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Kibbles and Bits

Posted by A birch tree on June 11, 2008

1) So they moved me out of my room in the barracks, because it’s been “condemned”. Actually, the entire building has been unofficially condemned, but they get to keep housing us here by calling only certain rooms condemned and shuffling us around to less-condemned rooms. Thus, why I am accessing the internet from the laundry room, rather than from at my comfy desk. The free internet doesn’t extend to my new side of the hallway. How laughable is that?

2) When moving out of my old room, I just found out I left my pool cue behind. I hope the construction guys who come in to empty it and make their evals have a nice time with it. Damn it.

3) I have my discharge date! Said date was greeted with both enthusiasm and disgruntle…uh…ment. Disgruntlement. The first, because I know when I get to go home to my family who I haven’t seen in six months, and go on with my life after having been jerked around for, like, ever by a system that couldn’t decide if it wanted me to stay or go. The second, because the Navy was pretty much the only job I ever had that could make me feel like I was successful. Like I was good at something. And now I feel like I’ve failed at it, somehow. How do you fail at a job where 80% of your performance is based on showing up on time in a squared-away uniform with a good attitude?

I didn’t want to leave the Navy. They diagnosed me with a mental condition that made staying in the Navy impossible. Maybe it explains some of my past, but shit, I lived 25+ years without knowing I was nuts, and my family didn’t know I was nuts, and my parents didn’t know I was nuts, and my friends all say “Man, that’s such a load of shit, you’re not nuts!”… but the doc knows best, right? Whatever. I bounce back and forth between being happy as a lark or grumpy as a snail in a salt mine. I guess I’m mostly just be happy to have it be over, finally, and go home to be with people who know me and whom I care about, and away from some of the nastiest, meanest people I’ve ever known. Should I really take pride in succeeding in such a misogynistic, violent environment? I don’t know.

4) I’ve been reading The Gift of Fear. It’s a pretty good read, and the premise of giving people (primarily women) a set of logical, empirical reasons behind why their intution works the way it does (and thereby giving them permission to heed their intuition without feeling silly or irrational) is great. I’ll probably be quoting lots of things from it as time goes by, especially about Nice Guys, violence against women, entitlement, priviledge, and lots of other cool topics. Unfortunately, it also rasies my hackles in a victim-blamey sort of way in many spots, although I guess that’s inevitable with any book that tries to give people tools to avoid becoming victims. It’s always going to open the door for people to say “See? This expert guy says there was something you could have done differently, why did you let this happen to you?”, and a book about how violent people can use their own intution about themselves and the reactions of people around them to suss out and curb their own violent tendancies probably wouldn’t sell very well. Still, it would have been a nice attempt.

5) Yes, you’re right, I did in fact edit the picture on top of “A Bit About Male Priviledge” a little bit. You weren’t just seeing things before, I promise.

6) I don’t really have anything else to say that wouldn’t take hours of research and typing and proofreading and editing while sitting in a stiflingly hot laundry room. So I’ll stop now.

-a birch tree

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