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These words are my diary screaming out loud

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Check out this awesome review written about my friend Amy Gerhartz recently. And when you're done, go check out her music. She rocks!

Oh, and while you're on a kick of checking out great new music, I have two more for you:

1. Braxton Parker. Formerly the lead singer of the Philly/North Jersey-based band Snoozebox, Braxton has recently embarked on a solo career. He rocks.

2. Florez. Winners of last year's Ice House Battle For The Boat, their new acoustic album, "The Brooker Sessions," is available for preorder on Aware Store. While you're at it, check out their first two CD's as well, available on iTunes as well as their website. If you regret it, let me know. I'll buy it back from you.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006


So yeah. Not so much. I tried the moving to Texas business, and it didnt work out. Here's the story...

About 2 weeks ago I got an email from my detailer. He said that the schoolhouse down in Ingleside had decided that they were overmanned, and they didnt really want anyone who didnt have mine warfare experience, and basically they were deleting my billet. So began the process of figuring out what else was available. My detailer told me that I could have a Mine Countermeasures Squadron staff job down in Ingleside, but I decided that I didnt want to be surrounded by SWOs for the rest of my time in the Navy, and if they could find me something in DC that would be amazing. He said he wasnt sure, to look at the hot fill list and let him know. I took a look, told him there was one I was interested in, and he said he'd get back to me. He got back to me, said that job had been slated, and I had two options: wait until the list got updated again, which was supposed to happen early the next week, or take the MCMRON job in Ingleside. I said I would wait until the list came out.

Fast forward to the next Monday when the list was updated. There was one DC job on the list that sounded good, working as a military liaison at the DEA. That sounded pretty good, so I called my detailer and let him know I was interested. He penciled me in, but told me it would probably be another week before he could tell me for sure because the shore coordinator was in Bahrain.

Fast forward again to yesterday. I take a look at the February slate and see that the DEA job is on there, which to me says I didnt get it. A couple of hours later I get that confirmation in an email from the detailer. However, he tells me that he can offer me this job at Ft Belvoir at the Strategic Center for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction. So I said Id take it. So Im going in July, which is even better news because Im ready to get off that ship.

Im really excited, and while Im sorry that I dont get to move to Texas, I think this will be better for me. Everything happens for a reason, and I think this happened because I didnt need to go to Texas. Now I need to call Grandma....

Friday, April 07, 2006

Attempt to move to Texas take 2: Success!!

Yup, I pulled it off! In October I'm headed down to Ingleside to be an instructor at the Mine Warfare Training center, which means Ill get to live in Corpus. Im excited about it, but sad to be leaving all my friends on the East Coast. But dont worry, more than likely Ill be back... :)

Saturday, April 01, 2006

A Penny for Your Thoughts...

I came across this article in today's Washington Post, and I applaud the author for writing what many of us have been thinking for quite a while. Have a read, think on it...

Sunday, March 26, 2006

So, I know its been a while. Ive spent 6 of the last 7 weeks underway, wanting to throw myself over the side most of the time, but at sea nonetheless. So now you get the update. Youll laugh, youll cry, youll wonder who this crazy woman is... Whatever, here it is.

It started out on February 6th. We left Norfolk, headed south for our Combat Systems Ship Qualification Testing. Got to fire my gun lots, which was cool. Too cool- we killed all of our targets way early and now have a ton of extra ammo. But that just means we get to shoot more. Thats OK.

After the first week of mostly gun stuff, we pulled into sunny (notice I dont say warm) Cape Canaveral, FL. They told us it was the coldest it had been there in ages. Luckily none of us had brought anything warm to wear, so we were all frozen. I got a rental car and a hotel room solely because I wanted to get a good nights sleep and not rely on anyone else. It was totally worth it- I slept 12 hours, even missing calls from the guys wanting me to meet them at the strip clubs. The next day I got bored, so I drove to Orlando hoping to meet up with an old friend who was supposed to call me back, but no such luck, so I drove back. I had duty the last day, and the 2-7 the first night out. Gotta love it. The talk of the ship the next day was how Ordo couldnt stay awake. Oops...

There was something about a chair on a fort. I wrote it down, but I have no idea what thats about.

Then we headed even further south, for a week of looking at the Bahamas. Yes, you heard me. We sat in between Andros Island, which is nothing but a Navy base, and New Providence Island, home to Nassau. At night we could see the lights, and the cruise ships came in and out daily. They wouldnt let us pull in, not even for gas. It was 80 outside as we were getting reports of snow from home.

Speaking of gas, the gas facilities at Cape Canaveral kind of sucked, so we left with nowhere near the amount of gas we needed. Gas? Who needs it! We were constantly tracking how much gas we had, how much we had used, and even though we were right there next to Nassau, we had to go all the way up to Mayport to get our gas, cutting 2 or 3 events we were supposed to do down there. All this time, we have no internet, and Im going absolutely nuts. Luckily, we had email most of the time, so that helped.

Once we gassed up we headed back out to play with the Army, and found out that a dead whale had popped up in the area where we working. Dead whales = bad juju, but they eventually cleared us of any responsibility for killing the whale.

A few days later we pulled into Mayport again, where it also wasnt as warm as advertised but definitely warmer than Cape Canaveral. It was Mardi Gras, so myself and three of the guys from work went out and had a few. But nothing made me happier than driving past a Whataburger in Jacksonville and being able to get a BOB and a taquito on the way back from the bars :) I again got myself a hotel room, this time at the Navy Lodge, where I spent most of the next day watching movies in bed before I met up with Krista the Coastie for dinner and drinks.

We got back underway and started heading towards home, with a week of events remaining. The highlight- 4 section watch on the bridge- woo hoo! For the last 4 weeks had been standing 5 hours on 10 off, and this took us to 5 on 15 off, which was amazing. I was feeling 10 times better until I went into my bank account and realized that someone had gotten ahold of my debit card number and had been buying gas all over Miami. Hey, thanks a ton assholes... luckily I caught it, was able to cancel my card, and my bank has refunded me all the money.

We came in for a weekend, and Monday we were right back out for our Missile Firings. Last week we fired 4 missiles, and it was pretty damn cool. They send out these unmanned drones that we shoot at, and they have helos that are supposed to recover them. Well, the first day the seas were high enough that noone could find the drone, until about 6 hours later when someone randomly spotted it. It was decided that our small boat would go out and retrieve the drone. Now, who's the only qualified small boat officer on board the mighty warship Bainbridge? Thats right, yours truly. So off we go in the boat, in 8 foot seas, to recover this 1000 lb drone. An hour and a half and someone's Valentine's Day balloon later, we were back on the ship. Pictures to follow.....

So thats the skinny of it. Long, I know, but it could have been longer. Want to know more? Just ask... Ill fill you in....

Monday, January 30, 2006

Farewells, jewelry parties, and Kevin Nealon

I had a pretty fun weekend. Definitely different than any weekend Ive had in a while, but good at the same time.

It started Friday night with a trip out to a little coffee shop in Portsmouth to see my friend Amy perform. She's moving to New York today to try to make it in the music world, so this weekend was her last 2 performances (that totally doesnt look grammatically correct. Its not, is it?). Anyways, so I went out there, drank coffee all night, and then went with her and another guy to a pub down the street for a little while where we sat and talked about bands and music and musicians in general and it was awesome.

Saturday morning I got up and ran some errands, went to lunch with Brandon, then headed out to my old team mate Jen's house for a jewelry party. I had never experienced the jewelry party before, but it was actually kind of cool. Think Tupperware/candle/whatever party- a person comes in with displays, does a demo show, complete with little games, and you order stuff at the end. The jewelry is actually really nice though- I was impressed. I ordered a couple of peices, you know I did. While we were all just sitting and chatting afterwards, my cell rang and it was someone from work. I almost didnt answer, but we had a wetting down scheduled for later that night so I went ahead and picked up. Well, I THOUGHT it was scheduled for later that night. In fact, it was 5:20 right then and while I thought the wetting down was at 7:30, it was actually at 1730, or in 10 minutes. Ooops. I got from Suffolk to Va Beach faster than I think anyone ever has.

I got to Carrabba's for the party, and most everyone was already there. We ate a little, drank a little, hung out, and then a few of us headed over to Keagan's. We were having some drinks, talking, when I look over and notice that Kevin Nealon has just walked in to the bar. This wasnt that surprising, as he was playing Funny Bone's all week and its right next door, but it was still kinda cool. Josh decided he was going to go over and say hello, so I followed to laugh. We got over there and Josh asked him what he was drinking, and he said he couldnt get to the bar. So I squeezed up, got his beers, and chatted with him for a few minutes. First of, he is TALL. A lot taller than he ever looked on SNL. But mostly, he was just cool. Super laid back, really nice, no frills, just came over for a drunk. In fact, most people didnt even notice him. He mentioned he had a show the next night (last night) so Josh, Craig, and I went. He was really funny- I was impressed- and so were the two guys that opened for him. After that we went over and did the farewell karaoke- apparently Geoff decided it wasnt as good an idea as he thought- and that was it.

Nothing thrilling, but thats kinda how I like it.

Friday, January 27, 2006

I remembered something, and realized something else, last night.

So here's the story. My good friend's little brother is in a band. They got the opportunity to open up at a local venue last night for some metal concert, I guess there were 5 or so bands, and my friend asked if I would buy a ticket and go with him, his girlfriend, his parents, and his best friend to support his brother. Im never one to pass up a show, so I said sure, why not. My friend said he didnt really know what kind of music the band played, but it didnt really matter- its all about supporting my friend's brother, and local music while Im at it. So I met up with all of them and in we went to the show. Thats where I remembered that I really detest screamo music. I like rock. I even like hard rock. But usually for me to like it it has to involve someone who can sing. Little brother talks like a normal guy. So does the other guy that was singing in the band. But oh my goodness. Im not even sure I could call it singing. I guess if you like that kind of music, they were really good. But I really dont like that kind of music.

So now onto what I realized. After little brother's band was done, we headed off to my favorite Norfolk bar to see my favorite Irish entertainer for a little while. We got there, Martin got up on the stage, and spent half of the time we were there going back and forth with friend's mother, who was egging him on. She was slightly (OK, very) intoxicated, and my friend was mortified. This made me realize that no matter how parents are, whether theyre the strictest, most proper parents or the parents who are proud that thier son can smoke more pot than anyone they know and still function well, noone likes their parents. Every child, no matter what the situation, will always be embarrased by their parents. There just is no getting around it. And we don't grow out of it. I thought that as we became adults it wouldnt be like that, but as my friends and I reach our late 20's, it still happens. Kinda makes you stop and think.

So yeah, my night last night was interesting. But it was thought provoking. So that makes it productive, right?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

2006 Arthritis Walk is coming...

And Ill be there :) Please check out my website and at least learn something... and if you can help out that would be great too!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Attempt to get off the ship early: failed.

So yeah. That job in Texas? Taken. Found out this morning. They just hadn't updated their system. Oh well. The good news, though, is that there are several other jobs that will be opening up in November, which is close enough to when I was supposed to roll anyways, so I will be looking into possibly getting one of those. They would mostly put me at Ingleside instead of NAS, but thats alright. I could still live in Corpus (because I REFUSE to live in Portland) and just do the drive. It can't be worse than the drive here... So Im not totally out of luck yet.

In other news, I moved in with my new roommate on the ship today. Ive been spoiled, and this is going to be slightly different, but I think I can handle it. I have a bigger bed, a bigger TV, and someone to talk to should I desire to talk to her, but I also lose out on my own computer and some privacy and have to deal with department head BS, like that stupid Bone Phone. And the fact that she's the engineer so stuff at all hours... it could be interesting underway, but you know Ill keep yall posted...

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Oh what a weekend...

I have not had as much fun in Virginia Beach as I had this weekend in a long time.

I had duty Friday, which was good because I was exhausted. I got home Saturday, went to Bed Bath and Beyond to get some things in preparation for my sister coming next weekend, and spent most of the day cleaning up around my house, hanging pictures, etc. Then Saturday night Mandy and I went out and managed to get our tabs paid by this guy that graduated USNA 2001- he was trashed. The bar was overrun by Academy grads- it was really strange, I had never seen it like that there before. I even saw Susan Smith, the 99 grad who tried to get me kicked out harder than Ive ever seen anyone try anything when I was plebe. But, of course, she denied remembering it at all and was super nice to me. Whatever. It was snowing, and Mandy lives slightly closer to the bar than I do, so we went back to her house, where her roommate was already home waiting on his best friend's girlfriend to show up, and the three of them managed to get into a massive wrestling match, which I just watched and laughed and which resulted in Mandy escaping unscathed, Stephanie getting bruises all over legs, and Sean getting a black eye.

Sunday morning we went to brunch and then went shopping. The mall with that crew is something else, thats for sure! It was successful though, what with the MLK day sales and stuff. Then Sunday night we went out again for Brandon's birthday. I karaoked up a storm, as always, and got an offer to come audition for the spring play at the Tidewater Musical Theater. Unfortunately, Im going to be underway for most of the time they will be rehearsing, and they dont do anything over the summer, but maybe some other time. And it was a big ego booster, thats for sure.

Yesteday was a recovery day- I watched a ton of TV, never got dressed, and was basically just a lazy bum. It was great :)

This morning I came back to work, not so thrilled to be here (when am I ever?), and had to go in to talk to the CO about something. We got a new Ensign on board who is basically going to be my relief, just with a nice long turnover period, and the CO was talking about it a little bit and asking what I wanted to do next, and I mentioned the job that is on the hot fill list for Corpus Christi, but that its in April so it might be too soon. He asked about it, I told him that it was a Flag Aide job and I think I would be really good at it, and he agreed and told me to call my detailer! So this morning I sent an email, and if I dont have a response in the next hour I will be calling to make sure they know Im interested. He said that I may not be able to get it in April, which is when it opens, but theyd be willing to work with me to go maybe in May. And he also said that if I cant get that one, he will work with me to help me try to get a job in Texas either way. So that was good news, and totally unexpected- I did not think he would be so open to the idea of letting me go early, but he was. So cross your fingers for me- as much as I may not want to leave my house yet, I want to leave this ship, and this just might be my ticket...

Friday, January 13, 2006

Ponder this....

OK, so first let me give you a little background, before I tell this story, which I find highly amusing. My underway watch team consists of myself as Officer of the Deck (head honcho for you non-Navy types), our JORG Ensign as my Junior Officer of the Deck (Junior officer requiring guidance- basically our most junior officer), and a prior enlisted Seabee who I happen to like quite a lot as our Conning officer (the guy who actually gives the rudder and engine orders). The JOOD is one of those guys that has to make EVERYTHING an explanation, and sometimes he's a little too smart for himself. He is going nuke, though, so it works out. The Conn is an engineering officer, and hasnt spent a whole lot of time on the bridge, so things are still a little new to him.

Now the setting. We're up on watch last night, from 5-10pm, its foggy to the point that we can barely see the bullnose (very very front of the ship), and there is absolutely NOTHING going on. At one point, my Conn looks up at the fathometer (thing that measures how deep the water is) (I know most of you know what Im talking about here, but for the benefit of the few...) anyways, so he looks up at the fathometer, and it says something like 1076 fathoms of water, or something equally deep, and says "Wow, thats a lot of water, I wonder how long it would take to sink to the bottom." I'm pondering this thought, and thinking about it a little, and here comes the JOOD... "Well, actually, you'd never really sink. As the water gets deeper, it gets denser, and so at some point your body would reach equilibrium with the water and just hover." We both kind of stop and are like "Are you serious? Who thinks of things like that?? But that wasnt even the end. He started talking about bone density, and body composition, and downwards momentum, and all sorts of things. All I was thinking was how long it would take to sink to the bottom.

Well, I thought it was funny. And at the time it was.

Friday, January 06, 2006

And Im not so glad to be back...

Aaah, vacation. It was wonderful. I finally got to meet Amber and Kathy, and I love them. I got to see my family that I had not seen in almost 7 years. I got to be a part of my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary, a feat not many couples are able to accomplish these days. I got to see friends from high school that I had not seen in almost 8 years, and make some new ones along the way. I remembered things about my town that I had forgotten, like how everyone in Corpus knows everyone else, and they almost all know at least one member of my family. Or how many people down there have never left Texas except to go to Mexico, and that doesn't count. Or the Delta tire guy, Wings 'n' More, Jason's Deli... I could go on and on. I'm not sure I'm ready to move back there, but I definitely need to never wait that long to go visit again.

But now, back to reality... I got back to work this morning, and feel like jumping overboard. I really enjoyed my 10 days as a quasi civilian, and really did not want to come back here. Then last night at the bar there was this Commander, still in khakis, who was the epitomy of why I dont want to stay in- 43 years old, single, never been married, lives with her mom, and looks like she's stuck in about 1987 haircut and makeup wise. Basically her entire life has been the Navy, and she's never made room for anything else. I dont want that. And she wasn't even a SWO.

But hey, how about them Longhorns?