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!