Chapters, My

8 10 2013

I’ve noticed in my nearly 30 years on this earth that our lives are made up of chapters, much like a book.

For most of us, it is outlined by major events in our lives.  For the military folk it is broken into their tours, as one tour ends, so begins a new phase in their lives.

I would say that I have had the usual ups and downs and life events in each chapter of my life.  High school and into the Navy was the first chapter, the longest, and maybe one of the most important.  It made me who I am today, and it is what shaped my values and codes.  However, the events since then have transformed me into so much more.

When I joined the Navy I was a completely different person.  I think I had always sought that structure in life, everything having a place and a recognized order.  This is what the Navy provided.  After boot camp, where I learned to just keep your mouth shut and follow directions…sometimes blindly, I went to school in Florida.  This is where I continued to learn how to not always speak my mind while I sometimes learned the hard way and rarely saw the “bigger picture” that everyone always talked about.  I just thought the military would be a four year job, and I could learn about myself, and start my college fund.  This is what I kept in mind for four years.  When I arrived in Hawaii to my first duty station, I was picked up for ceremonial guard where I performed in several burials and retirements.  This is where my sense of history and heritage began, meeting all kinds of people, all with individual stories and deep respect for what the Navy had provided them.  After a few months I headed up to my actual job.  It was not what I had hoped for, and did not prove to be as rewarding as I had hoped.  I was junior ranking, and I was so hungry for responsibility and the chance to lead people that I became discontented with my position and people telling me that some goals were just not possible.  I had some terrible leadership, and it is from them that I learned what not to do with my future Sailors.  I made a few long-lasting friends and got to explore Hawaii’s islands and also see Japan and the Philippines.

My second tour brought me to the middle east; the tiny island of Bahrain in the Arabian Gulf.  Yes, I actually had to google the place before agreeing to take on the orders.  Here I had an extremely rewarding tour and learned many leadership traits from several leaders who were in and out of the command, as it was a one year billet.  Although we worked our asses off and had many a 16-18 hour day, I wouldn’t go back and change a thing.  The work we put in was worth the dividends…but I did learn that when accepting high stress billets you need to be prepared.  I also learned how to live alone and depend on myself, so I came out much stronger on the other end.  I had time to start blogging and also get into fitness. For my next duty station, I knew it had to be a ship, in order to ensure my transition into the next higher paygrade, and also broaden my experience.

My most recent chapter brought me to the mighty sea….where Sailors belong, right?  My very first PCS tour afloat.  By far this has been the most rewarding tour yet.  I have learned so much from my chain of command as they have supported me in every move and decision I have made.  I have found my place in the Navy and they have empowered me to move forward with my career, which is what I will pass on to my Sailors.  The feeling I had when I was in Hawaii and I wanted so much to be the one making things happen and having those Sailors in my charge depending me was finally here.  It is unfortunate, but in the military you have to attain a certain rank to be put into positions of leadership.  Maybe I wasn’t ready in Hawaii, who knows, but I was  able to grow into the shoes that my previous mentors had left for me.

Through my travels in the Navy I have tried to date but never really made it work…some of the relationships bled over from one chapter to the next, but I could never force myself to choose my personal life over the military.  Which sounds pretty sad when saying it out loud.  Many a person has asked me what will be there for me after the Navy……the military or my family?  We all know the answer, however the military has yet to let me down as some of the men boys I have encountered….whether by simple incompatibly or pure self destruction.  Maybe the next chapter in my life will bring prince charming but for now I will stick with my Navy life and travels.  I am definitely open to any suitor that can handle this!

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Lane-isms

7 06 2012

So I’m sure at work you all have “that guy” who is completely awkward, kind of strange looking, and says shit that only creepy people think is normal.

We had one of those in Hawaii and these are a few of his “isms.” Found these while I was packing today.

1. Yea, the townspeople raised me. (Talking about how he was “raised in a cult”).

2. My glasses enunciate my forehead, they make it more pronounced.

3. Today is deader than my great great grandfather who died from kerosene poisoning.

4.  I’m perfectly content with talking with myself.

5. I was forced to eat one apple every five minutes for three hours. It was an order from the cult leader.

6. Why does no one talk about the fact Jesus had bastard children?

7. I wonder what it would be like if Inspector Gadget was a porn star.

8. My genius is actually true.

9. I’m not a good catcher, if you catch my drift.

10. (Someone asks) What color is this? (Lane responds) Shiny.

11. Sometimes I wish I was a bastard.

12. You just said my magic language.

13. My parents didn’t even know they were getting married until the middle of the meeting.

14. I don’t understand half of what I say or a millionth of what I think.

15. Someday I’m going to open Neverland Ranch 2.





So, what do you do?

22 09 2011

I am one of those people who haven’t really decided what they want to do when they grow up.

I am nearly halfway done with my Navy career. Well, 7 years into it at least. Everyone says once you reach ten you might as well stay in another ten and retire. It’s the easy and safe thing to do, and normally the best choice. Career-wise anyway. But sometimes you just get tired of doing one thing for several years. Thankfully in the Navy there are several roads you can go down with my specific job, as well as moving every 2-4 years. Which is typically looked down on, but when you are single and wanting to travel and experience the world, it’s the best thing that can happen.

However, as I’m reaching the ripe old age of 27 next month, I’m reevaluating my life. Well, it’s not that serious but as my move to San Diego comes closer I’m excited for the new opportunities.

I’ve always wanted to go to Law School, and actually got out of the Navy in ’08 to pursue said school. I ended up growing tired of waiting for the next school year to roll around and decided to join back up…after an 8 month hiatus. I missed the structure, the camaraderie, and the free travel that the Navy offered. Luckily they wanted me back, and here I am.

Beauty School is another road I would like to go down. I am very interested in learning how to cut, color, style hair, do nails, massages, etc. I’ve always wanted to do it. Maybe they’ll have night school in CA.

Professional photography. This is something that I have wanted to do for a long time, ever since I was a kid. Over the years I have gone through several cameras, but it’s really about having that eye for good shots, vice a camera that costs $3000. That will only get you so far. And if you don’t have the right subject/scape, that ritzy camera is pretty worthless. Here’s some stuff I’ve shot, if you’d like to check out my FB page: [http://www.facebook.com/pages/JimmieJack-Photography/101623036557797]

Culinary Arts. I’d like to know how to cook, like real chef-ery shit. I realize this will be an expensive lesson in the kitchen because I don’t ever plan on cooking for the masses or being a professional chef…but I think it will pay off. Plus, learning how to cook things well is fun.

Oh, and if I could somehow swing one of those jobs with Contiki or another major tour company to be a tour guide in some fabulous overseas country, preferably Europe, that would be a job to die for!

See what I mean? All over the place, and I am no longer a young buck. I’m supposed to be making life decisions and shit. I say, do what you want, but you must have the means to get there. So until I can get my feet firmly planted in one category, I will continue to dabble =)





Ode to Janet

12 07 2011

So, today was the day I had set aside to go to the DMV. Conveniently enough, the Blue Angels decided to wake me up in their ever-so-subtle way:

Flying directly over the Navy Gateway. Show-offs! Pretty sure they took some shingles off this time.

I have to say it was a welcomed interruption since I had slept through my first two phone alarms… Damn snooze button.

Anyhow, first thing’s first. Collect any and all paperwork I need, might need, and probably won’t need for this excursion. A trip to the DMV can turn into an event, so it’s good to be prepared. Since my car was “imported” from overseas, unregistered, insured in one state, titled in another state, and I had a Driver’s License from yet another state (thank God for military loopholes)….I knew I had to be in for one hell of an adventure.

2nd task: Find DMV. The facilities in Pensacola are all named “Janet Holley Tax Collector”. Every DMV location is called exactly that. Strange, I thought to myself….but I set my suspicions aside and got directions from a friend of mine to the closest Janet Holley and headed out, to what I expected would be similar to a visit to the 2nd ring of Hell.

During my trip over, I recollected one of Dane Cook’s skits where he was talking about the DMV, how every time you have to go there you just dread it, and expect to wait in the line for three hours, get a rude clerk, and have to pay out the ass for whatever service the State demands you complete. He went on about how with the rate of technology these days, that in the future everything will be so fast. You will be able to travel at the speed of light, there will never be traffic jams, and drive-thrus will take under a minute, but the DMV will still take NINE minutes to get through the line and up to the desk to the lazy old fat lady with a giant hairy mole and three inch fake nails who moves at the speed of a constipated turtle.

So I arrive at said DMV, and there are only about five people in the waiting room – what luck-, and I make it up to the counter in record time. The lady asks for my paperwork and Driver’s License and I explain the sitch about my car. She accepts my story and begins furiously typing and about 5 mins into the process she looks over and says, “There’s a lot of paperwork for this one”, to which I say “Ah, you picked a winner this time!” We both politely chuckle and she continues with her 30 wpm’s as I go back to staring into space. This is a great start, polite small talk, she’s processing my shit, so I must have the exact paperwork I need, though she’s being coy and hasn’t said exactly what she’s doing… Women.

Anywho, the DMV Goddess clerk prints two pages, I sign both, she tells me I need to pay her monies and then casually slides my new license plate and registration over the table and makes a Viola! type of gesture. I wanted to hug her, or toss her a piece of candy.

That’s it!? Easy Peasy! Especially on my part, all I had to do was sign a couple things, sit and try not to look at anyone the wrong way…especially the select individuals that were present on this particular day (trying not to stare at DMV patrons is a difficult task for me).

No joke, the whole process took about 15 mins, tops. My clerk was polite, efficient, knowledgeable, and it was in record time. Expeditious and DMV are never in the same sentence, or paragraph for that matter.

So, we parted ways, with my encyclopedia of paperwork in one hand, and my new FL plates in the other. When I got to the parking lot, I screwed in my new plate and went my way.

I should really go back there and fill out a Customer Comment card. When’s the last time they got good feedback? Maybe never.





Chuck’d

20 05 2011

It needs to be said again…Charlie Hunnam is kiiiiiind of a hottie…but nevermind that stocking cap.

Exhibit A:

Before I get into my daily rant…check out my friends’ blog, ———>    it’s over there to the right under BLOGS. Holly writes about their adoption journey, and it’s heart wrenching and heartwarming both at the same time. It’s an amazing story, you got to read about it sometime when you have a couple mins to kick back with some hot tea and read about their lives. On the 18th of May, they FINALLY got a baby, after years and years of trying. They are the sweetest people and I am so happy for them. One. Lucky. Baby.

Tomorrow is Cultural awareness day here in Pensacola for the Navy. So, naturally I’m expecting all kinds of awesomeness. When there’s booters involved you can count on a whole different level of special… Let the fun & games begin! Luckily, our morning muster begins at 0615, thank god, up to see the sun rise. Who needs to sleep in anyway? For the birds if you ask me. Thank you Navy. Also I have duty this weekend. Thank you again, Navy. I’m feeling extra cynical today, can you tell?

On a lighter and more smiling note, I did decide to rent a jalopy this weekend. I hope to sputter around and visit a few of my old stomping grounds. Well, last time I was here I visited a couple of strip clubs, just about every restaurant, the malls, and about five of the popular bars. Hey, I was 19 what do you expect? So when I say old stomping grounds, I really mean that I’ll prob go check out Pensacola beach, and maybe drive over to Milton. We had some family that used to live there, and if I’m correct, I think we still have a distant cousin that resides in Milton. It’s about 45 mins from Pcola if memory serves me correctly. This is the first time in two–ish years that I’ve been able to drive around my country, so it’s happening. Oh I can’t WAIT for the stoplights and retarded drivers. If Bahrain prepared me for anything, it’s crazy drivers. Praying there’s no accident…I better splurge that $20 and get full coverage. Oh rental vehicle, you don’t even know what’s comin..

Speaking of cars…every time I get home I search my “whereismypov.com” and my car is nowhere to be found. It gives me some cop-out excuse for a location, “vehicle is with carrier in the trans-oceanic”…wtf does that even mean? It could still be at the port of Bahrain for all I know. I keep joking with the Mista that the container ship probably got pirated. Who knows, maybe it did. “Thank you for inquiring about your vehicle. It is currently being held hostage by Somali Pirates, please check again tomorrow.”





Only a few more days, I can do this.

25 04 2011

So, my time in the Kingdom is coming to an end..

Me and the B moved into a hotel for the last ten days or so, all of my shit is officially en route to VA and MO, my car is reading as “in transit to U.S.”, at least on the tracking page, and I am weaning myself from the base.

We need milk? Let’s go to the commissary. Nope, let’s NOT go to base on my day off… Need to go into work for something? Nope, not happening, it can wait till tomorrow. etcetera.

I’ll have to say, being at a hotel is relaxing, but really it has all the conveniences as my highrise did. They change your bedding, towels, and clean daily. Pool, gym (which, sadly I have yet to step into), room service, food delivery at your fingertips. Oh, and it turns out that military gets 20% off of anything ordered here. Me and B ate at Kontiki, a restaurant in the hotel last night and got 20% off the meal. Though I can’t really call it a steal of a deal seeing as it was still $18 dinars (times that by 2.66 for the american price).

The money system is quite deceptive here. It seems like you get a steal of a deal on clothing items, food, and things of that sort, but really you have to basically times everything by three to get the real price, in american dollar.

It is heating up here. And when I say heating I mean the sun, AND the humidity. We have had a couple days to lounge by the pool. And we have been eating out a lot. As I mentioned, Kontiki, and our other favories: Iskanduran Grill, Nu Asia, Citrus, Cinnabon, Chilis, oh the list goes on. We are terrible humans. Basically throwing away monies for this, but in a hotel what else are you to do?

I had my outbrief with the big boss today, and guess what the first thing he asked me was, “So, where is the first place you are going to e—“

Me (cutting him short in an offensively excited tone): “Well, sir I have it all planned out. Jamba Juice once I hit Philadelphia, I already googled it. Moe’s Southwest Grill in Minneapolis at that airport. Then, my sister is bringing me Chipotle from Missouri, and some Olive Garden in there too.”

The Sir: “Oh, it sounds like you have quite the line-up.”

…I don’t think he was expecting a carefully laid plan for my schedule of food, but he asked. So I procured.





Reasons why I’m happy today

16 01 2011

1. If you don’t have a twitter, you should get one. It is quite addictive. It’s basically like spying on celebrities and you can see what they are doing at every moment during the day, more fun if you have a phone, but works the same. After you make your account, subscribe to Blake Shelton’s feed. Thank me later. He’s probably the wittiest person I’ve ever done recon on. (It’s legal if its on the internet..right?)

2. Britney’s new album comes out in March. AND she has a new single out. I don’t have the radio over here, but as soon as I get home, I’m downloading, feedback to come.

3. Every one of my friends is having a baby. Friend in CO, Friend in HI, Friend in MO, Friend in CA, Friend in MD. This means I do not have to have my own. I get to be the cool Godmother/Aunt =). No full-blooded neices of my own (Sister Roch perhaps you should get going on this, we’re not getting any younger, and you are the old one, even though I look older you are not getting out of this one).

4. I’ve been keeping busy. It feels good to be involved and make a difference at the same time. It’s good for the soul. I really believe that. I know I can seem like a stuck-up, “I don’t need you” biotch sometimes, but I do believe what you put into this life is what you get out of it. And thus, my career and life are on track and I am pleased with how far I have come. No matter where you are or what you are doing, it can always be worse. Keep that in mind.