A young man's strange, erotic journey from Milan to Minsk...and apparently, back again.

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Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

The details of my life are quite inconsequential, really. Summers in Rangoon...luge lessons...

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Cushy Forward Base

Welcome to my workplace! Just when you think cubicle life in an office in New York is no way to live, you land a desk in a cramped, hot little workspace in a building much like this. Trust me, "Office Space" has nothing on this place. Of course, there's no having a case of the Mondays when there isn't a weekend, is there? The day may say Saturday or Sunday, but it matters not in the land of the wandering nomad we call the Afghanidan.
Home, sweet home. This is my abode, at least for now. It took the Army a few days to confirm that I would, in fact, be staying where I dropped my stuff and grabbed a bed. It's not too bad--plywood dividers give you the feeling of a room, which beats tent living. Everything is constantly covered in a fine dirt layer, but that's life in the dust bowl that is this fashionista sense tells me that works fine with the uniforms we wear, however.
A view of radar hill overlooking the base, with Aziz's bakery in the foreground. It's a bitch to run up this thing for workouts, but it affords a great view of the base and nearby local compounds. I haven't gotten his full story yet, but Aziz is apparently a local baker/cook who opened up shop here when U.S. Marines first rolled in. Word is he had a kitchen too, which was authorized for use by our boys until a couple caught some "Osama's revenge" after eating there. Not good times.
Here is the loneliest palm tree in the land. I'll eventually send more photos of base, once I send them through the release official...wait, that's me! It's very maze-like, with snaking concrete and sandbag barriers of all shapes and sizes keeping us safe. Of course those same barriers make walking around at night tricky, since we operate under light discipline as a forward base (which means darkness, people...and it gets DARK here). The stars are truly amazing on clear nights, though. Especially the bright ones close to the horizon that move around and shoot .50-cal machine guns, since they keep any angry militia from even thinking about rocketing us.
Here is the new mosque on base, for the many Afghan workers and soldiers who live and work here. There is a ridiculous amount of construction going on around this place, and if you catch a glimpse of the workers as I did yesterday, wearing their kameez partoog and with pickaxes flying, you can't help but think of Raiders of the Lost Ark. As for facilities, showers are hot though water pressure is a trickle. Laundry is quick, if you don't mind your clothes being washed with Afghan hospital bedsheets. And the chow isn't bad here, although they lack two essentials: milk and orange juice. Obviously I am pretending beer is not an essential. But if you feel like drinking 40 or so fantas each meal or eating french fries and grits any meal of the day, you will be hooked up, trust me!


Anonymous Ash the girl said...

Did you have my red swingline stapler?

"I told them if they took my stapler I would set the building on fire"

January 28, 2006 at 12:48 PM  
Blogger Virginia Gentlemen said...

I am very happy to hear that they have Grits - I am sure you are eating them by the pound! Keep up the good work and keep sending the pics - Courtney and I are enjoying it! This Blog idea is great!

January 29, 2006 at 5:59 PM  
Anonymous Sully said...

Say Hi to Fitzhume and Milbarge if you get a chance. Soulfinger!!!!

January 30, 2006 at 8:05 AM  
Blogger I Love Jeets said...

Must be nice to be in a place where you don't have a case of the "Mondays!" Ha ha. It's great to see photos of your new surroundings.
Do you keep thinking you're in the middle of a shoot for the video "Rock the Casbah?"

By order of the prophet
We ban that boogie sound
Degenerate the faithful
With that crazy casbah sound...

January 30, 2006 at 8:56 AM  
Anonymous sunflowerdays said...

I love it!!! Sorry i couldn't respond to your emails earlier or read these sooner, but keep putting them out there! Take care Malachy!

January 30, 2006 at 11:33 AM  
Anonymous Punchy said...

Fanta? What the hell?? Don't they serve Hawaiian Punch out there?!?!

January 30, 2006 at 4:42 PM  
Blogger No Roger, No Rerun, No Rent said...

Hey, great job on the blog. Just don't dance around like a Kansas City Faggot!

January 31, 2006 at 12:43 PM  
Blogger Inner Prop said...


That's my BASE!

I don't mean that I was just stationed there, that's MY base. I was the BASEOPS Commander in 2004. I had the first real BASEOPS staff in Salerno!

I know ALL the stories (especially Aziz, I shut his resturant down). My name is on the lease (it's not supposed to be, but I didn't know that at the time).

In our tour and under my direction we: built the RC East HQ; the COC; chapel; RIF; STRATEXs (I named them Chicago, Springfiled, Juneau and Anchorage); the armored towers; the giant voice; the brick billets (I picked the colors, you like?); the PX; KBR village; all the KBR shops; the Teir III tents for the post office, FI and PAD; the barber shop; coffee shop (largest Green Bean in the CJOA) and the gift shop.

We started building the cold storage and the como vaults.

I have so many questions.

February 2, 2006 at 7:02 PM  
Blogger Mare said...

Actually, you kind of do look like the guy from Office Space.

February 11, 2006 at 10:26 AM  
Anonymous Tamera said...

Thanks for the pictures. As a wife of a fellow soldier there with you there at JAF it really helps to see a part of his life too. Thanks for touching my heart tonight!!! Shake my Chiefs hand if you run into him.

June 22, 2006 at 8:17 PM  

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