Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Me at the Al Faw Palace. I just realized that if you save something as "me at palace," without spaces, you get meatpalace. Looks like two words. Was meant to be three...
Alright. I am way past due to bang out a blog. Sorry, again. I get tired and then don’t feel like typing when I get back to my hooch. I think it’s the heat. It really does take a lot out of us here, and all we do is sit in our office all day. And we walk a lot. And some of us run. And others walk even more.

That reminds me: Our office is typically about 100-110 degrees inside. That’s right, I said INSIDE. Remember my air ducts? Well, they can’t combat the heat when there is too little insulation and too small an A/C. So at least we still have THAT to complain about.

What we cannot complain about any longer is our lack of automobiles. We were supposed to get vehicles as soon as we got here, and I had two quotes the day after touching down on Iraqi soil, but contracting officials always require three. So, after fighting tooth and nail, I finally got a third, and even a fourth. Then, finally, a fifth company, which was not one of the ones I got a quote from, ponied up the vehicles. That’s very lucky, actually, because every one of the other four were completely out of cars, and we were all pretty tired of walking everywhere in this intense heat. We’re now sharing three vehicles between eight (soon to be 10) people, which is quite a luxury. Last time, we had one car for 19 people for the longest time.

Let me take a peek at my “Blog Topics” list. Ah, here’s a good one. I want to speak at you all briefly on the subject of “being snubbed.”

Snubbing is a rampant disease that seems to have gone gangbusters in the military, particularly in the Army. When you are walking down the street, or through the passageways of your office building, or down the hallway in school, and you greet someone with a warm “hello,” or “good morning,” or “Buenos Dias,” for those of you in California, don’t you expect some sort of a reply, or at least a head nod? My mom taught me to be kind and respectful, and I think ignoring an obvious greeting is the height of unkindness and disrespect.

I realize that it takes some effort to say hello to somebody, and maybe you don’t want to say hi, or you can’t be bothered to acknowledge another human being’s presence, but COME ON, PEOPLE! It’s shitty out here. Everybody is hot and miserable. We’re all in the same boat. Would it KILL you to say hello?

Truth be told, I often substitute a nod or a slight smile for a hello, if nobody else initiates a greeting, but if someone actually says something to me, I feel obligated to respond. If you don’t want to tax your vocal cords or waste your breath, though, then I have one request: DON’T STARE AT ME!!!! This is something that military people, in particular (or perhaps it’s just that I am around mostly military people and have worked with mostly military people for most of my life), love to do. They will be walking toward me, and I toward them, and they will be looking me straight in the eye as they approach. Their faces are blank or stern, but never friendly. As we get within a few paces of each other, and the offender (almost always a male) is still staring at me, I will usually say hi. But the offender NEVER greets me back! I mean, how can you stare at a person and then not greet him or her after he or she offers a friendly greeting? Are you kidding me? At least speak to me if you are going to stare at me! For crying out loud! So, this is for all you mute starers: UP YOURS!!! Learn some manners, you turd burglars!

Ok. Sorry about that little outburst. I had to put up with that a lot at the Pentagon, too, and it is just ever so annoying.

Let’s see…what else…how to end this on a happy note…
Try this on for size:
Another one of my best girlfriends on the planet has just given birth to an 8 lb 2 oz (GEEZ!) baby boy named Declan. Congratulations Jennifer and Sean! I am so happy for you both!!! I can’t wait to spoil my newest nephew. Yay!!!


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