Wednesday, July 16, 2008

this is just strange...

So apparently Elizabeth Dole wants to rename and AIDS prevention bill after the late Sen. Jesse Helms, a man who said of AIDS and those who get it,
deliberate, disgusting, revolting conduct...We've got to have some common sense about a disease transmitted by people deliberately engaging in unnatural acts.

He even voted against the Ryan White AIDS remember the little boy who got AIDS and died right? There were all kinds of TV specials about him I remember watching and growing up.

Is she serious? Or is this some kind of a sick joke?

looking back...

I had some time to think back on the past and what I'd do differently and, briefly, here's what I've come up with. You see, growing up, I never tried anything. I didn't play sports, or learn an instrument or write or paint or race or...anything really. I was always scared and always thought that, since I wasn't already good at whatever it might be I wanted to try, I didn't want to try it. Now I realize how much I missed out on and try to rectify that when approached with new opportunities. I don't really care how bad I am at something, or how bay I may be at something. If you say, "Hey, Adam, want to try..." I normally say yes (barring it being illegal anyway). Anyway, I was just sitting here thinking about that and thought I'd share.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


So, I'm out in Austin w/ my friend Zach tonight. He is from USMA '08 (I know...who knew that the last year would go by so fast?) we went to some bars and walked around Austin and, when last call happened, we found out we needed to be on Fourth and Something ("something" being a street I don't currently remember) I walked up to one of those tourist bike guys who gives you rides to your car if you're drunk for tips and said, "hey man, where is fifth and something? that way (pointing right) or that? (pointing left)"

He looked at me and said, "Adam."

I looked at him unsure of who he was and, after a minute of reflection, realized it was Chris, my old friend from USMA prep. He was my classmate and left the academy our Cow year. I haven't heard from him in any fashion other than facebook for some time and thought to myself, "Holy Cow! This is a small world!"

I jumped on his bike for a ride and heard about his life (aspirations to teach) and talked about our current lives (happiness meter on my side: 50% at best) It was a great surprise to see him and, hopefully, we'll hang out soon.

Zach, also, was a nice surprise. He's here for the weekend or, at least, until he is bored. We haven't seen one another in a year and things were awkward at first. He's far smarter than I and I think we both know that, however, we met as plebe and yuk and that relationship still somehow matters. I told him, in all honesty, about my time in the Army and what life is like. He had some drinks and otherwise enjoyed Austin.

It was/is nice to see old friends and remember where I came from and how happy and expectational I was just a year ago. I think, in a lot of ways, this will help me to truck through the next few difficult weeks. I don't know about you all, but, much like an adult seeing a child who wants to be a firefighter makes you remember what you wanted to be; seeing Zach as a Lieutenant reminds me of who I should be now.

Good times in Austin...Old friends found...Life, tonight, is good.

**disclaimer- I was kind of (a lot) drunk when I wrote this when we came back last night so I hope you all take the post for what it's worth, but I don't really like to delete things once I've posted them--even when they're poorly written.**

Monday, July 07, 2008

family and friends...

The past two weekends have seen a flurry of activity out my way with friends and relatives making the trek to Texas. It's been amazing and fun, but also tiring. This month is a heavy month of training for me and workdays have started earlier and lasted later. This, coupled with the weekend visits, has made me a very tired person.

Last weekend James, Claire and Alex came to visit me. We went tubing, drank beer and otherwise enjoyed each other's company. I would write more, but I believe there are maybe two people other than those who I just listed as being on the visit, so it would be a little unnecessary for me to explain the weekend to those who were here with me.

This weekend, my cousin Valeria and my Godson, Eli, came out. I haven't been around a baby in a long time (maybe toddler is better since he's 1.5 yrs old) and I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Baby's are great, because they make you so happy when they smile and laugh. That laugh that children have that's just so pure and happy can make you smile even when they've kept you up all night crying or spilled milk all over the place...they laugh, and it seems as though everything in the world will be OK.

Valeria and I had a blast, but it was strange to me to imagine her as a mother. Even as I watched her do all the motherly things like warming milk, speaking baby jibberish or sucking boogers out of his nose, I can't help but think of her as the eighth grader I used to look up to when we were in elementary school. I talked to her for a while about this, and how for Eli, he will never be able to imagine her as doing anything other than being his mother.

I try to remember that when I talk to my own mom...that she's more than a mother, she's also just another person--a woman in the world trying to find her own happiness and her own life. It's difficult to do sometimes, but I think spending some time with Val has given me a point of reference I did not have before.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

ahead of the power curve...

I wrote earlier about Army/Navy politics and now, look at what I read on Slate:
The Grunt vs. the FlyboyThe real reason for Wesley Clark's ill-advised comments about John McCain's military record.
So, in case you were wondering, for ahead-of-the-powercurve coverage of the world, read my blog.

More seriously though, I think this article demonstrates a little of what I was talking to Alex about. That being, the idea that there is a much larger difference in understanding between people in the military, people who know someone in the military intimately, and people who do not even know someone in the military, than I realized. Anyone who has been in the military would know that the article I linked to above has no new information (hence why I so quickly noticed the Army/Navy rivalry when I first read it) but apparently it took until July 1 for someone not in the military to notice something that seemed so obvious.

So, my question becomes, barring militarizing society, how do we bridge that gap? I suspect the next generation of politicians will do more than the last since so many thousands of soldiers will now have served for five to seven years, taken their free college and then moved into the civilian world. They will go into business and politics with military experience, but without being "militarized" in the same way that lifetime service does and, I hope, do more to bring understanding to our lawmaking bodies.