For as chronically boring as this place is and as much as I want to write I sure do put off writing in here a lot.
So here to make up for it should be paragraphs of rambling with no particular theme.
In the Navy there are a few skills one must master. I’m not talking about the brainwashing bullshit you might see on the history channel, but the simple everyday things. Skills that if one doesn’t master, ends up talking to them selves, or you could find them locked away in their room, watching cartoons. Back up. I’ll start before that. Upon joining any branch of the armed service two things must immediately abandoned. Logic and reason. I can’t begin to explain this to those of you who don’t understand what I am talking about already. So in absence of these two vitally important things one must replace them with a few skills.
I. The art of the courtesy laugh Standing around the smoke deck, in the lounge, in line at the galley, in the passageway, actually anywhere you might find Naval personnel. The military is full of people with a sense of humor similar to that of my Uncle John. And if there’s anyone reading this, who doesn’t actually know who he is, think of the Stapler guy from Office Space. By sense of humor from these people I mean blurting out half mumbled nonsense and slightly laughing. I wish I could give you an example but… you wouldn’t understand. Wait. Ok here we go. When I was younger, somewhere between fourth grade and high school, I remember talking about the local fire works for the fourth of July. My Uncle muttered something about that they weren’t real fireworks, but instead mere puddles. He laughed. Somewhere I missed how this had any comedic value. Fireworks to Puddles? That’s the best example from a random memory from youth that I can muster. I know you still probably understand what I am saying.
II. Small talk This one is pretty self-explanatory. Most people in the services of today can hold an intelligent conversation for about as long as some bleach blond floozy, drinking beer at a party down in Newport. Start dipping into irony in any subject matter and they will usually steer the conversation somewhere towards, “I really like guys who wear those shoes you are wearing.” The only thing that prevents most people from sinking to this level is the fact that we all have one common interest. That’s right, we are all slaves to the government. So we spin yarns about past time triumphs, and shortcomings, usually with a comedic spin. After the stories and ‘little Johnny’ jokes run out, we can talk about the places we’ve been, or what exactly it is we do in the Navy. Ex: “So you’re an Operations Specialist? What is that any way? Oh really? That’s interesting. Wow. Great, hey can I have a smoke? Wow! So you say you were stationed on an AirCraft Carrier? What was that like?” And so on.
III. Patience Whether you are sitting around waiting. Listening to some jar head ex Marine talk about how different things are in the Corps, or maybe you’re hanging out in the lounge and some jack ass puts in Rocky for the third time this weekend. Perhaps you’ll find you’re self-talking to one of those people as mentioned above in section two. Patience is virtue.
Before last month I have never taken a train that wasn’t going around on a quarter mile or so track. I have taken the train from Dearborn to Chicago, Chicago to Great Lakes, Great Lakes to Chicago, Chicago to Dearborn, back again to Chicago and up to Great Lakes. And you know what? Next week I’m about to do it again. But I tell you this. The American Train system is decaying for a reason. I may have spent a total of an hour and a half sitting on the tracks with out the view of passing communities, lakes or trees, for this or that technical problems. The romance of riding the rails wore off just outside of Ann Arbor. The first ride was ok; for the most part the car was empty. The rest however were not so fortunate.
The car rocked back and forth as we past through the industrial wasteland known as Gary Indiana. The clickety clack of the train in perfect rhythm to the rocking was pushing me closer to the point of sleep as I sat in my dress blues in my green coach class seat. Clicking, rocking, drifting…drifting…to sleep.
“Praise Jesus!” a voice from the back of the car, or perhaps the front depending on your point of view. Our seats pointed in the opposite direction of our travel. “The Lord is my shepherd” I had to get away from the Tarret like symptoms of the passenger in the back of the car. I got up to move to the dinning car. As I past him he stood up and with the rocking of the train as we slid across to a separating track he fell into me exclaiming “In the name of the Lord!”
To me this was proof that God does not exist in the way most Christians would like to view him. I could be wrong, but if I am he sure knows how to pick spokespeople.
The train is a glorified bus ride
I hate Detroit.
A part of me was glad to escape the toxic air I had just recently returned to less than seventy-eight hours earlier. Actually almost all of me was glad to leave. There were only two parts of me that actually did not. One is leaving my wife and son, and the other is coming back here to TPU. I’m sick of being here, and really want to be out at the fleet whereever it may be. Somewhere beyond here, and beyond A school. Anywhere. Even Virginia as long as my wife is there.
I am bored.
I apologize for being so indirect.
I’m sure today’s writing was not as well written as previous ones, but my brain is rotting from lack of simulation.