Feb 11, 2008

tata!


The time has come everyone! I am down to the last 20 some odd hours of my enlistment. When I started my terminal leave I thought I would feel as though I was on regular vacation time, like I would have to eventually go back to work. But honestly, I never felt that way. I KNOW that I'm never going back. And it doesn't feel very odd to me at all. The only thing that feels odd is that after so many years of being able to enter a base at my leisure, after tomorrow I am banned for life. Weird. I haven't had the urge to put on a uniform, to wake up at 530am or to bite my tongue at the proverbial BS that has consistently flowed from the mouths of my coworkers for the past decade. I can finally break the law, if I so want, and not get screwed by both the regular cops and scolded & punished by the Air Force as well. Gotta love getting fucked twice. Now, I'm not saying that I plan on regularly breaking the law, I was just stating a fact;) I honestly can't fucking believe that it has been 10 years though. Holy fuck how time flies! There's been sooooo much that has happened in that time frame that I don't even know where to begin. Many have asked me if I feel different. No...not really. I'm still me. I've always rebelled as much as I could even when I was in, so it's not like I'm off doing a bunch of crazy shit now--nothing more than usual. I also don't regret getting out, nor do I regret the time spent in. I loved the past 10 years and most of the people that entered my life during that time. I wouldn't have traded it for the world! However, the military & I didn't always see eye to eye so it was just natural that we part our ways:) So for all of you that I've met throughout my AF career I want to say thanks. You are the ones that kept my laughing and kept me semi-sane. Make sure you keep your couch open for me, because I'll be traveling your way soon:) For those of you who never quite got what it was I did in the Air Force, here is a quick photo montage that commemorates the gorgeous camo ensemble that I wore like a second skin--haha:

This is where it all began--Lackland AFB, San Antonio, TX (BMT or Boot Camp to those that only know Hollywood jargon). I was there for 6 weeks beginning Dec 29, 1997


Then I was off to my Tech School in the armpit of America--Shepherd AFB, Wichita Falls, TX. I was there for almost 6 months learning how to be a grease monkey. Next I went to my first assignment--Luke AFB in Phoenix, AZ. I spent my first 4 years there. I even won Maintainer of the Year--yay me--haha (who knows how the hell that happened).
This is me on a field deployment in the middle of the desert, playing war (it was actually fun!) I even got to ride in a Blackhawk Helicopter


This was my luxury accommodations for the week
Besides, my normal mechanic job I got to drive Hummers, big 5 ton trucks and even accompanied the radio guys up on top of the mountain to fix a tower radio (or something like that. I just volunteered for the view & to get out of work--haha)
I really planned on getting out after my first 4 years, but then September 11 events unfolded and I was stuck in. I didn't have any plans for a job or school so I couldn't get a waiver to get out. All I could do was wait. During that time the AZ Diamondbacks were in the World Series. I got to be one of the people holding the flag on the field while Jewel sang the National Anthem. It was pretty kick ass. So anyway, I waited, and waited more. Then one day I smoked crack (not really) and reenlisted--for 6 years!! Eeks!! (I think the next day I might've thrown up in my mouth a little--haha)
Right after that I decided I was ready to travel. So I requested to go to Andersen AFB in Guam and I was off. I spent 15 lovely months basking in the sun and killing my liver. It was great! I also got to witness & live through a horrible typhoon, got my boating license and went to Australia--the one country I've dreamed of since my youth.
Here is a pic at my Airmen Leadership School graduation (Staci & Rose I miss you!!)

Then I was off to cold ass Ramstein AB in Germany for 2 years. As most of you know this is where I caught the traveling bug and did the vast majority of my wandering. In Germany is where I became a vegetarian, excelled at driving a stick shift, pushed my car to over 110mph continuously on the Autobahn, tried tons of new foods that I never would have dreamed of, bathed in nude spas & topless beaches, learned how to snowboard (well kind of--haha), and somehow managed to finish my Associate's degree.
This is me during a pie in the face fundraiser. Thanks guys;)


This is during a TDY I went on. It was for the Paris Air Show in...well, Paris, France duh! I got to hang out with a bunch of hottie pilots:) Here's me in one of the Army helicopters.
After my time in Germany, I was off to Moron AB in Spain. I spent 15 months there, both loving it and at the same time hating it. You had to live there to know what I'm talking about. Here I perfected the ability to stay up super late & party until the wee hours of the mornings. Hey--when in Rome... I also excelled at doing no work, but pretending to do lots. It was probably the easiest, slack job I will ever have in my life. And I also learned quite a bit of Spanish, though I think I've forgotten a lot:(
This is me volunteering to pass out Thanksgiving dinner to some of the deployed dudes (and chicks). Lunch lady land.

The base I was at was an alternate NASA landing site, so one time during an exercise we got to meet some of the NASA dudes. Not sure if this guy was an astronaut, but I think so
Then I left sunny Espana for even sunnier Davis-Monthan AFB, Tucson, AZ. When I first got here I knew I had exactly a year left until I got out. My new bosses, on the other hand, were clueless. They put me in an office job (yay no more smelling of grease & fuel). I don't think they were too happy when they found out I only had about 7 months left. Haha--got you fuckers!!
Here's me pretending to look studious:
That pretty much wraps it up. I bought a house & am a little over halfway done with massage school and am ready for the next chapter. Bring it on!!

Feb 7, 2008

poo poo platter

so, here's an article i read in the Tucson Weekly last month that I thought was funny and true. it's a wee bit long, but take a gander if you have some time.
~amy

PUBLISHED ON JANUARY 10, 2008:
O'Sullivan
Don't pick up dog crap, and save a sea turtle as a result!
By CATHERINE O'SULLIVAN

Back when I went to college in the '80s, there was a catchphrase popular among philosophy and political science professors. If I've heard it once, I've heard it a thousand times: The personal is the political. It means that decisions individuals make in their daily lives are, in themselves, political statements.
So as we usher in a new year, I've resolved to become more politically active: I am going to stop picking up my dogs' shit.

I've been thinking about doing this for some time--mostly because I'm lazy--but also because it's the right ethical decision. At the dog park, massive amounts of doo-doos are sealed by conscientious persons via plastic grocery bags meticulously tied in knots. These bags, or doo-doo bombs, are then concentrated in garbage cans piled high with fast-food bags, soda cans, plastic packaging, more bagged doo-doo, more random junk, and on and on until the cans overflow. These semi-laminated stratigraphies of waste are every bit as awe-inspiring as they are compact, and on an anaerobic level, especially during the heat of a Sonoran summer day ... ewww, I don't even want to think about it. But, clearly, plastic-encased dog crap is not only everywhere, but underneath everything. The question becomes: How is all this shit ever going to biodegrade?

According to Alan Weisman, author of The World Without Us, it isn't. Plastic grocery bags, besides choking sea turtles who mistake them for jellyfish, are every bit as nasty as we ever thought they were, and probably worse. Oh, yeah, some of them might be photodegradable, meaning they could eventually fall apart in the sun, but when deprived of air and sunlight, plastic bags really do hang around for fucking ever. It follows that the contents therein must also.

Decades ago, plastic was relatively unheard of. Then a guy called Leo Baekeland, trying to come up with a new kind of shellac, mixed up a bunch of phenol with formaldehyde and invented Bakelite. He got rich, and we got telephones made of something other than wood, along with a bunch of kitschy shit that now sells for hundreds of dollars in antique shops down in Bisbee. The production and evolution of plastics ramped up during World War II, and by 1975, the National Academy of Sciences had estimated that oceangoing vessels alone dumped 8 million pounds per year of the stuff into the oceans. The world's commercial fleets by themselves dumped 639,000 plastic containers every day.

Then things went from bad to worse. As anyone who's ever bought a bargain brand of bottled water will tell you, some plastics do break down, but they never break down enough--polymers are long molecules--and all those broken bits of plastic containers eventually wind up in the food chain, consumed not just by sea turtles, but fish, crustaceans and even krill, tiny shrimp that feed everything, from whales to penguins to fish. The sad fact is, the majority of creatures in our oceans are now on diets heavily supplemented with what Weisman calls polymer crumbs. The extent of the damage that this modern dietary supplement is causing has yet to be measured. And when it is measured, I don't think I want to hear about it.

But back to plastic bags: They don't degrade in the landfills, and even if they manage to actually complete the trip from one end of a loggerhead to the other, they don't degrade in the oceans. Mostly, they wind up in circular aquatic garbage dumps called "gyres." The North Pacific Gyre, east of Japan and north of Hawaii, is bigger than the state of Texas and contains approximately 3 million tons of visible plastic. That's six times more plastic than there is krill in the same 1,000-mile area.

But enough about plastics. A much more environmentally friendly element comes out of a dog's ass: Dog shit, as far as I can tell, degrades fairly easily. Rain, wind, car tires, shoes, feet, hooves, skateboards--all these things are positively boffo and break it up into micro particles. After all, the stuff dogs eat is mostly organic (except in the case of my old dog Leroy, who once ate so much aluminum foil that it was extruded the next day in the form of a perfect silver turd) or at least relatively polymer-free: cornmeal, rice, animal byproducts, lamb, beef. All these things break down into reasonable-sized molecules that the environment can handle.

When you consider all this, what's the big deal about having to grab a tree branch and scrape a turd off your shoe?