The run kicked my ass today, so prose is out the window. How about a glimpse in my typical day? Sure, why not?
0445: Wake-up. Brush my teeth and shave.
0510: Go to formation.
0530: Morning accountability formation
0540: PT! WEEEE!
0630: Personal hygiene.
0730: Breakfast! Yum!
0800: Work call. For me, that’s seeing sick call.
0810: Intensely hate all those that are injured and sick.
0811: Treat them anyways.
0812: Remind myself why I love my job.
1000: Sick call is finished or winding down. YouTube time!
1030: “Is sick call still open?”
1050: More YouTube.
1130: Lunch! Well… it’s food… I guess?
1200: Lunch nap. The best kind of nap.
1300: Work call! Sometimes I have patients, sometimes I don’t. The afternoons are usually filled with correspondence courses, catching up on notes, and other equally fun activities. Sometimes meetings.
1500: Clean! Sweep, mop, trash, dust… I feel like Cinderella!
1600: Out the door. Admin time, i.e.: my work-out time.
1610: “Hey baby, I’m working out. Can I call you back? No? Ok.”
1640: “Hey, babe, I’ve really got to work out… no? Ok.”
1715: Off the phone, workout.
1800: Dinner! Can this torture please end?
2000: Watch Top-Gear
2130: Sleep. Dream about formations. Wonder exactly what life choices led you half-way around the world. Dream of wife. Dream of wife and… ok, just wife. She reads this thing too, you know.
So that’s a fairly typical day. There are always formations, drug tests, meetings, ranges, dispatching vehicles, classes, missions… you know name it. Stay flexible my little chickadees.
I hope your day is filled with as much merriment as mine is.
I have a PT test coming up.
I’ve always dreaded it. From the moment I joined and did my first work-out and realized what a chain-smoking, whiskey drinking, no exercising 24 year old man can do. It was painful and unpleasant.
And it’s never gotten easier.
I’m a lazy sort of fellow. I like to conserve my energy. To what purpose I conserve it for is a mystery. I used to do cross-country and track. I used to run six minute miles and then later I would join show choir (yes, the glee type stuff) and dance and sing and chase girls. That was in high school. Before I was allowed into bars.
Apathy is like a drug. You use it more and more everyday and you become addicted to it, dependent on it. It becomes your whole life. I had to join the Army to go cold turkey from it. But every once in a while it creeps up on me.
It also doesn’t help that I’ve come up injured when I really step up my physical game. I’ll go the gym everyday, run more often and twist an ankle, or get a stress fracture, or pass-out from medication I was taking.
There is no excuse out here. I’m doing Insanity everyday, keeping up with the schedule. I’m taking the right supplements eating right (for the most part) and I don’t smoke or drink. I have 15 days until my PT test which involved 2 minutes of push-ups, sit-ups and a two mile run. It’s scored based on how many you do or how fast your run, and on your age group and gender.
It still scares the crap out of me.
I’ve failed it before. Intellectually I know I can pass but it’s always been by the skin of my teeth. This time, I am holding nothing back because there is no reason to. If it kills me, so be it. I’m tired of living a life of conservation. There has to be a point to all that energy I’ve built up.
So I’m going for it.
It’s pretty amazing that a 90 pound Chinese woman can consistently kick my ass.
I’m a big fan of massages and somewhat of a expert. I actually took a few massage therapy classes and was thinking about making it my career until I realized that I could make a lot more money doing actual medical work. That’s not a slight against massage therapists (they don’t like the terms masseuse and masseur anymore), it’s just the truth. You do something vaguely medical that has benefits of its own.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t love getting a rub.
I’ve had good ones and bad ones. I’ve only stopped maybe two people in the middle, and that was when I was at the height of my gambling problem days and got massages at the tables. Most of them have been at least decent, as one would imagine with the several months of training. I’ve had them in decadent spas and weird little bodega like shops.
And no, I’ve never had a happy ending.
There have been hints, but I’ve always felt myself as the subject matter expert in such activity. Why waste twenty bucks on something I can do myself?
It is always a little odd for me to hear people afraid to skin down for a massage. Your gluteus muscles get tight too. Your upper thighs get tight. Why would you not want to have them massaged? Are you that afraid of your own body? Do you really thing she hasn’t seen that all before, and that just the sight of your naked body, she’ll pass out from the glory of it all? Shut up, strip down, and lie there and take the punishment.
Bruises mean she did it right.
(And yes, I realize that males can do the job. Most of the time, I prefer males. They are stronger. If you are really that ridiculous that you are afraid of another man touching you, you have more issues than I can deal with. I use the feminine pronoun because it was a 90 pound Chinese lady that always kicks my ass.)
I’m reminded sometimes of why I do this.
I won’t win any awards for being on-call everyday, all day. I won’t win an award for the time I helped a buddy who was hung-over get well. I won’t get an award when I tended to the random triple amputee in the parking lot after he got cold-clocked. No one is going to give me promotion points because I just helped two soldiers feel better about their health in five minutes on the weekend, when I want to sleep.
That’s just fine by me.
We are the ones that often go overlooked. Some of us are lucky to be called Doc. I maybe known as the grumpy one, the one that’s going to give you shit but each and every one of my guys (and I do call them my guys. It’s a case of older brother mentality; I can fuck with them, not you) can come to me and I’ll set aside the sarcasm and help them.
They want to know everything is going to be OK. They want me to tell them that, tell them how it’s going to be fixed.
I know lots of dirtbag medics. The medics that say Fuck it, it’s the weekend. I may get frustrated, or burned out, but my job doesn’t stop at the aid-station doors. That’s why I got into this gig. With my ASVAB score, I could’ve done anything. I was begged to do certain jobs.
I wanted to help people.
So yes, my little chickadees. I’m going to fix your boo-boos. I’m going to harass you mercilessly about your crutches and your medication and holy shit, why are you playing more basketball?
But trust me, it’s all going to be OK.
I saw that they still sell plain, Jansport backpacks.
This restored a little bit of faith in humanity.
I’ve already talked about how soul crushing it is to have something like this happen. We expect certain things to have continuity. Does that mean I hate when variations come out, giving a brand a sense of rebirth? Of course not.
I just hate when they stray away from what drew me to the brand in the first place.
Backpacks have become a fashion statement for school age kids now. Well, maybe more for their fashion conscious parents. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and colors and styles. The thing about these backpacks was that they could last you forever.
I still have a Jansport at home that I’ve had since I was in elementary school and besides being a bit dusty, it has lost zero functionality.
Just seeing that a brand that I’ve used for schlepping my books and papers and laptops and who knows what else around for well over two decades is still keeping it classic warms me up in the nostalgia bone. I hope they keep it up.
Yeah, I’m looking at you Oreo…
This post is fantastic. We forget that most things are based on very old technologies in very odd places.
Somewhere in Portland, there’s a very old building, and that very old building has a very, very old basement. An incredible basement, a video-game-level basement, a set-decorator’s dream basement.
And when you walk past the janitors office, with the wonderfully decked halls…
And tromp down a sunken hallway…
You find a old room. Mostly empty, dusty, and dead quiet.
And then you start to look closer at the walls.
And you start to see things.
(You see that Brown didn’t often pay his dime for coffee.)
(You see that a lot of calculation was done right on the wall.)
(You see that World War I was front and center on everyone’s mind.)
(You wonder what was being tallied, and if it was better to win or lose.)
(And you learn the tongue-in-check “rules” of the room.)
And eventually, you crawl behind a corner, and discover a bundle of conduit.
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There is a whole industry designed to painlessly separate us from our meager paycheck.
You live in a culture long enough and despite protestations of innocence, you buy into it. I want to buy an assault rifle because I’ve come to love shooting. I want to go hiking and camping because going to the field can be like a vacation if done correctly.
Oh look, there is a “tactical” shop right on base.
You can get tactical boots, pants, shirts, writing tools, pouches, bags, backpacks, hats… the list is endless. All my issued military gear is ACU patterned and yet there I am, buying stuff that I need in the same pattern.
It’s just so damn useful.
These companies aren’t stupid. They know what we need. They know the sizes and what works and what doesn’t and what we’ll shell out money for. I have my eye and quite a few things when we get back, little rewards for a deployment well spent. I already have the car (one of the number one things people plunk down a boatload of cash on). All I want are the little things that make my life a little more…
I’ve had too much of the kool-aid now.