Friday, October 31, 2008


Tonight I'm going to see Henry Rollins at the Egg in Albany. My ride is late. I didn't dress up. I have a black dress on, black tights with an odd little design in them, and black hair is also black. I suppose you could call me a witch.
Hope everyone has a good night.


at the egg...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


In-between classes on Wednesdays, I go to the book store. I try to buy at least one book...I've recently been on a Hunter S. Thompson kick (last week I bought, The Great Shark Hunt Vol. 1). Today I picked up "A Man Without a Country," by Kurt Vonnegut. I feel like I'm hanging out with my grandfather when I'm reading this...he's teaching me everything I need to know about life. He's hilarious and straight forward. Check it out.

Every week I run into the same two books. First is, “Generation Kill,” by Evan Wright. I enjoy staring at the cover like a creep. I am secretly in lust with the soldier on the left holding the flag. Then I see, “Black Belt Patriotism: How to Reawaken America," by Chuck Norris. This automatically makes me go from daydreaming about soldier boy to wanting to fight Norris. I don't know why I hate this book so much. It might be because Norris is on the cover in a karate outfit doing some wacko move. I want to throw the book out the window every time I pass it. I haven't read it, so I'm judging a book by its cover. If you read it, tell me how it is.


Side note: I can't wait for this election to be over with.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

How to be feminine in the Army.

I’m always asked things like…don’t you feel like a guy while you’re doing your Army stuff? Don’t you get dirty and sweaty? You’re allowed to have long hair? Shouldn’t you shave it off like in that movie G.I. Jane? Can you wear makeup? Nail polish? Earrings? Thongs? No heels?! Welcome to my world ladies…it’s tough but someone has to do it.

I decided to make a list of how to maintain your femininity while proudly serving your country.

1) Keep your hair long or to your chin. Don’t try any of that in-between length shit. I say this for two reasons. Short hair is extremely hard to keep pulled back. Pieces will always fly everywhere, it ends up falling in your face, and you will never quit make a nice bun out of it. You end up looking like a goddamn mess. I’m particular to longer hair. I just pull it back and go. My hair is thick and when it’s short I tend to look like that guy from No Country for Old Men…this obviously lessens my chances of getting laid when I'm off duty. And remember if you have short hair stuffed under a Kevlar, there is a good chance you may get mistaken for a twelve year old boy.

2) Makeup is allowed. Some may think it is ridiculous women in the military wear makeup but it’s not. Before I go any further, let me explain what appropriate makeup is. Please don’t be that girl who uses two pounds of eyeliner and mascara in the morning. There is no room for that Amy Winehouse off the eyelid eyeliner crap in the military. I say keep your eyes naked but if you’re one of those mascara freaks just use a little. Some women don’t have perfect skin and they need a little something to help them out. Foundation is acceptable. Just make sure it matches your skin color, so you don’t have that orange line around your face. Blush? Why not. Do not make your cheeks bright pink. I would go towards that sun kissed look. I would suggest staying away from lipstick unless you are a pit bull. Lip gloss, is okay but if anyone asks just say it’s chap stick and that you’re addicted (it has always worked for me).

3) Earrings? This isn’t the goddamn Air Force.

4) Nail polish? Use it. Your nails will break and become frail. Don’t use reds, purples, blues, french manicure style, or anything fancy. I would suggest using a clear polish just to protect your nails. We don’t need man hands, now do we?

5) Panties, Underwear, Knickers, whatever you want to call them. In basic training we all wore those huge white granny panties…not cute and please stop wearing them if you still do. Some women wear thongs in uniform and I have no idea how they do it. I imagine their ass would get all irritated and red. Gross. I wear low-rise bikinis from Victoria Secret…this is important because they don’t give me wedgies and they are comfortable. I should probably stay away from what type of underwear you want to wear…but leave the thongs for when the lights go out.

6) Lets talk about the end of the day, when you pull off your boots and socks and notice the lovely sock line around your calves. That annoying indentation won’t go away, so this is when you have to decide what is best for you. I know you want to look cute when everyone heads out to the club on post but don’t wear a dress or skirt if you have those damn lines. They take away from the fact that your blew out your hair, sprayed some perfume, and ditched the combat boots for a few hours. They are also a clear reminder to the drunk male soldier dancing with you, that you’re still a soldier and not this hot chick he picked up a bar. The lines kill it. Wear some tight jeans and throw on some heels, but hide the lines.

7) Bras…well there is always the super sexy sports bra. Wear it when you are doing PT and then hide it. Push-up bra is only for those who don’t have huge tits. Lacey bras might annoy your skin if you’re rolling around in the dirt. I would have to go with the good ’ol lightly padded cotton bra. It holds you in place, doesn’t itch, and when you have an IBV on that little padding works wonders.

8) I suppose this doesn’t really have anything to do with femininity but it’s something I’ve noticed over the years. Ladies, when you take off your uniform and put on civilian clothes, why do some of you look like you came out of the late 199s? I know sometimes we can only do our shopping at the PX and lord knows, they aren’t up on the current fashions but order clothes online. It’s not cute to wear Hello Kitty t-shirts over the age of 12, stonewash jeans, and shiny platform shoes. You look lost. Guys don’t think you’re not victims of the PX because you are. Cargo jeans are meant for carpenters, keep it that way. “Wife beaters” aren’t sexy, and don’t wear those stupid Army shirts that says “Hooah” or “Been there, done that.”

9) Lose the combat boots whenever you can and throw on some heels. You don’t even have to be going anywhere but put them on when you are laying in bed, when you are cleaning, or whenever you feel like you are losing your sexiness. Just because the Army has us running around, sweating, pissing in the woods and wiping with leafs, low crawling in dirt, climbing on trucks and firing weapons, doesn’t mean we still aren’t gorgeous women…it just means, we have a lot more experience then the women who never take off their heels. Be proud.

Hope this helps!

Mom and Daughter Join the Army Together.

Carolyn Schapper, sent me this email this morning. It's an article that appeared in the SFGate. A daughter joined the Army and her mother decided to join also...awwww. However, the quotes are the best part. For example:

"I'm a mom," she said. "This will give me a chance to protect her and keep an eye on her."

"More than anything, Altoon (the mother) was worried that her daughter would end up in a place like Iraq. But Schlotthauer (the daughter) and Dean (the recruiter) convinced her that, as a reservist and computer information technology expert, there was little chance that her daughter would be deployed to a war zone. Not that it's never happened, Dean said, but the odds are very much against it."

If people honestly believe this...they are fucking idiots. I’ll send both of them a care package.

"Schlotthauer says she gets grief at school, too. Some wonder why a cheerleader would join the Army, or say that only ugly girls join the military."

A lof of ugly girls are in the military...and a lot of ugly guys too. What the hell does it matter?

The recruiter said (Dean)..."It's a real stereotype that the Army is a choice of last resort," she said. "We want them educated. That's why we're sending them to school. And you can pick jobs other than a mechanic or working in the dirt. "You can still be feminine and cute and wear makeup, get your nails done," she said.

This article had me cracking up. Don't worry little ladies you aint gotta be ugly, roll around in the dirt, and fix them cars...and your mommy can come along too! Give me a break. I will admit my toe nails are always a shade of red.

Read the article here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Embed Process.

After meeting and interviewing female service members stateside, I suggested half jokingly our next stop should be Iraq. That would only make sense, right? We interviewed a wide range of women who have served in Iraq but people should be able to actually see what Iraq is like for us. Our day-to-day lives, our jobs, where we sleep, what we eat, how we pass the time, the bonds we make, and everything else in between. I suppose we could ship over a view video cameras and do a half ass job of portraying what it is like over there...but that takes the fun out of it. So, here is where we big mouth and an amazing Navy LT from the Pentagon we interviewed got us in touch with a CPT from the Multi-National Force Iraq, who helps with the embed process...we've submitted our paperwork and are waiting for a response.

This is why I need body armor. We need to supply our own and it's hard to get a hold of. I still find this really bizarre.

I told my mother and a few friends what I was trying to do. My mother is convinced I'll give her a heart attack within the next few years and she doesn't understand why I need to do this. This is what I told her. 1) Soldiers don't get to decide if they want to go to Iraq or Afghanistan or anywhere else for that matter...they just do it. And if I need to go to Iraq, I'll go to Iraq. 2) We can do interview after interview but to really attempt to understand something or present it, you should be intimate with it. 3) I told her this will hopefully shed light on the female Soldier...maybe after this we won't be asked, "did you carry a gun over there?", "what about your period?", "did you feel weird over there?", etc.
4) And then I told her it was my old "stumping ground" and I was almost kind of excited to go back. (This was her least favorite point.) She's finally starting to warm up to the idea. She knows I won't be gone for a year or even a month...but she looks at me like there's still a possibility that the worse could happen. So I made her read this...

Security by Hunter S. Thompson

"Security ... what does this word mean in relation to life as we know it today? For the most part, it means safety and freedom from worry. It is said to be the end that all men strive for; but is security a utopian goal or is it another word for rut?

Let us visualize the secure man; and by this term, I mean a man who has settled for financial and personal security for his goal in life. In general, he is a man who has pushed ambition and initiative aside and settled down, so to speak, in a boring, but safe and comfortable rut for the rest of his life. His future is but an extension of his present, and he accepts it as such with a complacent shrug of his shoulders. His ideas and ideals are those of society in general and he is accepted as a respectable, but average and prosaic man. But is he a man? has he any self-respect or pride in himself? How could he, when he has risked nothing and gained nothing? What does he think when he sees his youthful dreams of adventure, accomplishment, travel and romance buried under the cloak of conformity? How does he feel when he realizes that he has barely tasted the meal of life; when he sees the prison he has made for himself in pursuit of the almighty dollar? If he thinks this is all well and good, fine, but think of the tragedy of a man who has sacrificed his freedom on the altar of security, and wishes he could turn back the hands of time. A man is to be pitied who lacked the courage to accept the challenge of freedom and depart from the cushion of security and see life as it is instead of living it second-hand. Life has by-passed this man and he has watched from a secure place, afraid to seek anything better What has he done except to sit and wait for the tomorrow which never comes?

Turn back the pages of history and see the men who have shaped the destiny of the world. Security was never theirs, but they lived rather than existed. Where would the world be if all men had sought security and not taken risks or gambled with their lives on the chance that, if they won, life would be different and richer? It is from the bystanders (who are in the vast majority) that we receive the propaganda that life is not worth living, that life is drudgery, that the ambitions of youth must he laid aside for a life which is but a painful wait for death. These are the ones who squeeze what excitement they can from life out of the imaginations and experiences of others through books and movies. These are the insignificant and forgotten men who preach conformity because it is all they know. These are the men who dream at night of what could have been, but who wake at dawn to take their places at the now-familiar rut and to merely exist through another day. For them, the romance of life is long dead and they are forced to go through the years on a treadmill, cursing their existence, yet afraid to die because of the unknown which faces them after death. They lacked the only true courage: the kind which enables men to face the unknown regardless of the consequences.

As an afterthought, it seems hardly proper to write of life without once mentioning happiness; so we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?"

She's now starting to understand me more.

Monday, October 20, 2008


I only love a few things. One is a band called Modern Life is War. You'll find them in LA, Iowa, Holland, and Dirty Jersey walking the streets. Listen to them (you have to give them a chance.)

538 Johnson in Brooklyn...can't touch this.

(Can you find me?)

Check them out on youtube, myspace, etc etc etc.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


I went to see W. on your money.

1) For anyone who has followed this administration nothing in this film will come as a surprise. Nothing.
2) I thought Stone had more balls...the film was weak and I almost sympathized with President Bush. I have no idea why people were making such a big deal out of this. (Well besides the fact Bush is still in office.)
3) I was impressed with some of camera shots.
4) Condoleezza Rice was completely annoying and I wanted to slap her a few times.
5) Colin Powell...poor man. He was the only one thinking with his head. AND he just endorsed Obama.
6) Josh Brolin nailed President Bush. I did laugh at some of the phrases the President said and his mannerisms.

That’s basically it. Nothing new, nothing exciting, Stone put me to sleep.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Body Armor?

I need body armor. My unit doesn't have any (weird but true). Someone hit up their supply guy for me.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Reality Check.

I was at work and ran into a girl from high school. I hate this. I do one of two things. 1) I ignore them. 2) Or get suckered into the how are you, what’s new, blah blah blah conversation. Anyways, this girl told me she joined the Navy. We talked about when she was leaving, if she was excited and then I asked her why the Navy. Ready? This is great. She tells me she joined the Navy because, “I don’t want to go war. So the Marines and Army were out of the question. And my big thing is I don‘t want to have to carry a gun.” And no way to the Air Force because all she’ll want to do is fly a plane and she doesn’t have 20/20 vision. I looked at her like she was an idiot. I think she is an idiot. Who the hell joins any branch of the military in 2008unwilling to carry a gun or go to war? Does this chick not pay attention to world affairs? Maybe she hopes she’ll be sitting pretty on a ship, playing cards and avoiding the desert heat and sand. Someone needs a reality check.

I told her about some Navy women I know, who love the Navy and who also ended up in Iraq. She shrugged her shoulders and took a swig of her beer. She leaves in March...five months until her wake up call.

Save the Dog!

(Look how cute they are)

Sgt. Gwen Beberg of Minneapolis wants her dog! Beberg and another soldier rescued Ratchet from a burning pile of trash and now she just wants to bring the dog back to the states. However, there are rules that prohibit soldiers from adopting pets. BUT you can sign a petition to help Beberg rescue Ratchet.

Read: Army blocks soldier from bringing puppy back, by Frederic J. Frommer, Associated Press Writer

Sign the petition here. I did it and so can you.

Check out: Operation Baghdad Pups.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

boring night.

I've been studying for an evil test for the past two days and I will continue to study all night. I'm almost done with school. I'd say probably another year. What's more exciting is that I'll be out of the Army in 14 months...which in Reserve time is about 42 days! Once I'm done with school and out of the Army I'll be leaving Albany. Maybe I'll go to DC, the city, or maybe LA (not a huge fan of LA but I do have a lot of friends there and it could be interesting)...I have no idea yet. Let me visit so I can decide where I want to move.

I worked today. I hate going into work. I should just quit this job. There is this lady who drives me insane. She is so loud, takes up enough room for two people...and when I'm in a sad mood I'll sit next to her just so I become completely irate. It works...I forget about being sad and becoming extremely annoyed. Try it.

Documentary news...You'll have to wait for that. Don't worry you'll find out soon. It's going to be insane. Maybe we are just insane.

Oh, and maybe some of you will be pleased to know I kind of have an editor now. Jason, I hope this makes you happy. However, he will not being editing this and I'm allowed to use my ...! He said it's "trendy."

Read: The article about McCain in Rolling Stone. It's long and scary but worth it.

Read: Western Journalists in Iraq Stage Pullback of Their Own. Coverage of the war is slowly disappearing.

Listen to: Johnny Cash!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Wesley Clark and Dispatches.

My good friend who works for UCLA, had the opportunity to interview General Wesley Clark the other day. Love him!

Watch it here.

Dispatches: by Matthew D. LaPlante. He is the national security reporter for The Salt Lake Tribune and has been to Iraq twice with Utah troops.

Check out his take.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


The New York Times Debate Watch.

"The New York Times enlisted former and current military personnel from around the country to weigh in on the second presidential debate in real time. Look out for their remarks on The Caucus when the debate starts at 9 p.m. Eastern."

There are 13 panelists, including myself. (You might not recognize glasses!)

Meet the panelists here.

Our view!

The Caucus.

I Would Like to Apologize to Everyone...

I just got this email for a concerned reader...


This is going to appear incredibly random and without context, and for that, I apologize. I'm just another anti-war milblogger. As a veteran also pursuing Journalism and Photojournalism, I find it exciting and refreshing to find others like myself, regardless of political stance. I suppose my comment is part compliment, and part request. You are a talented communicator with positive and important ideas, but your format and structure make your blog very difficult to read, and follow. The last thing I wanted for this email is to come off like some showy, arrogant, ass clown - please don't mistake me into that category. I don't agree with your views on the war, but I enjoy reading your work, and the ideas you are working with. My request is that you pay a bit more attention to punctuation, and compositional structure. Unless, of course, I completely missed the point and your intent as a writer is to appear less accessible.


While I know my punctuation is not perfect and I guess my compositional structure is a little off (I'll work on splitting up my paragraphs), I hope you realize I want to be accessible. If you can not follow my posts, please email me...I could even call you and read them to you. Sometimes I misuse to and too...or then and than...and maybe you should know I have trouble pronouncing the word thesaurus. Oh, and if you ever meet me I'm incredibly shy and am always touching something. If you’d like to edit my shit you could do that also.

Jason, I appreciate your honesty…that’s a good quality to have. (Sorry, I really like using ... don't hold is against me)

Monday, October 06, 2008

Someone tell McCain and Palin...

The U.N. said the war in Afghanistan cannot be won military. There needs to be dialogue. Sorry McCain and Palin, a surge a few years to late of exhausted Soldiers won't do it this time.

It's complicated.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Drill Weekend, the Debate...

I have drill this weekend...which actually starts tonight for no good reason at all. We were suppose to go to Ft. Drum but someone did not do the proper paperwork for us to get funding. Brilliant. We went last month...four days there, it was hell. However, I did learn that I shoot the 9mm with my right hand while using my left eye. This takes skill considering, I shoot the M16 with my left hand (and my left eye)...but I am right handed in the "real world." Confused? So am I. I shoot completely ass backwards but at least I'm an okay shot. So who knows what we will be doing this month...probably nothing. There will be drama, talks of deploying to Iraq, harassing this one bible thumping Soldier (who I love talking to about Jesus), Soldiers sleeping in the bathroom because they are hung know, the normal Army bullshit.

Who watched the debate last night?! I did. Biden let me down...only because I felt he held back a little. Palin? Energy, maverick...maverick, energy...Hello, third grade class! Extra credit! I think she should make up a new word...Mavergy. The only two things she seems to speak of in one word…it’ll make her life even easier. The best part was Palin talking about Afghanistan…. Who’s McClellan? Say it aint so Sarah!! Did ya mean McKiernan? Dog garnit, I think ya did. *wink wink*

Brandon Friedman writes about her oops! here.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

If More Women Traded...

maybe the stock market wouldn't be such a mess! Thanks for nothing guys!

Is testosterone to blame for the financial crisis? By Jordan Lite

Laugh, it's funny.