Hi, ya'll. There's not a lot here that is unpredictable, and anybody who has seen the movie "Groundhog Day" will understand when we use that analogy to describe our lives here. Everything is the same, every day. Wake up, visit the bathroom, then shower. Pick out something different than what you wore yesterday, if you can. Walk to work along your standard route, and wave to and/or avoid the same people you wave to and/or avoid each day (for a while, it was the Philippino/Indian?/American construction crew near the Palace who insisted upon very eager morning greetings...which non-morning people like myself are just NOT good at). Do some standard work stuff with the same people you always work with. Go to chow and look at people in the DFAC (chow hall/meat market). Walk back. More work. Walk home. Work out. Shower. Same, same, same. Every single day.
Well, yesterday, something different happened. Apparently, somebody noticed a suspicious vehicle with wires sticking out of it, and security cordoned off the area and called in the EOD teams. I knew nothing of this, of course, because I was in my office in the palace, and the car was out in front of the palace, near the gate. We didn't find out about the possible VBIED (vehicle-borne improvised explosive device, or "car bomb") until LB and I decided to go out to pick up her hand-me-down refrigerator from the overflow trailers. We were stopped at the palace's front doors by the security soldiers and informed of the investigation going on outside. OK. Cool. No problem. We went upstairs to our office cubicle to wait it out.
That is when I started to realize that I sort of LIKE groundhog day. I like my routine. You see, what happened was, the bomb squad took a while to give the all clear, so we ended up blasting through our usual "lunch at 1130" scheduled event. Hungry Coalition Forces members were gathering at the front doors, eager to get out and go to the chow hall. We were hungry, and we were used to our routine, and we didn't know what to do. We were 30 minutes off schedule by the time they signaled all clear (actually, I heard someone yell "Soup's on!" from down below to signify the opening of the flood gates that are the palace doors), and you'd have thought we were all going to die of starvation. Ridiculous. Thirty minutes late and we were completely discombobulated.
The comfort of our bland and familiar chow set us all back to normal, and we continued through the rest of our groundhog day. Aaaaaaaaand....dddddddd....THE END! The rest of the day was uneventful, and you're not gonna catch me complaining. I worked some more, went to Flak Club, worked a little more, watched "My Name is Earl", and went to bed.