Wednesday, February 06, 2008

And I Don't Know Where I'm Going...

I just want to be left alone
Well, when this train ends
I'll try again
But I'm leaving my woman at home...
Tuesday's gone with the wind.
Tuesday's gone with the wind.
Tuesday's gone with the wind.
My woman's gone with the wind...

So, it's been a month since I've written, and a pretty eventful one, too. A lot has happened, so I might as well start with the beginning and move on from there.

Went into CSU-East ('the pool') the day after my last entry; I knew they moved the building, and I had a vague idea and some rough instructions on where it was now, so I left with plenty of time (I hoped) to search the base for it. And search I did, finally managing to find it quite by accident - right across the street from the old church, which is where I ended up parking for most of my time there.

Went into small arms training the next week, four days at the local gun store - no new material, but I enjoy shooting, and my quals had expired, so it was definitely due. The enjoyment of the class was immediately dampened my first day in when I received word that my grandfather had died. My family advised me to stick it out until the end of the day, as there wasn't anything I could do to help out at home, and if I left the class I would be out for good and have to reschedule, so stick it out I did, then went over to my grandmother's house to supply sympathy and motive power for furniture rearrangement.

I passed all three weapons - my favorite, of course, being the shotgun, although I think I scored best overall on the pistol. My last day of class (that Thursday) was also the day my little sister flew out to England for school, and I was able to get out of class early enough to see her off at the airport (along with my parents). I took off the next Friday, and the first few days of the next week, for bereavement - my grandfather's funeral was on the Monday following. I was asked to be a pallbearer for him - there were only six male relatives attending, so it worked out pretty well. For the first time ever, I wore a suit - my parents were kind enough to pick one up for my brother and I. Mine required very little tailoring, and I picked up a rather dashing topcoat to go along with it - and the weather was actually cool enough to warrant wearing it.

My brother, my friends, and I had an unofficial wake that night, a pretty decent party - the rest of the week was mostly uneventful, with Jason, myself, and Jason's friend Sara making it to DoomGloom at the Wave that Tuesday. We had a birthday party for Mike over the weekend that went mostly well (barring a major disagreement between my brother and I that still has a stony silence reigning supreme), and I was back in the pool on Monday. Tuesday brought some noise that I might be flying to Oman to join the USNS John Lenthall, but this proved to be unfounded; instead, Friday morning I walked into the pool to be greeted with the announcement that I would be bound for the USNS Lewis & Clark on the 'Magic Bus' the next day.

Well... joy.

Saturday's long bus trip (and many irritating hijinks therein) left me sitting in New Jersey, once again back in Earle, at the end of the looooong ammo pier... this time on the opposite side of what I'm used to. The Supply is here as well, which is fortunate - I took advantage of this to move the stuff I left behind there across to the my new room, here on the L&C.

They've got me on watch - I'm on the midnight to 8 watch right now, as I write this. It's kinda strange, being a watchstander again after over a year as a dayworker - it's not too hard to get into the old rhythm and rotation, but the rotating schedule annoys me more than it used to, probably because I'm no longer used to it. The L&C is... well, I guess strange is the only way to put it, and I'm not sure how much of that is because I'm not used to her, and how much of that is because she really is a strange ship. Her deck layout is different from any of my past ships, and a lot of things on board just don't seem quite right to my experience... for example, to reach after steering, or the fantail, you either need to go outside the skin of the ship (through a hatch on the flight deck, or a door on RAS station 8), or else you need to go through the engine room. Things like that... the ship just seems very oddly put together.

Also, the library is entirely too small and bare - although I foresee myself changing that, as I read books and discard them there. :)

So, I guess that's about it. I'd intended to add illustrative pictures from my Flickr account where applicable, but I unfortunately can't sign into it on the ship's computers - no commercial e-mail sites, like GMail or Yahoo allowed. Oddly enough, I can sign into my Gmail stuff - like my blog here - and unlike on the Supply I can log into my blog and write an entry.

Eh, whatever.

It's damn near 5:30 in the AM out here, and I've still got over 2 hours left on watch. Man, I'm ready for bed.

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