Saturday, March 26, 2011

Liberty and Libraries

Yesterday they let us go in the early afternoon, (much to the delight of the 2-weekers who phased up and ran off to put on their civilian cloths, or go buy some), and the first place that I hit up was the DLI library. I went with a very good co-conspirator and we were very very excited by what we saw. They have scrabble in Arabic, monopoly in a multitude of languages, shelves upon shelves of movies and Audio, and of course, tons of forign-language books, both fiction, poetry, and history. Actual English-language books are the minority there, but I opted to avoid checking out anything Arabic (Language classes tend to be hard to study for in advance, since you never really know how they are going to be structured), and instead I checked out this wicked English-language linguistic book. (I sat in the laundry room and read it for about an hour last night. It's Epic!) The book is Modern Arabic; Structures, functions, and varieties. By Clive Holes. If words like aspect, morphology, and intransitive/transitive make you happy, then you will enjoy this book. There is even a little bit of IPA. It's also an interesting way to get a peek at the linguistic culture without jumping into anything historical or political which I don't really feel ready to do just yet.

After the Library we did a little on-base shopping. I bought boring things like Hangers, shoe polish, and a power strip. While she brought more exciting things (like a new computer.) The newish mouse that Apple is selling now? Yeah. I'd never actually seen one before and so it amused me for.... a long time.

Long story short; I consumed massive amounts of junk food and sugar, we watched the movie RED (I'm a huge Bruce Willis fan.), and in general went 'crazy'. I tried hard not to be jealous of all the alcohol drinking we passed on our way to our rooms. Siiiigh. You don't really need that stuff to have fun, right? *nods*

This morning, I totally slept in, waking up at freaking 0630 (which would mean probably missing breakfast on a weekday). I have a lot of plans for today, most of which will probably fall through, but I totally want to be productive and get things done. *nods* I'll be super happy when my laptop gets here and I can have more reliable access to facebook and stuff, but until then, I'll sign off here.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Monterey Welcome Wagon


Today I'm going to write about arriving in Monterey!

First, let me tell you that leaving boot camp is probably the most awesome feeling in the world. I graduated on March 18th which was a Friday, got about 4 hours of liberty to hang out with my family (love you guys!!! <3 ) before having to return to the compartment and finish packing all my stuff up. Went to bed at ten, woke up at 1AM the next morning @_@ Spent pretty much all of Saturday in the airport which, again, after boot camp was not that bad. Went crazy and bought some of the super expensive products at the body shop ^__^ Smells nice!
- My family met me at the airport and brought me a bag with my cell phone and knitting, along with a butt load of snacks and other things.
A word to other CTI's : I was told not to bring a whole lot of electronics, because I wouldn't have any room to store them or keep them locked up. THIS IS NOT TRUE. If you have ipods, e-books, laptops, ect, BRING THEM or have them MAILED to you. I'm insanely jealous of the people who already have theirs, while I have to sit and wait for FedEx to bring me mine -__-;;

The people, petty officers, and chiefs here are all very nice and none-threatening. Definitely nothing like the RDC's at boot camp! On Saturday night I unpacked all of my stuff, stuck my chocolate in the mini-fridge, and went to bed content. Since the next day was a liberty day everyone was planning on sleeping in, but I was still on boot-camp schedule and so I finally gave up on sleep and got up at 0500. Went to the head - That's Navy for Bathroom - and only as I was looking at myself in the mirror did I notice that I was covered from head to toe in ants!! I'm pretty proud of myself, I took it in stride; stripped, shook all the ants off, and headed over to the computer lab to test out the Internet. Allot of the obvious sites like facebook are blocked on the computers 'cause we're supposed to use them for studying, but ravelry and blogspot are not. Surfed until ppl woke up and then went hunting for someone to help with the ant problem. Everyone was very nice, sympathetic, helpful, and horrified, but ultimately they all said the same thing. "I'm so sorry this happened to you. " "Can't do anything about it today because it's Sunday" "Spray everything with Windex." We were led to believe that we might be able to move to a new room ('we' being myself and my room-mate ) so we packed everything back in our seabags and tried to push our stuff towards the center of the room away from the ants. The ants hadn't invaded the drawers under my bed so I kept my cloths and toiletries in there (they did find there way in there at some point, however. Now where was safe. ) Eventually, however, it became clear that we would NOT be moving rooms, and would be expected to sleep there AGAIN that night. Ick, right? But I was still amazingly chill, It wasn't until Monday that I started really freaking out. I was obsessing about the ants - telling anyone I walked past about them, even if they were new like me and obviously couldn't do anything about it. It got to the point where everyone important knew about the problem, but it didn't seem like anything was actually being done to fix it. (Although, admittedly, I may have a biased opinion on the matter....)
Then we had our room inspection. My room-mate and I freaked out because our room was trashed - we hadn't vacuumed, there were dead ants all over the surfaces from our windex spray, our closest weren't locked... And we were starting to wonder if maybe we'd blown the ant thing out of proportion. Sure, it seemed like a big deal to us, but what if loads of people had swarms of ants and the inspectors thought we were being sissies???
Fortunately the moment they entered our room they kinda freaked out. Score! Since the inspectors were higher up in the chain of command, they would really make things happen, and by the end of Monday evening we were completely moved out. Yay!

The ants were so bad that we were shaking off every single item individually. When I opened my toothbrush holder the inside was black with ants. Bleech! Good thing I bought extra toothbrushes at the PX! I threw that thing out faster than a hot potato!

So yes. My first few days at Monterey were very exciting and interesting, but I wasn't discouraged at all! It was only after those problems were delt with that the stress and lack of sleep caught up with me, and now I have bronchitis. It's cold and rainy here and I feel tired pretty much all the time. But even though it's soaking wet outside, it's still way prettier than Great Lakes ever was! The grass is green and thick, and dotted with tiny little daisy flowers, and like I said, everyone here is nice, friendly, and helpful! I'm already making some tentative friends, and I can't wait until this weekend when I can - hopefully - really start meeting and getting to know some of the other people who I currently only know by face/last name.
I'll sign off for now,
'Cheers, THEO.