2007 Year in Review

01. What did you do in 2007 that you'd never done before?
Traveled to Fort Jackson and yelled at Privates for two weeks. Never did that before.

I also rode a horse on the beach. I've never done that either, and always wanted too.

02. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I always make resolutions, or rather goals I would like to see accomplished. It gives me some direction. I did ok I think.

03. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes, my sister and a few of my cousins.

04. Did anyone close to you die?
My sister's daughter Olivia, we only knew her for a few short hours but it was enough time to bond.

05. What countries did you visit?
No world traveling done this year.

06. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
Lack of injuries.

07. What date from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
October 16, which was the day I graduated Drill Sergeant School

08. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Probably graduating Drill Sergeant School.

09. What was your biggest failure?
Hmm, I don't think I really had a lot of failures this year. I did pretty Ok, so I guess one failure was not getting my 90s in each event on the PT test to get Commandant's List at DSS.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I break something every year. This year I broke my foot. I also had a pinched psyatic nerve. That thing sucks.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I spoiled myself this year. I bought a Wii, a DS, and a new Laptop.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
I'll say my sister, it's been said before by many but she is a rock and an inspiration to me.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
I wouldn't call my reaction appalled or depressed, rather more like a psychotic rage at times, but it comes with the territory when you deal with Privates. Nah, I had good soldiers, so I don't think I really had issues with anybody this year. One of my coworkers gets on my nerves, but I usually brush him off and it pisses him off.

No wait, I got one! My stupid laptop and it's desire to crash and burn on me, and taking about a dozen different writings I had been working on with it (I got it back though! Yay!)

14. Where did most of your money go?
Um, hmm. I paid off my car this year, got all my bills paid off, rent, a Wii. Actually, for a while I was making enough money to get by and have a little fun on the side so I wasn't hurting at all this year. I probably should have more money in the bank then I do but I'm doing alright.

It didn't help that I had to take care of my foot out of pocket. Little piddly expenses here and there. No ferrets though.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Drill Sergeant School. I just wanted to get this done and over with and it is so gratifying to get out of Drill Sergeant Prepatory Program.

16. What songs will always remind you of 2007?
They Tried to make me go to Rehab and I said No, No, NO!

17. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?
I think I'm happier. I'm pretty content right now where I'm at in life.

ii. Thinner or fatter?
Thinner. I feel pretty good right now, though I have a little more toning up to do.

iii. Richer or poorer?
Hmm, about the same. Maybe even richer because I don't have the debt (er, unless you count student loans) that i did last year.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
I wish I got more comics up then I did, I pretty much abandoned it this year. But the computer dying kind of killed it. I also wish I could have not broken my foot so I could have done more athletic activities earlier this year so I wasn't a fat cow going into drill sergeant school.

Oh, I should have played more video games. I still haven't beaten Legend of Zelda; Twilight Princess.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Sat around on my butt with a broken foot.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
The same way I did last year. With the family, watching movies, singing Karaoke and playing white elephant games. It's becoming tradition.

22. Did you fall in love in 2007?
I am incapable of falling in love. Unless you count material possessions, which I don't think this applies.

23. How many one night stands?

24. What were your favourite TV programs?
Heroes, Lost, and Avatar the Last Airbender

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I don't have any animosity against anybody this year that I didn't have last year.

26. What was the best book you read?
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I don't read a lot, I know. I write more then I read.

Gastroanomolies by James Lileks is a good read too.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Regina Spector.

28. What did you want and get?
I got my Wii, I wanted to go horseback riding on the beach at a full out run and got that, and if I wanted something bad enough, I just went and bought it.

29. What did you want and not get?
I spoiled myself this year and got something if I wanted it. However, my wants have remained fairly modest in that I didn't go into any huge spending sprees. I would still like to own a horse though.

I had to get rid of my little fuzzbutts before I went to DSS. I was disappointed to have to see them go, I was quite attached to them.

30. What was your favourite film of this year?
You know, there was a bunch of fun films this year but nothing stood out so far that was absolutely outstanding to me. Still, I loved Enchanted and Hot Fuzz (see previous blog post on this topic)

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I got a turkey dinner. I turned 27. Oh, and a couple of CDs and some other little things. I bought myself a Nintendo DS and a new Laptop.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Going to DSS in March instead of August, you know, not having broken my foot would have been fabulous.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2005?
Kami Style. Comfortable. Casual. T-shirt over long sleeve shirt.

34. What kept you sane?
I'm not sane. But not having to worry about money helps.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I don't really follow celebrities that much.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Er, um, huh? I guess anti Hillary issues. I can't stand her.

37. Who did you miss?
It would have been nice to see my sister's family some more, and I keep meaning to head down south to see some of my friends that I haven't seen in years.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
I met some pretty cool people at DSS and BNCOC, and my short time on the trail. I can't say one specific person however.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.
You learn more by doing things then actually learning about it in school. Case in point, Drill Sergeant School.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Hey hey, You you, I Don't Like Your Girlfriend!
(ok, not really, I hate this song)

New Year Traditions

Well, last night we celebrated our yearly tradition of eating steak one night early (because the steak house in question is closed on Mondays). I had a nice chunk of Medium Rare Porterhouse that I ate about half of and saved the rest for today (still pretty darn scrumptious!)

You know the expensive steak restaurants that you only endulge in every once in a blue moon because if you ate there regularly you would be broke and about the size of the cow you were eating.

Having Sunday night off was a nice change, and going out with the whole fam damily is always nice, some premium bonding time speant eating lots and lots of meat.

Another one of our little traditions that I've known for as long as I can remember is the New Years Baby. We would stick our shoe by the door and when we woke up New Year's Day the shoe would be full of all sorts of goodies brought by the baby (usually a couple candy bars, a magazine, a staple goodie has become a magazine.)

It's just one of those fun things you do as a family that you look forward to sharing with your own children. Should I ever have any. Well, in the meantime, i'll enjoy the nieces and nephews and watch them take part in the celebration this New Years.



Yay, a random Meme. I actually wasn't tagged, but maybe I was? I don't know. Let's see how well I can answer this.

5 things I was doing 10 years ago
1. I was a Junior in High School.
2. I kept statistics for the Varsity Basketball Team.
3. I was a bit of a loser (hmm, some things don't change)
4. I was taking Pottery.
5. I pole vaulted on the Track Team (spring time, but still, just shy ten years). didn't do that well, but I tried.

5 things on my to-do list today
1. Order books for School
2. Finish up Comic
3. Pay Rent for Next Month
4. Do Laundry
5. Eat Dinner with Family

Snacks I enjoy
1. Chocolate Covered Raisins
2. Sushi
3. Cheerios, with Raisins
4. Quasidillas (sp???)
5. Chips and dip

Things I would do if I were a billionaire
1. Own my own airplane and get a pilots license
2. Have lots of property with horses and all that jazz.
3. Travel. A lot.
4. Go to school for enrichment purposes and learn how to do anything I want to learn
5. Photograph, do art, and never work retail again.

3 Bad habits
1. I pick at things. You know, old paint on the park bench, peeling wallpaper, fingernail polish, things like that.
2. Procrastinator of the worst degree, I'm bad at returning emails, phone calls or anything like that.
3. I talk to myself, and have for as long as I can remember. I never said I'm sane.

5 Places I've lived
1. Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo
2. Winemucca, NV
3. Vernal. UT
4. Woodland, CA
5. San Antonio, TX

5 Jobs I've Had
1. Paper Route
2. Concessionaire at Movie Theater
3. Fred Meyer cashier
4. Wrangler at Yellowstone
5. Drill Sergeant

5 Things People Probably Don't Know About Me
1. When I was a kid, I wanted to take ballet. I wanted to learn how to walk on my toes, not for the tutu wearing or any of that.
2. I write so much that I think I would love to be an author, and need to focus on writing stories that are readable.
3. I can't stand amusement park rides, unless they are roller coasters
4. I got into blogging by accident.
5. As a child, I anthropamorphosized everything, little items had a personality and I would feel sorry for something if I felt it was getting left out.

I don't tag, on principle.

Extra note - Blogger's spell check is really stupid.


Best and Worst - Movies 2007

This will probably become somewhat of a staple for my blog, the movie review blog. For the year.

Since you have about a hundred and one different reviews nameing the top ten movies of the year or what not, I thought I would give my own input on the matter. But I have a disclaimer, I haven't seen a whole lot of movies so this is limited to what I have seen.

I had more artsy movies on my list last year.

(in no particular order)

1)Transformers - More then Meets the Eye. Definitely a popcorn movie, lot's of fun though, Loved the Special Effects.
2)300 - We. Are. SPARTA! This movie is eye candy, for both men and women alike. Men because of the blood and action and lot's of violence, women because these men have bodies that are drool worthy. . .
3)Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix - I like Harry Potter. Yes, I see the movies as being somewhat seperate from the books, and the books will always be better, but if you view them for what they are, the Harry Potter Franchise is quite enjoyable.
4)Knocked Up - Probably one of my favorite comedies this summer. Second viewing wasn't as enjoyable as the first, and now that I look back, they did go a bit far in some parts, like the crowning scene. Still, great film!
5)Enchanted - I've wanted to see it since I heard about it, and was not disappointed. A great film for a date, or a girls night out. It's a keeper!
6)TMNT - The Ninja Turtle fan in me gives this movie a high rating. Looking back, there are some developments that I would have liked to have seen, but the voice cast is spot on and its a nastalgic piece of film for the 80's kid in all of us.
7)Hot Fuzz - Hah! Hahahah! I loved Shaun of the Dead. Same dry british humor. Not as raunchy as the previous though.
8)Bridge to Terabitha - Tear Jerker.
9)Live Free or Die Hard - Action! Action action action ACTION! And Bruce Willis.
10)Grindhouse - Ok, I've only seen it the once, but I really enjoyed the strange impossible humor and campy stories. Haven't been witness to the DVDs yet though. . .

Honorable Mentions
Rattouille - Pixar can do no wrong.
Balls of Fury - What Part of Sudden Death did you not understand?
Stardust - I was pleasently surprised, I thought it was cute, though I think it could have been better.
August Rush - Good Film. Heartwarming.

Movies that I want to see that may have made this list.
Bourne Ultimatum - I still need to see Bourne Supremecy. But Action! Action action action ACTION!
Golden Compass - Anti Christian themes and boycotts aside, I like fantasy. I also like talking animals. I still want to see it.
Dark is Rising - Apparently this one didn't do so hot, but I still really want to see it. Guess I'll wait till the DVD.

And now, the bottom of the barrel.
Watch at your own peril - Note, these are the ones I've seen that I put on this list. They aren't necessarily bad, but on principle I avoid films that I think will be bad. See next section.

1)I now pronounce you Chuck and Larry - Adam Sandler let me down on this little stinker. Some funny moments, but the underlying messages of tolerance is a little overbearing at times, and can be preachy. Gag me.
2)Heartbreak Kid - Just saw it. Some funny moments, but overall, a little bit much. It starts off well and then just goes down hill. Fast.
3) Perfect Stranger - Ok, this one is just plain Bad. No redeemable characters at all. And Bruce Willis!
4) Next - Disappointing, and I can't stand Nicolas Cage's character in it. Major Creep factor.
5) Captivity - I didn't sit through this one. There was absolutely no point to it.

Movies That Would Have Undoubtedly Made This List If I had Seen Them, Hence Why I Didn't See Them.
Sicko - Some people say he is an amusing film maker and everything, but Micheal Moore just makes me want to wrench and I don't care what kind of point he is making or if it is even a valid point, he has zero credibility because he skews his facts to get his point across. I've seen Bowling for Columbine. I don't need to watch any more of this man's garbage.
I Know Who Killed Me - Lindsay Lohan was once such a cute girl. . .
Norbit - Um, do I even have to say why I refuse to see this movie?
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer - I couldn't sit through the first one.
Evan Almighty - I like Steve Carrell. Still, this never appealed to me. At all.
Are We Done Yet? - Just looks plain stupid. Thanks but, er, no thanks.

List of All Movies out in 2007


Merry Belated Christmas

My Christmas was pretty low key, actually I opened my presents on Christmas Eve (sock on Christmas). Because of my ever expanding family, and the fact that my family is encouraging me to find somebody to settle down with to buy me Christmas Presents, I don't get a whole lot other then socks and clothes and a few random items. Which is Ok, I have been told several times in the past that I am incredible difficult to shop for.

One tradition we have in our family is the White Elephant Game, it helps cut costs on christmas, and this year we were told to bring one good gift and one gag gift so that by the end of the night we would have two gifts, one good and one bad. I sort of ended up with the bad gift I brought which is ok with me because it was pretty funny anyway.

Oh, and I got the lamp, with a new lamp shade. :) It will be going to Knox with me next summer.

I've got a slew of things to do tomorrow, since I got the day off. Including a trip to the mountain to get a little night snowboarding in.

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!


QnA - Answers via VideoBlog!

Alright, so I took some time to answer the questions via a video blog, and noticed I have a tendency to ramble. It took me 12 minutes to answer 8 posts. (and two people asked questions after I recorded the video so. . . er. . . ). I didn't read the questions until I recorded them, so these are off the fly answers that I didn't give myself time to think about. I thought the results might be interesting.

I don't normally video blog, it's something I decided I would try to do, and I had to cut it down into sections to fit the recording in. I don't even know if this is remotely interesting to hear me ramble for whatever or not. Probably not. Let me know if I should video blog more or what I can do to improve it. We'll see.

So, onto the questions.

The first video is WA Tom, Dave J, Haji, John, and Jonathan. And, er, sorry Haji, I read your question and mostly concentrated on teh fact that you seemed to answer Dave's question, so to answer your Apartment question, um, I honestly have no idea why they are called Apartments. I bet if you looked at the root words there is an answer to that.

The second video answers Jeff's questions. And I spend a lot of time answering his questions. A lot of it is rambling and restating the same thing a dozen times in different ways.

The third and final video is answering Arah and Robbie. Arah's question is a doozy.

So, the old fashioned way of answering questions for the two I failed to videoblog, we'll start with T, who writes:

"What has been the toughest part of your military service?"

Bar none, it was my deployment to Kosovo. Mostly because it was through the School of Hard Knocks that I learned things from there. But it has also been one of my most vital lessons in my development as a soldier and a leader. I had a horrible NCOIC that I didn't realize until late in the deployment was a complete asshole that didn't deserve my loyalty or respect but granted, his failure to mentor me taught me some valuable lessons I probably wouldn't have learned otherwise. Overall my deployment was a positive one, definitely a growing experience. As they say, that which doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger. I can agree with that statement that right now I'm probably at my most stable mentally and emotionally then I have ever been. I have definitely matured since then, but I still have a lot of learning to do.

"Do you plan to retire from the military?"
Jeff asked me a similar question I answer in the second video. I will definitely put in thirteen or fourteen years (my reenlistment contract is up to debate, I have two ETS dates at present that I'll worry about when the time gets closer) but at this point, I have a sneaky suspicion that I'll go ahead and fulfill that twenty. I'm in a job I love and I can see myself doing this for a while. But we'll see how I feel in a few years.

Funny, in relation to your last question, when I came off of active duty from Kosovo, I was pretty certain I was going to get out. The military is not without its downfalls, but I've enjoyed myself for the most part and I can see myself doing this for now.

A Random Reader writes:
Can you explain the cliche of women being attracted to 'men in uniform' (MIUs as some of my friends refer to them)?

And, in your experience, does it work the other way around - are some men attracted to women in uniform?!?"

In response to the first part of the question, uniformed professions such as police, firemen and military are very masculine jobs. I think women are attracted to that masculinity and hence are drawn to the man in uniform. I have to admit, I'm not really into the whole metrosexual thing. I like guys who are men. So I have to admit that on the whole I'm attracted to a man in uniform. But when you are in the military and always see guys in uniform, you get desensitized to it. And strangely enough, I don't really see it in the new ACUs as much as the BDUs.

As for my experience with guys attracted to women in uniform, apparently some people found this attractive.

Granted, I have also heard comments that I look hideous in that picture as well (these generally come from the liberal persuasion). Honestly, what I think guys find attractive about women in uniform is their authority and aggressiveness. Mostly their aggressiveness. And this plays to their mental pictures of what a girl like that would be like in the bedroom.

Hey, I'm just saying it. I'm not implying anything here, but I think a lot of guys got off on that angry look, becaues from my experience, guys only have one thing on their mind. Please, correct me if I'm wrong.

Now that the questions are all answered, some via video blog and others via me typing out a response, tell me if this post was remotely interesting or should I go back to just typing things out?

And WA Tom, I'll have to check out that video. . . later.

Q&A - Questions

I'm having a bit of a black out for my blog because I'm going to be away for army school and blogging will not be my highest priority while I am there. So, I've decided to post date this post and allow an open forum for my readers (because I have done this before)

Ask me a question, any question, and I'll do my best to answer it. The question can be about anything in this blog, myself, my opinion on current events, anything really. Because my readership is not as great as it was before when I did this, I think this will be manageable.

I do reserve the right to dodge questions if they get a little to personal, if you get my meaning.

This blog is post dated to December 21st, you have until that day to ask me your questions and they will be answered on that day or shortly thereafter.

That's it, no more Questions!


Pay vs Pay

I just realized I make more money in two days of drill pay then two weeks at my current retail job.

Yes, good money on the army side (money is always a motivating factor) but the civilian job is quite lacking at the moment.

Does the fact that I need a better paying job more evident at present? Yes.

Three more months there and I think I'm done for good. Now I just have to find another job that can work around my military obligation.



I've been at BNCOC (Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course) for a few days now and it is a pretty tough course, not that it's hard, but because there is so much to know and learn and not a lot of time to learn it. I'm learning a lot so far, and I can see how I will be able to use a lot of this information when I hit the trail. I could have used some of this information when I was on the Trail as it would have helped me counsel my soldiers better and furthermore, it would have been nice to have gone to this course and gotten this information back in 2005 when I was supposed to, as it would have helped to have this information during my NCOER (noncommissioned officer evaluation report) fiasco where it turned out my NCOIC didn't know what the hell he was doing and basically screwed me over.

It's all good though, I do have Staff Sergeant now :)

Anyway, now I'm going back and doing a six minute informational briefing (+/- 2 minutes) on the state of affairs in Kosovo. Doing some research on it, it's nice to see that it appears that there is going to be some resolution on the issue that is going on over there.

Meanwhile, I just remember to give a Left Face instead of a Right Face when bringing a formation to a Halt (drill sergeant should know better, I know), and that it's good to know the Field Manual for Physical Training (FM 21-20) which comes in handy as an alternate program to the new Standardized PT which often times isn't much fun.

I don't think I'll get another chance to hop online and give people an update on my life, but in the meantime, well, I'm still alive, I'm learning lot's, and this will definitely help me to become a better NCO as well as a better Drill Sergeant.

Then I'll make it home in time for Christmas, and to do some real last minute christmas shopping.


Drill Sergeant Relapse

So, I work in a retail outlet that sells stuff, like retail outlets do. Since I've been back I've been trying to work the retail gig by being nice and smiling and being overall helpful. 99% of the time I'm really helpful, though I've been told that I may be a little to serious and intense sometimes and I need to lighten up and smile more.

So anyway, the entrance is a one way, we ask our customers to go around and use the exit doors to get out of the store because you have to walk through the anti theft device.

Before I continue, I need to make it known that I do not like thieves and liars. They will set me off. So when this guy asks me for the time and I give it to him, he decides its time for himself to leave the store and he tries to go out the door and I politely tell him "sir, you can't go that way."

He becomes insistent and when he fiddles with the door again I make it a little bit more apparent "SIR, that is an entrance only."

So he gets the door open and heads out the door, which generally means he stole something.

I chase him down and go drill sergeant on him, threatening to call the police on his ass and wanting to get in his way just so that I can say he had to touch me out of his way so I can freakin' go apeshit on him (as you aren't allowed to touch shoplifters, unless they assault you first). Of course, I don't have my cell phone and the guy isn't listening and just keeps walking (but truthfully I don't think he'll come back after having to deal with me). So I head back to the store because a 5'3" girl wearing a santa hat isn't all that imposing, no matter how mad I get.

Granted, this is the wrong mentality to have and when I went into the yelling frenzy my coworkers all thought to themselves, "hmm, that must be the drill sergeant side of her", which they haven't seen before. Of course, I was reprimanded because I didn't handle the situation the way they would like me to handle it.

I'm thinking after BNCOC, I'll work there for about three more months and probably put in my two weeks. I like working there and all, but I really do need to get on with life, and the retail gig is not my choice of a place to work.


Rain in December

It's been storming quite a bit for the last week, and I love having a ton of snow dumped on the ground this time of year, it makes it feel even more like Christmas.

Well, starting yesterday, it rained, and took all the pretty snow with it. Now it's all wet and gross and cold outside.

I'm just hoping the rain down here was snow up in the mountains. I'm hoping to take advantage of some kind of snowboarding season this year, and I even found somebody to go riding with.

Unfortunately, I can't start boarding until around christmas time because I will be at BNCOC for two weeks, (and my blog will become somewhat silent during that time) and then I can come back and enjoy the retrieved information of my hard drive, get back into school, and go to the mountain any chance I get.

Hmm, I need to do some research for Phase II *BNCOC has two phases for my MOS* and see when I might be able to get that knocked out.

Oh, and as of this moment, my mobilization to Knox is still on.


Out of Uniform

"Hey Mom, can you take some pictures of me in my Class As and my hat?"
"Sure, do you want any full body shots?"
"Probably not, I'm not wearing any shoes."

I don't know why this picture makes me smile so much, considering how incriminating it is and how goofy I look.

With my luck, some Private from Echo Company is going to google Drill Sergeant Erickson, find this post and tell all their friends "hey, this was one of my drill sergeants from basic!"

The thought of those privates finding some of the things available on me from this website petrifies me. A little. I'm not a traditional drill sergeant in the slightest. They might find out some things about me that I tried to keep hidden. But something tells me that that picture describes me all to perfectly.

Although on my first drill back, I have already recieved the comment that my discipline and bearing has improved tremendously since before Drill Sergeant School.

If you were to look at the previous picture, you wouldn't know it.

After a while, your hair just falls out of the bun.

The Army and an FS2000

I almost recreated the 'not sorry' look. With an FS2000. That intense glare, the military uniform, the bad ass rifle in hand. See, I walked in the door in uniform and the first thing that came to my brother's mind was getting me to do a pose with his new rifle.

I think it looks sharp with a class A uniform (a departure from BDUs), though I'm one of the few people in the army that actually likes the Class A uniform (other then the inability to keep a female uniform squared away to the contours of my body, another post for another day)

A far off look.

Hey, this one I'm wearing my hat!

Another kick ass weapon that looks straight out of the game of Halo. I haven't gotten to fire it yet, but this will soon be rectified. And I love the rifle already!



So, I'm kind of in this stage where I want to update my blog and make it easier to surf, because this blog is very much a journal of my life since late 2002.

It's still a work in progress, and I don't know how many people have an RSS feed on this thing (I doubt many do) so I'm hesitant of putting all of my archives up at once to flood somebody's feed.

I think it would seem like I was spamming the system or something. Although the feeds are from early 2004 and earlier, do they do them chronologically?

Anyway, I was reading some of these old blogs and they actually make me laugh, and at times cringe. When I first started this blog, I didn't really think of it as a place for other people to come read my thoughts so I would write a lot of cryptic things, saying something at random without explaining what I was talking about. Heck, there are a lot of posts about me mentioning something about the army, I know I'm talking about the army, but I don't know for the life what I'm talking about.

It's like I was torturing my very small (at the time) readership. I also look at my blogging while I was in Kosovo and some of that drove me nuts because I felt like I couldn't just out and say anything. Way to cryptic.

I'm hoping to eventually have my entire archive on here, but it was funny that a couple of times I actually forsaw the possibility of me gaining some fame and was worried about what people might think of me from my writings. I was pretty self conscious back then, even in 2003, but not really at all now.

A lot of my earlier postings are somewhat angsty and EMO. I swear, zero self confidence in myself. The name Incoherant Ramblings and things better left unsaid really feet the feel of this blog. It has morphed into something else as I've matured and gotten less self centered. I swore to myself that I would give up blogging several times and tried to quit, but it was an addiction, like heroin.

Some of my posts are actually pretty funny. Some of them make no sense, but probably made sense to me at the time.

I think I'll work on getting the archive up before the end of December. It has become my project. And will allow the few readers I have maintained into the twisted mind of a younger Risawn.



I went and saw Enchanted today, and laughed so freakin' hard my sides hurt. This was probably the best movie I had seen in a while (I haven't seen a whole lot so I guess that isn't saying much), it's just a cute clean comedy where Disney goes out to make fun of itself and its princess characters and their cluelessness as well as their undying quest to meet their Prince.

Yes, Susan Surandon is in it, but she plays a fitting part as the evil witch. In fact, the movie was pretty much perfectly cast. Definitely a great date movie, or one to take the kids to see (girls will love it). I'll be buying it when it comes out on DVD. For sure.

Go. See. Laugh and cringe at the same time! It's really not just for kids!

'Machine Gun' Lamp

I was at the mall today, surprised to see how barren it was for it being the holiday season and all, and walked into Spencer's and saw the coolest thing ever!

It's an M203 Lamp! I was so tempted!

Ironically enough, it is mentioned as a Machine Gun lamp on the box it came in. An automatic setting a Machine Gun doth not make. This is an M16 with a 203 attachment, not a machine gun with a rocket launcher like some websites mention.

I still want it. Hmm, I could probably find a different lampshade to go with it.

And then it will sit comfortably in my office when I get to Fort Knox. Privates would love it!

Hard Drive Recovery

I may have mentioned my hard drive failures, being in the business of failing to back up my information, I lost a portable hard drive October of last year and in March my laptop fizzled out on me and died, taking a lot of information with it (mostly in the way of stories I've written as well as a few pictures).

A couple of the stories I bucked up and counted them into my losses, when recently I realized there was another story in there that I had been working on that I didn't want to lose. Plus, well, all the notes to my comic that I haven't touched in probably six months were on there too. But there was no way I could see paying nearly two grand getting this information recovered.

So I did some research online and found a company that does the same thing for considerably less. Granted, it would be nice to not have to recover the information in the first place, *let this be a lesson to you kids, ALWAYS back up your information* but now it looks like they will have a lot of success recovering the information, or so they have told me.

If all goes well, I'll be sure to write up something snazzy in regards to them and their service. If it doesn't, well, I'm just hoping they can get my information.

I'm just going to try NOT to be let down in case it turns out to not be recoverable, but they told me thus far that my laptop drive has a 60% chance of recovery.

That's better then it sitting in a box in the bottom of my desk!


Decorating the Tree

I've gotten a little into the Christmas mood this year, I was noticing how unchristmasy it was feeling without the tree up so I decided that it was time to go decorating it.

We have a fake tree that we used last year, and I found a few cheap ornaments to put on it as well as some given by the parents so that our tree isn't completely barren, but I found that I kind of like collecting ornaments. So I went out and bought some today.

Our tree is far from anything fancy, in fact probably no presents will go under it (those will be under the parent's tree where we will most likely be spending Christmas morning with our sock and all) but because of the need to feel like it's that time, well, a tree is a given.

Unfortunately, ornaments get to be expensive, so I think I'm just going to spend some here and there each year until I get a nice little collection going. And yes, the dollar store is a great place to get some inexpensive ornaments (that can also go on the backside to help even out the weight and everything. I even got a couple little rocking horses for the tree that came from my trip in Innsbrook Austria.

No hallmark collector ornaments or anything like that for the time being.

Last year was the first time I decorated my own tree. This year is the first year I'm actively seeking to improve on it.

Collecting fancy little ornaments. Hmm, I see a tradition in the making!

I've got a snowboarding ornament, and now a bunch of fishing themed ones, as well as some fun reindeer playing Twister. I need to go get another pickle from the mall. I also think I want to get a military themed ornament, and maybe some art related ornaments (not crafty, I mean art related).

The angel at the top has special significance, she was made by my grandmother.


It's Snowing

2007/8 season was predicted to be spectacular with the October freeze spells in my neck of the woods. Unfortunately, November hit with a sudden heat spell (well, for winter conditions at least) that destroyed any hope of an early opening season for mountains in the area.

I have Wednesday off, I thought about finding an open mountain and getting a little time on the mountains.

Unfortunately, despite the fact that its been trying to snow for the last week, all mountains are at the moment closed.


I don't think I will get my little snow time in before BNCOC, as I leave in less then two weeks and I have a feeling I didn't request enough time off next week. Because I have drill on Saturday and Sunday, and I leave for BNCOC on Friday the following week, that leaves me with four days of non army obligations. It's the holiday season, I can tell you right now my precious time is going to be nabbed for working.

Oh, and I have completely reverted back to sleeping in til whenever I feel like getting up and staying up until the sun is about to rise. Which is the wrong answer, I know.


GI Jill

While surfing through my blog roll (and sadly, finding several dead links), I ran into this fascinating story about US Army SGT Jill Stevens, also Miss Utah and running in the Miss America Pageant in January 2008.

She even so much has her own official Military Webpage

Going through her flickr page and seeing her interact with some of the people during her deployment in Afghanistan reminded me of the Medcaps in Kosovo, mingling with kids and kicking a soccor ball while i have a weapon slung on my back.

I think I would get along with her. Good luck at the Miss America Pageant, though granted that's one thing I would be petrified to compete in.

Hat tip: Northshore Journal

An Inconvenient Book

Glenn Beck came out with a book this week that I so happened to buy. And actually read And I can whole heartily recommend as it is an amusing read that makes sense from a guy who just tries to make sense of what's going on in this country. And how to solve the problems the country is facing. Most of them being really basic answers that are politically incorrect, to include Political Correctness.

Of course, most of them the typical progressive minded thinker would probably not like, but the conservative thinker could only agree and thank Glenn for putting it into words that the average American can understand.

Of course, there's the chapter on Global Warming (an obvious jab at Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth) and what we can or can't do about it, and perhaps why some people are over reacting on the part of the end of the world thing, as well as Radical Islam and why perhaps there is a reason why we SHOULD be continuing the War on Terror, the problem with Media Bias, a chapter on parenting, and even one as so mundane as finding a movie to rent with your loved one (and the difference between a Laser Movie and a Bonnet Movie). I pretty much enjoyed it all the way through.

You may or may not agree with what Glenn Beck has to say, but its always good to have an open point of view and see what other people and their take on things are. Which is one of the reasons why I watched an Inconvenient Truth with an open mind.

And then I got Glenn's opposing viewpoint.

I have to say that by and large, I agree with Beck. Maybe that's one of the reasons why I like him so much.



So, today is Thanksgiving, and tomorrow is Black Friday.

I was thinking about my retail job and my army job and how different they are from each other. I was working last night and I had this customer who just wouldn't leave me alone. And I just had to smile and say 'it's alright, that's what I'm here for.'

When you work retail, you have to kiss the customer's behind.

I love being in the army, especially in my line of work, becuase I mainly deal with people of a lower rank then me and if I feel particularly annoyed by them or want to tell them off for whatever reason, I can just let my feelings fly. I don't have to act nice if I don't want to. I can be bluntly and plainly honest. It is a liberating feeling.

Anyway, onto the thankful thanksgiving post.

I'm thankful for a lot of things. I think I'm more thankful right now then I have ever really been in a long time. I can tell you that I have matured tremendously this year and have grown an appreciation for what really matters in life. I'm thankful I am a practical person, even though I still have my little expendatures on the side like my Guitar Hero III for the Wii that I just purchased on a whim. I'm thankful that I have the family that I do, and how I fit into my family, and the knowledge that no matter what I do, they will always be there to support me if I need it, even if they don't agree with my choices. I'm thankful I've survived for 27 years on this planet without any major catastrophies and without killing anyone. I'm thankful for Turkey, Cranberry Sauce and homemade Mashed potatoes. I'm thankful for the ability to laugh at myself and accept myself for who I am. I'm thankful for the simple things in life, a bed to sleep in and a roof over my head. I'm thankful that I do have a car, as I know how much it sucks not having one. I'm thankful to live in a place where it snows and there are mountains nearby. And an emergency room that is accessible in case I need one. I'm thankful for Chocolate covered raisins and banana chips. I'm thankful to be an American and to have experienced everything I have experienced in life thus far.

And I'm thankful for the option to sleep in until Noon. I know, I should have hung onto that morning person routine as I'm a more functional person that feels like I get much more done if I wake up before seven but dang, I'm a night owl by nature.

Besides, today was my birthday and I indulged myself by sleeping in and playing guitar hero III.

Which I suck (I haven't been practicing on my guitar like I should be) but it's still a lot of fun and makes for good old fashioned family entertainment!


Chuck Norris For President

Ok, I admit, I find the Chuck Norris Facts amusing, especially when put into a campaign video.

I don't know a lot about Mike Huckabee but I do like that he has a sense of humor!


Looking Back on this Blog

This week has been pretty low key, mostly because of the planning for the funeral and I went back to my civilian job which is pretty much a no-brainer.

I also set myself up to a task that I've been working on all week. Ripping my existing CDs. When I first got my job, it had an awesome discount on CDs and DVDs that isn't quite as awesome anymore. But I realized I don't listen to but a few CDs so I ripped every last one of them and plan to sell the ones I'm not as fond of back to my work and I can buy christmas with the proceeds this year.

When I went through my CDs, I found a couple mix CDs that had been made for me by complete and total strangers who just followed my blog and wrote me in a pen pal fashion.

I look back and I don't think I properly thanked people for what they did for me through this blog. One person sent me a box of Godiva Chocolates anonymously and I never even mentioned it on here, though I probably should have because there was no other way of thanking that person for sending them to me. But I didn't know if this was the apropriate place to say what I recieved from people, I thought I might be gloating. Not to mention the tons of stuff people sent me through my Amazon Wishlist.

And when my server crashed because of the discovery of my blog with over 40,000 hits in one day, just about three years ago, total strangers banded up and sent me over one thousand dollars to pay my server bills and keep my blog going. It was becuase of that I felt obligated to continue my blog through my deployment, people paid me to keep it going. I never mentioned the exact amount I had recieved becuase I didn't know if it was appropriate, it sounded kind of haughty to me to mention all of the goodwill people sent me through my blog.

I don't really recieve a whole lot through my blog these days, and I don't expect it either becuase I really don't need anything through it to be honest. But it was a needed source of encouragement and support during my deployment which wasn't always smooth sailing but should have been a lot easier then it was.

In fact, I don't thank a lot of the people that read it then still read my endless musings and the little mundane stories about my life, but none the less, to the mixed cds, the chocolates, all the movies and books through amazon, and the generous donations from complete and total strangers, Thank You.

This blog has kind of evolved into several things through the course of its lifetime, at one point it was strictly a ranting board from which I could vent my feelings and frustrations or muse about idiocracies I've faced and it's become more of a journal about my life with less ramblings and far less political content.

I'll probably maintain this blog until the day I die, and it will probably metamorphosis into something else completely in that time.


Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep

Last spring my sister announced that she was expecting a baby. She was a little hesitant to announce her pregnancy because she has had problems concieving in the past and has suffered a number of miscarriages that have broken her heart every time. So when she got past the point that it appeared she would carry this baby to term we all celebrated with her.

Everyone was trying to guess the baby's gender, it seemed the mass consensus was that it was going to be a boy. I said a girl. I seem to have a sixth sense about the sex of babies before the parents find out and I hadn't been wrong yet.

However, this summer, my sister learned that the baby has a condition that makes it very unlikely that it will live outside the womb for very long. I didn't know what to say to her when we found out, and so I didn't say anything for a while. I know she was grieving, here she was, able to feel the baby kick inside of her and she had to plan a funeral because it was unlikely to survive.

She is a very strong person however, I don't know what I would do if I was faced with a similar situation. But she decided that she would carry the baby to full term and hope to share a few moments with it when it was born. My parents went so far as to build a casket for her, a true labor of love.

Little Olivia Kamille was born on veteran's day, just past midnight. I got the phone call shortly after she was born asking me if I wanted to see her as she was still alive. We drove to the hospital, and seemed to hit every red light and every distraction that could prohibit us from getting to the hospital right away.

She was so tiny, just about four pounds, and she was cradled by her mother who wanted to spend as much time as possible with her baby. They delivered her and gave her right to her mom, they had decided not to prolong her life any, knowing that she would pass.

I held her for a few moments, feeling how light and fragile she was, she was still alive, but her heart was only barely beating. Her little hands and feet were so soft, It was a blessing that she lived as long as she did. We left after about an hour, knowing that her little family wished to have some time to themselves. My sister and her husband have scheduled berievement photos through an amazing organization called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep to help remember little Olivia. We're holding the funeral some time this week.

I don't know how I would take the news of knowing I was carrying a baby to term that would not survive, and it has shown a great deal of the strength and character my sister has. She has her own blog about her pregnancy and her family and the feelings she has been going through during this time. I don't think she will mind me posting my thoughts and experiences of my neice's birth and death on my blog, or directing you to her own.


Privates are SubHuman too.

So, I posted about my drill sergeant experience, or part of it, on my milblog.

That Would be Here

I think I will be going through and updating a lot of the links on that website and just getting it updated so that its current with what is happening in basic training these days as I think Privates (and parents!) still access that website for information on what happens when somebody joins the army.

And I've got the unique perspective on seeing things the way the other half sees it.

Currently there is a mob going on sometime next summer that I'm linked too so I will likely be in Fort Knox Kentucky training privates next year. I'm looking forward to it, because it will be a very different perspective then how things go at Fort Jackson. for one, as far as I know, Fort Knox is still all male and will so far continue to be all male. Which will make things interesting for me as a female drill in an all male basic training company. I just need to buck it up, grit my teeth, and try to appear any age older then 21.

I know I can pull off the mad as hell look, becuase all I have to do is not smile and tilt my head slightly and people think I'm mad at the world and about to kill somebody. But as soon as the corners of my mouth turn upwards it all changes when people realize I'm actually somewhat tender hearted. Must not show weakness, must not smile for three weeks when I get to Fort Knox.

Eh, we'll see.

meanwhile, I learned a lot about myself and what I'm capable of when I need to be. Being a Drill Sergeant kind of comes to you, because school didn't prepare me, though there's still a lot I have to learn. I think things would have been different if I had fallen in earlier in the cycle then I did, but those privates taught me a lot and I learned a lot about myself. Most importantly, I learned that i can in fact do this job. And what's more, I really enjoyed myself while I was doing it. True, it got a bit irritating when I learned that there is the Fort Leonard Wood way of doing things and I had to adapt to the Fort Jackson way of doing things, but if I had been there the full nine weeks I can tell it would have been different.

But my privates insisted that they are going to miss me. (Privates will tell you anything and everything, btw). I don't think I smoked them enough. But knowing how basic training is, if I had smoked them more, they would have become that much more attached to me. I'm already threatened with stalking, and with the internet age, I know as soon as they find a computer it won't be hard at all for them to find me.

In fact, I can contact my own Drill Sergeants courtesy of Army Knowledge Online White pages. I think I'll shoot them an email to tell them how much I appreciate what they did and how my experiences have impacted my military career and how I perform as a drill sergeant.

And how I can appreciate how much hard work they had to go through for that hat! Drill Sergeants are no joke!

The Traditional Hair Cut after Army Training

Things were very interesting as a drill sergeant, especially considering truthfully I don't look like one. But whatever the case, I came home to the same issue I generally come home to after spending a certain amount of time in uniform.

I come home to my hair looking like crap. Keeping it up in a bun all of the time slicked back with ultra crisp hair goop so that it doesn't fall out with a little hair dingy that just pulls it out gives it that extra fried end look, and I have extremely thin hair to begin with so I knew that a hair cut was coming once I got back off the trail.

First, let's start at the beginning. So I've got ultra thin hair and its been a good seven or so months since I did any coloring so I'm just due for a refresher.

This is the longest my hair has been in a LONG time. But even with me loading it up with all sorts of hair products to see if I can resussitate some life into it, it's not happeneing. It looks limp and dead.

Although I'm looking the best I've probably looked in years, I like that drill sergeant weight control program. The privates don't eat crap, so you better not eat crap. The privates have to work out, so you work out with them. They run, and you are yelling at them while you run. I like that part of being a drill sergeant. Though as soon as I got home I found a bunch of uneaten halloween candy greeting me. Curses.

So back to the hair. I let my sister have at it, I was willing to let her chop it all off if she felt the need, but not the pre Kosovo length I had it when i mobilized back in 2005, but I needed it at a length where it was short enough to wear in uniform or long enough to pull back when I'm in uniform, because I still have that one weekend a month obligation.

So after highlighting it (which really brightens it up and makes me look a million times better then my sorry drab dishwater blonde color) she gave me a long A line bob. I can still throw it back into a pony tail and with some goop I can probably get it to cooperate while I'm in uniform.

I think it actually makes me look my age as well, instead of the 20 to 21 age range I was getting from freakin' privates. I should have told them I just graduated High School and see how they took it. That's probably what I will tell the privates next summer when they ask me how old I am.

In the meantime, I'll enjoy the fact that I look young and hopefully I can show enough discipline to keep working out and stay in shape. It's hard to get into the habit of working out to get into shape, I just have to maintain it, that shouldn't be so hard, should it be?

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Back Amidst the Real World

When you are on the trail, you're very busy!

I just got home yesterday after spending two weeks in Fort Jackson South Carolina training privates. I learned a lot about myself and about being a drill sergeant while I was there, for instance, that I can actually do this job which I was having some worries about doing when I left. But there is still a lot I have to get down.

Fort Knox is on the agenda for next summer. I'm looking forward to it.

Right now I'm busy trying to decompress from a rather hectic two weeks. I'll lay down more on what I did in a bit.


DSS Done

I graduated!

We left Fort Leonard Wood without looking back and some friends of mine were kind enough to drop me off at the airport. We had some trouble finding it at first, so I got to see the St Louis Arch for the first time.

Staying at the USO, there were Privates everywhere, and a whole lot of Marines (some training at FLW like Engineer School and MP school all services come to train on) and they were telling me Marine Boot Camp horror stories from Parris Island. Don't know if they were embellishing a bit, they may have been, but I've always had a lot of respect for Jarheads and they were asking me and a couple of my buddies a lot of questions trying to get a comparison of how the Army and the Marines differ. Depending on where you go to Basic, whether you are in an all Male Unit or a Co-Ed unit, or if you're at Jackson, Leonard Wood, Benning, Sill or Knox, I get the impression it differs a bit from location to location. The training is the same, but how they get the message across may be a bit different.

DSS was a lot easier then I expected it to be, and a part of me wonders how I would have done if it had been harder (I'm not as young as I was when I was a private, obviously). I'm still frustrated about my stupid Sciatic Nerve, as I still can't fully step out on that leg when running so my run time completely sucks, but I'm feeling better and hopefully it will be alright by tomorrow. When I fly around some more.

I got a ton of pictures that the DSL's took while at training, I'll see about posting a few of them.


The Hat is Mine

PX. Saturday. 1300.

Bring your hat and badge.

But no, seriously, we were specifically told not to go to the PX and bait privates this weekend as we are not officially Drill Sergeants until Tuesday at 1400. So other then the brief moment we got to put on our hat and badge to take a class photo, we are not allowed to wear them out and about post.

We have been encouraged to wear them in our rooms and specifically get used to putting them on a certain way because when we graduate, there is a certain method of doing it that requires some practice so we are all uniform and don't look jacked the hell up.

I'm still getting used to the hat. But I think the Australian Bush style really suits me. Some of the females don't like them and expressed that they would rather have the Montana Peak that the guys wear, but I'm fine one way or the other. I'm just glad that after Tuesday, I don't have to wear the beret again until BNCOC.


Only a few days left!

So, what do I have planned for this weekend?

For one, I plan to sleep in until at least 9 on Saturday. This week has been exhaustive (though fun!) and I just need to recooperate and prepare for a lot of flying next week which will land me somewhere in South Carolina for a couple of weeks of non stop work doing what I came here to do, train privates!

Our training is complete (hallelujah!) all we have left to do is turn in all of the crap they've issued us, pray that CIF (central issue facility) accepts it, get issued some headgear, pack everything else, offer our constructive criticism, rehearse graduation, and graduate! Then I can yell at people for failing to call me Drill Sergeant!

I'll probably only enforce the Drill Sergeant bit with IET privates and DS Candidates though.

I feel like I've been repeatedly punched in the head for some reason.


Combatives R Us

So the update, for those who are curious.

My back still hurts. But I've sucked it up with the help of Motrin. Some days I don't notice it to much and other days I get really grumpy because my back feels like crap. But I can do most things I'm required to do except for run really.

Today we started Combatives. This was actually a lot of rolling around on a mat trying to get the dominant position and learning about chokes and such. I can now say I've been choked by a Drill Sergeant (he was allowed to for instructional purposes). Not fun. But good information to know, so me and my battle buddy went about doing blood chokes on each other and tapping out. That will take you down REAL quick.

But combatives was a lot of fun! Though not very good for my back.

In other news (waiting on the pictures which I will post) I got promoted! I'm now officially a Staff Sergeant!

The NCOER that I have commented about a couple of times just delayed it a bit, so I'm not to worried about having to Appeal it because I'll stay right here at Staff Sergeant for a few years and I'm just fine with that. I'm not ready to take that next jump to Sergeant First Class for a long while.

Just combatives all next week and I get my hat on Friday. :)


A Minor Rant About a Minor Injury

So, I've discovered I really like to rant. That was one of the reasons why I started a blog in the first place, it was a public area where I could just say what I wanted to and anybody who wished to read it could read it, and if they didn't want to read it, so what?

I just got off of a profile, and in my military career I've only been on a profile a handful of times, once I was ordered to go to sick call by my drill sergeants after smashing my face against the carrying handle of my M16 and started bleeding everywhere. Thus was my no Camouflage profile which was the only profile I held during Basic.

I didn't really want to go on profile this time, but I was having a strange pain in my back that really only bothered me when I tried to march or run. I wanted to suck it up and drive on as I thought it would go away but after a day and a half I decided I needed to get it looked at to make sure it wasn't anything to serious. Or if it wasn't, that it wouldn't develop into something more serious.

Turns out its a pinched nerve, the sciatic nerve going into my right hip. Its actually something I can handle, but they put me on a run/march/jump at your own pace profile just so I can rest it and get it back up. So I've been taking advantage of this and walking when I can and avoiding running when I can.

The problem is, my profile says seven days, and technically I'm not supposed to be on profile for longer then 72 hours or I risk being kicked out of the school, even though this does not hinder my ability to do the training, I just avoid running for a couple of days, thats all. But because it says 7 days, I have to tear up the profile and pretend it doesn't exist. So I guess that's what I'm going to do.

I think the army has this mentality of toughness to suck it up if you are hurt and just keep driving on. While that's ok for the most part, especially if you know its just a bruise or a minor injury, it's also ok to check something out if you need to, your body uses pain as a way of telling you that something is wrong. So I went to sick call and checked out my back to make sure it was nothing serious, and to get it documented just in case it was and it turns out it isn't a big deal. But now I feel like I'm being told that I'm dogshit by my Senior Drill Sergeant because I didn't just suck it up and take it, instead getting a profile.

I don't know much about the sciatic nerve or the injury I got, but I was told that if I didn't rest it that it could get worse so I took advantage of the last couple of days and rested myself as much as I could. So sue me, if I don't feel better by Monday, then I'll suck it up then. I didn't miss any training to utilize sick call, I made sure training was done for the day before I asked to go.

More went into this issue with this little chat I had with the Senior, with which I won't discuss here, but we'll say I didn't gain any more respect for the person because of it.


Why Haven't the Bush Twins Enlisted?

Ok, in the Blame Bush category, everybody harps on how Bush is this major war hawk and how he went into Iraq under false pretenses and is over stretching the army and all of this mumbo jumbo and then they claim that they need to inact the draft starting with the Bush twins, as if Bush is so eager to go to War, he should send his daughters there first.

Ok, this logic is kind of twisted in several ways. For one, it is somewhat impractical for Jenna or Barbara to enlist. Furthermore, you know how many women enlist in the army in the first place? Not very many. In a country of 300 million people, there is something like 1.5 million people serving in our armed forces at any given time(that number may or may not be correct, but there abouts, bare with me). I think the demographic of women to men is that 15% of the military is female (again, an estimate, bare with me). If they inact the draft, they aren't going to draft women right away because women are barred from the combat arms and that's what they are primarily going to be drafting for most likely if they need a draft. Yes, they will need to fill other positions in the service support branches, but the first target is males.

Regardless, back to the original statement, a very small percentage of women in the US are even in the military. True, there are many who have served at some point and have gotten out but even with those into consideration, so giving a very liberal estimation, we'll say that 5% of American women have served in the US Military at some point in their lives. My point? So what if Jenna and Barbara Bush haven't joined the military to serve their country? There are a lot of people who haven't. It doesn't make them any more or less American. Everybody who gives me the BS statement that if you support the war, why aren't you or your kids serving in the military and fighting it? Well, there are a lot of Americans in this country, some support the war and some don't. But going back to the small percentage of Americans who are actually in the military, it stands to reason that some people who support the war have a family member serving and others do not.

Guess what? The Army is not for everybody. There are plenty of people out there that have no business being in the military because their personality or issues they may or may not have are incompatible with it. Maybe they are just scared of being shot at. Joining the Army is not a small matter, it takes a special kind of person to gather that much courage to think about enlisting, and yes, there are people out there who join the army because they don't know what else to do. It doesn't make them any less of a person and they can become better for it.

And besides, if Jenna and Barbara Bush did join the army, can you think of the secret service mess that would cause? Would it even be logical for them to join? Specifically enlist? I mean, seriously, how many children of Presidents enlisted in times of war? I could see them possibly becoming officers if the desire struck them to do that instead, but really. . .

Using this argument against Bush is actually kind of dumb. I wish people would stop muttering about how hypocritical he was for sending our men and women of the armed forces to war when he doesn't have his own daughters serving.

I can just imagine the nightmare that would be for the Drill Sergeants who would have to train them if they did decide to do such a thing.

Case in point, shut up about it already. Its not a big deal that the Bush Twins have never served in the military. Members of the Bush family have served in the past and I bet their might be a cousin or another relative serving now.

*yes, a rant, saw some special on one of the cable news networks interviewing Jenna on why she hadn't enlisted yet and I thought it was ridiculous.*


Running and an Update on Army Life

I'm quite pleased with myself, though truthfully when I first came here I was hoping to do better, but there is only so much you can expect from yourself.

I came here with far from stellar PT scores on my Army Physical Fitness Test. In fact, I came to this school on a Failed Run. So I have had to work my butt off to get back into shape so that I could do ok when I got here.

So I ran my ass off before coming to this school, every day before I left I ran at least one mile, sometimes sprinting sections of it, taking a quarter mile and trying to get it to as close to two minutes as I could get (easy the first time, harder as I did it more and more) so that when I got to school, I had shaved two minutes off my run time in two weeks.

I was pumped about that, and then the second phase was shaving more time off so that I would get in the 90s in each event.

I'll be honest, the PT here isn't entirely difficult and I don't feel like its pushing me, but I do see a lot of improvement. I'm 3 pushups away from my 90, i'm two situps away from 100, and if I can shave 16 seconds off my run time for another 90, I'll be eligable for commandants list when I got to BNCOC. Commandants list was a goal of mine here too, but my performance hasn't been satisfactory considering I am very inexperienced for the caliber of soldiers that are here (but I'm not the worst off by any means). I wanted to get 90 in each event while I was here, but I'm not upset, far from it, I was pumped to get the scores I did as it shows how much I have improved physically since I have been here.

Now I need to maintain my physical fitness, which will probably mean doing PT with the Privates when I hit the trail in October. Maintaining my physical fitness level will probably be the toughest thing to do once I get back home but my health is worth it. It will be a great snowboarding season, I feel like I'm in the best shape I've been in in a long time.

Run Times for the two Mile

AUG 4 - 20:26 (yikes!)
AUG 17 - 18:20
SEP 7 - 17:59
SEP 24 - 16:52 (best runtime I've had in years!)

My goal is to get that runtime under 16 minutes, which is doable if I keep at it. If I do time on the trail, I have learned that there are opportunities to go to schools that I have always wanted to attend (like Airborne). I will not volunteer for that school unless I know I can handle the run and if my run is under 16 minutes, I know I can do it. Next year might be a crazy year for me if I end up doing this full time. It's still a maybe, barring other opportunities prevent me from volunteering to train soldiers as a full time job, but if I'm motivated and feel like I know what I'm doing and have a desire to be there, I know I can do it.

Once upon a time when I joined the army, I had this deep motivation to get as much crap on my uniform as possible, I wanted to be a drill sergeant, I wanted to have a huge stack with Airborne and Air Assault and all of those gung-ho schools and everything. I think I suffer from Combat Patch envy, and knowing that I probably won't have one is kind of a bummer especially with a school such as this, but now that I'm here, as long as I can stay motivated, these last three weeks should be a breeze. It will be tough, and I'll probably get the snot kicked out of me during combatives, but I'm ready for it!


So. . .

So, I'm still hanging in here. Things are going smoothly on some days, and others I have the intense desire to do bodily harm on some of the people surrounding me. But I have contained my destructive urges and have endured the school for the most part. But I do understand now why Drill Sergeants are so angry all of the time. This school doesn't help matters.

So, a few things have happened since I last blogged, and actually since before then. If all goes well and I get my hat (which it is a 99% chance I get it unless I completely screw up and get a DUI or something dumb like that) I will be hitting the trail right away for at least two weeks, option to extend longer if I want to once I'm there, and I think I'll take them up on that as any experience I get on the trail will make me better at this job as that's what I really need, experience.

Funny thing happened to me today. I ran into somebody at church today who had read my blog from apparently my 'Not Sorry' days. Good thing I was in church clothes because if I had been in uniform I would have dropped him :P.

Ok, probably not, but if I get any privates in my company who mention anything about knowing my internet persona, I think I will drop them.


So, I found Heroes S1 in my possession and watched it this weekend (I had a little free time) and I'm hooked.

I knew this would happen, it was bound to happen, it looked like a tv series that I would get hooked on and indeed I did.

Season 2 premiers tomorrow. Not sure if I will watch it or not but I can attest that this is one tv series that is very addictive. Highly recommended, unless you don't have time like myself to be watching a tv series, and therefore, if that is the case, stay FAR AWAY!

If I have time tomorrow after work and I'm not overwhelmed with other things, I think I might try to catch it. Otherwise, well, I might just wait until season 2 comes out on dvd sometime next year.


What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

Somebody showed this to me and I looked into it and this is what popped out. Hmm. I think I need to take it again because I have a tendency to be somewhat vague with my answers.

Since I'm constantly wondering to myself what should I do with my life, I found it to be beneficial information.

1. Go to http://www.careercruising.com/.
2. Put in Username: nycareers, Password: landmark.
3. Take their "Career Matchmaker" questions.
4. Post the top twenty results (in order).

Number 40 was Infantry. I find that amusing.

1.Horse Trainer
6.Website Designer
7.ESL Teacher
8.Foreign Language Instructor
9.Desktop Publisher
10.Animal Trainer
11.Animal Caretaker
12.Shipping and Receiving Clerk
13.Music Teacher / Instructor
14.Industrial Designer
15.Computer Trainer
16.Corporate Trainer
18.Cartoonist / Comic Illustrator
20.Interior Designer

Horse Trainer was the number one pick, which is interesting because when I was a girl of 12 and a complete horse nut, that's what I wanted to do. Obviously I love animals and everything. Art Teacher didn't come up, but Music Teacher did, considering my musical skills are limited this was amusing to me.

I should take it again in a few days, see if something else comes up.

See if I can't get Drill Sergeant in there.


Strengths and Weaknesses

So, how am I doing?

As you can see, I've kind of toned down my blogging, mostly because I've been busy. And I'm doing a lot better. I had a bad week in there, unfortunately it was the week I was rated for Leadership and so I got bad marks on my Leadership skills, probably partly due to the fact that I let my bad mood get in the way.

You live and learn. I know I'm weak on Leadership, its hard when you haven't had consistent leadership in the past. But it is an area I'm aware I'm weak in so that means I can work on improving in that area. In fact, this school is highlighting a lot of my weak areas, which unfortunately are standing out more so then my strengths, because I have the mentality of a Specialist in a lot of ways and haven't had a lot of Joes to take care of, and in this school, its not a mentality I should have. I have to get into that Sergeant mode. I know I have it in me, I just have to get immersed in it, and I'll have a lot of time to do just that.

So Saturday is roughly the halfway point (I may have mentioned last week that it was the halfway point then but I was wrong, grr) and the Drills have lightened up and now things are going a lot smoother. Now that I look back and recall Basic, my first few weeks there were no walk in the park too, and I think it was for a lot of the same reasons, basically because of the type of personality I have and the person I am. I am very motivated when I'm doing something I enjoy and now that we are getting into the hands on stuff, I'm enjoying myself. This is a hard job, I can see that I can't get into my lazy moments if I want to do this (and I have plenty of those) but I can also see the rewarding factors with it as well. I think once I get out on the trail, if I have battle buddies on the trail with me worth their weight, I can have a really satisfying experience out there on the trail.

I just need to work on leadership, teamwork and delegation. And a few other things.

I need to update my Milblog, I've been so busy and my schedules been so crazy I haven't been able to touch it.


Alright, I have a confession to make.

I read Perez Hilton

What got me started on Perez Hilton was the whole Britney Spears shaving her head debacle. I found this gossip website that is no holds barred and I was all "dude, this guy is funny!" It didn't help matters when they made me Magazine Girl at my work and I kept pretty current on all the gossip rags there too. I couldn't resist, my life was far from extremely exciting at the time and some of this stuff is stranger then fiction!

Case in point, Britney Spears. Lindsay Lohan is another interesting cookie that I admit when she first came out as a child actor in Parent Trap I really liked. I don't like her much more, though I've never really liked Britney Spears but these people dig their own graves.

So, I guess the question is, why does society get caught up in the lives of spoiled and pampered super celebrities that are in the middle of career suicide? Why don't we get concerned with the important events of today like War and Poverty and Hunger and Disease and all of these issues that affect millions of people and become more aware of what is happening in Government, etc etc? Really, people are always harping on those that follow gossip rags about how they don't know anything about what's going on in the world other then the fact that Britney went out without underwear again.

To tell you the honest truth, I personally don't see a problem with getting caught up in the gossip. Why? Because it is something to do! Yes, it is important to stay in tune to current events but the problem with war and hunger and all of those things is that the only way to bring people's attention back to it is to shock them with it, and you can only shock a person so many times with this stuff until they move on to something else. People in general have a short attention span, you can only go on about a subject for so long before they grow tired and look towards something else to catch their attention. The War was big in a lot of people's minds back in 2001 and 2002, but as it drags on, news of what is happening over in the sandbox becomes routine for society that when they see it on the cover of their newspaper, they shrug their shoulders and turn the page to see what else is going on. It's sad, but the fact remains, people are going to be drawn to news that is fresh and different then the same old routine unless you can change it up a bit. People don't get appalled when you spout of statistics about the AIDS Epidemic in Africa because its been harped about for years that it doesn't catch interest anymore, even if it is important.

No, what they want is to be entertained, and unfortunately, the people who entertain is people like Britney Spears and her mess of a personal life. I'm sure she loves the attention, why else would she make such a spectacle of herself?

As long as they are entertaining, yes, I'll keep reading the gossip rags and websites like Perez Hilton.


What Makes a Drill Sergeant?

So, what makes a Real Drill Sergeant?

I don't know, but as long as I go through the freakin' active duty school and get my hat and badge, I guess that will officially make me a Drill Sergeant, until I do something stupid like sleep with a private or trainee abuse and get it taken away. Which I don't intend to do.

Now granted, I doubt I'll be winning any drill sergeant of the cycle awards or anything like that, as I'm far from a subject matter expert on all things military, but I can learn, and if I'm motivated, I can do the right thing.

I can get into a pessimistic attitude, but the only thing I have to remember is this is a game and when it's all said and done, I'll have a hat and badge and will hopefully be competent enough to train soldiers on how to fight a war. I can bring the mean on if I need to. I know deep down I can do this job. And if I do it, I'll probably be doing it for the next five years.

And there are all sorts of drill sergeants in the army. There are some outstanding ones and there are some lackluster ones and there are some that have no business training privates. The army says they need to fill a slot so there they are.

There are a few soldiers in this school that I can't picture being Drill Sergeants. And there are others that are going to make outstanding Drill Sergeants. I should have come to this school more prepared then I was but now that I'm here, I'm going to try to push myself and be a better NCO because of it. I already know this school is going to make me a better NCO, and I want that hat and badge.

So upon graduation, I may not be the best Drill Sergeant this army has to offer, but with time and hard work, I intend to at least be a good one.

One Day at a Time

So, that's my new motto. Just take it one day at a time.

We're out of the classroom and doing more field work, and I admit that in basic training my weak area was the class room, because I was prone to the zzz monster there. Here I've gained enough discipline not to conk out into a full blown coma every day so now that we're out of the classroom, well, we're doing ranges now. Ranges is what I like, heck, this is why I wanted to become a drill sergeant.

Yesterday was a not so good day, and I was frustrated with myself and just grumpy and overall not a happy ball of sunshine. I've noticed that PT in the mornings generally start the mood off right. If I stay out of the drill sergeant's radar for pt, I usually do ok. Often times, even if I think I'm doing the right thing, and I get yelled at, it just puts me in a freakin' grump fest for the rest of the day. Like yesterday.

Today was different. One, well, PT went nice and smoothly. And two, bayonet.

The bayonet course is one of those things in the army that they really don't use anymore. I mean seriously, can you imagine soldiers fixing bayonets and fighting with them in Iraq? If you have to fix bayonets, then you're screwed. The whole reason for the bayonet course in basic is to motivate soldiers, because it's an army thing and it's fun!

The Bayonet course was one of my favorite things about basic training initially, and its partly the mood of the course, where you yell 'kill' at random and growl, hiss, spit and make menacing gestures to your opponent (another soldier or a figure made out of old tires). Its a course that is purely about motivation.

When you go through these courses as a Drill Sergeant rather then a private, I notice they go a lot faster though.

Anyway, for the next couple weeks I'll probably be saying 'kill' at random moments. I let off a lot of steam and just felt good after ramming a bayonet into a tire a few dozen times while screaming myself hoarse. One of the drill sergeants got a picture of me in full bayonet i wanna kill somebody mode and I kind of want to get a copy of that picture (or pictures, depending on how many she took) but it was a freakin' fun course! One of those things that gets you motivated to be a drill sergeant again and to do this job.

So I'm motivated again. And I'm just going to focus on this one day at a time. Some days are going to be awesome, other days are just going to suck. Fortunately, we have maybe five more days in the class room before the end of the class so I just have to behave myself, say 'yes drill sergeant' and 'no drill sergeant' and all questions that are asked of me that are not able to be answered by a simple yes or no are purely rhetorical and therefore I just need to remain silent. (unless they genuinely want an answer)

We are getting to mingle more and more with the privates. The privates are kind of fun, in a panicky snap to parade rest because they have a deep fear of you sort of way.


Still Training

I've run into a problem while I've been here at Fort Leonard Wood.

I've got a double whammy going against me. I'm female, and I'm a reservist.

Now, normally, I wouldn't want to use that as an excuse, but it is my own lame excuse for how I'm feeling right now. Females are automatically treated differently in this environment, and because females are the weaker sex and have to prove themselves in a male dominated environment like this. Now if I was an active duty soldier, I don't think this would be such an issue, because I would be more used to it and I could buck it up and do what I have to do.

But I'm not. I'm a reservist. Meaning I play this game one weekend a month. And when I'm not going to the drill hall playing soldier, I work a part time job at a retail gig and I go to school full time. I have a life (yeah, a lame one, but one none the less) outside of the army. I'm an independent thinker. I have to know what's going on and why. And often times, especially from being screwed over by former NCOICs in the past (namely one) I feel the need to constantly defend myself and my actions. Which is precisely not the mindset one needs to have in a school like this.

What am I getting at? Well, as much as I would like to say I'm a gung-ho, badass, super soldier, I'm not. This school is trying me at every turn and I've discovered since I've been here that I'm not the same person I was when I was a 19 year old private entering basic combat training. This was the kind of thing I wanted to do back then. I'm discovering that it isn't so much what I want to do now.

My goal is to get my hat and go back to my unit. If things start looking up or I can get a complete change of attitude, I might volunteer for a year deployment downrange, but right now, I don't think its something I want to do. I do know that I have to get my hat, this is not an option. I have to get it so I'm going to keep going with this school whether I have a change of heart or not. I just got to keep a level head and try to get my motivation back.

We're in week four now. This school has definitely had its ups and downs. Unfortunately, more downs then ups. Not a cake walk. I was hoping it would be a little more fun.

I remember getting a kick out of basic training, and that is not considered easy training either. I'm still trying to pinpoint exactly what is different this time around then before but I think it has more to do with ignorance as a private and knowing and expecting more as a sergeant.

Six more weeks.


News Shouldn't Be Bothered to Get It Right, Should They?

I just ran into a bit of hilarity in the blogosphere from the Dissident Frogman about an article in the AFP (French Press) that released an article with an Iraqi woman who is displaying two bullets that hit her house by coalition forces.

The problem is, well, see for yourself.

Definitely worth reading the article and viewing the video. This guy is great. Got to love the stupidity of the press to gobble up anything that makes America look bad.


Still Alive

So, I thought I would update on the events of Fort Leonard Wood Missouri and how I'm hanging in here.

For more information, the Milblog is updating.

First off, I can't go into a ton of detail about my training here because, well, I can tell the training is meant for the Drill Sergeant to protect them and I wouldn't want to give initial entry trainees any extra ammo against me and my battle buddies.

Furthermore, I've got really long days and tomorrow I'm going to have to wake up at Oh-Way-To-Freakin'-Early to take a bloody PT test. This is my main hurdle, but I'm confident I can pass it because I've been running. Everywhere. If I fail it, it's on account of the humidity here. But I ran the first day I got here (on a full stomach, so I only ran a mile) but if I can keep that same pace, I've shaved a good two minutes off of my two mile run. We'll see tomorrow.

I'm going to be in shape after this school. But whatever the case, I'm enjoying myself and everything is going well.

This blog will likely go to a weekends only posting pattern, because I really don't have a lot of personal time in the evenings to devote to updating it. I've got a lot of things to do, a lot of places to be, and a lot of crap to memorize.


Traveling Trials

I've learned when traveling through airports that you just have to go with the flow and take it as it comes to you.

I got to St Louis in one piece with all of my luggage in tact, except I left a few vital pieces in the luggage I decided not to take. Like personal hygiene items (I managed to grab a few at least) Fortunately it is something I can replace when I get to FLW, but in the meantime, well, I will have to purchase some heavy duty hair gell, some clips and some hair bands to make sure my hair is squared away for duty tomorrow.

So the first task I ran into was having one piece of luggage to many, and not wanting to pay the fee to have the army reimburse me later.

As soon as I walked through the security, they did a random check on my shoes, and my shoes caused an alarm so they had to pat me down. The best way to handle these situations is to cooperate as best as you can.

When I got to Denver, the plane was overbooked, as I had mentioned previously, but I had time to get to my destination so I volunteered up my seat and had a four hour layover in Denver with a detour to St Louis through Chicago with a carrier change.

I forgot how big O'Hare airport is. And moving from United to American Airlines meant I had to leave one terminal and hit another. I wasn't scheduled to get to St Louis until around 10:30 but I decided to work on getting Standby for the two St Louis flights leaving before my scheduled flight. So I asked for standby at the ticket counter and without anything to check, apparently I came up as suspicious and with a heightened threat level, when I went through security, I got patted down and my stuff was swabbed as an extra precaution. Again, the only thing you can do is cooperate and be as pleasant as possible.

Fortunately, I got cleared to leave on a flight an hour before the one I was scheduled to take was to leave. But in the meantime, now I'm waiting for my busride to FLW.

I remember this thing being free the last time I came through here. Oh well, another expense to add to my Travel Voucher. I'll be sure to hang onto the reciept.


Meet Me in St Louis

I did mention I love the USO, right?

Well now that I finally made it to St Louis, I'm holed up in the USO for the night and will catch a bus to Fort Lost in the Woods tomorrow. I was wondering if I had gotten sent a little early to this school but turns out everything has worked out well. I'll get to Leonard Wood by around noon tomorrow and it will help me get settled in and give me time to get whatever I need like personal hygiene items and all that jazz(I had to leave a bag at home).

I had somebody ask me how long I had been in and when I said three months shy of eight years, they flat out told me I didn't look old enough to have been in that long. I don't feel like I've been in that long.

This USO is exactly the same as I remember it from that time, except more computers and the Television is more current. But the layout is the same.

I'm going to go pass out for the night now.

Who Loves the USO?

I do! I do!

I think the USO at the Denver Airport is one of the nicest I have ever seen. Apparently the Presidential Club offered some space for soldiers to relax and I'm currently kicked back in a leather recliner watching a big screen TV. It's nice!

I actually should have been on my way to St Louis, but they changed planes from the original plane and asked for volunteers to give up their seats in exchange for a free round trip ticket to be used in the next year.

Now usually, I can't do this when flying on military orders and ethically keep the ticket. Except I'm not actually being paid for my travel days and don't belong to the army until Tuesday, so technically I can do anything I want so long as I'm in Fort Leonard Wood by tomorrow evening, to play it safe. I also had to make sure my luggage would be all right. Nothing like showing up in St Louis to find that my bags were on the baggage claim for anybody to take. But they promised that my bags would be pulled and waiting for me. Ok, that's a relief. I'll take the ticket and get to St Louis sometime tonight.

If I get mobilization orders after I get my hat, that free plane ticket will come in handy.

About To Leave, and Can't Sleep

It's nearly one in the morning, and my mind is racing a mile a minute. I seriously can't sleep.

Maybe I'll catch some zzz's on the plane ride, but I'm supposed to be at the airport in three hours. I have a feeling I'll be a bit out of it all day today, not to mention I have trouble waking up in the morning and I'm losing two hours in the time change.

Fort Leonard Wood, here I come.

Milblog will be active again. I hope. Please refer there for any information in regards to Drill Sergeant School, at least when I post. This blog will update sporadically based on other thoughts or whatever, if I get the opportunity to post. Considering Fort Leonard Wood is in the middle of nowhere, I'm pretty much counting on not having much of a social life on my time off, nor am I really counting on time off. But, well, just in case.

Now I think I'll try to see if I can catch a couple hours of sleep before I have to leave for the airport.

My car has never been cleaner in the time I've owned it. I will miss it for the next two months.


IncoherAnt Ramblings

Some people take my blog way to seriously, or don't realize that I don't take myself seriously at all.

My blog has a lot of stuff on it, and some of it is old as dirt. I don't get around to reading a lot of blog replies until after the fact, so a lot of things I miss.

But I do love trolls. They scream obscenities at me and call me stupid for whatever reason because apparently they can't think straight otherwise.

Click here to read the comments for yourself.

So anyway, I get a lot of people posting things still because they look at me for whatever reason and call me ugly or whatever they damn well want too. I never remove Trolls. They amuse me.

So I get ripped on for my spelling mistakes and grammar, oh, and by the way, I plead the fifth, I'm usually pretty decent with my spelling and grammar, well, better then a lot of people anyway, I tend to type really fast and spelling and grammar get caught up by the wayside. You should hear me talk, I mispronounce things all the time. Bush has Bushisms right? Well I have Kamisms. My family will never let me forget how I pronounce Lattice as lah-TEESE and called Shingles Shindles. Recently I made a little video where I pronounced Nova Scotia as Nova SCO-TEE-AH. Her her, oh, whoops?

Another thing I plead the fifth on is the lack of a combat patch. I will admit that this topic does leave me a bit glum, because now that I'm training to be a drill sergeant, I'll be one of the few without that patch which leads to extra credentials as a Drill. I was supposed to deploy a half dozen times to a combat zone and my orders got revoked by the army and not because I made an effort to get out of deploying. The army told me you're not going. And I've tried to volunteer to deploy to combat zones, and told I couldn't go. It was my crummy MOS. My crummy MOS that I don't feel I'm very good at and have no business deploying to a combat zone under has led to another catch 22. I was up for Reenlistment, I had to find a job I liked in a unit I liked, if I went active duty, they would have activated me under my MOS because it's understrength and retraining to a job that I feel I would be good at was not an option. But I found a job where I don't have to reclassify my MOS that I love and that's Drill Sergeant. Unfortunately, mobilizing to a combat zone as a drill sergeant doesn't happen very often, unless i find myself able to volunteer as a grunt for a mission. I still may. But don't tell my parents that.

Yeah, I deployed. I got to go to Kosovo with an ate up sergeant.

As for the whole Bush is a loser thing and why in the hell did I vote for him, well, to tell you the honest truth, even in 2000, I was not impressed with Bush. But there are some things I like about the man and when I assessed the two candidates side by side, John Kerry and George W Bush (because, let's face it, they were the only two options) I decided that Bush was the better man for the job. So I voted for him. End of story.

If you disagree with my decision to vote for Bush, ok. And your point? You can claim that Kerry was a better alternative but until you discover an alternative reality that exists where Kerry won the election in 2004 and we can see how the country is doing under his leadership then we will never know for sure, will we? Besides, I don't think Bush is doing as bad a job as the left lament he is. Sure, he could be doing a BETTER job, I don't agree with everything he's done and by all means he is probably not the best man for the position, but that's what we had, wasn't it?

For the record, I'm still not sorry.