Four Days Feels Like Forever
Wow. Has it really been four days since my last post? I guess that's not terrible, although I would really like to be posting more often than that. Here's the best excuse I can muster... I used to spend my time at work not actually working. It was a pretty sweet deal, really. Despite my complaints about life out here, it wasn't so bad there for a while. I'd come into work, but I'd spend the majority of the day writing blog posts, sending and returning emails, and surfing the web. Lately though, work has been too busy for me to indulge myself with "personal stuff." I actually have to get some work done now. As a result, six days out of the week look a lot like this: wake up, start the coffee, throw some clothes on, get ready for work. Go to work and spend 10-12 hours doing repetitive, annoying, and sometimes stressful work. Leave work, go back to the hut, make up for lost time by surfing all the news/webcomics/blogs/techie-sites that I didn't have time to surf at work. Look at the clock, realize it's bedtime. Go to bed, get up the next day and do it all again. It's a very boring life, and it doesn't leave a whole lot of time for writing blog posts. I think the problem is that when I get home from work, I tend to use the internet in much the same way as I used the TV back home. I'd instinctively turn it on, and then proceed to "zone out" for a while. Usually "a while" would turn into hours, and before I knew it the evening was wasted. I can justify using the internet in this way to some extent, in that it's more interesting and educational than almost anything I ever used to watch on TV, but still...it's not really a great way to spend my time. I'd rather be interacting and engaging with people, which is probably why I'm so anxious to get back home. It'd be nice to at least have someone to say hi to and make small talk with when I get "home." In the meantime, however, this blog is my best way to "engage" others, so I guess I need to be more diligent with it while I'm still here. I'll work on that, I promise. So now that we're "engaging," what is there to say? Not a whole lot, really. I just described to you above, in a whopping three or four incomplete sentences, the extent of 90% of my life. Boring, ain't it? At least it won't be too much longer until I can get home and (hopefully) add a little bit more excitement to my existence. I'm anxiously tracking the status of the CDs I ordered, which I guess is kind of fun. I placed various orders at various websites, and it breaks down into six different shipments, three of which have already been dropped in the mail. It's kind of a guessing game with the mail out here -- I've received some packages as quickly as six days while others have taken three weeks. There's really no rhyme or reason to it, and since we can only receive US Postal Service mail out here, it isn't track-able like UPS or FedEx. It makes going to the daily mail call fun because you never know if your stuff's going to be there. I guess it's a good sign that I can still find joy in the little things like waiting for the mail -- at least I know I haven't become hopelessly jaded by the monotony. I'm also looking forward to an upcoming trip to Kabul, although I suppose I should probably get off my butt and plan the trip before I get too excited about it. The "planning" really only consists of making a phone call or two to find out when I can get on a convoy down there, but I still haven't managed to do that yet. I have gotten permission from my boss to head down there, so that's a start. He told me I could take a "day or two" to go down there, but what he doesn't know won't hurt him. If I get down there and then feed him a line about how I can't get back because they don't have any convoys to Bagram scheduled, what's he going to do? I'm thinking I'll be down there for at least three days, maybe more. He'll get over it. Speaking of bosses, I also sat down with the Country Manager recently (he's like the Supreme Boss of Everything) and we talked about my status. I came clean and told him I was planning to leave in August, and he was surprisingly cool with it. He even hooked me up with a new set of orders which state I'll be staying until May 2006, which is sweet because now I can renew my Army ID card. I'll be home in August, but I'll have an "Army Contractor" ID card that lasts until next May. Guaranteed I'll be flashing that sucker anywhere and everywhere a military discount is offered -- might as well milk this thing for all it's worth. I could probably even use the orders to get a free military flight to Europe and back, although that might be pushing it. Anyway, the one thing that Supreme Boss told me was that he wants me to start "coaching" a replacement for the Team Lead position, and I've already got someone picked out for that. I talked to her today and she's on board with it, so hopefully soon I can start slowly but surely pawning my work duties off onto her until I slip out of the picture entirely. Ideally she'll have taken over the Team Lead role entirely by the end of July, enabling me to sit back and idly collect one last paycheck before I get on a plane. That'd be pretty cool. Well, I guess that's about all I got for now, and the clock is telling me that it's definitely pushing bedtime. If I haven't returned your email it's only because I've been busy daydreaming about actually seeing you face-to-face soon. I'll write back soon, and in the meantime I'll be counting the days and probably still procrastinating on the packing. Some things never change.