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Break=Over

3 Nov

So I took another break from writing for about a month. I realize that I had already taken a sizable hiatus due to my departure to OCS over the summer, but I’ve had alot of things going on in my life. School and work once again are infringing on my precious “me” time. Other than that, I have tried to maintain some semblance of a social life. This is a weird part of my life. I’m finally coming to the end of college, yet I’m still stuck in the day to day grind of writing papers, preparing presentations, and working like a Hebrew slave at my job. I’m doing my best to stay positive and to face every situation that comes my way like a champ. I started lifting weights again and have been eating at some amazing new places. Life is crazy, but you gotta do you.

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Bud-Weis-Eer

23 Sep

In beer news, brew titan Anheuser-Busch is offering up 500,000 free Budweiser’s at restaurants and bars, as part of its largest ever national free-sample campaign. The product being offered is traditional Budweiser, or “Bud heavy”, as some may refer to it. Supposedly, sales of “America’s favorite beer” are down 9 percent this past year and 4 out of 10 people in their mid-20s have never tried it. National trends in the beer drinking crowd point to a shift from the traditional brands (MGD, Bud, Coors) to either craft, light, or more budget friendly brew. College kids are drinking what’s cheap, and when they graduate they move to something classier.

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Say It Ain’t So

21 Sep

Christina Hendricks. Like finding out Santa isn’t real…..:(

Our Hero Returns

8 Sep

So it’s been awhile since I’ve posted here. I have had a lot of things going on and haven’t really found the time to just sit down and compose my thoughts. As you can probably tell, I am back from Officer Candidate’s School. I still haven’t been able to fully wrap my head around that whole experience. It’s hard to accurately put in words a lot of the experiences and emotions that one endures in that sort of environment. On one hand, it felt damn good to march down that parade deck and know that I had earned the right to commission as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. I had worked so hard for this, and the knowledge that I had to return had weighed heavily in my mind. To know that I was done gave me a sense of pride and ultimately, relief. But on the other hand, I knew that once this was over, I had to return to the “real” world and finish my degree. On top of that, I had various financial and personal issues (that I did not account for) that awaited my arrival.

I went through a lot of hardship this time around. I feel like I didn’t show up mentally prepared, I wasn’t ready for the burden that I had to bear. It had been two years since I last went and it seemed like I lost a lot of the knowledge and the experience that I had acquired. I can also point to the fact that my life had dramatically changed this last year or so. My mind had gotten soft; I had lost my proverbial “edge”: the difference between a civilian and a Marine. My training suffered and at times I questioned my commitment to fulfilling my duty. Everything all sort of culminated in me being called to a disciplinary board in week three. There I was put in front of the Company Commander and his staff in order for them to determine whether or not I should be sent home. It’s hard to pinpoint an exact reason for why I was there, but the evidence is in the preceding sentences. Officially, I was charged with “failure to lead.” I will not dispute this, I take responsibility for my shortcomings and I know that my behavior and (in)actions were not within the standards of the Corps. But somewhere in that meeting, with the First Sergeant screaming in my face, calling me a coward and telling me I don’t deserve to be there, a fire grew inside of me. I was not going to leave. In fact, I was going to graduate and I was going to earn the respect of those around me in doing so. When it came time for me to defend myself, I made my case, and was allowed to stay.

The rest of the time there, I became totally committed to the task at hand. From the moment I woke, the moment I went to bed, and when I dreamed at night, all I thought about was conquering this obstacle. I did really well in all of the evaluated events and the staff seemed to take notice. The biggest issue that I struggled with was discipline. I won’t lie; I had issues with this up to the last week. Those of you who know me know that I am a big talker; it was hard to adjust to the hours of silence required of us. On top of this, when I’m nervous, I smile. Tell that to the Sergeant Instructor. Regardless, I am done and here I am now. I look forward to taking the next step, getting commissioned and attend The Basic School.

Currently, I am working to finish my degree in Business Law in the spring. I was ecstatic to learn that I was going to graduate on time. On top of that, I am living in a really nice apartment in South Philly with a friend of mine from the dorms. It’s a really nice neighborhood, and I look forward to all of the new opportunities and adventures that await with this change of venue. I’d be lying if I said I was 100% percent happy with my current situation. I don’t want to go into it on here but suffice it to say, some people can really let you down, especially when you need them the most. It is crazy how much everything changes in a month and a half, but such is life. I wish I could make things work how I want them to, but doesn’t everybody? I have to come to grips with reality and make the necessary adjustments.

Stay posted for more updates….

EARS THIRRRRRDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!

Eric Holder=Disgrace

8 Jul

I have my misgivings about the current political administration. Two of my main issues are in regard to the appointment of Janet Napolitano and Eric Holder as the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General of the United States. I am going to save you one of my vitriolic rants, but suffice it to say, these people are radical leftists and are not qualified for the jobs which they have been given. Napolitano is infamous for her misguided assertion that the 9/11 terrorists entered the US from Canada. This bonehead then decided that it would be a good idea to strengthen the US-Canada border. The complete falsehood of this idea notwithstanding, this is the same woman who does NOTHING about our little border “situation” in the Southwest. In regard to the controversial legislation in Arizona, Holder and Napolitano are both harsh critics. Big surprise, they both admit to not reading the bill. Some other choice selections from these two knuckleheads are Napolitano’s Department of Homeland Security memo warning the public against “right-wing extremist” military veterans and Holder’s refusal to admit that “radical Islam” is a factor in terrorism. These aren’t private citizens making crackpot statements from their armchairs or professors indoctrinating university students, these are the people who are “supposed” to defend our country and protect our freedoms. This type of knee jerk pandering is the last thing that we need.

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Life Update

8 Jul

 

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted here. My life has been pretty crazy for the past week or so, and my brain hasn’t been able to rest long enough to type up anything meaningful. I leave for my second round of Officer Candidate School on Friday. I won’t lie, my nerves have really been acting up. It’s different this time because I know what’s in store and what is expected of me. I have been working for this for two years now, but it always seemed so far away. For me, failure is not an option. I will graduate from that camp. Nothing is promised, and I will have to earn it. The same goes for anything worthwhile in this life. You want it? You better be willing to sacrifice and work for your goals. I just hope I can avoid any serious injuries or illnesses, which is probably the number one way to get sent home. I don’t dwell on that type of stuff though, you can’t. Just do you and hopefully you come out in one piece.

I went back to my childhood home for the past week. It was a good way to relax and ease my mind. Somehow, despite the chaos, I find the familiar faces and surroundings soothing. The beginning of July is always a lot of fun in my household. My sister’s birthday is Independence Day and mine is the fifth. We usually have a big cookout with many family and friends in attendance. This year was no exception. My old man bought a substantial amount of real fireworks from one of our new neighbors, and put on quite the show as the evening progressed. Interestingly, our parish priest came to pay a visit, and ended up staying until late at night. I am not a huge fan of organized religion of any sort. I grew up Catholic, but don’t really attend Church for a variety of different reasons. However, this priest really made an impression on me. He is new at my hometown parish. For anyone who doesn’t know, the priesthood is kind of like the military in that every couple of years or so you get a new assignment and have to relocate wherever you are “redeployed.” This padre, Fr. Messner, wasn’t your typical priest. First, he wasn’t wearing the traditional clerical clothing that most religious don when they appear in public. Second, he was well spoken and very intelligent. He had a very “priestly” way about him and showed a genuine interest in whatever you had to say. He just seemed like he was trying to relax; get away from the constant rigors of his profession and have a bite to eat. It seemed like everyone was trying to engage him in Churchly matters, and he was a little overwhelmed with the direction that some of the conversation was taking. We talked at length off and on throughout the night, mostly about his childhood, my goals in life, and my girlfriend. We also conversed about music (my favorite topic) even though he didn’t seem to share my disdain for ABBA and new U2 records. Regardless, he, in my opinion is a truly great priest. He cares about people, listens well, and isn’t judgmental. I’d be interested to see how he conducts Mass. This would probably require me to attend Sacred Heart (his parish) which probably won’t happen in the foreseeable future.

I said earlier that my birthday was on the fifth. This year was my “big” twenty first. I am one of the youngest kids in my class, and it seems like everyone hit this milestone before me. Currently, I was the only resident of my household that was underage, and I got left out of a lot of nighttime activities. I always wanted to do the whole crazy twenty first birthday bar thing, but with the weight of OCS looming ahead, I figured it would be best to wait. However, my mom fixed me a pretty nice margarita the one night. Next time I’m in town I might have to have her make me another.

So I came back to the city yesterday in order to look at some apartments for next year and spend as much time with my girl as I could. I had a paycheck sitting at work so I headed over there after unsuccessfully traversing around South Philly in search of a residence. I walked in and all of my favorite coworkers were there. It turns out our checks were delayed because of the holiday and weren’t there. However, I wanted to stay and talk to everybody on account of me going away. HUGE mistake!!! One of the regulars, Jukebox Dave, was sitting at the other end of the bar and upon seeing me came up and offered me congratulations. He then proceeded to buy me a beer. “Just one,” I thought to myself. One beer, led to another, which led to another, which led to Jager bombs—-next thing I know it’s not even eight o’clock and I’m completely gone. I’m not a big drinker, so my tolerance is next to zero. On top of this I had a hard workout earlier in the day and had not eaten. The alcohol hit me like a brick wall, and I can safely say I remember very little of what transpired after we left the bar. To make matters worse, my girl came in, who doesn’t drink much either, and she did not seem impressed with the state I was in. When I drink too much, I have a tendency to say a lot of stuff I don’t mean, and act real impulsively. Last night was no exception, between sexually harassing the waitstaff at my bar and belligerently yelling at other patrons for my own amusement, I am pretty embarrassed because of my behavior. I feel bad because I’m sure I was being rude and disrespectful to the people I was with. I hate that feeling. I think that’s why I got away from drinking in the first place. You have enough nights of binge drinking and acting like an ass, and you get fed up pretty quick. I don’t think it’s healthy. I’m not sure that its going to stop me from going out, but I need to learn my limits. If anyone is reading this from last night, I’m sorry. Dave, thanks for the drinks man, I owe you one when I get back. I certainly enjoyed myself, and look forward to more crazy nights out on the town.

Another note, when I’m gone I won’t have any access to my phone or a computer. Because of this, I won’t be able to update the site. However, I talked to my assistant and she agreed to transcribe some of the letters that I write home on here. Hopefully, this arrangement works out and I can keep everyone updated. I will try not to complain a lot, but I can’t promise anything. See you on the other side.

The Gang Goes to the Mountains

1 Jul

Growing up, we didn’t take the kind of vacations that other families did. There were no tropical beaches, European sightseeing tours, or cruises. Rather than flying, we packed eleven people into our Econoline van and would travel to our chosen destination. A large portion of our family lives in Florida: twenty plus hour car rides negate whatever benefit vacation is supposed to give you. As I got older and worked more frequently in the summer months, I would often forgo the whole “family vacation” thing. Being home alone by myself was a million times more relaxing then our annual trip to Wallyworld.

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