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