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I say again: there are no pictures of Miley Cyrus minus her panties here. Nope.

But I’ll bet this post that has nothing whatsoever to do with naked Miley Cyrus brings in a whole new kind of readership.

Ha. I crack myself up.

For those not here for the allegedly-underwear-challenged Miley, just a stunning ol’ newsflash for you: a substantive post is actually coming. I mean one with no meta-narratives about blogging or strange digressions into the depths of irrelevancy.

Okay, I can promise the former, but not the latter. Stay tuned.

Oh, and since some of you traveled from afar just for the under-whelmingly quasi-talented equine-faced and very under-aged Ms. Cyrus, here’s a real picture of her and some really big boobs. Enjoy!

Because I really care about my readers.

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Blog Policy # 2: No changin’ boo-boos once its published. Unless, you know, they’re extra-special retahded boo-boos.

(Note: I don’t remember what Blog Policy # 1 is. But I’ll bet there was one. Or 12.)

So I’m lackadaisically skimming what I laughingly refer to as “content” on my blog, stuff I’ve written prior to today. (I’d put “written” in scare quotes, too, but c’mon, this self-deprecating shtick isn’t infinite, you know?)

And as I’m reading, I notice a whole bunch of errors just about leaping off the page and slapping me in the noggin.

Which frankly is just fine on a nonsensical blog about nonsense. Who cares that I wrote “too” when I mean “to?” Do you? How is your canoe? Sorry. OCD causes people to rhyme. Some of the time. Stop it now, I mean it! Does anybody want a peanut?

Ah, raise your hand if you caught that last allusion. Sigh. I miss Andre the Giant. On the plus side, Princess Buttercup finally divorced evil Prince What’s-his-dick so she’s available now.

Mr. Hand was right about you.

Even by my standards of complete non-focus, that was some Grade A top-choice USDA approved digression right there, folks. You’re welcome.

Speaking of “you’re” – here’s the problem I foresee in the future: as a writer, the language, the words, the grammar, the structure … it is more than just a tool of communication. It is everything. It is how you are perceived; it is, in a way, your physical and metaphysical presence. Judgments are made instantaneously about your competence and intelligence and character … all based on the perfection of your language.

This was true even before the magnificently historic rise of the Internet-tubes. But now all substantive discussions are shaded by sideways glances at the tools used to participate in the conversation.

In simpler terms – which I should probably stick with, so that all 2 of my readers can follow me here – on the Internet, no matter how brilliant you may be, some jackhole in Boise is going to counter your rhetorical genius by pointing out that “you’re” and “your” ain’t the same words, and since you used them wrong, your an idiot.

Ha. See what I did their? And there?

God, I’m funny.

But if I can squander my comedic genius for a moment, let me just reiterate that none of this is a problem on the current blog. However, future plans might actually include – you know – substance. Some of which might actually result in – you know – readers. And discussion. And maybe even controversy.

Unfortunately, on the Internet, ideas are always secondary to whatever appeals to the least common denominator in the readership, and “gotcha” games about punctuation are where the most common of the least common denominator crowd always likes to start. Becuz illiteracy is fun and stuff!

So here’s the quandary: no matter my obvious mastery of all things related to the written word, I will screw up. Because I’m not God. Or Mat Damon. I’m only human.

Two choices: 1) I could diligently check and recheck each post, correcting all errors; or 2) I could just leave it alone and cover my ass in advance with a post like this one!

All great writers become great during the editing process. But that requires work, and since much of this blog is an ode to the joys of laziness, that would sort of run contrary to our philosophy here at Words R Us.

But there’s also a serious point: errors, by pointing out our humanity and fallibility, remind each of us that our minds should be open to other ideas and perceptions; our imperfections remind us that perhaps we don’t know everything and see everything.

It also reminds us to be gentle with others. For example, I glance over at my “categories” for blog posts and notice that I spelled “heroes” without the “e.” Pardon my language here, but what the fuck? “Heros” isn’t a word. It’s not even a sandwich. It doesn’t even look right. So how’d I managed to screw that up so badly?

The answer is that I ain’t perfect. And sure, leaving mistakes leaves me wide open to the ever popular Internet Grammar-and-Spelling Gestapo … but that’s okay. Because picking on that stuff just means you’re an idiot. I mean your an idiot. Or something. (Confession: I’m as guilty as anyone of playing Punctuation Police while debating something. But I also know that its very, very lame. So there. Or their. Or they’re.)

So I leave my mistakes to maintain my humility.

That seems to me to be a very good thing. I mean let’s face it: after this blog goes global and I’m practically drowning in Dom Perignon and supermodels, I’ll need something to keep me humble. Right?

So the policy is simple: once it hits the news stand, its there forever, for all the world to see.

Because we all need Heros.

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A brief recap (which is, you know, sort of funny, since  “recap” implies prior substance):

I’m a writer. One who never rarely writes. Which is probably a good thing. Because if I actually wrote, people would realize I can’t write. This way, I can convince myself that my prodigious talents lie untapped in giant oily pools of brilliance, and if BP would only come along and drill me the whole world would see the truth!

As always, I now must digress: first, that last sentence up there is so full of muddled accidentally Freudian innuendo that I find myself both embarrassed and proud; second, there is some uncomfortable truth about myself (and about a lot of folks, I suspect) in that strange little burble: specifically, that I avoid working at things specifically to hide from the possible unpleasant truth that maybe no matter how hard I worked, I’d fail.

Interesting. If I had a shrink, I’d share that tidbit.

Of course, maybe I’m just terminally lazy.

Regardless, as I’ve covered extensively in prior 100% substance-free posts which I’m now recapping, I started blogging primarily to write about my current military exploits. Which have been almost infinitely entertaining, enlightening, and amusing … if only I’d actually, you know, written about them.

That changes today. I swear. No more procrastination.

So here I am in Iraq. Iraq sucks. And I promise to write all about it. Seriously. If you don’t stop laughing at me, I swear to God I’ll …

—————————–

Update: so although I just embarked on this rigorously enforced New Year’s Eve Resolution to blog daily (hush, you. I know it’s June 20th. It’s the Chinese New Year today, isn’t it?  No? Just go with it, people) and I have to point out that – thanks to the wonderful country of Iraq, in which the infrastructure resembles decades-old moldy boogers stuck under a schoolkid’s chair – I’ll be losing my Internet connection in about a week … and Allah knows when I’ll be getting it back up again.

Oops, more Freudian stuff inserted into my post.

Ha. Inserted. See what I did there?

Just wanted to note this in advance, because terminal laziness is always much more effective as a life strategy when you plan ahead.

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Where have I been?

Finished BOLC II in October. Shortly thereafter, BOLC II disappeared forever into the Place Where Good Ideas Poorly Executed Go To Die.

It wasn’t my fault. I swear. Probably.

Sometimes Google Images finds strange things. Very, very cute strange things.

What’d I do next? I got married!

Seriously. To the woman of my dreams. Your dreams, too, probably, but she’s all mine. For the record, it was not one of those spur of the moment “Oh God I’m lonely and really, really want all that BAH money!” military weddings.

Unless you call being together a decade “spur of the moment.” If your sense of time and perspective is that skewed, you may be a glacier.

This is a glacier. Glaciers are really, really slow. Which is kinda the point I was making there. In case you're a little slow yourself.

Happily married after way, way too much waiting around for her to make an honest man of me, I headed back to Benning for IBOLC. Also known as IBOLC or BOLC III for infantry types.

That is a long, long story. A deeply fascinating one, which can be summarized in a few short words. Words like: “Wow, that sucked, didn’t it?”

I graduated in February. And now here I am, a newly minted Lieutenant of the Infantry, beginning my first deployment to Iraq.

Today I sit in a piss-poor excuse for a billeted room – sort of a hotel for homeless types – at a local National Guard Armory. Tomorrow, I hop on an overcrowded, undereducated bus and travel on to my mobilization station; and after a few short weeks there, I’ll be on my way to Kuwait … then Iraq … and ultimately to a platoon of infantry riflemen just desperate for my skilled and fierce leadership.

This is going to be a trip. One that promises to range from tragic to banal to boring to endlessly amusing.

And thus the blog is reborn: after all, this was the stuff I really wanted to share. War stories, bore stories, and all in between.

Since I failed so miserably to blog daily about BOLC II and BOLC III, I plan – I swear! – to go back in time, when time permits, and tell stories. Or at least all that I can safely tell. Which leaves out most of the good stuff. Sucks for you, huh?

I’ll try to call it all up from memory, one day and week and month at a time. The same goes for OCS – after all, there are plenty of you out there curious about becoming officers. My advice? Consider Klown Kollege instead.

This clown is secretly very sad. Just like a Second Lieutenant.

Oh, I’m kidding.

Mostly.

Lots more on the secret life of Second Lieutenants later.

Stay tuned.

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Melodrama is so melodramatic. And gauche. Which is a word I’m not entirely sure I can define, but always reminds me of cold soup.

But I digress. As usual.

This blog was born with such high, high hopes – with said hopes quickly dashed upon the sharp and pointy rocks of my own inconsistent discipline and consistent laziness.

Also, I’ve been kinda busy, yo. Insert assorted perfectly reasonable excuses here.

So I reached a stunningly obvious conclusion: the only way to blog – is to blog. Just as the only way to write, is to write.

Yeah, yeah. I know.

But here is the crux of my problem: each time I try to blog – or write, if blogging is too, I dunno, gauche of a term – I find myself wanting to be epic. After all, now I’ve got oodles to share and gigabytes of pictures to post … so clearly, I have to draft a tumescent tome each time I type. Right?

Well, wrong. If I have that attitude, I’ll never write. Or blog. Or learn to play the harmonica with my testicles. These things take consistent practice to perfect.

Thus and henceforth, a very late resolution is born: I will blog something – anything – daily. Pictures may be absent; grammar may be grammarless; wit may be unwittingly whittled away.

But each day I’ll write. Something. When the Internet is inaccessible, still I shall write.

Maybe once in a while, one of those bursts of brilliance will emerge. In the meantime, leave me alone. I is practicing. Mmm-kay?

See the next entry for something – sorta – substantive.

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I assume its a universal question for anyone with a web presence: do I remain anonymous? If not, to what degree do I share private identifying information? And why are Ramen noodles so good yet so cheap?

The Ramen noodle question is a good one. The rest of it has been beaten to death in a thousand forums. Beaten like bad, bad horses that just refused to lay down and sleep.

beating-a-dead-horse

For most amatuer blagographers, the potential perils of unmasking on the Internet are rather obvious:

FIRED

Of course to be fair, the invisible shield of Internet anonymity holds plenty of benefits. Especially if you’re really freaky-deaky:

633664852493137404-anonymity

anon-poster

And everyone knows the dark side of the free-hate/free-love-with-no-consequences Wild Wild West nature of the Internet, from cyber stalking to all kinds of naughty nastiness and nasty naughtiness …

Um. Yeah. Not sure if this is an argument for anonymity or strongly against it.

Um. Yeah. Not sure if this is an argument for anonymity or strongly against it.

… to the ubiquitous trolls and safely sheltered Internet tough guys:

e-thug

And just to prove how serious and scholarly I am, here’s a graph. I don’t know what it means, but clearly I’ve done my research:

privacy_Opinions_Of_Anonymity-dg1

Now that I’ve had enough fun goofing and Googling, here’s the dilly yo. And I won’t belabor all the obvious problems and potential benefits associated with anonymity or the lack thereof; the visual aids up there cover it pretty well.

Here are my concerns: this blog will be primarily military for the next couple years, and that raises several issues. The first is that while dishing dirt on your civilian boss gets you fired, in the military it gets you imprisoned, or shot, or ostracized. I’m opposed to those things.

But here’s the problem: as mentioned in an earlier post, the sole essential ingredient of all compelling writing (and entertainment of all forms) is drama. Conflict. Human interest. Now while I realize this is a concern bordering on lunacy when my readership consists entirely of me, my dog, and this hand puppet named Steve … the truth is that perhaps someday, some poor soul might want to read this tripe.

And I’ve read the blogs, especially military blogs, where the author is revealed … and they tend to be bit bland. Like tuna fish without mayo. Like Oates without Hall.

That’s just too bad in my humble opinion – because its our personal stories that fascinate. It’s the deep, dark, personal truths about us, our relationships and our struggles, our hopes and our fears, that one time our douchebag boss gave his wife the clap after sleeping with an underage Filipino hooker …

That’s the stuff that’s fun to read. It’s interesting. All the best blogs are at least sort of anonymous (which is like being sort of pregnant, I digressulate once again), because the writers bare it all, they throw it all out there, good and bad and ugly.

The saddest part is that the military is so very ripe, pregnant if you will, with endless stories of conflict and drama and angst and bitterness and heartbreak and hope. And Filipino hookers. If a military writer remains anonymous, he gets to share all this stuff! Whee!

If not … well, not.

There are other concerns, of course. OPSEC and COMSEC, among others. (Look it up, civilians. I can’t hold your hand all day long). But mainly the reason to stay anonymous all boils down to a single statement of fact: if I post my pretty face and real name all over these pages, whoever is reading will want to boil their head in yogurt to escape the boredom.

Obviously, I can’t tell stories about my comrades – and there are some juicy ones, most of which involve Filipino hookers. I can’t say bad things about my chain of command. And in the military, I can’t even really delve into politics (not that I’m foolish enough to join that stupidity, but since I once said the same about blogging, I’m just covering my bases).

Clearly, I’m still undecided and indecisive. All of that officer training is paying off. I should probably just ask an NCO what to do and go have some coffee.

The downside of anonymity is obvious, especially on a blog like this – never intended to stir up trouble and sink into the mire of the political/religious/social debates of partisan yuckiness, but in which I might still want to tell a few interesting and ribald tales. Yeah, I said ribald. Hush, you.

That means no good pictures of yours truly. No personal stories with real details. No sharing the blog with friends and family, or at least not those inclined to link to it.

Sigh. Come to think of it, anonymity sucks. But so does blogging, as Mongo here is explaining:

angry_gorilla_small

I guess the choice boils down to a) being able to spill all the beans, dig up all the dirty details, and share stuff that’s truly compelling, including my own deepest feelings and thoughts; or b) keep it to a more civil level of discourse, get to show off pretty pictures and stuff, but skip the 1000 word rants on why my 3rd squad leader is a cockknocker.*

Now its time for some truth. Most of the above is only half-truth; this is real truth, and its hard truth. My biggest concern is my future soldiers, the men I will lead in combat.

To a young soldier, an officer is separate – different – almost non-human. They are not allowed to be too human; they have to be above the fray, calm in the face of conflict, never engaging in the petty or paltry. Officers are leaders and parents, but they are not friends; they are not peers. An officer who forgets that, who lets that boundary slip, loses some critical aura of authority, some mantle of leadership that is absolutely vital both too mission accomplishment and unit cohesion.

Perhaps I state it to strongly – but the division must be there. Or at least the perception of the division must be there. Which is why while you can be human, and you can share feelings and interact with your soldiers – you can’t be their friends, you can’t show real weakness, you can’t reveal just how common and simple and human you really are. Because to follow you, perhaps to their deaths, they must see you as more than that, separate from that.

And blogging reveals too much humanity when its done right.

I guess in the end I have no choice but to compromise. For now, I’ll remain semi-anonymous with no real effort to stay that way – but no effort to call attention to my writing, either. (Besides, the DoD has a history of frowning on blogging that reveals too much).

In the end, while I may try not to be as stale as 3-decade old Twinkies, I’ll have to self-censor. I won’t be able to tell the best stories about my platoon, or my commander, or my colleagues. And I won’t be able to tell the full truth about my fears and hopes during the next few months; no young soldier wants to know just how terrified of failure his leaders are.

Such things can be discussed, but only at the superficial level and in generic terms. I suppose that’s the way it has to be, at least until I can find the right balance there. It may be an interesting journey, and I suppose I’ll get myself in trouble a time or three.

At some point I’ll begin linking to blogs covering similar topics, to show those who have made other choices. There are wonderful ones who have remained anonymous and equally stellar writers who share everything. For me, I’ll be looking for the right middle ground.

And aren’t you tired of all this preliminary babbling? Time to get on with it.

Oh – and let me apologize profusely in advance for all of you who undoubtedly Googled “Filipino hookers.”

My bad.

==================================================================

* Note: as of this writing,  I have no 3rd squad leader. Or 1st or 2nd or 4th, either. And I have no idea if any of them will be cockknockers. A word I’ll have to promptly quit using once I lose the anonymity. Because officers do not giggle at words like cocknocker. It says so in the manual.

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Blahging iz hard and stuff

Confession: putting those three pictures from Gettybsurg at the bottom of the last post required approximately 42 days, 162 beers, 7 hours of therapy, and one large tub of Vaseline. Do I exaggerate? Surely. But not by much.

I’m sure to the average techno-geek who gets into this blahging stuff, its simplicity defined; for me, not so much. I’m old and slow. Not to mention the fact that I do like to get laid once in a while. Which ipso facto makes me a little clueless about blogging.

I did already mention that blogging is lame, right? We have covered this already. Pay attention.

So it took me a while to get those pictures where they sit so pretty right now. And they’re still the wrong size. So in a moment of self-deprecating self-mockery – and because I need practice posting pictures – I went Googling and found this (sticks tongue in corner of mouth as he attempts to make it the right size):

22594798804

But inexplicably, while Googling images for “blogging for Dummies,” I found this:

husbands and knives

 

Only two comments about Marge in her ‘tard (pseudo-rhyming for the win!): first, I think I finally got an image the right size, so plus 10 geek points for me (and minus roughly 3 trillion cool points); second – and this is important, so pay attention – that image explains much about the Internet, the human condition, the infinite mystery of our own fallible mortality, and the reason blogging is just plain bad for my sex life.

I’m just sayin’. Carry on.

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