I Have Spent A Lot of My ‘Dear Years’…

Why am I so angry??

Of Late?

Surely I have better things to expend my energies upon.

****

“Dear (fill in the name) I am so sorry we are apart, but you see, I am serving… something, something greater, something important, something, some power, Uh, My ego. See you soon. Love, Lance”

Away from my Homeland.

Yes.

I have.

My Choice.

 

Sometimes in Service of my Country.

Sometimes in Service of Lance.

But, always, always, In Service  of That Great American Dream.

I came home from Iraq in ’09.

Went to Kandahar in ’11.

Came home late ’12.

Guess what?

There is no American Dream no mas.

The Bureaucrats killed it. 

I am a Patriot.

I love my country.

I served my ‘Country’.

But now, I do not recognize my country.

Now, I am leaning to socialism.

This post is but a beginning.

I am not gonna bore y’all with Lenny and Sarah, and bullshit anymore.

I am gonna bore you with reality.

The Reality.

Stay tuned.

For those of Y’all ‘Fraid of the NSA, well, bow out now gracefully. I have no fear, but I am old and have nothing to lose. And to quote Bette Davis: “Fasten Your Seatbelts; it’s going to be a bumpy night.”

And, Yes! I am not stupid. I do recognize the dichotomy of the diametrically opposed points of the two songs I present below for your perusal. You must sort out your own feelings.

Now, some would argue, “Lance is just living in his past; he is craving for the days when Revolution was a real possibility”

Some might say that.

I say, “There is no better time than the present, to take it up; because things now, are really fucked up.”

“Wake up!”

Wake the hell up, America!

My Country!

I love my America.

I truly do.

-Lance 

Woe To The Wheeless Wheelbarrow

Throwin’ Back to The War Whut Just Ended.

In jest.

“Sorry Boys. We was just joshin’ ya.”

“Hey Tally-Man! C’mon back! We cool!”

***

Heard this exchange on the handheld radio while in Afghanistan in 2012. (The Labor guys are Romanian and have that thick accent; The Plumber is American and without an interesting accent whatsoever…)

BrokenWheelbarrow

********

“Labor Two, this is Plumber One, copy?”

“Go for Labor Two…”

“Yessir, you told me you were gonna remove that dirt when you got the wheelbarrow.”

“Come back, Sir! You breakin’ up!”

“I SAID, You told me you gonna move that DIRT once you got the WHEEL–BARROW.”

“BREAK BREAK BREAK! This is Labor One.”

“Yessir, this is Plumber One. You promised me you gonna have your guys move that dirt from my job site when you got your wheelbarrow.”

“Sir, that wheelbarrow we got, got no wheel.”

***Pregnant Pause***

“Labor Two, this is Labor One. Look in connex. Tell me you got wheel for dis wheelbarrow.”

“Good Copy, Sir. We have.”

“You have wheel for dis wheelbarrow?”

“Yessir! We have wheel.”

“Okay. You check see if dis wheel is good one.”

“Yessir, dis wheel, she is good one.”

“Okay. Five mikes, I be dere. You wait me dere. I come see dis wheel.”

***Few minutes later***

“Plumber One, dis is Labor One, where you want dis wheelbarrow?”

“Labor One, this is Plumber One. Next to the dirt.”

“Ok, five mikes I be dere…”

So, my question is: what do you call a wheelbarrow without a wheel?

A “barrow?”

And what the hell good is it?

And so it went there at Camp Dwyer, during the war… Afghan-is-sand… 

 

Verily Related/Retarded:

Doctors Piss Me Off

While I was ‘out-processing’ in Fort Worth Texas to go to Kandahar back in 2011, I had this conversation with the DynCorp Doc. It was on a Monday morning:

Doctor asked me, “Did you attend a big drinking ‘going away party’ last night?”

“Nope” I lied. (I never need an excuse to drink me under the table)

“Well that is a shame, because your liver is inflamed. You sure you did not drink last night?”

“Yep. Quite sure,” I lied again.

“Well, you also have enlarged red blood cells. Do you realize what this means?”

“Yessir, I do. It means my red blood cells are capable of carrying more O2, and therefore, this is a good thing.”

*heavy sigh* from the doc. “That means they stick to each other. A bad thing.”

“Yeah, we all stick together… So doc, just sign the papers, ummm kay?”

“But… your BP… is off the chart. One-eighty over one-thirty-five”

“Ya, ain’t that cool? I have always been an over-achiever. High numbers fascinate me. Now please sign me off so I can go to the bar before going to Afghanistan to get shot at.”

stethoscope

True story. There are many more…

I don’t think that doc liked me. But he did sign ze papers like a good little DynCorp sycophant.

Eighteen hours later:

Wheels Down at KAF

And Lance a Happy Camper.

And this, of course… that last is a Bold-Faced LIE

(Just call it ‘Creative License.’)

TRUTH:

I had to ‘cool’ my heels in Dubai for almost ten days before I made it to Afghanistan.

I amused me by renting Russian Prostitutes.

(Putting a few of them through college in the process)

This is a TRUE story.

I do NOT  write FICTION.

(Not smart enuff)

 

Emails From Afghanistan: Stop The War! I’m Gettin’ Off. (The Ghost of Freud Loves Me.)

Excerpts from a couple of emails I sent from Camp Dwyer in 2012:

The boys are still moving cots and I think we just had a heat casualty. At least that’s what I heard on the hand-held radio. At first I thought it was here in LSA 2. (LSA—‘Life Support Area’—euphemism for ‘Small Tent City’)

LSA2_tents

LSA 2

I went to the tent where Kushal was supervising but the casualty wasn’t there; apparently he was in LSA 6. The radios aren’t good enough to transmit from here to LSA 6 so details are sketchy. We don’t need any safety issues. Management gets all stupid over the slightest incident.

Personally, I would just put the dude in the shade, give him a cold beer (NA of course) and continue on with the mission. But in Corporate America these days, a “Safety Stand Down” is required. All work stops while they “train” us once again to “drink plenty of water.”

One would think that since humans have been drinking water for some years now, it would not be necessary to conduct this training, but hey! Guess that’s why I’m not in Upper Management. “Keep on spendin’ Boys! It’s only money!”

Speaking of management and such, I suppose I should get my butt back to work…

–Lance, just another worker-bee schmuck.

My Office

My Office

 

***Breaking News***

The “heat casualty” turned out to be a bug bite on the neck. Yes, you read that right: a fucking bug bite! Kushal told me this just now and my reaction?

“Are you shitting me?!”

Pandemonium on the radio. People freakin’ out.

Stop the work! Stop the War! A bug bite?

I need to find another job.

And they call me crazy for walking around wearing ankle weights.

Unbelievable!

******************************

We have a crisis of sorts here in my LSA at this very moment: All work has stopped. It seems someone spotted a spider in the passenger van used by the Labor Guys. Eye witnesses reported the spider to be about the size of a cantaloupe. I heard this on the hand-held radio and burst out laughing.

I grabbed a fly-swatter and headed over to the van. I forced my way through the crowd of Indians and Filipinos who were all staring into the windows of the vehicle and trembling visibly. I immediately started moving shit around inside the van, looking for this monster, and laughing at all of them for their antics and panic. Not finding the spider, I stood up and announced to the assembled crowd:

“STOP THE WAR! WE HAVE A SPIDER IN THIS VAN! SHUT DOWN THE OPERATION! PACK YOUR SHIT BOYS! WE’RE GOIN’ HOME!”

(No one truly appreciates my sense of humor over here.)

“I like it Stripey” or if you will, “Chardonnay! Take me Away!”

This is a tale of two blogs. Or perhaps a blog of two tales. Or perhaps…

“More matter with less art” may be apropos here.

Indeed Gertrude!

(This post will surely go ‘viral’. Which by my standards simply means, ‘Six will read it. Three will ‘like’ it, and one will comment on it. Yep. ‘Viral’)

So without further ado, here we go:

My English Girl Friend asked me to mow her yard (years ago). As I was dusting off the old mower she remarked,

“I like it stripey.”

“Huh?”

“You know: ‘stripey’, like a golf course.”

So I’m thinking, ‘Stripey. Do you see a fucking candy cane on my shirt woman?”

Now of course I did not verbalize my musings. Oh hell no! I have learned a thing or two about women in my time. (Well certainly not near enough, but enough to keep my balls away from them late at night when they, just maybe, have had that one-too-many-glass-of-wine and have been ferreting about in the utensil drawer, coming out with a steak knife and a Lorena Bobbitt frame of reference.)

I know some shit about women.

Anyway, hoping to scare up some Karma and justification for a ‘Beer Run’, today I mowed the yard and by damn! I made it ‘Stripey’, and it cost me, by my estimation, an extra beer and a half in sweat. You see, it ain’t easy mowing greens.

Stripey

The next bit involves Real Drinkers (Yeah, but Y’all probably knew that already)

I lived with a woman once.

Okay, more than once and more than one woman.

“Round Round, Get Around” I got around!

(Stop it Lance!)

OK

I lived with a woman once…

She was / is (probably still) my best friend.

We had a rather platonic ‘lationship. We were more or less (generally more) ‘Drinking Buddies’. (Please remind me sometime to tell you of the time we drove her new Jaguar through a brick wall)

While I was working in Iraq I would fly her to Europe when I took my R&R’s. I let her plan all the trips. (I could not be bothered you see? I was too busy trying to keep a relationship with my ass and trying not to walk over an IED, and other such things which tend to keep one’s mind occupied. No. Travel Plans and Itinerant Itineraries did not fall into my Top Ten Things I Need To Do Today.)

Once I found myself between gigs, as it were (And I had escaped my fourth marriage), I ended up at her house.

She had a huge, and yes, Texan-Huge, yard(s). She force-labored me (and herself, to be fair) to slave away in the yardI(s) until “Wine Time” Which was at precisely 1600hrs. Believe me: I was watching my watch all day, hoping Einstein would make an exception and speed up his Time/Space Continuum. Just for me.

I wanted that fucking ‘Wine Time’ and by Jove! I wanted it Now!

So, the two of us would shake (and rattle and prattle and roll) until ‘Wine Time’.

Who were we kidding?

I finally secured a new Gig in Afghanistan and escaped

And not one moment too soon.

The daily anticipation of ‘Wine Time’ almost did me in.

***

These two posts were inspired by my sometime muse, Mark.

Now, Mark has a blog site (you probably could have guessed that)

Well, Mark’s site always seems to inspire me to write some reeeely stupid shit. And yes, I use ‘stupid shit’ as a term of Endearment, when referring to Mark’s Blog (and his column in ‘The Syracuse New Times’)

But, using Mark in this shamless fashion often gets me in Trouble with My Real Muse. Let’s call her Maggie, as that is her name. (shhhh! Don’t tell, but if you get ‘stuck’ with Writer’s Block head on over to Mr. Mark’s Page. You will depart with a month’s worth of shit to write about… Please don’t quote me. I have to live with my muse, and sometimes, well… She just ain’t amused)

She has been with me for some years (many years and beers).

Well, today, as I was laughing my ass off at something Mark posted, she woke up from her nap.

“Hiya Maggie. How was your nap?”

“I had a horrible dream,” she said.

“Oh, I am so sorry,” I said back. “What was your dream?”

“I dreamt you were cheating on me.”

“Nonsense!” I said with not enough sincerity.

“Yes! And I am a fucking Muse, and I know about these things. Back when I was working for Will, he used to cheat on me with that bitch Viola. I dumped his ass and he never wrote another play worth a shit or a cup of warm spit.”

(Opps! Nothing worse than a woman scorned for fury. Note to self: “hide the steak knives.”)

And just in case Y’all don’t yet think I have gone completely insane, I leave you with this:

Vid Credit: PsychoDad1860

Please Don’t Shit in my Showers (a revisit)

Please show some love.

Dispatches From Afghanistan: Mouses, Goats, and Snakes Oh My!

The Jordanians are coming: Specifically the JAF. (Jordanian Armed Forces) They will be living here in my LSA 2. Wonderful. Each of my tents have a capacity of 120 U.S. Marines. They ain’t comphy, but they cozy and U.S. Marines do not complain. They are Marines. The JAF contingent will top off at one hundred. They have been promised three of my tents. The math doesn’t work for me. I need every tent I have (twenty-four) to serve the Marines who transit through Dwyer on their way to the war.

After some lobbying (and predictions of pissed off Marines who won’t have a tent to sleep in), I got the JAF allocation down to two tents. Why after all these years the Jordanian government has decided to send troops to southern Afghanistan, I am not sure. But I have a theory:  U.S. Department of State. Yep. Not military necessity. Not a request from the coalition of governments already represented here. Not the U.S. Military. Nope. Politics.

I have nothing against Jordan or the Jordanian people. In fact, I love them. I lived and worked in Amman Jordan for six months back in ‘07 while working to close out the paperwork on the USAID Rural Water Project we had completed in Iraq. (Bechtel, the prime contractor, had decided there was no point to continually put our lives at risk in Iraq doing paperwork we could just as easily finish in their Jordan offices).

I had a meeting with the Mayor’s Cell here on Dwyer. (The ‘Mayor’s Cell’ is the term used for the administrative branch of the Marines who actually own Camp Dwyer.) All decisions of the Mayor are final. Except, I found out, when it comes to the JAF and their accommodations.  Apprehensive over the impending arrival of the Jordanians, I asked the Mayor, “Does the Mayor’s Cell have any special directive for treatment of the JAF?”

wpid-IMG_0685-2011-06-26-11-39

“Not at all Son. Treat ‘em like Marines.”

“Yessir!” (This was the response I had been hoping for)

With the help of the Labor Department and a few of my staff, I readied the two tents for the Jordanians. We were told to expect roughly one hundred men, so we set up fifty-five military cots in each tent. These tents in LSA 2 are best described as ‘Spartan.’ There are four ‘doors’ which are simply canvas flaps about four feet wide. When the wind is up the flaps flap open allowing Afghanistan to blow inside. The occupants are not allowed to tie the flaps shut, as this creates a safety hazard in the event of a fire—no quick egress. Each of the tents has two HVAC units. They are inadequate for the weather extremes here. The tents are in disrepair. They leak, they sag, they have mold. I cannot get approval from the Mayor’s Cell through DynCorp to provide anything more than patchy maintenance. “A lick and a promise.” That’s all. They tell me, “No more funding is available for LSA 2. Deal with it.”

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