Labor Day Weekend 2012, I'll be spending it with friends and family, BBQing, skydiving, riding my motorcycle, and enjoying the last weekend of summer. A far cry from last year!
Labor Day Weekend 2011, I was leaving Logan airport early Saturday morning, heading to London, then Bahrain, and finally to Kabul, Afghanistan. It was my second trip overseas (Iraq 2006), and the first for my producer Mike. We spent months planning, training, passing medical tests, gathering gear, preparing our electronics, writing our wills, and mentally getting ready for the trip of a lifetime. We were headed in Kabul, through the commercial airport as 2 civilians, anxious to meet our military escorts, members of Hammer company 1-182 Infantry, Massachusetts Army National Guard.
When we landed, my luggage was missing, including my body armor. It was held up in London's strict baggage inspection. My first convoy was going to be free of any safety equipment, or so I thought. Within 2 minutes of meeting the guys that we would spend the next 2 weeks with, these strangers were all offering to give me their vests, and helmets so that I would be safe. I'm sure their families would have been proud and frightened at the gesture. I spent 45 minutes in the M-ATV hoping that we didn't get attacked because one of "my guys" was wearing no safety gear, and while it was their job to protect me, I could not have something like that on my conscience.
Our days were filled with a mixture of jokes, picture taking, ball busting, sweating, preparing for missions, going on missions, taking tours of facilities, more sweating, blogging, packing, unpacking, eating, sweating, and trying to do a radio show in 120* heat thousands of miles away from home.
Our nights were filled with much of the same. It was an emotional rollercoaster from the time you woke up, until the time you went to bed. BTW, with our schedule we were going to sleep at 0400 and waking up at 0600. No rest for the wicked!
Just like my trip to Iraq in 2006, my favorite times were spent hanging around with the guys. Sitting at the chow hall table, enjoying the US militaries fabulous food (my favorite was the red jello), or smoking cigars at a picnic table learning how to play cards. I made a few close friends in Baghdad on my first trip, so I knew that I would leave Afghanistan with a new group of brothers... I just had no idea how many!
During the trip, I was exhausted, sick with a terrible cough from the dry and badly polluted air, sore from the heavy gear and cramped quarters, scared, emotionally raw, slaphappy, overwhelmed, and strangely, I couldn't get enough of it. I loved every minute! I tired my best to sit down every day and blog about what life was like for me, and more importantly for our local heroes who were halfway through their year long deployment.
The 2 weeks went by in a blink, and before we knew it, it was time to come home. Once again, we had a very scary time at the airport. People always ask me what the scariest part of the trip was... That answer is easy. Any time that I wasn't surrounded by the military. In other words, Kabul International Airport, and in my private room to sleep. Troops weren't allowed inside the airport at all, and my room was a metal box, with no windows and only one door. Not a place to be during an explosion. I didn't sleep very well in there. I preferred the chair in the QRF shack (and so did Mike), surrounded by the noise of my guys! I would rather be on a convoy, at night with them, rather than in a quiet bed alone, sounds stupid I know. But, they made me feel safe and I knew that I was.
I cried the entire day getting ready to leave Afghanistan (I was told that I'm the only person that ever has), I cried during the convoy to the airport, and the entire flight from Kabul to Bahrain. Once in Bahrain, I drowned my sorrows in a long drink list courtesy of my new found brothers, and they watched me and Mike plow through it on Skype. It's amazing how drunk 2 Bostonians can get in an Irish pub, in the Bahrainian airport with a 3 page drink list from the Infantry! We sobered up halfway to London. Ouch!
Before we knew it, we were at Logan again. It was Sunday night in Boston, and we still smelled like Kabul. We missed our guys something awful, and spent the next the next 5 months packing care packages for them, chatting online with them, and making plans for their return. They were 5 long months, and we made a LOT of plans.
It seemed like forever, but early one morning, 5 months ago, I watched "My Guys" (as they had become known), walk off a plane, and smell the 'fresh' air of Boston for the first time in a year. I cried again.
The last 5 months have been spent getting to know them in a different way, out of their uniforms, calling them by their first names, meeting their families, attending their weddings, riding their motorcycles, playing with their kids, and watching them struggle to get back to "normal". I've talked them through divorces, and layoffs, buying and in some cases losing homes, drinking to celebrate, and drinking to forget. Crying from laughter, and from sadness and guilt. It took me a few weeks to get back to 'normal' after only being there for 2 weeks, but I am changed forever by the experience. Now imagine how it is for them? 5 months later, and they still have large pieces of themselves overseas. They look the same from the outside, but their insides are changed forever.
They have been bound together by a year at war, and even though I knew them for a short time during their deployment, I am bound to them forever as well. They are the best people I know. They are generous, selfless, brave, funny, loyal, truthful, blunt, crass, sensitive, and loving. I put my life in the hands of strangers, and it was returned to me in the hands of friends. I have been forever changed because I met them, and knowing that they are out there, protecting all of us, helps me sleep at night.
Happy Anniversary guys, I love you all more than you will ever know. Thank you for your service, your sacrifices, and your gift of friendship and love. I only hope that someday I can repay what you have given me.
So, there you are surfing the internet, and you're thinking, "I don't need a nympho- exhibitionist who will orally pleasure me and my fellow "Planeswalkers" while we're wearing full on Wizard costumes. I'm just looking for someone to talk to..and..maybe pretend they are my Girlfriend Digitally for the low price of $5." Well my friend, let me tell you about Girlfriendhire.com. Or better yet, let the creator of this somewhat sad yet useful site tell you how to be the envy of your friends and the object of female desire without catching any pussy diseases.
Edison College student Cody Krecicki created the site on his back deck in hopes of providing comfort for the socially awkward and starving co-ed population. For the bargain price of $5.00(much less than a lap dance) you can get a girl to post messages on your Facebook page, send you loving texts, make a video for you(sometimes wearing a bikini), or even do your homework. Because any good girlfriend would do your homework right? They even call them "Flings". Don't worry Nerds, there's no physical contact, you don't have to come up with a big line or even shower. Just fork over the 5 bucks and the next thing you know your buddies are high fiving you for finally getting laid. Unless they want to meet her...then you might be in trouble.
Here's a great example: This girl was paid $5.00 to say "Rob Burns Rocks!" and then punch her boyfriend in the face. I don't know what that does for anybody but that hot chick just earned $5.00 to put towards her dream of opening a puppy orphanage. So whatever.
Maybe I could pay a girl to make a video of herself making bacon....mmmmm, that's hot!
Yes, it seems kind of pathetic, but you have to start somewhere. Plus there are many other things you can make happen for $5.00. This is a great tool to prank someone with(or crush their lonely heart) Listen to the interview below to get more details. So break out those Lincolns, Girlfriends are standing by.
UPDATE: Well here's my new "Fling", Cene. Now I can tell all the guys at my weekly D&D meet up I've had female contact.
I'm going to try the bacon thing next. I'll keep you posted.
Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich's first musical memory is of Deep Purple. Not bad. Mine is of Ray Stevens. My Mom, Dad, and myself singing "Everything Is Beautiful" along with the record. It's a warm, happy memory that will live with me forever...but Ray Stevens is not as cool as Deep Purple. Lars may have earlier memories of music but I'm sure he went with the most Rock memory.
This clip is taken from Dave Grohl's Sound City Documentary. I love it because Lars' love of the memory and of the band is heartfelt. Just like Metallica's cover of Deep Purple's "When A Blind man Cries" from the Re- Machined tribute to the Machine Head album. You can tell much respect and love went into recording it. You can read more about that on Mistress Carrie's Music Director Blog.
Yesterday I told you the "First Six Things" you should do when you get to the office... Of course Forbes has their opinion. WAAF.com has altered their research to make the rest of us succeed.
Here's their list of the six things you should do at the END of every work day. It's mostly about organizing stuff... Which sucks. So here is what we say to do...
#1.) Evaluate Your To-Do List Facebook Account. Screw working on a to-do list for tomorrow, you have ALL NIGHT to think about that. Cruise your FB account for the next smash. See who just broke up with their significant other and pounce. You are going to feel like a champ when you stroll into the office 45 mins late after morning sex.
#2.) Start a NEW To-Do List Who-To-Do LIst. What's with all this to-do list crap? Here's a list for you. Make a smash list. Write down all the smoke-shows in your office and fire away. Chicks love getting hit on at work.
#3.) Reflect Facebook on Your Entire Day. Every 30 seconds, try to think of something GOOD that happened, or something you achieved, or better yet, just make something up. It'll help you leave work on a positive note, and hopefully in a slightly better mood by crapping on your fellow co-workers and laughing behind their backs with your friends.
P.S. Make sure you check your security settings!
#4.) Clean Re-Up. Call your dealer BEFORE you leave. You know his ass is lazy as hell. So get this out of the way and call early. Also try to refer people from your office who get loaded for a much needed discount. They will never sell you out because they want to re-up as well. Never get loaded with your boss, just give them free drugs to use on their own time.
#5.) NEVER Say "Goodbye" Before you leave. It tips everyone off that you are leaving an hour early everyday. Quietly slip out the door. Take the back staircase and dip out when nobody is looking. Nobody likes the person who gets up and says "goodbye" to everyone every day anyway... Who frigging cares? Its work. That is like saying goodbye to all the correction officers before you get out of jail. You probably hate all these people so jet and go get hammered with your homies.
--Plus, it's never smart to check in with your boss to make sure nothing else needs to be done. He will ALWAYS make you stay to do shit he should be doing. If you ARE the boss, then hand off all your responsibilities to your dick-boy and take off.
#6.) Don't Take Your Work Stress with You. I think this is the only one I agree with. Chances are you have plenty of stress to deal with at HOME too, so do your best to forget about work once you leave the office. You know your wife is just waiting for you to come home to bitch you out. And your ungrateful kids can't wait to ask you for thousands of dollars worth of junk.
--If you are lucky enough to have a desk job, try this: Take that useless Red Sox calendar magnet and slap it on the side of your PC. This should completely scramble your hard-drive, next rub it on your phone. When you come in the next day play dumb and say... Jeez I had no idea that could mess up my CPU".
If you try to make a grand romantic gesture, and almost die in the process, does that make it more romantic? Or less romantic? For this guy's sake, let's say MORE.
This month, in Chongqing in southern China, a man named Hu Seng decided to surprise his girlfriend by having his friend seal him in a CARDBOARD BOX, then had him delivered to her place by a courier. There was only one problem. This dumbass didn't poke holes in the box for air, because he was afraid they'd ruin the surprise.
The courier service didn't realize there was a man in the box, and it took them three hours to deliver him, instead of the 30 minutes Hu expected. So by the time Hu's girlfriend opened it, he'd PASSED OUT... But paramedics came and were able to revive him.
The Brussels Affair, the Rolling Stones’ live album from 1973, is about to have its first ever physical release in the form of a one of a kind box set, hand signed by Mick.
The box set comprises of:
The Brussels Affair on 180 gram vinyl
A limited edition book, hand-signed by Mick Jagger, featuring words on the Stones in 1973 by renowned rock critic Nick Kent (who toured with the band in Europe that year), and rare and unseen photographs by Michael Putland the tour’s official photographer.
A booklet of rare and unseen photos from the Brussels shows by rock photographer Claude Gassian
1973 tour lithograph
A "Tongue & Lips" watch which includes canvas band with steel buckle, Japan Seiko Movement and stainless steel face with brass dial.
The "Art Edition" includes a Silver Gelatin Print hand-signed by the photographer Michael Putland.
The "Platinum Edition" includes the 1973Tour Lithograph hand-signed by Mick Jagger.
In 1973 the Rolling Stones were banned from entering France, due to run-ins with the law whilst recording Exile On Main St in Villefranche-Sur-Mer. This was a blow to the Stones’ hordes of French fans, who would potentially be excluded from experiencing the Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band In The World on their 1973 European Tour. That October, the band organized a concert in neighbouring Belgium, chartering a train from Paris to take fans and press to Brussels for two now-historic gigs.
Researchers from Cornell University studied 193 last meal requests from Death Row inmates between 2002 and 2006 and found that men(and two Women) who are about to die like to fill up on Meat and Potatoes. You can see the info here. Hamburgers, Fried Chicken and Steak seem to be the most requested as well as French Fries. In fact, more than two thirds of the condemned ordered something fried. Pies and Ice Cream were the most popular deserts. Oklahoma City Bomber Timothy McVeigh requested two pints of Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. I'm sure that left an interesting clean up after his termination. The most popular fast food requests were from McDonalds, Wendy's, and KFC. That's a great selling point for those establishments. "The #1 choice of the Condemned! Bring the family!"
Fruits and Vegetables were less popular. The average last meal calorie count in this study was 2756. Four of the meal requests came in at over 7200 calories. One of those requests was for 12 pieces of fried chicken, two buttered rolls, mashed potatoes with brown gravy, two sodas and a pint each of strawberry and vanilla ice cream. And why not for crying out loud! Who's counting calories when you're scheduled to die in 24 hours? I'd go for a whole bucket of Extra Crispy. Actually I have and I'm not even on death row. Although my diet may say otherwise.
Lead researcher Brian Wansik says most prisons have a budget for the meals and there is no alcohol served. Which is fine with me. I'm not sure they should get any at all. The people these guys killed didn't get a chance for a last meal request.
My big question is: Why is Cornell University doing this study? We all have a Morbid fascination with Death and Executions. But this seems useless. Unless they were funded by Yum Corporation(KFC) to see how they can take more of the Last Meal business away from Mickey D's and Wendy's. This information may also be used by the Michele Obama's Let's Move organization. She might start a campaign to make healthier last meals because the condemned are too obese. You think I'm joking?
So, you knew this was coming: What would be your Last Meal? Let me know in the comment section below.
You've probably got a routine down for how you start work each day. But if it seems like you're not organized enough, or you just want to be told how to work by crusty dirtballs, this list might help...
--According to "Forbes", these are the first six things you should do when you get to work each day... We altered the list a bit for you, our dedicated minions.
#1.) Get there on time, when you can... It's not just because being late makes you look bad. It's also because not being there on time can throw off your whole day, as well as others. But if you don't give a crap about the millionare jerk-off (who you are making rich each day) one bit, then roll in when you get there.
#2.) Take a deep breath, and puke in your waste bucket. According to one expert, you should sit down in your chair, stop for a few seconds, and just breathe. Your hangover will pass. The buzz from that spliff will subside, and you will sober up soon. Breathe and vomit, breathe and vomit. Simply GETTING to work can be stressful, waking up is hard, so it's good to take a few seconds and slow things down when life gets real.
#3.) Give yourself five sixty minutes to settle in. Don't just dive into a project or start making phone calls. Chill the hell out for a few, call your girl, or better yet hit on the new girl. Get a coffee, take a crap and get situated. It's your bosses dime. Try to start your day with something less stressful, like to hell with organizing your desk or listening to your voicemail.
#4.) Say Hello to People the hot chicks. Even if you're not much of a morning person, chat up the chicas. Don't just let them sit there... Say HELLO (don't email them though, your significant other might find the evidence) it shows that you're at least making an effort. And it's even more important if you're the boss is a hottie, they usually are into abusing their power, and will smash you out after hours.
P.S. One of the biggest pet peeves for employees is when their immediate supervisor gets to work and doesn't acknowledge them. So keep it up. Who the hell cares if they FEEL warm and fuzzy. It's work people, not day care.
#5.) Organize Your Day. According to "Forbes", the first hour of your workday is the best time to prioritize and figure out what you DEFINITELY need to accomplish. So we suggest the exact opposite. Do this at the end of your day so you can totally scew off for the remaining time of your work day.
--But a lot of people get distracted in the morning by things that don't actually need immediate attention. So just refer back to #3, or go out and smoke a joint...
--Here's one of them . . .
#6.) Don't Get Distracted Answering Answer Emails. If you HAVE to check them first thing in the morning, go ahead... but skip the ones that aren'tare urgent. It's usually pretty easy to tell just from reading the subject line. Anything with exclamation points, avoid. Anything with multiple exclamation points, just totally delete that drivel. No one wants to get to work to a bunch of work. Delete and play dumb... "Hmmmm... I never got it?" should be the response in your clip to fire out the second your boss asks.
--A lot of people end up checking ALL their new messages, and guess what? Their life SUCKS. Then Hopefully you stumble on some video link a friend sent with some nudity in it, or a dash of new porn, and end up wasting 20 minutes to an hour, which hopefully throws off the rest of their your day.