Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A letter to the President

What is going on with this country? At times I feel so helpless, like there is so little I can do to turn stuff around. And then I realize that despite my lack of millions, my bluecollar job, and my anonymity to the powers that be, I still possess the same thing they do--one single vote. And until I can wield that power to vote, I will vent my frustrations to the government in a series of letters to the President (or Congressmen/women). Some I may send, some I may just write because they are seriously ticking me off. This is the first one (oh, and I sure as heck sent it):

Eva Alvarado
***** ******* Road
San Diego, CA 92127-1360
July 27, 2011
The President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20500
Re: Proposed Military Pay Freeze
Dear President Obama:
The following letter is in regard to recent news reports that the President's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform is proposing a three-year freeze on military pay and housing allowance, and an increase in out-of-pocket medical costs in order to cut the federal budget deficit.
I am also writing in response to a proposal to privatize military retirement. As an active duty member with 9 years in the service, I find it reprehensible that all this time I have spent away from my family--my husband and daughter on deployments (6 total, one year-long IA) will be for just the possibility--not the guarantee--of retirement.
I understand that we are in troubled times and that there are cuts that need to be made, but these troubled times were created because of corporate greed. Outsourcing has led to American jobs being cut, which has had a terrible trickle down effect on our livelihood as Americans. Do we really want to leave our retirement up to these same fat cats that have contributed to the demise of our economy?
How many of us are going to trust our retirement on the Stock Market? The military is not a corporation, so why are corporate retirements plans in store for us?
GSE2 (SW/AW) Eva Alvarado

Eva Alvarado sent this message using the Capwiz·XC system on the Web site. To learn more about's issues, please visit

(I hope it wasn't too rude. I also went to my congressman, representative, their housemaid, and the presidential puppy. Just kidding about the housemaid. She has no time for that level of shennanigans) 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The end is nigh, the noise is high

I leave this place in five days. Five. days. I haven't packed anything but cold weather gear and the end to the cruise book is close, but not quite. I've spent 90% of my last 2 weeks hunched over a computer doing layout and ignoring the fact that there are still a billion things left to do before I leave. Like packing. And sending stuff home. And doing that LPO turnover binder. And finishing the cruise book. And the meeting with the XO. And mentoring a junior sailor. And working out. And calling the guy about the thing for the order form things. And sleeping eventually. And maybe eating something besides tuna packets and candy. Oh, and this sore throat that I'm sure will develop into something more sinister right before I leave. It's all noise. A series of clangs and clacks and booms of lists that demand that I pay attention this way, no that.

And then I call home...

And eventually I talk to the Bug. And then all I hear is her. Her sweet soft voice and occasional exclamatory remarks mute the noise brought on by the lists. I know that everything here is irrelevant, because all I hear is her...

And then I hang up and the noise resumes. But only for five more days.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

On dreams, memories, and death

I haven't dreamt about my sister in a long time. When she died, I would dream about her at least once a week. Then the frequency of the dreams waned until just now I realized that I haven't dreamt about her. I'm beginning to forget the sound of her voice. My memories of her have begun to fade, like the dissipation of cigarette smoke. All that's left is a sense of longing and regret.

Is forgetting a way for our mind to heal? Is the loss of memories a numbing salve for our brain? We hurt and after time we forget. All that's left are scars from the past. But scars fade with enough time, and given enough time, so do memories. I fear that my memory of her is fading as the years go by. I'm rambling and with enough emotion, my writing suffers. But I need that emotion. I need to remember her, no matter how much it hurts. I need to remember her because if I don't, then she'll really be gone.

It's time like these when I actually wished I believed in the afterlife.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Deployment--a manifesto

There is a string that ties me to you and you to me.
A string that no one can see,
A string that keeps my wandering soul from wandering too far,
A line that keeps me grounded, a northern star
that guides me back to where I came from:

A place in time where your neck smells like blankets on a Saturday morning.
The gum in your hair, exposed skin on your knees
The moment when you realized you shouldn't have climbed that tree
But you did anyway (No, wait that was me)

The heart in your toast
The char in your heart
that results from the feeling that I'm not there
(I am, I swear)

There may be things that you may not count on, but count on this--
I will leave.
But no matter how many times I may leave you,
I will never go farther than the string between you and me
And I will always return

Monday, February 28, 2011

The C Word

As always, I am up to the brim with things to do. My Plan of the Day, To Do List, Tasker list and dry erase boards (yes, I have more than one) have all been piling up on my desk and wall, taunting me with their unchecked boxes and their unfinished statuses.

I look at the pile of paperwork to my right and the unanswered mail, the unwritten reports, the lonely study texts gathering dust behind me, the half-empty cruise book layout that requires tending and all I can think about is Henry Miller and his gratuitous use of the word cunt. Life around me is growing moss from total disuse while my mind wanders to tawdry and illicit scenes that one simple and vulgar word can imply.
Why do we place such importance to words that define our genitals? Why do words like “cock,” “pussy,” and “cunt” excite and alarm us? Has our society become so Puritanical that we are programmed to flinch at the mere mention of our reproductive organs? Why is it okay to say reproductive organs but it’s not okay to say cunt? And why has that word become an insult?
I can’t help but stay lost in thought, stuck in my mind’s eye as I sit here and wonder the whys of the etymology of our sexual organs. I think back to times of clandestine trysts when life was colorful and dangerous and loud and raw. When times were uncertain and love happened and came and went in a span or hours, days, maybe even weeks if you were lucky.  There was abandon and noise and turbulence brought on by a mere surreptitious glance from across the room.
Life was dangerous. Love was dangerous. And the C word was more than just a word. It was an invitation.

Not there’s a new C word that I have to focus on: completion. As in the completion of these damn tasks.

Monday, February 21, 2011

New music at the PX--A Review

I never really expect to find anything good or interesting while wading through the usual mainstream douchiness that is displayed in the "music" section at the PX. I usually thumb through the cds out of habit, not really expecting to find anything that doesn't involve Katy Perry or some other lame-ass pop doyenne making money out of Autotune. I have on a few occasions been pleasantly surprised. A few months ago, I came across an OK GO! album, a Franz Ferdinand album, and the new Hole (released out here about 9 months after the US release, but oh well).

Yesterday, during my usual pseudo-distracted search through the cds I came across the new My Chemical Romance album (released in November). I was somewhat disappointed after their attempt to mimic Green Day's American Idiot level of epic-ness (and their obvious Pink Floyd The Wall rip-off) in The Black Parade. I had heard one of their singles on Sirius when I went home during R&R and I wasn't impressed. The introduction to Sing sounded too much like Incubus, which totally pissed me off because one Incubus is one too many. But, like a faithful fan of MCR, I still held hope that this time it would be different...
So I bought the album.

It was epic.
The intro threw me off a little bit. 29 seconds of smooth-talking hipster traffic reporter followed by an explosive EARGASMIC song that did the job of waking me up for a little uninhibited underwear dancing in my PCB. Their sound is similar to their first two albums (energetic, unrestrained, and emotional) but the vibe is more energetic and effervescent. MCR has replaced the EMO-ish lyrics with something a little more adult, a little more exhuberant, a little more eclectic, while still maintaining the integrity of the sound that drew the fans in the first place.

I haven't skipped through a single song and I'm happy to report that my relationship with MCR has been restored. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Blue toenails, scuffed knees, and a whole lotta hurt

Running is the only physical activity that I can do pretty well (with my clothes on....OH!).
I hate running. And on that note, I have come to have a love/loathe relationship that is just about as disfunctional as the myriad of relationships that I have--through the course--of my life grown accustomed to. In other words, I get hurt and keep coming back like an absolute fool.
Take last night for example--my marathon training plan is scheduling me to do my long runs on Saturday. Yesterday was the Saturday of my week 5 which meant I was in for a good one. 10 miles to be exact. And despite the fact that I have flat feet and the coordination of a drunk 5 year old, I decided--what the hell.
So here I am, a day later. My purple toenail has become blue, my ankles feel like I've been walking with weights, my knees feel ancient, and I have a considerable amount of exposed bloody skin on my knee.

So next Saturday's 12 miles...this time it'll be different, I swear. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day in the desert is like any other holiday on deployment--a shadow of the real thing. Red and pink and purple decorations pepper the hallways and offices are stacked with chocolates and other sweets. So it has become like a standard second grade Valentine's Day. Gone are all the things that make this holiday interesting--dressing up for a date, drinks, dinner, sex, and yes...heels. Instead I wear steel toe boots that at times weigh me down with the knowledge that there is no way on earth I could ever look sexy in them. A set of cammie tops and bottoms that are disproportionately baggy and my hair pulled back in a tight militant, unattractive bun. I can't wait to feel feminine again.

trite: a rant

This deployment has been a series of peaks and troughs, wavelengths of high and lows that have at present left me exhausted and at times indifferent. I started this blog because I wanted to see the transition of what would become of me and I see that nothing has changed except that I am still the same emotional mess I was when I began. Except now, I have forgotten what is important to me.
I wanted to conserve that piece of myself that missed my life back home. I wanted to preserve myself from missing my home--my family and friends and way of living. In doing so, I fear I have become but a shell of indifference. A robot, a golem, a machine who has replaced loving and the feeling of being loved with work and projects and minutiae of day to day activities.
My day is filled to the brim and none of it fills me. Nothing fulfills me and it has almost become a torture to see pictures of the Bug because I know that when I talk to her, I am irrelevant too. Life goes on at home while this Neverland keeps me preserved in a formaldehyde jar of day to day crap.
Work, study, homework, run, and there's no room left for emotions, there's no room left for love, there's no room left for my human side because allowing the human side to take over would destroy me.
I was hoping to update posts with silly drawings and comical illustrations. But today, this is all I am--trite.