Same As It Ever Was

Tuesday, November 30th, 2004

Same As It Ever Was

Well, things have gone back to normal here. After a week and a half of things being quiet on the FOB, we’ve started getting incoming again. For some reason they have more or less turned off the outgoing, too. They’re a lot harder to hear, since it now is more windy and rainy than it used to be, though they don’t seem to want to attack in the rain. On one of the last iterations, our security guy called the all clear just as the heavens opened up and poured a heavy rain on us. I raced out of the bunker, and only had a smidgen of key trouble before I realized I hadn’t locked the door in the first place.

One day I was taking care of an issue whilst reading up on my Russian grammar, since I have not really gone back over the rules in some time. I was engrossed in the rules for the accusative case, which defines your direct objects. It’s pretty basic for what it’s worth, but I’m trying to be thorough. It was approximately 2:19 PM. That old familiar whistling cranks up, with the accompanying vaguely sick feeling. This simply isn’t fair. How can this happen twice? Anyway, this one is headed right for me, I can just tell. It gets louder and louder. It must be a laser guided rocket, it’s heading straight for the container. I struggle to accomplish my basic objective – must get the pants back up. That’s all I hope for; all that I want out of my last bit of luck. Dignity in small doses. You ever try to crouch and pull your pants up at the same time? It ain’t easy, I can tell you, but I made it look good!

(Nah, kinda doubt that. I bet I looked more so than my usual idiot.)

This one is going to hit right outside, and the sandbags aren’t going to help, and some of me is going to end up in the shower, I’m quite sure of that. That will be kind of convenient I guess, but there’s gonna be drain problems I bet. As success moves up to waist level, I feel a sense of accomplishment knowing that in my final milliseconds I made it. For some unknown reason I feel a final cringe may help, so I execute that with precision. (more…)

Back At The Palace

Sunday, November 14th, 2004

More later. I will relate a short funny thing though: I was reading something on how dangerous Mosul was now, and thinking to myself, “Ha ha, if they only kneBAAAAAMMMMM!!!!!! I was halfway out the door when I realized that was the controlled blast we’d been warned of, and about 1 second later “controlled blast, controlled blast” comes over the radio. It was to take care of a UXO about 150m away. They must have packed that thing with about 8 lbs of C-4. At least I wasn’t the guy who was on the shitter. Been there, done that. We had a laugh about it. Beats the alternatives.

Anyway, the LWOP was a bust, I’m very disappointed by that. But we’ll see each other soon. I might leave here a bit earlier, depending on my cash goals. It’s only 7 weeks, but thinking about dropping it down to say, 4 is an attractive option.

Anatomy Of An Attempted Elvising

Monday, November 8th, 2004

Anatomy of an Attempted Elvising!

The next day around 2 PM I am feeling decidedly unwell after being poisoned at the DFAC, and think to myself I need to take care of some bathroom business, and I better go ahead since we should get attacked in another hour or two, and you never know how long that will take. I’m going, I’ve got time. (This is what’s known as foreshadowing.)

So there I was, conducting business and reading my intermediate Russian storybook. I’m getting much better. A few words are defined at the bottom of the page, around half of which I already know. Most everything else I pick up from context and thinking really hard about the words. The prefixes and suffixes convey a lot of meaning, and if you know them it makes it much easier, though not at all a sure thing, of course.

I’m reading a true story about this family who has a polar bear. It’s all very touching and cutesy, having a polar bear and all. The ending well and truly sucks, but I guess that’s life. I don’t much POP! damn!WHOOOgottago!!OOOOOOOOOOstupidpants!OOOSH! BANG! That was a rocket! The book goes somewhere, I zip up, avoiding unfriendly entanglements, hope #2 (the other one) doesn’t show up too soon, and bolt for the bunker. There is one right outside my hooch, so I’m pretty well covered getting to it. Really, I’m not too badly protected inside the container too, as it is fairly well surrounded by sandbags or HESCOs. As long as it’s not an airburst or a direct hit, I’d be okay. But still, it’s horrifying to think of following in Elvis’ footsteps, much less in a much messier way. I’d hope that the responsible parties would have the good taste to give the appropriate lies on that. “Didn’t feel a thing” and of course “No, did not die on the shitter…why do you ask?”

Anyways, I tucked in my shirt and buckled my belt out in the bunker. They didn’t throw anything else at us. These guys are blowing the pattern off left and right. No consistency. Later that evening, I am wasting time hanging around. I’d rather go ahead and get the evening attack over with, though sometimes they don’t do it, or decide to bother the airfield instead, and some random place in town. I don’t want to go into my hooch and get comfortable, flop off the shoes, and then have to put them back on and rush out into the night. I don’t like to be bothered once I have lain back for the day. I don’t sleep, but it’s nice to just lie down and stretch at the end of the day. Finally we figure they must be taking the night off. I am just reaching out to unlock my door, trying to find the key slot in the dark BOOM! There they go! I holler into the night “Ha ha, you mother fuckers! I hadn’t even got in the room yet!!!” Another one goes off. I think they were IEDs, but in either case they weren’t on the FOB.

We had some more random stuff today, but it’s not real interesting. One more week before I starting transiting down to Dubai for a short bit of time off. Something like 6 days down there, and then when I get back I have a little less than 6 weeks before heading out for good, after 25 months out. Gonna take a nice, long vacation.

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