Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Let’s just ‘shoot the crap’ for a while

Literally. Well, almost literally.

It’s amazing the things you find entertaining over here, and at the risk of sounding cliche, you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. Where’s this going you ask?

Much to my dismay, someone recently slapped a fresh coat of paint on the walls of the latrines. That’s like taking the paper out of someone’s driveway (well, not really but it makes for a good comparison)!

Let me describe the ‘facilities’ first. There are different levels of ‘facilities’ depending on where you ‘go’ if you’ll excuse the pun. Everything from your standard Nascar event porta-jon to what a friend (and fellow Auburn grad) calls a Cadillac. The cadillacs are approximately 8x20 air-conditioned trailers. There are even different versions of the cadillac - some for showering, some for doing your business, each with about 6 or 8 stalls for the appropriate purpose. You don’t see these at Bike Week - they’re more the Shania Twain outdoor concert style (omitting the shower trailers of course, but I’m sure that would lead to an interesting concert....).

So what on earth can you find entertaining about the morning constitution in a trailer? Graffiti. Yes dear readers, I found myself changing stalls when possible just to change things up a bit - between ‘events’, not during....oh forget it. Over here, different is good. Keeps the mind working. Like bran for the brain, you know?

Remember, it’s all in the name of entertainment.....and it keeps you up on all the local gossip. There are many pearls of wisdom to be found in the most peculiar places. I have to admit, there was a tone of rivalry when we weren’t the only unit on the FOB, but since the other guys left the ‘we’re better than you’ stuff has all but gone away. It’s more of an internal dialog now. For instance, you can find out which sergeants aren’t liked, and which soldiers are - and for what reasons. I’ll leave that one to your imagination.

Some artists are bordering on Van Gogh-ish (it’s all relative ok?), others have relegated themselves forever to the stick figure world. One even looks to have taken an engineering drawing class at some point. My biggest questions: what’s the proper procedure for leaving your mark? Do you toil at a computer (sort of like blog entries), or scribble on a napkin at dinner? Either way, you’ll have some type of notes with you (the napkin can then act as your emergency supply of johhny-wrap if you find yourself a the end of your two-ply rope, so to speak). Or do you just wing it? What’s the preferred marking utensil?

This is truly more thought and effort than I’ve EVER put into this topic (writing about it anyway), but I thought I’d exercise my creative license a bit. Now before you start worrying about my mental well-being......don’t. I just thought I’d throw a little something unique out to the ‘net. I’ll bet you caught yourself trying to figure out the answers to my questions just now, didn’t you? If you did, please raise your hand. As you can see from the picture above, there’s a bit of creativity and original thought, right?

Wonder what this will do to the old hit counter?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

War is not always hell - sometimes there’s Cinnabon!

Remember walking by the Cinnabon in the mall or at the airport when you’re walking to your gate for the “Oh my God it’s early” flight to who knows where? You can’t tell which smell hits you first - the coffee or the honey buns. Either way, your Pavlovian reaction makes you go weak in the wallet and you scurry over for or a tall cup o’ joe and the sticky, gooey, half-pound of heaven. You can’t say you’ve never had that urge!
Our motley crew were headed to the helo pad for our “Oh my God it’s early” flight back to our respective FOBs when someone remembered that there was a Cinnabon at the PX on the way - those are RARE over here! In fact, there are only two in all of Iraq! (Check it out: Cinnabon)
Needless to say, some FOBs have better creature comforts than others, but then again I’ve only been to a total of 5 FOBs so I can’t comment on them all. This one has a Burger King, Taco Bell AND a Cinnabon!!! Granted, each ‘restaurant’ only the size of a utility shed you may find in your back yard at home, but who cares, right? I don’t need to sit inside (‘cause you can’t actually - it’s only a kitchen trailer with a cash register). Just give me my little taste of fast-food home and I’ll be happier for a few minutes.
Back to reality.....