Today has been pretty good, considering... it's Iraqi Army Day, Epiphany, Orthodox Christmas Eve, and my own, personal, Quarter-Century Day. My co-workers gave me a plaster tablet copy of (I think) Hammurabi or something Babylonian, and I got some books (I love Bill Bryson). After work (we're getting off "on-time" tonight, which is early) we're going to the Camp Slayer Lion's Den for "karaoke night." I haven't been yet, so I have no idea what it'll be like, but my whole team is crashing the event. It'll be glorious, except for the making me sing in public bit. Are we at war, or are we singing? For today, I'm glad to forget. Of course, I am still working as usual and not letting up on the effort.

Our own little cheeky slogan (after observing the leadership here, you'd understand): Fighting the tactical fight at the strategic level. Our best analyst, who went home in December, used to say that.

I was writing out something by hand first, before typing it into my computer, and the Brit that sits next to me said I should "come to the dark side." I asked what he meant, and he said, "leave America for Britain." He said that because I was doing things the "old-fashioned" way. I said I was just doing it MY way. (Sometimes, I just have to write in pen first, to get the juices flowing.) I would like to visit England and Scotland some day, though...

Yes, I'm rather wordy today. Usually I feel rushed when down here in the computer room, but today I'm taking my time. I'm also taking muscle relaxants because of my back, so I'm just (un)naturally relaxed anyway and not in a rush to get anywhere. (I do hate the fact I have to keep popping pills, but they don't have a chiropractor here, and this is the best they can do. It makes me think, being so expectant of "immediately resourceful" health care, what it is like for those that can't get to a doctor when they really need one, or of people who have chronic pain and the thought of getting relief doesn't cross their minds because health care has never been there for them before. What lives. I may have to just deal with the pain for now, but I know when I get back to California I'll be taken care of. I can't fathom having to accept this for the rest of my life!)

I'll go to the other cyber cafe, where they allow you access to the CD drive, and put some pics on here.... later. Oh, I'm so sleepy today! (And spacey.)

The tsunami has diverted some of the news away from Iraq and the elections, but at a terrible price. Now, at the chow hall, instead of playing news on Iraq (as if we don't know what's going on here), we get images of IEDs in Baghdad and stories of poor children who had to cling to doors and trees for days out at sea in southeast Asia. It's sobering, at the least. I'm torn between wanting to hear more of what's going on and wanting to drown it all out and ask for cartoons instead. How do people process this information and accept reality? If you asked me, would I rather live a life of fantasy (the unreal, and hence, a lie) or a life of reality and truth, I would immediately ask for the unreal, the happy fantasy I could protect my mind with. Alas, we don't get choices like that. No matter how much we may try to get to that fantasy world (either through books, or movies, or drugs, etc), reality always steps in. And of course, reality=disappointment. (That sounds much more depressing than I really feel, so don't think for a moment I'm in a bad mood.)

Time for me to stop. This is very long today. Have a lovely day, and go read something that will take your mind off of reality, for me, since my job makes me face it all day long.

Cheers~ amber dawn


Anonymous said...

? ???? ???????? ??????!!!
Love,Val. ;)

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday. :-) Don't party too hard. As for the long winded message, it is good to read and hear someone else's view points. ;-)

I think you got a good head on your shoulders. Just don't let the dummies rub off on ya and have you forget the common sense of what you are doing and you have a life after you leave the war and home to Sunny Califunkifornia. :-D I have to say, over the weekend i went to Cali to see family (As I do after the holidays, every year, easier to get around.) I enjoyed some serious surf. I know someone crazy to surf in the lighting and big surf but hey it is how i escape from reality. :-D

I am glad you are doing good and i can pretend to be a doctor if you like a nice massage and back work done.

Have a great and fun as well as safe day.

Carry On. Opppps I mean Enjoy. :-D lol

Patrick said...

Happy Birthday!

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday! My little brother (two bars on the collar) recently left Mosul for Kuwait, and celebrated a birthday in country. He uses his online journal to keep sane (although its effectiveness is questionable). Anyway, enjoy your 25th (which is now your 25th and 1/365th). Jerry Parshall

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Kid

- Groucho Marx

r said...

Happy Birthday, Amber. I stop aging at 25 (in my mind, that is). Prayers for a fun and safe time.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Day After, and thanks for what you are doing.

Godspeed, then swiftly home.


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday
Semper Fi

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday! I hope you sang karaoke louder than you ever thought you could. And had many beverages to lubricate your vocal cords.

Best wishes and be safe.


Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work girlfriend, and happy birthday day after - hope the karaoke was a blast!

Anonymous said...

I too spent my birthday at Slayer! I tried to think of it as a very elite group. I have really enjoyed reading about Slayer, I've been gone for 3 months now. Don't laugh....sorta miss the place/people. Sad huh? Lara Pearson

Anonymous said...

Just wishing you a Happy, SAFE day EVERY day. Our friends from the 228th FBS are headed over to join you. May you ALL come home healthy and happily.