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Yo [May. 28th, 2004|12:41 am]
aluminum_prison
[mood |exanimateexanimate]
[music |Some song by Dashboard Confessional]

Past week has been great. Not having school turns this place into an eternal weekend, with the exception of a couple briefings and parade practices.

I went white water rafting on Wednesday. We were in the Royal Gorge, which is probably the most beautiful commercially rafted section of river (the Arkansas) in the country. The highlight of the trip, ironically enough, didn't even happen on the water. We pulled over to the bank and everyone got out of the raft and climbed the cliffs on the side of the gorge. We then jumped back into the freezing cold river. I'm not sure how high it was, but it was high enough to give you time to think during your fall. The majortiy of this thinking consisted of words resembling *&$% and #$#@ and #*#$!, but it was awesome enough that I climbed back up and jumped again.

Tommorow I have some more parade practice, followed by a Dashboard concert. I don't really like them, and I'm not too familiar with their stuff, but hey, I'm going anyway. So right now I'm trying to prepare by listening to their stuff.

The whole idea of the Dashboard concert is that it should be a hot girl mecca. At least, that's my whole idea of it.

Today some seniors rapelled off of Eagle's Peak and painted a huge "04" on the walls. Rumor is that they might not graduate. This place is ridiculous.....
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(no subject) [May. 21st, 2004|04:59 pm]
aluminum_prison
[mood |enragedenraged]
[music |SOME SONG ABOUT HATE]

Like I said earlier, anything related to Engr Mech, anything at all, can jump in a huge fire and slowly and painfully burn to death. And I'm serious.

BURN.

My Engr Mech was ridiculously, grossly, horribly unfair. For so many reasons.
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Finals Week [May. 17th, 2004|12:37 am]
aluminum_prison
[mood |satisfiedsatisfied]
[music |David Crowder Band - "Every Move I Make"]

College life- I think I finally feel like I'm living it. It's finals week here at America's institution of the best and brightest (sarcasm), marking the time when my life will be the closest it will ever be to at StateU. During finals week, there's nobody hanging around to look into your room, and you only go to a couple of hours worth of finals a day. Other than that, there's really nothing on the schedule. I'm working out, studying, taking exams, working out, studying, taking exams, etc. It's a pretty sweet setup. One problem though- over the past couple days I've lost about 1/3 of my stuff. When you're used to living in a sanitized hospital-like room, clutter can do some pretty weird things to your organization skills. This is coming from the kid who's mantra in high school was "Genius breeds clutter."

One thing is missing from this so-called college life. Girls. There just aren't very many out here. At all. It's pretty insane. I don't feel like going on another rant about how important an even gender ratio is to normal social development, but it's still there, steaming under the surface.

I'm pretty excited about summer. It's not like it used to be out here, when any chance of going home was this incredibly amazing and completely unbelieveable concept. That was when I really didn't know anybody out here, and I had a lot back home that I was missing (the girl). But now, there's no girl, no rush, no real feeling like I have to get home. The only reason I'm excited about summer is the people that I'll see while I'm there - without them, Peoria would be, as Emily so gracefully put it, 'Dead to me.'

My biggest difficulty of the past month or two has been deciding what to major in. I'm just pretty lost about it. I don't want to be an engineer, and I think I'm a pretty good writer/thinker. I'm interested in Legal Studies, Econ, History, English, and Management. Each one has its own pros and cons, which I'm sure I'll delve further into at some later, more appropriate date. As it stands today, I'm way too concerned with my English final tommorow to hash out some really long discussion about what's more important. If you know me well enough to offer some advice concerning what you think I'd like and/or would be good at majoring, feel free to shower me with all the wise advice you can spare.

Today's moment of Academy insanity- whoa...I can't think of one. Something is definitely wrong here...

WAIT. The General suggested during a briefing that we partake of "the dinner of excellence." You have got to be kidding me. Said dinner would apparently be eaten with the "fork of truth" and the "spoon of character." Oh lord....
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Ahhhh [May. 15th, 2004|12:57 am]
aluminum_prison
[mood |Fulfilled]
[music |"Until the Day I Die" - Story of the Year]

Today was the last day of school. Over the course of the past week, I've probabaly averaged around three hours of sleep a night. This wouldn't be too bad if I lived in a place where naps weren't a precious commodity, but what are you gonna do? After turning in my second of two ten-page papers today, I decided that USAFA has so thorougly demolished my spirit that I'm actually ecstatic to be turning in a paper. I know there has to be more than life, but this is what I've been reduced to....

Today was the last day of school. In other words, next week is the aptly labeled "Finals Week." Here at USAFA, finals week takes on a special character of its own. The traditional stresses of waking up early and cleaning your room are replaced with the not-so-traditional stresses of determining thirty percent of your grade in three hours. Following "Finals Week" is the also aptly named "Dead Week." Once at Dead Week, the year is basically over. You sit around for a week, doing, well, nothing. Following Dead Week is perhaps the mostly aptly named week of all- "Grad Week." During Grad Week, people graduate. 'Nuff said.

Today was the last day of school. In exactly twenty days, I will be headed home. Once there, I plan to spend my twenty days of leave sitting around, doing absolutely nothing. Mostly I will bask in the even gender ratio, and enjoy the simple things in life; those being hugely insane parties and incredibly fast and dangerous driving. Moreover, I intend to, uh, attend, some old school cross country practices. I miss that. Well, all of it except the running.

In recent news, did anybody see that Lakers game?? Whoa. You see, I thought the Lakers were going to lose. This would have put me in quite a terrible mood for the all-nighter I needed to pull in order to finish one of the afore-mentioned papers. Anyway, Derek Fischer's running jumper with .4 seconds left on the clock saved not only the series, but also my grade in English. Thanks Derek.

Today's moment of Academy ridiculosity: My roomate was stopped and yelled at for running with his shirt "improperly tucked." Not even worth comment. Worth comment, however, was my encounter with the pizza delivery dude. I literally get chewed out by this dude because I was late. Well, I wouldn't have been late if the dude on the phone had told me the correct time that my pizza was to be arriving. To think, I live in a school where I get in trouble for not wearing my shirts properly, and I get yelled at by the pizza guy. Sheeesh....
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Bright and Blurry [Apr. 29th, 2004|01:42 pm]
aluminum_prison
[mood |crankycranky]
[music |Three Days Grace - I Hate Everything About You]

My vision is starting to come back, and I've got a little time before M6, so I'll catch everybody up on today. I had (or so I thought) my C4C vision screening today at 0930, which is great, because we had a parade today at lunch that I was hoping to miss. Anyway, I show up at the Optometry clinic and the sergeant tells me that my appointment was actually on the 26th. Oh.

I was dreading the concept of having to march in the freezing cold weather today, so after a few kind (begging) words they let me in. Despite the fact that I couldn't see Oprah Winfrey in a room full of smurfs, my eyes are actually pretty healthy. At least, the kind of healthy that you can only determine after shining right yellow lights all the way to the back of the cornea. The Major tells me that I'm a pretty good candidate for laser eye surgery. Maybe I'll be able to fly after all, despite my horribly pathetic vision. This opens up a whole new line of thought for me...

Funny moments abound as I limp blind and blurry back to my room after the appointments. I'm pretty sure I saluted somebody I wasn't supposed to, because they definitely turned around and said "Wha!??." Ooops. Next, I back straight into this civilian woman who's coming out of the C-store. I'm pretty sure I drove my elbow about a third of the way into her stomach. Ooops again. Just a few minutes ago, I'm walking down the hall and my eyes are coming back, but I haven't put on my glasses yet. Some girl says something from down the hall, and I ask who it is. She sees my shades, and proceeds to tell me how pathetic I am for exaggerating how fuzzy the dilation made my eyes. I can't catch a break.

Luckily, Alex told me just in time when my favorite Colonel was walking around at lunch, so I was able to slip my napkin onto my lap just in time to prevent a severe 'verbal counseling'. Obviously, professional warriors always use a napkin. To do otherwise is to violate the most basic of all battlefield rules. Sheesh.

Going to Engineering Mechanics. I think I once threated to put my books, my teacher, my classmates, and my desk into a huge bin and burn them all. I was joking, but I really, really, really hate that class. I wish all of you could sit through it for a day or two. You'll want to kill yourself, and it's not even February yet!!
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(no subject) [Apr. 27th, 2004|11:28 pm]
aluminum_prison
[mood |contemplativecontemplative]
[music |Brad Paisley - "You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive"]

I’m sitting here trying to think of the best way to kick this journal off, but all I can focus on is why I’ve even begun to write in the first place. To me, the thought of an online journal brings back pretty horrible memories from high school, where hilarity and petty drama stemmed from the over-analysis of journal entries. However, after spending a month or two living vicariously through the livejournal entries of my friends at ‘normal college’, I’m convinced that writing might be good for me.

I say ‘normal college’ because the last 10 months of my life have been anything but. While most people my age spent their senior summer on road trips, at crazy parties, or by the beach, I was crawling through mud and ripping apart a stuffed dummy with a bayonet. While the majority of my classmates around the country slept in, partied late, and wore jeans, I’ve woken up at 0600 everyday, worked late, and worn the same damn blues week after week. Along the way, I’ve picked up more than your fair share of cadet cynicism. Some of the things I have to do here sound absolutely riduculus if I would spell them out one by one, but I’ve become so used to it all that it doesn’t really register anymore. For example, if you spent the whole summer not being able to go to the bathroom by yourself, or your entire first semester of college running to class with your backpack in your left hand, wouldn’t you be a little bitter? Personally, I don’t even think twice about it. That’s how indoctrinated I’ve become, living with so many standards and rules. Of course, if you adapt and learn to take it all in stride, you’ll spend every minute of every day complaining about your life. I don’t know about your schedule, but I’m only able to spare two hours a day to bitch about my life.

I figure I’ve got a couple entries to catch everyone up on more of the day to day hilarity here at America’s Institution of the Best and Brightest, so I’ll jump back to the most important event of late. Two weekends ago our class was ‘Recognized’, which basically means that while I’m still a 4 degree (freshman), I’m not a sub-human subservient underling. Well, mostly. Anyway, I can now wear civies (civilian clothes) when I leave the base, and I can visit other squads (go to other dorms and floors not my own), among other things. I’m not sure how I feel about completing this year. It was supposed to be the toughest year of my life, and looking back, I can think of so many times that rate as more than enough to convince me that it really was the toughest, but something doesn’t quite feel right. I’m not sitting here with this huge extended sigh of relief, and I don’t feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my chest. Should I? Maybe I’ve just gotten good at forgetting some of the worst stuff that we went through. Sometimes this place can get to you.

It’s time for today’s moment of Academy brilliance. The United States Air Force pays a 43 year old man a full Colonel’s salary to walk around lunch tables and ensure that Cadets have their napkins in the proper place on their lap, and that they do not have their elbows on the table. To commit either one of these two deadly sins of dining would result in a special remedial training session in etiquette on Saturdays. Talk about a waste of taxpayer money.

I’ve got a lot of stuff to rant about, and I’m sure I’ll get to it all in time. Girls, uniforms, morning formation, school, passes, owning a car, random room inspections, etc. I’ll be sure to get to all of them.

So I’ve started. The real test of time is how long I can keep this up. In a place where time is my most valuable resource, the competition can get thick.
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