Monday, October 19, 2009

Chicken Knows Best

Dear Reader,

I must apologize, I've been holding out on you for some time now. The secret most priceless perk of the military is AFN (Armed Forces Network). It has by far the most hilarious commercials in the world. The least of them is Super Bowl worthy. All of them are also very educational! For example, today during breaks for Jeopardy, a little computer-animated chameleon explained the importance of wearing a helmet while bicycling. Some dogs and cats taught me a little bit about how the Army JAG corps (lawyers) can help me out of a fix. Some babies with creepy adult voices talked about travel expenses, and an Air Force fellow danced for making the right decision, (to wear his reflector belt while going outside at night, obviously). Let's not even get into all the different unit ads trying to compete in being the baddest unit on AFN TV. There's a good amount of night vision, judo moves, and quick turning heads (to look like you're 'alert'). I guess the best way to describe them is that they're so bad that they're amazing. Anyway, I could probably set an entire blog aside completely devoted to an AFN commercial each day, but that would be a lot of work. I know there are a few on youtube so check them out; they'll change your life and maybe even save your life (if you're considering huffing, suicide, DUI, not locking your door at night, or not wearing your reflector belt). You absolutely have to see the Huffing one!

In other news, I think the Demon Wolves are pulling back a bit during this heat spell. We're over 100 degrees at daytime again! It makes sense that they're drawing down because they're already covered in fiery fur and I can see how hot fiery fur plus hot deserty sun may equal too much heat to handle. At least we've recovered some of our Class I supplies, (but not the Gatorade Nutrition shakes to my chagrin).

I've been pretty busy lately with trying to help get some interpreters US citizenship. It's been very educational to see how the whole process works, especially in terms of the conflict. I also really enjoy it. Oh! If you're single and you want to get married maybe you can help me out with the process! Heh kidding, not even sure if that's legal on my part.

Ok that's all for now.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

New Threat

Dear Reader,
Just as we began to think the war in Iraq was finishing up and the President weighs sending more troops to Afghanistan, a new, much more sinister threat has risen. The last dust storm brought with it a wave of Demon Wolves and they are much more deadly than I expected. They already wiped out the Class I building, (which stores extremely important life-sustaining supplies such as Doritos and Gatorade), and I think their next target will be the latrine. Our weapons are useless against them. My interpreter and I cornered one once but he couldn't interpret anything except for some demonic snarls. He just got frustrated and threw rocks at it until it dissappeared.
Other than that things are going well here. It's starting to get cooler (80's to mid 90's), and even pretty nippy at night. I finally got out of the base and saw some of the countryside. It was kind of sad to see how violence is a way of life here. There are barbed wire, barriers, and checkpoints all over the place. Nevertheless everyone is out and about conducting their daily business. Though, I suppose you can't expect any better for a country torn apart by a war and sectarian violence.
I also had a few great opportunities to practice my Arabic and I completely bombed all of them. I tried to learn some food names at an Iraqi restaurant and everyone just ended up laughing at me, then I tried to get a screwdriver from an Iraqi without my interpreter and after a crazy dance and a bunch a gestures I got him to bring me a wrench. The worst was when I asked an American soldier a question and he replied with "3" in Arabic, which I've definitely learned before, and I didn't have a clue what he was saying. One of the interpreters called me out on not practicing my Rosetta Stone enough. He was right, I've only done an hour over the last two weeks. Busted.