I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was commissioned on Cinco De Mayo. Which means that, as of now, I’ve spent a year of my life in uniform. More training than actual soldiering, sure, but I’ve been down on the line for about five months now, and it’s great.
I’ve spent that time doing my fair shake of paperwork, running various rifle ranges and attending more meetings than I’d like to admit. I’ve gotten to know just about everybody, and we’re gearing up for some real hard and real fun training exercises this summer.
It’s scary, but the EPT is starting to feel more and more like home. It’s getting stupid-hot down here, but there’s worse things. And the really good, really hard to find Mom and Pop food places are starting to turn up.
We’ve found a kickass Thai place, the best barbeque in Texas, and a burrito joint that A) puts the other North Juarez burrito-cafes to shame and B) is mild enough for my Anglo tongue. And there’s a place on the West Side that serves very-nearly-and-almost the best Italian ever (my Iowan chum’s madre takes that prize).
Me and the K-star have been keeping busy on the weekends, pulling hikes up and down that Land of Enchantment, the American Territory of New Mexico. She got a job at NBC Channel 9, editing tapes with a capitol “e,” working the 3am to noon shift. That’s a trip, because my earliest days don’t start until 4 in the morn.
We also pulled a four-day roadtrip mondo-weekend up to Denver to meet up with my Pa and see my Grandfolks, which is always more fun than I think it’s going to be. Colorado is a totally underrated state.
Anyway, here’s some files I created with my Electronic Imager. If you click them, they get bigger.
See that? That’s the standard.
You gotta admit, T or C is the best name for a city since “Portland.”
You gotta admit, it’s easy to see why a city named “Kelly” is now ghosts-ville.
This is me, looking like a goddamn badass Army Cowboy in a polished-steel drop top.
I command 2nd platoon. My boss commands Alpha Troop (but only because we’re Cavalry – the rest of the Army calls it a “Company”). His boss commands a Squadron (“Battalion”). And his boss is Colonel Twitty, who commands the Brigade and every damn set of boots on Biggs Army Airfield.
I ran into Colonel Twitty again at the Squadron Ball, and he was quick to recognize me from an earlier meeting. And if he ever makes the Joint Chiefs, which is a real possibility, I’m framing this picture.
Different hike, same shirt. No questions.
Who goes hiking in a cardigan?
Remember that bit in Contact where Jodie Foster works at that observatory with the endless fields of radio telescopes? It’s out in nowhere-town, NM and a total disappointment.
My grandmother, at an art exhibit outside of Denver.
That same grandmother’s been cooking Sourdough with the same starter for 40 years, and she claims it dates back to the Gold Rush days. So we sealed a sample of it up in a jar, put the jar in the a cooler, and trucked it back to El Paso.
This is Kelly, demonstrating the wrong way to flip sourdough flapjacks.
This is me, demonstrating the right way to flip sourdough flapjacks.