Desert Queens

So it’s well known in the military that females get “prettier” during deployments… mainly for the fact that there are less of us to go around than in the States.  The term given to the females who go up a few notches while deployed is “desert queen”.  They get a lot more guys ogling and asking them out than they would while at home.

I like to think I don’t fall into that category… first of all, I like to think that I’m fairly attractive in the real world.  Second, I actually have gotten asked out less here.  It seems only married guys feel the need to approach me, which is a whole other story!  Not totally true, but the majority feel the need to tell me that the divorce papers are in their CHU, they’ll show me!  LOL!

Anyway, my point, I guess, is that it’s funny how females act here.  They finally have the upper hand when it comes to the dating pool.  And guys willingly give it to them.  I just wonder how they will react when they get off the plane back home…


April 11, 2010 at 9:33 pm 1 comment

Salsa Night

I can’t dance… not well at least.  I’m not very coordinated and don’t improvise well… but I still like to have fun.

So tonight Jess and I went to Salsa night on post with some other people.  And we had fun!  Jess can dance pretty well… and I got some help from one of our linguists and some of the people that run the event each week.  All in all, I did alright… I’m learning.  But now my calves and my glutes hurt… and I’m sure they’ll be worse in the morning.  We’re going back next week!

April 4, 2010 at 12:46 am 1 comment

Toilet Paper Shenanigans

So my pass was great, but I was ready to come back to Mosul and get back to work… I had a couple of long days of travel, including a broken airplane, sleeping in an airport, and eating crappy, crappy food… so, needless to say, I was ready to go to bed when I arrived at my CHU around midnight.


I was greeted by glow sticks taped to my door surrounding a little note welcoming me home… ok, what did they do to my room?  See previously we had covered my team leaders room in tiny leaflets.  We had shoved them everywhere!!  And another team members room was filled with balloons… so what did they do to mine?  I knew I wasn’t going to be happy about…

Out of her room comes Jessica, camera in hand, waiting to get my reaction to it all.  Not a good sign.  I open my door and am greeted by a wall of TP, and my collection of PT (reflective) belts.

Look at all the pretty colors!

"Man, I hate you guys..."

My room was covered!!  There were things taped to the walls, the ceiling.  TP covered almost every inch possible.  Even the turtle was taped to the ceiling! It was outrageous!  I was soooo mad… cursing, pulling stuff down, trying to find all the TP.

I didn't know turtles could climb...

Get me down from here!!

I finally started to laugh about it after reading all the silly notes they left taped to my walls.  And I really couldn’t be mad… I had helped on the previous room pranks.  I am still, days later, finding bits of TP all over my room…

April 1, 2010 at 9:39 pm 2 comments

Qatari Adventures

I just got back from a mini-vacation… the Army sent me to Qatar for 4 days… just to get away.  It was a pretty awesome trip.

I made some new friends… bought some sweet stuff… and did some cool things.  Plus, I just got to lounge around by the pool and eat non-Army food and drink beer.  There was a three drink per night limit, but for me that was plenty, and I rarely had all three.  Not drinking for ten months lowered my tolerance a bit.  The whole trip I mostly hung out with three Marines I had met traveling.  I think that without them, my trip would have been much less entertaining.

The first day was just chill… sleep in, check out the post, go to the bars they had available to us, and hang at the pool.

The second day a group of us went on a trip to the beach.  We swam in the Persian Gulf, played volleyball, road on a camel, and laid in the sun.  On the way to and from, we rode in SUVs through the sand dunes.  Our drivers were amazing; riding along cliffs of sand that could potentially give at any moment, going down steep embankments and back  up again, spinning the car around at what I am certain was fairly high speeds.  At one point we almost flipped, but our driver was able to save it, instead popping one tire off its rim.

The next day was a trip to Doha.  Sightseeing, shopping, eating… the usual touristy stuff.  Downtown Doha has amazing buildings, and the shopping malls are enormous.  Qatar is famous for its pearls, so naturally I bought some.

The wind was messing up my hair

Downtown Doha in the Background

On our last day, we just chilled; slept in, hung out by the pool, watched some movies, relaxed.

And then it was over… time to head back to wherever we came from.  It was good to get away for a few days, and I felt relaxed… but I don’t know about rested.  We really didn’t sleep all that much – staying up late for whatever reason and getting up to go on excursions.

Traveling didn’t help either the rest or relaxation… my first flight back was delayed for 6 hours before we finally left – only to turn around again almost halfway through.  Another night in Qatar, only on a different base with different people.  Hey, at least we got three more drinks that night.  We slept in the passenger terminal since our flight was early the next morning.  Delayed again, but this time we made it out… I only had one more flight.  Luckily, I was able to get on the earliest one.

And then I made it back to my CHU…

March 26, 2010 at 1:51 am 4 comments

Honoring the fallen

Today I attended the second memorial service of my military career.  I didn’t know the soldier; I had never met him.  I do, though, know some that he worked with, and helped them prepare for the service today.

I realized something today.  Military memorial services aren’t just for the person they are honoring.  They are for everyone… they honor all fallen soldiers.  You can’t help but think of all past soldiers and wondering about the future ones.  The Drill & Ceremony links us to the military of the past by keeping us in the present.  At the same time we are showing respect to the fallen.

The soldier we honored today didn’t die in combat, but his story is just as sad.  He was young, kind, and brave… and an unseen condition took his life.  The situation makes us think that even though we are at war, it’s rarely combat that kills soldiers anymore.  And it’s just as hard.  Death is death, no matter how it comes to you.

March 17, 2010 at 9:36 pm 1 comment

Can I handle it?

So I’m not very good at transitions in life…  I kind of broke down after I graduated from college and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.  When I got home from Basic and AIT, I went through something similar where I didn’t really know what I was going to do with myself.  I found out I was deploying and I understandably freaked with such short notice…

So now… with the end in sight, I’m really nervous about returning home.  I don’t really know what is waiting for me… I still don’t know what I want to do with my life.  I have an idea, but what track do I take?   I also don’t want to leave the great friends I’ve made here – my team leader is like a big brother to me, Swan of course will be hard to leave (we are already planning other adventures) – and I have really enjoyed my job here and feel like I will leave with things unfinished.  I don’t like leaving things half-done.

I initially fought this deployment… but now I think it might have been one of the best things to ever happen to me.  It forced me to step out of my own life, and to be able to look at it from a distance and see what I really want.  The only problem is that there is a LOT that I want, and I can’t really have it all.  So now I have to prioritize all that… luckily I have a few more months!

March 8, 2010 at 10:17 pm 7 comments

I’m not reading enough…

I’ve received so many books from people that I’ve barely made a dent in my current reading list…

I’m going to keep reading though… I have three months to get through them all!  HA!

I did just finish Mitch Albom’s Have a Little Faith.  I absolutely adored it… completely outdid the Twilight series.  I think it’s because I like reading about real people doing good things… I recommend it to anybody.  But I also recommend the Twilight series just for fun!

March 5, 2010 at 12:16 am 2 comments

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