“Lake Night” by Francisco Tataje
the sun setting over Lake Habbaniyah – a treat for us at TQ

Traveling and going to war are similar in some respects.  It makes you a hyper-observer – at least in the beginning. The mundane becomes memorable, the new person a novelty, and you excitedly soak up every detail you can and recall every event of your day.  The feeling wouldn’t last forever, of course, but at that point in my deployment I was still enthralled by most of what went on around me or what I did day to day.

9 Sept (group email)I went running in the heat of the day at 12:30 (I think it was only 110 Fahrenheit) and I actually felt pretty good.  I got a little bit of a tan, too. J  I only ran about 3.5 miles, but then I walked for a while and went to the gym.  Keep in mind, I use the word “gym” loosely since what I lift weights in is a shoddy tent with old and broken equipment covered in a thick layer of dust-dirt.  There are no fancy cardio machines, no water fountains, no music playing the background…but it gets the job done and I am very appreciative of my iPod.  I had my first good lift since I’ve been out here and it makes me feel quite excellent.

Dinner (and my first meal of the day) was delicious tonight.  We had fried chicken, rice, and fresh honeydew.  Oh ya, and then someone brought in a  packet of Otis Spunkmeyer’s chocolate, chocolate chip cookies and I ate a couple of those…and then someone else brought in a huge piece of cheesecake and I hate some of that too.  Uuuuuuhhh.  Now I’m sick.  That’s the first time I’ve had a large amount of sweets like that in a few weeks and my system’s already not used to it.

So, now that I’m on the night shift, every time I go to the bathroom after 2030 it’s pitch dark outside.  My little trips to the port-a-johns have allowed me to really notice and appreciate the stars.  I can see Orion’s Belt early in the evening, and then by 0500 it’s directly over the Alamo where I live.  That’s one thing that’s pretty cool out here; it gets soooooooo dark at night and you can see things in the sky you’ve never seen before.  The Milky Way is just, bam, right here…I don’t think I’d ever really seen it before…or at least not like that.

I am reading a new book finally: “Me Talk Pretty One Day” by David Sedaris.  It is hilarious and an easy read, so it’s good reading material while I am bored at work.  It’s funny, too, because the main character has a lisp problem with his s‘s.  Hmmmmm, I can relate. 😉

For those of you who are getting tired of my monotonous, daily updates already – I’m sure the novelty of things like the night sky and a clean port-a-john will wear off soon.  In a week I’ll have nothing else to talk about! 😉 I really hope that everything is going well for everyone and I appreciate all the emails about all of your lives.  Please keep writing; it makes my day to have lots of emails in my inbox when I come to work.  Love and prayers for you all. 

10Sept – Sat 4amI’m on the night shift now, but still adjusting, so am very tired.  It’s been a decent week overall. The Lord has done a lot of work in my life the last week.  It’s been awesome.  I am very blessed.

Email: Turns out our TCU crapped the bed again last night and the flight didn’t go up.  So we all pretty much just sat around and hung out for awhile.  There is a Corporal here from ops who looks just like my brother did when he was 20.  I think the kid is hilarious.  He challenged me to an Anchorman quote off.  He admitted defeat when I knew the actual lyrics of “afternoon delight.”  It was a good time.  Then at 0200, I had to drive SSgt Thompson to mainside to catch his flight outta here.  So, now we’re down to 2 0231’s and 2 0241’s and then me and Patrick for our intel shop here. 

They’re sending Patrick off soon, too, which won’t be a bad thing.  I’m already getting itchy with my personal and workspace and he likes to impose himself quite a bit.  When I scoot away, for instance, when he gets close to me at work, he gets pissy and acts like I’m being a weirdo. Um, no, I just don’t like getting touched all the time.  And again today he was just loitering around work for no reason when it was time for him to go home.  It’s hard for me to really start working when he’s always around, but in two days we’ll be on completely opposite schedules and it won’t be an issue anymore.  Anyway, I know myself well enough to know that it’s about that time when I really need my own space.  I don’t mind working out and doing things on my own, and sometimes it’s actually really nice – like today when I went for a walk with my iPod.  I walked again instead of running because I got up at noon (I’d worked till 3am yesterday) and hadn’t eaten in awhile so it wouldn’t have been a good idea to run.  But I did a pull up, push up, sit up work out afterwards, so that made me feel good.  I’d really like to get a good run in tomorrow, though.