Category: Moving On


My Struggles

We all deal with various struggles throughout our lives.  To others, they may seem trivial or stupid.  “Why are you wasting your energy worrying about that?”  But to us, they are significant things we are dealing with.  You have your struggles, and I have mine.  Today, I will share some of my struggles with you all, the people of the interwebs in hopes of some clarity, or just….. something.  I don’t know.  I guess I should begin…..

I struggle with self image quite a bit.  I’m a pretty big guy to put it mildly, and if you’ve ever met me, you’d be inclined to say that, if only to be polite.  In all reality, I’m a fat bastard.  I’m big, but not in any good way.  I had to go to the doctor while home a while ago, and the number I saw on the scale was appalling.  I never in my life thought I was even capable of reaching that size.  The number I saw was an abstract concept up to that point.  So I made a decision to lose some weight, quite a bit in fact.  But the weight loss will not completely resolve my struggles with self image.  “How could anyone find me attractive?” “How could anyone possibly love me?” “I’m nothing, I’m insignificant, and if I were to vanish no one would weep.  I would not be missed.”  These thoughts are running through my head on constant loop.  I have no idea why, and to chalk them up to mistreatment from certain members of my family while I was younger feel like a cop out to me.  I struggle with that demon constantly, and for the most part, it’s winning.  I have no concept on positive perceptions on me.  They remain abstract.  I cannot see what anyone else would see in me that’s positive.  When I look inside myself, all I see are horrible flaws, sins I’ve committed, people I’ve hurt, and mistakes I’ve made.  I cannot see any good, and I know that’s a problem… yet another flaw.

My relationship with God is another struggle of mine.  My faith in God, my belief that God cares, or even exists at times isn’t always the best.  I have the constant image of all the suffering in the world, all the needless death and destructions.  The wholesale exploitation of entire peoples, racism, apartheid.  All justified through religion, condoned by religious people, executed by believers.  With that I struggle with the concept of God.  I understand the power of that concept to influence people to do all those bad things and more, but I also understand that faith in Gad can bring about a certain grace and strength to do things that are honestly good for all of mankind.  Unfortunately, the amount of people killed by religion and oppressed in its name heavily outweigh the amount of people that have been helped….. or has it.  Billions of people have been killed due to their religious beliefs.  Millions have been enslaved, subjugated, or otherwise exploited by people holding a Bible, Koran, or otherwise.  The oldest form of racism is embedded in the Hindu Chaste system.  Non-Muslims living in Muslim lands may be living under the constant threat of abuse, and are not look at as equals.  They are a lower class than even the poorest Muslim.  Christian nations wrought havoc on the new world as they raped and murdered their way across the continent, all while holding a Bible, and paying tribute to the Church which condoned this because of the profit it was reaping from it.  I so want to believe, but I grapple with the history of these many religions.  My relationship with God is complicated for those reasons.  I want to be close, and I want to believe, but I refuse to be organized and herded like cattle by evil people, so I maintain a distance from it.

One of my biggest struggles right now is my struggling with the loss of my mother.  It has thrown my mind into chaos.  I don’t know what I thought I knew anymore.  I can’t trust the words of others as sincere.  This emotional chaos compounds everything.  It’s a force multiplier of negativity.  Every doubt is that much more doubtful, every hurtful event is that much more hurtful, every pain is that much more intense.  You never know how someone will react to the loss of a loved one.  The death of a mother, father, spouse, child, brother, sister, ect…  can have a profound effect on those survivors.  I never expected my mourning to go this long, or be this deep.  I honestly didn’t know what to expect, but what I didn’t expect was to feel as lost as I do.  I didn’t expect to feel a pain this intense, for this long.  I didn’t expect to lose control.  This is by far my biggest struggle, and I’m constantly struggling with my ability to express it so I don’t go crazy.  I have people who listen, people who have lost as well who support me, but I struggle with even talking to them.  Not because they are bad people, but because I’m lost and don’t know what to do even when the answer is obvious.

Anyway, these are some of my struggles.  Like anyone else I do have some struggles that are deeply private and will never be published, but I’m willing to share the ones listed above.  Thank you for taking the time to read the words I’ve labored over.

I was going to write a piece about my favorite words of 2012, but I’ve decided to write about something a little closer to the heart.  I’ve decided to write about the loss of my mother, which has affected me in ways I could not have anticipated, or prepared for.  It’s affected me in ways I don’t even fully understand, and can barely articulate.  I’m going to attempt to put these changes, and feelings and everything into writing in hopes that those few people who actually read the words I labor over can make some sense over who I am right now.  I hoping I can make some sense over who I’ve become.  I hoping SOMEONE can make some sense of it all.  I’m struggling with it, and I fear that my perception may not be what it should be, or that’s it’s sharper than it ever has been before.

When I learned that my mother had actually passed away, I was in the Delta Airlines lounge in the Atlanta airport.  I had jumped on WiFi on my phone and began messaging my wife.  She had told me that she had died, and when.  She told me how she found out, my crackhead uncle who was there for the whole thing told her via phone call.  It’s thought amongst the family that he lost himself after the passing of his mother, my grandmother.  Since he was the youngest, he took it the hardest and simply lost himself in drugs.  As my wife tells me that my mother has passed, I don’t really feel much at that point in time.  I had steeled myself so that I could complete my travels, which I took to viewing as a mission.  A mission that I couldn’t fail no matter what.  I completed eating my snacks or breakfast or whatever you would call what I ate, and proceeded to my next flight.  I sat in the terminal, still not really feeling much.  I might have e-mailed my boss in Afghanistan to what happened just so I could keep them abreast as I moved about taking care of things.  Honestly, I can’t recall my whole thought process at that time.  I got on my flight, and ultimately I made it home.  I was still hardened to information, still emotionally offline, still not allowing myself to feel anything.  It was business, business only I could address, as I had no faith that my family would be available to support, or even willing.  I had a fairly low opinion of my family.  My uncles in my eyes were abject failures who could not be looked to for any kind of support or guidance.  I saw them as petty fools, unable to get out of their own ways to accomplish the simplest of tasks.  The fact that my crackhead uncle survived by exploiting my mother’s kindness did not sit well with me, and adversely influenced how I saw them as a whole.  My grandfather, now a feeble old man was apparently the cause of all of this madness, but I never saw why they never made an effort to change their own lives.  I had steeled myself so that if I was to be met with disappointment in their inability or reluctance to assist, that the shock would not be as traumatic.  I also felt that I had to be the strong one for my family.  I had to be the man, or at least what I thought was the man and be that unmoving pillar of perpetual support for all those around me.  I’m home, but emotionally I was elsewhere, it was all business.  I load up the family to begin the 5 hour drive from our home in Jacksonville, to my mother’s home in Mount Holly, which is near Charlotte.  While I was there I would address her belongings, the funeral preparations, and her cremation per her wishes.  It was all business.  I felt nothing.  I was not emotionally there yet, I could not allow a weakness such as emotion to arrive lest I fall apart and fail to complete my mission of making sure she was laid to rest.  When the paperwork had been completed in Mount Holly, I had to view the body.  I wept.  I simply said the words “Thank you” and I wept.  I wept and I held my family so close.  I squeezed my wife and daughters and I cried harder than I have in all of my adulthood and adolescence.  I’ve lost friends, mentors, and fellow Marines, and I have always been saddened which led to anger, but for my mother I wept.  I sobbed like a child, because I was her child.  I remembered all the things she had done for me.  All the sacrifices she had made for me.  Everything she had tried to teach me.  I remembered how she did all these things on her own as a single mother, while trying to fill the role of her deceased mother and hold her family together.  I remembered her trying to stay strong during her fight with the cancer that killed her, so she would be there to watch her granddaughters grow.  I wept for all these things.  My emotions had finally arrived.  When faced with my mother’s body, the one who bore me onto the earth, I had broken and my emotions were allowed…. Finally.  With that burst of emotion out, I was able to steel myself once again.  I had not laid my mother to rest, and I would not rest until I had done so.  I have no idea why I followed this train of thought.  I felt that she deserved nothing less than my full abilities and talents, and I felt there was no way to give her that if I was openly grieving, but a part of me wishes I had.  After the viewing, I was able to pull myself together enough to go back to handling business, and handle business I did.  Despite several snafus along the way, I was able to deliver her urn to Philadelphia where she would be honored and finally laid to rest.  There was a beautiful service, and I was very very involved in the entire process down to me actually designing the programs for the service.  My cousin Darren was a big part of this too, as he works in the funeral services industry and helped do some advanced work in Philly prior to our arrival.  After the service, which coincidentally was on my oldest daughter’s birthday, we went to have some fun.  I did not want the specter of her grandmother’s death forever clouding her birthday, so we did what we had to in order to make sure she would remember having a good time on her birthday.  Little things, I wanted my kids to be happy even when I was so sad and broken inside.  Fun is over and we return to Jacksonville, and attempt to return to some sense of normalcy.  The kids went back to school after missing 10 days, and I tried to help along things there were happening in the house.  I tried to help with homework, home improvements, and the normal things I would take care of if I were home.  Something normal.  If I stayed busy enough, I wouldn’t have to deal with the emotions that I knew were stirring inside.  I was able to make it all the way back to Afghanistan before my emotions saw fit to manifest themselves in a variety of ways.  Self-loathing took on a whole new light.  I have more days where I feel like a worthless hunk of shit here, than I have anywhere else in my life.  The solitude of this place has allowed me to descend into a great sadness.  I’m surrounded by people who care about how I’m doing, but it’s of no comfort to me.  I’ve found myself engaged in self destructive thinking, to what ends I don’t know.  I wept in my office, I’ve wept in my room.  I feel like there is something missing in my life.  Like I’ve come home to find that my home is empty.  That’s how I feel, empty.  I feel lost.  I feel forsaken, and forgotten.  I feel unloved, and unlovable.  There is dark cloud over me these days, and I don’t know what to do about it.  Up to this point, I wasn’t able to look inside to see why I was feeling how I was, but here I am 60+ days after the death of my mother, and I am grieving.  I am alone, I am cold, I am desperate, and I am grieving.  My world no longer makes sense to me, and even though I know why I am here, I still question myself, then I chastise myself for wavering.  Hell, a part of me is upset because I ripped off the Band-Aid and sat down to write this, once again allowing emotion to flow.  I’m at a loss people.  I’m adrift inside my own mind right now, and I don’t know how long it will take to regain steerage.  I ask that you bear with me, through my good days, and my bad days.  I ask that you don’t turn your backs on me, because I need you now more than I ever have before.  I don’t need your sympathy, just your understanding.  I don’t need your words of encouragement, just your ears sometimes.  I need to be able to be weak, without being judged.  I need to be human.  I need to be a son who has lost his only mother.

So here I sit, on the sixth floor of my tower, in my apartment in Kuwait City, overlooking the ocean.  New roommate whom I’ve met before, with a boss damn near 10 years my JUNIOR.  Company cell phone in my pocket, company vehicle available once I get my driver’s licence (but I drive anyway).  Sounds like I got a pretty sweet deal going on out here, huh?  Well lets cover how I ended up here and what had to be endured by my family and I.

The living room. Not a bad spot. Not a GREAT spot either....

First thing I had to do was survive my enlistment without event, and complete the never-ending quest of checking out for EAS.  I almost didn’t make it though.  I ran into numerous obstacles in surviving, and in checking out.  I actually crossed the physical threshold on a junior Marine about 1 week before terminal leave.  He disrespected me so flagrantly that I actually blacked out and when my mind turned back on I already had closed the distance, and grabbed him.  Fortunately he wasn’t a complete idiot and did not make things worse by making any sudden movements or loud sounds while my mind wasn’t home.  Had he done that I probably would have begun beating on him, and that would have been bad.  Oh, all of this was going on with a space boot on my foot, due to my ankle surgery (as mentioned in previous blogs).  As for my checking out, I ran into some major delays with the dental and medical portions.  My shoulder was still not good to go but I needed a surgeon from the Naval Hospital to say it was so I could be found medically fit to separate.  This had to be done via appointment.  the appointment was about 10 days into my leave period.  The appointment took all of 5 minutes.  Needless to say, I was a little bit upset about that.  I also had a tooth extracted, you know, just because.  Then begins the medical screening for ITT.  I had a dental exam, medical exam, and shots to get.  All of these activities were conducted in the state on North Carolina, and required a shit ton of hours to get to.  My dental exam was in Jacksonville, fair enough.  I sat there in the waiting room forever waiting for the dentist to get there.  Why was I waiting?  Because the dentist lived in Wilmington, and there was a huge fire burning between Wilmington, and Jacksonville and traffic was all kinds of jacked up.  But the dentist finally arrives, and my 5 minute exam it conducted.  Yes, I was pissed about that, but happy that I was done.  The shots were done in Fayetteville which is about 3 hours from Jacksonville.  So after driving for 3 hours, and waiting for 20 minutes, I got 3 shots in about 5 minutes.  Yes, I was fucking furious that this could not be done closer to home, but it was done so that made me kinda happy.  Medical was done in Wilmington, about 1 hour away.  I got there and had forgotten that I needed to fast for some blood work.  It didn’t matter though because I got my fat ass on that scale and saw a number I didn’t think was possible.  I will not share that number with you, but lets just say that seeing that number sent my blood pressure through the roof as I was so damned pissed at myself.  Guess what test was next….. they checked my blood pressure, and it was pretty high, which pissed me further, and made it higher.  As you can see I am spiraling out of control at this point.  Well, I managed to keep it together on the outside,, but inside I was a mess.  I did my piss test and of course I was not worried about anything because I have not touched drugs for quite a long time.  I wasn’t even on painkillers for my surgeries at this point.  Then cam the blood work.  See I had forgotten to fast, but in an hour or so, I’d be back within their test window.  So blood work time comes and the nurse tries to get some blood.  Seven sticks, two nurses, and one bonafide doctor later, they finally get their blood and I get several band-aids.

Yep, they hooked me up with some band-aids.

Well I knew what had to happen, I had to lose a significant amount of weight and lower my chronically borderline blood pressure.  So begins a really effective, but shitty diet and PT routine.  Mass doses of thermogenic fat burners, no/low carb protein, water, and PT, followed with vitamin packs.  I lost the weight, and it sucked doing so.  Being laid up for months cramming in surgeries before my EAS was a strategic error on my part, but I was still able to pull it off.  With my medical package completed, I was given my flight date to depart to Ft. Benning GA where ITT and several other companies go for processing en route to the middle east.

You are good to go! Trust me, I'm a doctor.......

There are also soldiers there.  Tons of them, of all shapes and sizes and walks of life.  Mostly National Guard and reservists.  If you have never worked with the two aforementioned groups, then you don’t fully understand disappointment, and frustration with someone you THOUGHT was in the military.  Most of these people were complete tool bags.  Just getting out of the Marine Corps, my view of the military might have been a little biased, but nothing could have prepared me for the jackassery that I witnessed at Ft. Benning at the hand of those reservists and guardsmen.  Did I mention that the staff was reservist/guard?  Well they were, so that just added to the suckitude of being there.  After a week of processing, when I thought I’d reached the finish line.  I was incorrect in that assumption.  The medical people at Benning did not appreciate my recent weight loss, or my lower blood pressure.  They ignored my new results that I had to get in order to even be sent there.  They saw the first ones, and made a decision.  I was sent home, absolutely dejected and no longer drawing a paycheck.  I had already received my last paycheck from the Corps, and now here I sat with a half paycheck from ITT for one week of ‘work’ plus my signing bonus.  My wife was there for me, and she was supportive.  I had coordinated with ITT to return to Benning to finish my processing and finally get into theater.  ITT held up their end of the deal by getting the paperwork done for my return.  I did my part by not getting fatter, and showing up.  I finally completed Ft. Benning and flew to Kuwait.  I was still not too excited about to where I was going in Afghanistan, and what I was going to be doing.  Sitting in a TCF with my thumb about elbow deep in my ass unable to actually troubleshoot my own equipment was not something I was looking forward to doing.  I needed something that would allow me more growth.  Enter Mr. Edison, a soldier I worked with in Okinawa years ago at Ft. Buckner.  He had just switched contracts to go to a section called the MST in Afghanistan.  He would be able to get knee-deep in the gear and actually perform maintenance.  I was excited, I asked how I could get on with that.  He directed me to the MST boss and after speaking with him I jumped contracts at an immediate pay cut, at a higher salary.  I know it does not make sense, but it works like this: When you go to Iraq, or Afghanistan, the State Department adds 70% of your base salary to your first 40 hours, so I would make more money in Afghanistan, but at a lower hourly rate.  With the MST, I could still go to Afghanistan for work, but at a higher hourly rate, on top of all the labor perks that come with working out of Kuwait (more on those in a later blog).  So here I sit, in Kuwait, car keys in my pocket, ready to whip it on.  There is always more to the story as about a month has gone by since this point that i could speak on, but who wants to read a 4000 word blog?  Nobody, that’s who.  So enjoy the reading and be sure to leave a comment.  Thanx!

Well ladies and gentlemen of the internet, I return to you once again with yet another blog.  No doubt I will use colorful language, images, and topics throughout this post.  Some of you might be amused.  Some of you might be offended.  Some of you will just take it all in stride.  Some of you will in fact, read the words I have labored to type, and still others will just look at the pictures.  Hey whatever floats your boat, I’m just happy to be here.  No on to the topics at hand.

like a doughnut please.... and this time with some fucking enthusiasm!!!!

As some of you might know I recently posted a blog about Valentine’s Day, and my views of it.  If you hadn’t, allow me to give you a quick refresher.  Valentine’s Day is a manufactured holiday with no real meaning.  It is yet another way for people to sell a bunch of shit to people who can’t afford them (men), in an attempt to impress someone else (women) in a misplaced gesture of affection.  Valentine’s Day would be completely pointless if you treated your significant others with the love and respect they deserve all year long.  However, in Japan Valentine’s Day is based around showering the MEN with gifts of flowers and chocolate.  The women have White Day which ironically is March 14, in which they are showered with gifts.  The role reversal is refreshing, but in this country/culture there is no role reversal possible because there is no day set aside for men.  Now this is not my idea.  I did n’t come up with this but I stand behind it completely.  Starting this year March 14 needs to be set aside as…… Steak and BJ day.  That’s right.  Steak and BJ day.  The ladies will cook a steak for their man, and hook him up with one of the most selfless acts a woman can perform.

Ladies, stop being so selfish.....

Some might say that I, and other who follow this line of thinking are misogynistic assholes who hate women.  Quite the contrary.  We are the same people who go out of their way to make sure SHE had a memorable Valentine’s day.  We are the flower giving, champaign pouring, meal cooking, foot rubbing guys who show our love and affection on every possible occasion.  All we ask is that you show US some love and appreciation by doing for us.  Nothing about oral sex is nasty in a monogamous relationship.  Nothing is nasty about sex.  We have a pretty ass backward view of sex to begin with, which is shocking considering it’s how we all ended up here.  While we will call out the men to bend over backwards into the range of ridiculous extravagance just to show they love someone else, all we ask in return is the simple act of a good meal, and a BJ.  Yes ladies, please dress sexy, and put some effort into it.  We would for you.  We do for you.  You don’t have to be in a traditional relationship to celebrate Valentine’s Day, nor Steak and BJ day.  Just know your roles and play accordingly.

and yes, doing this is a plus.....

Let’s make March 14th a day we all look forward to, and do it WAY BIG!  On to other business….

The Infamous Foot Button.  I alluded to how a button was sewn on to my foot as part of my most recent surgery.  I never explained what the button was actually there for.

not a button like this....

or this, even though I kinda FEEL that way about it...

not as cool as this....

and definitely not this stupid button....

The button was part of a muscle re-route to make sure things healed correctly.  The surgery itself was to remove a ‘fibrous coalition’.  In other words I was born with fibrous tissue bonding two bones in my foot/ankle together.  This limited the range of motion my foot had.  The limited range of motion let to MANY ankle sprains, and ultimately tons of scar tissue, and arthritis in my foot.  After they removed the naughty fibrous tissue they needed something to fill the gap to make sure it didn’t grow back… enter the Infamous Foot Button.  The took some muscle and stretched it into the gap.  In order to hold it there long enough to heal over, they weaved sutures into in, and anchored them to the button on the bottom of my foot.  “But Dirty… how did they get the stitches to the button?” you may ask.  Big ass needles through my foot is the answer.  They literally stabbed two really big needles through my foot to run the stitches to the button.  Crazy shit, I know.  Don’t believe me, here is a pic….

The horror!!!!

I thought that damn button fell off and I had to rush to the doctor’s office to have my cast removed (HELL YEAH!!), only to find that the button was very much still in place.  I begged the doctor to leave the cast off, I felt so liberated, I was looking forward to… I don’t know….. wash my fucking filthy ass foot.  Either way I was denied by the medical professional in charge and on went a new cast.  I will go through this exact evolution again on Wednesday when I see the actual surgeon that worked on me, and I still go back into a cast for two more weeks.  The price of good health I guess……

Maybe it’s just me.  Probably it’s just me.  Am I the only one who runs into immense amounts of censorship on social networking sites?  I’ve had a whole account on MySpace cancelled, and I’ve just recently had a valid cause shut down without even a note from the site.  The MySpace thing went down years ago… you know, like before MySpace was a haven for child molesters and children in a rush to be molested (I can’t understand why a young girl would fake her age to be with a 30+ year old man, that’s the connection I make in my mind.  Don’t get offended, or do, I don’t care either way.) but it sucked to lose an account.  It’s like having your identity taken from you by some faceless asshole.

different process and your will NEVER forget the faces of those assholes!

The FaceBook incident was just today.  The cause was to spread the word on Steak and BJ Day.  A worthy cause if there ever was one.  I don’t put it up there with cancer research but it’s better than some of the other bullshit causes they allow.  I had just created the cause.  It was picking up momentum.  I was on my way to my goal to making this a reality, and it was all taken away, just like that.  Needless to say I’m a little pissed, but was it all me?  Did I simply choose the wrong forum for this cause?  We will see.  Here is the link to the new FB page dedicated to it.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/People-For-the-Celebration-of-March-14-Steak-and-BJ-Day/201560426521345?v=wall&sk=wall

Either way, these site have led to a generation of socially retarded people who seem to think their opinion matters (and yes I see the irony of that statement), especially Twitter.  So if you see the following icons, take heed and move with trepidation, because they all kinda suck….

easy to plug into, impossible to unplug from..

if you STILL use this site, you are going to hell for touching children... you nasty bastard!

The root word is twit. Few statements containing only 140 characters can be important..... just sayin...

And now time for the customary visual assault of WTF I’ve come accustomed to putting at the end of my blog.  Enjoy and be sure to leave a comment!

Actual statue in Korea...

for the avid fisherman I guess....

Japan, the undisputed champion of WTF

just in case you were about to argue my last caption...

you can't unsee any of this!

and yes, this blog is the shiznit

Before we even start I have to reaffirm something:  Fuck skinny jeans.  Please watch the following video and tell the young men that now even the young women are turning on them.

This blog marks the beginning of a new series for me.  I will be telling the stories of some of the people in my life as I saw/see them.  All of them will be unauthorized, and abridged, and will have significant gaps where either my memory fails me, of I was never told.  There may even be a few “misremembered” facts.  I might just embellish, with hold, or down right lie.  I won’t be on purpose….. I promise.  Today we start with one of my peers who had a profound positive influence on my life.  A good friend of mine James Martinez.

Hey recruit!!

I met James Martinez when I checked into the barracks at 1st Marine Division, Comm Company, in 33 Area Camp Pendleton, California.  At the time I was a radio operator fresh from a tour in Okinawa, Japan.  I was none too excited to be rooming with a ‘wire pig’ as I was taught to call them because they were a lower life form for us (so I was told).  Enter at the time Corporal Martinez, reeking of Jack in the Crack grease and hard work.  I have just met my new roommate and the adventure begins.  Things were cool from the get go though.  We talked and found out that we have more in common than most people.  I must admit that at this point in my life, I was rather immature and I didn’t know a lot about being self-reliant and responsible.  James taught me how to balance my work load.  James taught me how to keep my room clean.  James taught me how to work on my car, a skill that would come in handy many times because most of the vehicles I would own in this early time in my life would in fact be pieces of shit.  James taught me how to install my own car stereo, and make the shit go BOOM!  Needless to say, I learned a lot from James, and I owe him a lot.  I knew he was madly in love with his girl back home.  I think her name was Alli, but I might be wrong.  Alli was having pain in her knee all the time and was being bounced from doctor to doctor all the while being told that nothing was wrong with her.  I just figured her knee was like mine, shit hurt just because.  James went home on leave to spend some time with his family, and his lady.  When he returned his head was bald and he was married.  I had no idea why he had just done that.  I knew that marriage was still a ways off for them, but he then told me about how Alli was diagnosed with cancer.  The pain in her knee was a tumor, and since it had been ignored by doctors, and she had been disregarded, it had gone other places.  Now I don’t know if the cancer originated in her knee, or if that’s just where they found it, but either way James was now 100% dedicated to this woman, and would stick by her until the end, whenever that was.  I admired that about him.  I admired his commitment to his convictions.  James was and still is a stand up guy, good to have in your corner.  Around this time he was promoted to Sergeant, which is the finest rank the Marine Corps has ever housed.  He worked his magic to be home with his girl on Humanitarian Orders and was able to get his wife into one of the finest cancer centers in the country.  At this point he was gone.  He was no longer my roommate.  I lost contact with him while he tended to his wife, and I started my own family.  I always wondered where he was, how he was doing, how he looked now.  The guy that I shared a barracks room with.  The guy that I shared a squad bay with.  They guy who knew the true identity of Black Naked Ass Man.  The guy I would drink may beers with.  The guy I had shared many a road trip to L.A. with, was now officially off the grid.  I owe my life as it is now to him.  He told me about my current job, Technical Control as he was on his way to becoming one before his wife got sick.  I would have never known it even existed if not for him.  Late last year after nearly a decade I received a friend request on Facebook from a James Martinez.  Time stopped for a short time for me.  Holy shit, my dude is alive!  Once we reconnected, phone calls were made and we caught up, but like a true friend it was if no time had ever really passed.  He did drop off the map after the death of his wife Alli.  It was devastating for him to see his most loved one die, as it would be for any of us.  He lost direction for a short time, and his desire to be with people.  He has since healed from the loss of his wife, and remarried.  He now has a beautiful family whom I hope to meet soon.

 

The babies and...

the wife!

 

James now lives in his native New Mexico working his ass off to provide for the people shown above.  As far as I know he is happy with his life, and family.  Good stuff!  I’m sure there are inaccuracies in this story, but I did my best to capture who I saw James as.  He is a great guy who I will be having a beer with once again soon enough.

On to other business…..

I recently took test over the phone for a position with ITT as a satellite technician.  Let me make this clear to all who stumble upon this post, I may work with satellite techs, I may work with satellite operators, but I am not nor have I ever been a satellite anything.  I failed that test life it was a fucking XBox achievement.

 

 

as shown on my mental HUD during the test

 

 

 

I took this test in the hopes that it would lead to something other than failure.  I knew I wasn’t a sat tech, but just maybe I could work thing and find a job anyway doing SOMETHING.  I asked how I did on the test, and I was told in so many words that I sucked balls.  Noted fuckers, this is not what I’ve been doing for the last 9 years.  I then asked if they needed any Technical Control guys, and they got all excited and said that they were in dire need of Tech Controllers.  WTF?!  My resume says Technical Control Chief, not Satellite Maintenance Specialist.  Either way, this led to being asked about one of the pieces of gear I DO operate quite frequently.  The Promina.  They asked if I knew how to operate a Promina.  I said yes.  They asked which Prominas I’ve worked with.  I told the Promina 400 and 800.  They got super excited.  I now have another phone interview/test next week.  Good things can come from shitty situations if you refuse to lose.

Next week I start my separations classes, do my pre-surgery work up, and take another phone test.  Quite the busy week.  The following week I have to drive my daughter 2 hours to a plastic surgeon so we can finally close the book on her dog bite and move forward.  They next day, I go under the knife and repair one more defect in my body.  Damned this shitty warranty.  Things are coming together quite nicely.  I think we will be set for success by the time the govt stops paying me as an active Marine, and starts as a guy who’s body got the shit kicked out of in over a 13 year military career.  Oh, I plan to have a job by the time that happens as well.

Time for the reward for reading this far down…..

 

she will somehow blame someone else for this, but when she tries using her lasso as a belt, she will fess up.

Feel free to leave a comment.  Have a great day.

 

Today, as I write this blog I should be free.  12 December 2010 marked the end of my obligated service to the United States Marine Corps.  It was a day I looked forward to for years.  A day I would no longer worry about what time formation was.  A day where PT had whatever meaning I wanted it to have.  Where if some 20 year old gets a DUI, I wouldn’t have to deal with it.  A day where the only thing that mattered was my ability to do my job, and take care of my family.  That day was today.  But it IS NOT today.  My EAS was pushed back to mid April so I may get my foot and ankle worked on, and to give my shoulder time to heal.  A sacrifice that recently I had been questioning as a wise one.  It doesn’t matter if you really look at it though, I was not ready to separate now.  I still had things to do, it is what it is.  I will miss certain aspects of Marine life.  You can’t do something with your entire adult life and not become attached to the routine.

See you guys on the other side. It was fun..... sometimes.

There are some things I won’t miss though……

Look! It's common sense!!! KILL IT!!!!!

another OPS meeting. We NEVER EVER learned....

And my favorite, mass punishment

Fuck it, frag em all. That'll teach em!

Now that my Marine career is technically in its twilight…

..not these douche bags though....

.. I am finding time to get back into some of the things that made me happy.  Things like making beer, doing music, and most of all, relaxing.  I really enjoy relaxing.  Relaxing by myself, relaxing with the wife, relaxing with the whole family, just relaxing in general.  Unfortunately my life has a fair amount of drama, and without some sort of decompression time, I will flip out and bad things will happen.  Part of being a father and husband is understanding that your actions affect your whole family, and not just you.  Growing up and maturing teaches you that.  I think this week as horrible as it was good for me, I did a lot of growing.  Good prep for the real world.

What the hell is the deal with all the cracked windshields, and stripper angel/devil vinyls in Jacksonville?  Every third car has a cracked windshield, every fourth has those dumbass angel/devil stripper vinyls.

Seriously???!!!

Why!?!? Fucking WHY!?!?

I could see the first person getting the vinyls and it being kinda cool.  Especially if this person was either a stripper, owned a strip club, or had relations with strippers.  The next 2000 jackasses to get it however, simply made it uber-lame.  I even went so far as to ask the vendors why people buy these stupid vinyls.  They honestly could not explain it themselves.  What does that say about the population of Jacksonville?  Nothing good, nothing good at all.  Calvin pissing on this was bad enough, but that combined with this and numerous other redneck oriented, southern gangsta vinyls.

This shit makes no damn sense.....

New York is no exception, you people have surprisingly been following the stupid vinyl trend as well, especially my Latin brethren.

Nobody fucking cares!!!!

I can understand that you are proud of yourself, where you are from, your car club blah blah blah, but have some fucking taste and originality.  There is no reason to cut the value of your car in half by making it into a billboard for a product you don’t even have stock in.  Just sayin….  Oh and one more thing.. J-Lo is a no talent hack.

the only place a fat ass makes you talented is the strip club... get there.....

I now leave you with a couple of passages from the Book of Dirty.  Feel free to read them, think about them, discuss them, or ignore them.  Whatever makes you happy.

Book of Dirty 1:22 – 1:20
And in His darkest hour Dirt Diggler was alone. He was fearful for His family, and His own well being. He looked towards the Heavens for some reasoning. And he cried out to His God “WHY HAVE YOU LEFT ME HERE SURROUNDED BY THESE SERPENTS!?”. His God answered by shining a beam of light upon Dirt Diggler and revealing to him a great truth.  His God revealed onto Dirt Diggler that the serpent existed in His life only to provide an evil to contrast the good in His life. Dirt Diggler did not understand. He asked “Why must the serpent be so evil when it does not benifit the serpent?” His God responded “It is the nature of the serpent to be evil, that is how I created it.”

Book of Dirty 3:7 – 3:12
Dirt Diggler looked upon his children, and he was happy.  His daughters were healthy, and happy, but ultimately unfinished.  If they were to replace Dirt Diggler and his wife, they would have to grow as Dirt Digger did.  They would have to know pain, failure, and betrayal.  So Dirt Diggler did not shield the world from them.  He let them learn pain, failure, and betrayal, but he stood with them and let them borrow His strength to persevere and truly grow from their experiences.

Thank you for reading this far.  I feel the need to reward you for your dedication.

Love is a beautiful thing. Really it is. Enjoy life!

As usual, feel free to leave a comment.  Let me know your thoughts, feedback of any kind is always welcome.

P.S. We recently crested the 600 hits mark.  YAY!!