There are a few minor differences between college life and what I recall of high school life. For one thing, people don't mock your clothing or appearance openly in front of you any more. They do it when they think you've passed. There are few enough deviations from the uniform of Abercrombie, though, so this isn't so much of an issue. Also, there's more smoking and drinking. And the campus is bigger.

Shit, I think that's it.

Today in ROTC was our first day for wearing what we had aquired of our uniforms. I was told by my squad leader to wait until I had everything assembled, but several 4th Class middies tried to put theirs together anyway, with indifferent results. Some of them were passable, but some were, to use the favourite term of our troop handlers, Nasty. IMHO, if a thing's worth doing, it's worth doing right. I plan to use a ruler and plenty of starch to crease my shirt, and I've gotten several good tips on how to make a capital impression.

PT (Physical Training) early tomorrow morn, and the second PRT (Physical Readiness Test) next week. The component that everyone insists is the easiest, the sit-ups, are absolutely killing me. Why? Lack of muscle mass, basically, and fantastic pain in my back. Gotta quit the bitchin', though.


Certain parts of the U of Anytown campus are just gorgeous. The building I'm sitting in right now has wonderful gothic masonry work all along the interior, and I find it entertaining that I can sit next to a fluted stone fireplace flanked by carved dragons and perform a wireless search for workstudy job listings.

Life with these three other men is proving to be interesting. We all have our faults, but by and large we're a clean lot, and we all recognise how lucky we were to get the newest on-campus apartment style housing. Of course, being required to awaken at 0515 every other morning for Navy PT makes it difficult to stay up very late at all, although we've scheduled a beer pong tournament for this evening. I might collapse halfway through, without having to drink anything.


I forgot, for the few days that I had the dorm/apartment to myself, that I really dislike college kids. And that's what I'm surrounded by. Good intentions quite aside, they're all so damn young, I can't help but feel out of place. Although, so far I haven't really found anywhere that I feel totally in place, except working on the Submarine, so I suppose I'll be screwed in the "fitting in" department for a while.

Here is my guide for visiting the Submarine.

1. Do not come intending to learn anything. Instead, come so that you may reaffirm all your old, incorrect beliefs about our military.
2. Be fat. Or at least overweight. That will make crawling through the watertight hatches that much more interesting.
3. Mention your claustrophobia. Even if you have never experienced it before, and can't describe what you fear, you are probably claustrophobic. Best to admit it now.
4. Make pronouncements regarding things you do not understand. Especially if you're with other people and want to appear knowlegable in front of them. This will make it easier for me to shoot you down and put you in your ignorant place.
5. Ignore the sign on the quarterdeck, stragegically placed directly in front of you, that says not to touch any of the onboard equipment. This way, you may touch all the onboard equipment that you desire, freed by your ignorance.
5a. Ignore the sign on the quarterdeck, also placed directly in front of you, that says to finish food or drink before coming on board. See above for reasoning.
6. Come by the submarine after we close in the evening, so that you can complain that we're closed. That one makes me laugh heartily.

This is based on the Standard Operating Proceedures that most visitors seem to use. No doubt I'll be adding to it in the near future.


New habits die hard too. I call everyone in the unit Sir, reflexively, even if I'm under no obligation to. The poor Chief who's in charge of uniform disbursment has had to endure my fumblings on two occasions. For the next few days I shall practice awaking at 0600, so that the shock of reville at 0430 on Monday isn't so bad. I need to get a decent watch, though, so I can start timing myself on all these laps I'm running.

The former boss of the Submarine is finally gone. For good. His ignonimous fate is the same that is reserved for all those who slack off during work hours and expect to be paid for it. May the road rise up to bite you in the ass.

There is a new zombie movie currently being circulated in the smelly art theaters of Anytown. Tak and I have made it a top priority, and you should too. It promises to be very, well, horror.


Alright, now I'm just annoyed. These two ads appeared at the top of my blog this morning:

The Left Hates America
Daniel Flynn exposes the truth. Save over 20% on this new book.

Annoy a Liberal
Peace Through Superior Firepower T-shirts and stickers

Who, after even a cursory examination of these pages, could think that I would support these in any way? Unbelievable.


As I said to Tak earlier today, Sweet Mother of Buddha. On a certain date at 1700 Hours I completed the orientation session for the University of Anytown's NROTC program. It was, despite the unit CO's assurances to our parents, exactly what you'd expect a military boot camp experience to be like. Drill Sergeant-types running your life 24 hours a day, yelling in your face if you dared to make eye contact with them, or refer to yourself as "I" instead of "This Midshipman." Punishing physical conditions, constant running and pushups and situps and all sorts of other horrid activities. And all the time, a Sergeant strong enough and mean enough to rip your spine out through your chest watching over you.

It was a blast. No one believes me, but I had a fabulous time, mainly because I understand perfectly that it's all an act. But I chose, quite freely, to submit myself to their ministrations, and in a very real way I'm the one who was really in control. I could have quit at any time I so desired, but I did not. It is my wish to follow orders today, that tomorrow I might have the opportunity to issue them in a way that will make a difference for countless lives around the world.

The journey has begun.


Wow, packing up to move into the U of A dorm/condos has unearthed a trove of treasures that I didn't realise I still had around. For instance, before I pack it away, this transcript of a dream I had:

In a building, taken to the basement with a friend. The men give us each a gun, we are terrified, and my friend refuses to use it. They beat him, and I fire into the wall twice to stop them, then begin walking. The halls are lit, and soon I come across a guard. I kill him, and take his uzi. I come around a corner, look down the hall, and a line of people are walking down it. A man in the back with a large beard looks at me in the eyes, and I send a hail of bullets upon everyone and they all fall horribly. I continue on, and come to a block of cubicles. There are people lined up between them, and they dive for cover as I fire again. Everyone is dead, but a few of them had guns too and fired back before they fell. But I can't be hit. When it's over I drop the uzi and exclaim "Oh God, why did I do this?" Edward Norton - a la Tyler Durden - stands up and tells me, "You killed them all because that way, you wouldn't have to know them, or let them know you." I embrace him, coated in blood, and cry, "Oh, thank you."

Yeah, file that one under creepy. Moving commences in, oh, let's say a good fourteen hours. Let's not push ourselves needlessly.


Crikey, is anyone else a little annoyed with these Google ads? A few days ago, both of mine were for fireworks companies. Now they're for, wait, The Republican Store and some sick novel about how liberals hate God. Does their ad engine just decide, Well, he's been talking about politics today, so let's put in some stuff about politicians? Creepy! Although it shouldn't surprise me, in this miraculous age we live in yada yada.


First of all, last night on Real Time with Bill Mahr. Quite a panel there, including, no, wait, it can't be! Jeneane Garofalo en-Punk?? It's a super-cute look, but I'll be disappointed to learn that all those tatoos are temps. She did raise at least one interesting point about the whole CA recall debacle. The Republicans are crying foul over the state's massive budget shortfall, correct? Well what the Holy Fuck do they think is happening to the country? As a direct result, no less, of a Republican !President's fiscal policy. This horrid debt (which my generation will have the privilege of working off, thank you very very much) didn't fall from the sky, despite Dubya's attempts to blame 9/11 and his Gulf War II.

Well, tonight I watched most of Operation Petticoat. It was entertaining enough, although working on the same kind of boat that they portrayed in the movie, I noticed no shortage of technical slipups. (One example, not that anyone gives a shiet, was when a torpedoman pulled on an impulse air blow lever and it magically opened the outer doors on the tube.)

By starlight, I fall asleep rapidly...


Today was another bad day for people, at least from Aisling's perspective. Tak goes to a high school reunion in some other town, and I get to stay until 8 P.M. at work tomorrow then show up at 7 A.M. on Monday morning. I'm thinking of staying for the whole day instead of leaving early as Tak said I could, just to get that much more overtime out of these corporate suckwads. And exactly one week from now I will be moving into the eerily condominium-like dorms at Anytown University. The following day, I will be a member of our U.S. armed forces. I wish I could use the handle L.T. Smash as I enter the Navy, but that's already been taken.

Although they did show the episode of the Simpsons last night about Homer joining the Navy Reserves, which was brilliant. AND several days ago there was the "a moment in the life of everyone in Springfield" episode, when Lisa got gum in her hair. In the scene when everyone in town is coming into their living room to offer advice on getting it out, the salty sea captain says "Aye, you should take her into the North Atlantic. There are squid there that are strong enough to suck the bolts out of a submarine." I laughed so hard that everyone else in the room stared. I guess you need to work on a submarine to appreciate it.


I just ran across this quote, thought it was great:

"Every sensible man, every decent man, must hold the Christian sect in horror." - Voltaire
So hooray, my twin cousins Blaze and Aurora turned 21 today.

They spent the whole day drinking. Aisling and I went to meet them for dinner at Bar Nobody's in the Commercial District of Anytown, them and a few of their friends. While we were there, they talked about all their other friends, then used their cell phones (6 total) to call said friends to invite them out on their bender. All while drinking expensive fruity alcohol.

I don't really hold anything against them; Aisling and I long ago decided that we live on different planets. It's just depressing to see your own family behaving just like every other gaggle of cell phone chattering cocktail junkies while you watch and smile like you're having a good time.

I am so very different from everyone else that it's sometimes a bit jarring to be included in the affairs of "normal" people. But on the whole I'd rather be weird and left out 99% of the time than be normal and a part of the crowd.


The sky has turned grey. Actually, that's a failry frequent occurence here in Anytown. The humidity is so heavy too that we're threatened every minute with torrential rains. Last night Daniel-Son and I went to this concert by a band who's name I can't remember. Tonight the plan calls for Aisling and I to see Donnie Darko on the big screen. It'll be her first time.

A rational call for accountability, oddly enough from the "we're not accountable for our reporters" New York Times.

I'm worried that being friends with Tak might finally be making it too difficult to work together. She's the Boss, you see, and 99% of the time we have a completely separate employee/employer relationship. That other 1% is tremendously sticky, though, particularly when it comes to matters like leadership. I have my own ideas about how things should be done around the place, but I can't say anything as a Friend without it being interpreted as a criticism of my Boss.

Ah well. In a few weeks I'll be back at Anytown University, then only to work on the Sub on the weekends. Perhaps a reduction in hours will come with a reduction in worries as well.