Archive for January, 2015

#22. American Sniper

Posted: January 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

13 - 1

Disclaimer:  I have not seen this movie nor have I read the book.

It appears there is discussion about the movie American Sniper.  People weighing in if he was or was not a hero or coward.  I don’t know.  So I am going to weigh in as well.  Seeing that everyone who reads this knows I was in the Navy I don’t really need to dive into that more, but if you’re new I served on a submarine for four years.  Get that out of the way.

Here is my first statement.  Not everyone who serves in the military is a hero.  There were plenty of us bubbleheads who were not anywhere near what I would consider hero status.  I know one of the people who read this served with me and I know he would agree that our time on the boat did not make us “heroes”.  I am not saying we didn’t do important work, but I don’t think it was hero work.   The majority of the people in the military never face the enemy.  Never are put in war zones.  Never fire a gun, or at least not at an enemy.  So this idea, that all of us are heroes, is hard for me to swallow.

Second.  I don’t believe the military is what preserves our freedoms.  We people of the United States preserve our freedoms, or at least that is how it is supposed to be.  Do most people really believe we are about to be invaded and taken over?  Do people really believe that Joe Marine is what is standing between us and being overrun?  The problem is that even these wars, and yes even after 911 our freedom wasn’t threatened.  They were not in going to knock on our door and make us bow down to Islam.  The truth of the matter is that the military simply enforces policy.  That is what they, or we do.  When I hear that they are preserving our freedom I just roll my eyes.

Third.  I am not sure I care what other people think about this sniper guy.  There are always going to be supporters and there is always going to be non-supporters, and that is ok.  That is actually one of the things that make this country great.  We don’t all have to agree.  This is what I will say about this guy.  From what I know about snipers it is one of the most difficult things to do.  I am not talking skill wise, but that is impressive.  I am talking mentally.  Most guys are the field in a firefight might see the person they shot go down, might not.  But a sniper sees up close and personal what their bullet did to that person.  They see their head explode.  For me, that is not something to be taken lightly.  Does that make him a hero? I don’t know.  Does that make him a coward?  I don’t know, but I tend to think not.  I do think it takes a special person to  mentally take on what this requires.  I do think we need to understand that it can’t be easy do what they do.  He is dead.  How he died is tragic and unfortunate.  It is also truly unfortunate that his widow has to live that again because people need the spotlight to broadcast their opinion.  If you think the movie sucks, then say it sucks. Is it necessary to say he is a coward for doing something that most people would not be able to do, or handle?  Leave him be.  So maybe I do care what people think about this sniper guy.

All of this being said there is nothing I am more proud of than my time in the Navy and serving on the USS Dallas.  I am honored to be part of the submarine fraternity.  I think what all of the men and women in the military do is important work.  Important to the country, but they are not the end all be all.  They are flawed like the rest of us.  The local hockey club, Avalanche, like to point out a military guy in the crowd during the game.  People stand, people applaud.  It is very nice, maybe even touching for some.  Me being the cynic that I am I wonder, what do we really know about this guy?  Are we applauding him simply because he served?  What if he killed babies? But no one knows that. Would we be applauding him?  That is the thing we really never truly know what they have done with their time and service.  I believe we should thank people for their service, but maybe we shouldn’t canonize them because do we really know?

#21. Dream/Story

Posted: January 16, 2015 in Essay

Something a bit different today.  I had a dream last night where I was floating watching what was going on below.  All I saw in the dream were snapshots of what was happening, but enough to get the gist.  So I thought I would try and fill in the blanks with a short story, or maybe it would be better to call it an essay.  Here we go…

broken heart

He sits in the same kitchen that he has sat in a hundred times.  It is different this time however.  Her parents are there, but she has yet to arrive.  He is not sure why is he is there.  He assumes her parents are hoping that they will get back together and give it another try.  He knows it won’t happen.  He knows that her heart is not where it once was.  He also knows that his will not heal anytime soon.

She bounces into the room like a child on a spring day accompanied by 4 guys.  Full of life and possibilities.  He wonders if she knows is as empty as newly finished glass of water.  He wonders which one is the new him.  It is already too much for him to handle.  She sees him and says hello and acts like they are long time friends reunited.  He plays along because you never want to be “that” guy.  You never want to be the heart broken ex who can’t get over some broad.  Her dad pulls him aside and asks, “Are you ok?”

“I need a drink.  Bourbon if you have it.”  He replies.

“Sure”.

The evening goes on.  Dinner is served, stories are told, and people laugh.  It becomes obvious to him who the new him is by the overdone PDA.  He wants to scream.  What was he thinking?  Why would he do this to himself?  The night is blurred like dust sucked up a vacuum.  He feels like he is in a vacuum.

The next day he rides his bike to her mother’s store.  They talk.  She apologizes.  He tells her it is fine and he understands why they had hope.  The new him seems to be a tool.  He tells her that it is done and that he can’t see them anymore, or at least not for a long time.  He needs to find himself again.  Needs to relearn that love doesn’t suck and it is worth pursuing.  She tells him it is and he will find it.  She says he is an amazing guy.  He isn’t too sure.

As he is leaving she rides up on her bike.  Once again happy and carefree.

“Thanks for coming last night.”  She says.

Doesn’t she get it?  Doesn’t she know how hard and well humiliating that was?  “No problem.  It was nice to see you again.  Glad you’re doing well”, he says.  Did she pick up on how he really didn’t mean the last part?  It was nice to see her.  It was nice too long for her again.

“How do you classify it?”

“What?”

“Well Simon, you know my new boyfriend, he likes to classify all of his encounters and meetings of new people.  Isn’t that cool?  I mean so progressive, right?”

“It was fine.  Nothing more than fine.”

He rides off not looking back and knowing that it wasn’t fine.  That is just something you say to people.  He understands that but isn’t sure she does.  He wonders why do we continue to protect people who do not deserve to be protected.  He wonders how long will it be before he finds someone who is deserving of his protection.  Who will appreciate him?  He knows he doesn’t know and knows that no one knows.  All, he knows, is that for now everything is fine.  Nothing more than fine.

#20. Born with

Posted: January 15, 2015 in Uncategorized

ice

 

I believe that women are born with the understanding of where everything is located in a grocery store.  I seem to never be able to find what I am looking for.  Yesterday I was looking for olives.  I had it in my small mind that olives would be with the canned vegetables.  I spent some time in that aisle yesterday.  It appears however that olives are some sort of relative to the pickle because they sit right next to them in their own non-vegetable aisle.  This is a problem for me often, not being able to find stuff in a grocery store.  It however is not a problem for the person I will be related to by marriage someday.  She always seems to know where something will be located.  I have called her before to get directions.  The kicker of this is that she doesn’t even like to go to the grocery store.  I do 95% of our food shopping, mainly because I do most of the cooking.  So how is it that someone who does not even like to go into a grocery store knows where everything is in a grocery store?  Thus I conclude that female types are born with a store layout in their heads.  They know.

We have ice.  I fixed our ice maker at our house.  We purchased a new refrigerator back in May but didn’t have water hooked up at the time.  The ice maker ran for awhile and then stopped.  I recently tapped into a water line and ran water to the refrigerator but it didn’t make ice.  Realized that having an ice maker run without water to it was not a good thing.   Sears was very nice in sending me a new ice maker which I replaced last night and now I have ice.  Pretty cool.  Few things feel better than when you can fix something in your house yourself.   There is a great feeling of achievement.  Even if it is just pulling something out and putting back in a new one.  You still feel good.  I am glad it is working.  I was pretty deflated after running the water to the fridge to find that we were not able to make ice.  Well I guess you could say I am reflated.

I know this post was pretty lame.  Might have made you chuckle a bit, so that is good.  But I am now adding pictures, so that is exciting.

The person I will be related to by marriage suggested that I pick a word for the year and it be my theme.  I thought it was a pretty good idea.  I thought about my past year and how I was and came up with a word.  My word for the year is SOFTEN.  I thought about using relax but got fancy and used the online Thesaurus.  So SOFTEN.

This is how I came to this word.  I have felt this past year I have been too hard about things that I can’t control, and things I can control.  Basically I feel like I haven’t been as nice to people and about situations that I could have been.  This past year the company I work for was purchased and I was too negative about it, mainly because I don’t like change.  Not afraid of it, but just don’t like change.  So I was too negative about that I feel.  I have also been too negative towards people.  I know I need to do a better job of not reacting in a negative way to people when something happens that I don’t like or better yet don’t fully understand.  The fact is that most things in our lives we cannot control.  We can however control how we react to these things.  So that being said I am going to work on being SOFTEN to life, loved ones, and even the annoying situations I have to deal with at work.  I welcome encouragement and calling me out when I am not being SOFTEN.

Something else that has been floating around my small mind is blogging.  My previous post about being in awe of creative people prompted this next part.  I have been reading more people’s blogs and creative side, but also realizing how narcissistic it really is.   And I love it.  It feels like most of us, and maybe including me, are screaming hey look at me, read me, love me!!  I don’t think it is a bad thing, actually I really enjoy narcissism.  People should love themselves and not sure it is bad when they point out how great they are.  Can be annoying, but not always bad.  So I guess that is really my point.  I find it funny how much I enjoy reading other people and walking away thinking and laughing to myself, wow that person really loves them some them!!  No one is harder on me than myself, but I still love me some me!!

Slow start to 2015, but I will do better.