. That's no big deal. On the second day, after class, I tell her that I am going to the bar. She says that she wouldn't mind joining me. "Ok," I think, "at least I won't be the single girl at the bar."


We get to the bar an order a drink. We are sitting there waiting for the drink (this part is important because we hadn't had ANYTHING at this point. If we were loaded, then I might be able to use that as an excuse!). She asks me, "Do you have any children?"
At this point in my life, I had two.
"Yes," I say, "as a matter of fact, I have two."
I swear to GOD, that is all I said. She replies:
"Oh really? Two, huh? Well I am never having any kids. My mother was the worst mother in the entire world and I never, NEVER wanted to do to another child what my mother did to me. I wanted to get my tubes tied, but I was under thirty and the military wouldn't do it -- especially because I wasn't married, too -- so I had to go to, like, three or four meetings with counselors to make them understand that I didn't want kids and NEVER, EVER wanted kids. They finally let me get the operation, so I am never going to have kids. Even if I meet the perfect guy, I'll just get a cat or something, but no kids. Not me. Uh huh."

And I said, "What was your name again?"

But it happens. Rather often.

Thursday, 14 July 2005

I'm not looking for 4 Stars, but some food might work

So yeah, we had to evacuate for Hurricane Dennis. I don't get how I can live away from the Land of Walmart for three years, to get my *dream* assignment.... And the fuckin beaches are closed because of sharks and we have to go live in another hotel because there's a hurricane?

Is it ME, or Memorex?

Once again, I am wondering WHAT THE FUCK?!?

Just go with it -- take it in stride. Adapt and overcome. The military is always preaching to you to be able to "do more with less" and all that. It took me a WHILE to figure it out, but I got it. I GOT IT, DAMMIT. When, however, is anyone ELSE going to get with the program so that I don't feel so, so, soooo - what-do-you-call-it? STUPID? TAKEN? What.... I must be playing the game with different rules.

I am an only child, so whenever I went to someone's house to sleep-over, I was excited. The board games would come out, and I, naturally, would play by the written rules. These ideas were always squashed by the host family with rules of their own. I would struggle to understand, lose, and be made fun-of because, well, I was an outsider on their turf. So where are the rules?

Ok, OK! Jesus.

We went to St. Augustine. It was cool. HOWEVER, it was time to leave.

All I want is some food. I hate breakfast, but almost everyone else LOVES it, so (play the rules, Allison, play the rules), I go with it. There's IHOP and Denny's. It's not rocket science going to these places. You don't go to fuckin McDonald's and hope that there's some crazy new meal that's going to take you to places you've never been.

Here's an aside: When I am hungry like this, I am mean. I NEED to eat. At this point, a poop sandwich sounds delicious, and frankly, I couldn't care LESS where we go - as long as it's hot and fast. Here's another aside that most people will say TMI.... I like my man that way, too. Hehe.

Ok, OK! So we go to Denny's. It's actually difficult to find it. I'm not that retarded, but there's signs everywhere for it, but the actual restaurant is IN the hotel.... *sigh*

When we walk in, I should have noticed the responses from the others. Should have. Every situation gives a vibe. I am un-lucky enough to notice that vibe. It was a vibe of doom. It's like walking into the Animal Shelter. You know you want a dog, but you can only take one, MAYBE, and the other animals are staring at you, longingly, wondering if he/she/it is good enough for you. As you walk past the cages, (or booths in St. Augustine's Denny's), there is an audible sigh from the remainders. Apparently those people that were sitting in Denny's weren't sighing from the lack of want, but merely sighing from the lack that oh-my-god-someone-else-is-stupid-enough-to-come-here sigh. But I was strangely optimistic. I needed some food, GODDAMMIT.

How do I possibly tell you how awful it was?

Ok, OK. So yeah, the restaurant was trashed. The restrooms were pretty funky. There was gum on the floor (remind me to tell you about Sara Coleman - and YEAH, I am using her real name). The hostess was uninviting and the waitress was absent for at least 10 minutes for drinks. She was so absent, in fact, that I knew what I wanted to order by the time she came to the table. That's monumentous, by the way.... So we order.

Ten more minutes. And I am NOT exaggerating. I love to exaggerate, however, this was fucked up.

Oh, and no Apple Juice for the kid. No classy turn-color-glasses either -- that they advertise eveywhere, thank you.

Ok, OK.... I know I am droning on. Here's the skinny:

60 Minutes. I should call Wally Schaffer. We waited 60 minutes for eggs and pancakes. My LORD, I could have done that with my lighter and shower curtain at the Comfort Inn Suite. Really now~

We walked out. Had an iced tea and a coffee from Denny's and walked out. Man, that's sad.

I always felt bad for the servers at Denny's because I would never want to go to my high school reunion and tell people that I was a waitress at Denny's. I think that was one of the motivating factors for my joining and staying in the Air Force. Denny's isn't THAT bad, but, I would never want to admit that I worked there **Mind you I am 34 with 3 kids and a career**

Ok, OK... So we left. And my husband called to complain.

Here's my question.

The District Manager called me back to "forgive the situation" and he hopes that we will return to Denny's for another meal. Ok, this is where I am like WHATTHEFUCK?!?

Everyone KNOWS that Denny's is DENNY'S fer godssake. I know that my husband complained, but WHAT? I am going to return to Denny's and have a 5 Star meal?

Baked Meatloaf with Brown Gravy -- only vailable to Senior Citizens before 5PM?

What are they going to do? We complained because we weren't fed, and TRUST ME, we waited for that food. I couldn't see straight, I was so hungry. But to not give us anything after an HOUR?

Ok. Denny's in Ft. Walton is awesome. I'll go there, but.... When you see people looking at you sympathetically going into a restaurant? It's probably the hunger in their eyes, wishing they could gnaw on that chicken bone the voo-doo lady threw in the gutter.

Thursday, 7 July 2005

Am I crazy mix or just plain nuts

I don't get it. I just really, really, really don't get it. I want to get it, but.... It makes no sense.

Problem No.1: I have been re-located to my new base for two months. That's eight weeks. That's longer than Basic Training where you are supposed to go from a mere mortal to a super-de-duper Air Force non-mortal, who can do facing movements and push-ups. (Did I say push-ups? I meant downing a push-up -- you have NO IDEA how little time they give you to eat! Like two minutes for a yogurt! Talk about no pain, no gain! The ice cream headache was enough to make me want to VOMIT!) Anyhow, two mutha-fuckin months I have been here. And I had to go to "Combat Commando Base In-processing." I wish I made up that name. But I didn't. *sigh*
OK, OK. So here I am, sitting in the base theater, listening to one after another really-nice-really-fat-dependent-wife-who-wants-to-help-the-troops speak about education opportunities and coupons for AAFES.... When here comes the gym people. Gotta talk about fitness and health. Gotta remind us that eating is bad, BAD! And the gym is good, GOOD. We gotta be fit for the fight. Gotta be one team. Gotta be ready to deploy. Here come the PowerPoint slides with the animated GIFs. Little man pumping iron, talking about heart rate. Little mouse nibbling on an apple talking about nutritional goals. Yeah, yeah, same ol' shit, different base.

Here's my problem. Here's what I just don't get. They show us a statistic saying that 49% of ALL people in the Air Force are considered "over-weight" and 4% are considered "obese." So, doing the math (49, 50, 51, 52, 53) more than half of the Air Force is fat-a-reeno. That would be me and half of the other fucks sitting in the theater, right? Right?

Tell me WHY.


This thing started at 0730, so I was there at 0700. We didn't get out of there until after 1200. Ok, so I exaggerated. FIVE HOURS AND FIFTY-NINE minutes. First thing in the morning. No breakfast. Waiting for lunch. And waiting. and waiting. You see how faint I am? Do you SEE how my hands are shaking from all the coffee and NO FOOD?

And you think that my fat-maybe-obese ass is going to sit there and eat a DONUT?

I don't get it.

Oh, and I think that I am the only person in the entire world that doesn't like Lance Armstrong. Is he a mammoth cyclist? Yeah. Does he have an abnormally large heart to make him like, freaking, Super Grover and shit? Yes, I say, yes, he does. What I want to know is this: What happened to his wife and kids? I know he was married. I know that she was there for his *gasp* cancer. But then, all of a sudden, Mrs. Super Lance is gone gone gone and all that's left (no fuckin pun intended) is Commie Cheryl CROW? How wonderful for the happy couple. But where's the WIFE?

Maybe most people wouldn't notice, or care, but seeing that I was one of those women that stuck by my (ex) husband and put up with utter nonsense for years, and HE decided that HE was dissatisfied and HE thought that HE needed something else and HE was going to go ahead and pursue HIS avenues, and leave me with a 3 and 1 year old to fend for ourselves while HE FOUND HIMSELF? Uh, yeah. So what happened to the wife, Lance?

I'm not bitter, just so you all know. It couldn't have happened to a better dick.

Sunday, 26 June 2005

"Mom, can you wipe my butt?'

"Mom, can you wipe my butt?'

Just some of the everyday questions that I get from my four year old. It doesn't even phase me anymore. Maybe it should, but what's a little poop among friends?

I'll tell you what sucks, though. Watching the HBO special about teens drinking and driving and crashing and fucking themselves up. Having a little brain damage with that case of beer kinda gives one a buzz kill, if you know what I mean. And it's not the ones that are uber-fucked up that makes you sad. It's the ones that realize the differences in their own personalities, pre-accident versus post-accident. One kid became aggressive which was very different from how he used to be - and it made him depressed and suicidal. It was very sad.

Then this one kid.... Total retard. Before AND after. He was only 15 and drank a shitload of beer and wrapped his four-wheeler around a tree. Did I say around? Nevermind that - he fuckin snapped the tree in half with his head and his leg. Broke himself up real good.... Parents were a little redneck but upset nonetheless. He was in a coma for a few days then came out and had some damage to the ol' noggin. He had to go to physical therapy to remember how to speak and stuff that he probably couldn't do all that well before the accident. Anyhow, the show did a follow-up like six months later and he was drinkin and four-wheelin with his stupid idiot buddies and his parents were just sittin there, like, "we can't believe that Timmy is doin' all the things he was doin' before, yuk yuk. He's a little slow gettin' the thoughts out of his head, but otherwise, he's the same." Whatever. The fucker should have done everyone a favor and finished himself off the first time. It's such a shame to know that there are good people out there, dealing with horrible realities (three little boys suffocate in the trunk of a car, female marines targeted in Fallujah), and here's this shithead. Thousands of dollars to his treatment and rehab, for what? Ugh.

Hopefully I won't have to be wiping my kid's butt when she's 18. I still would, but that would totally suck.

Thursday, 23 June 2005


We got our household goods yesterday. I still don't know if I am happy about it. It means a couple things:

1. Unpacking. I can safely say that I need another house to fit all my crap. My husband wants to have a garage sale, but I can't possibly hope to get more than 30 cents for the shit I don't want. Though we are now located in the RedNeck Riviera, so my trash might be Billy Bob's treasure.
2. Reality. It's true. We're here to stay. When you don't have your stuff, living in hotels and buying necessities in travel sized packets, you kinda feel like you're on an extended vacation. You allow yourself to eat out more often and drink more than you should. You say, "Screw it" and buy stuff that you know is a little more expensive. Vacation mentality. That has all come to a screeching halt. Cooking and cleaning instead of restaurants and housekeeping. Ugh.

On a good note, though, it's like Christmas opening all the boxes. I haven't seen any of this stuff in two months and, honestly, don't remember all the junk that was in the back of the silverware drawer. It's going to be a life-sized game of Tetris getting all this to fit in this little house.

It's all good. Maybe I'll just go back to work and let the Husband unpack it all! Hehe.