September 11, 2004 Saturday
Dear Mollie, now way over in Japan,
Excuse me if I make some typos today (more than usual). Everything is pretty good over here in Norfolk, Virginia, and nothing to complain about. The “fleet,” as they say. It’s not like our sonar school in San Diego. However, we did pretty well for our three days of ship-wide inspections that finished up yesterday. I’m being told that I’ll be put back in the sonar division next week, so I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed. It’s not that bad being farming out to the Electricians (they need bodies), but I don’t feel very useful, and as a part of the wider Engineering department we’re always the last the leave (eight at night). By the time I’m dribing over to Portmouth to get back to the hotel they have us staying in, because the ship is still in pieces, it’s past nine. Oh well, almost over. How do you think you did on the E-5 exam? It makes me laugh (sort of ) to think that you, having come in the navy half a year after I got third, could really get to second before I do. Wow. Anyway, good luck.
I’m sort of bored. The only people here are on duty, and don’t entirely feel like I should be here. So I was rummaging through the lounge, and I ran across a Tony Hillerman book, something about the wind. I’m sure you’ve read it, of course. I also found something that made me feel very happy. It was a literature compilation like they have in college, and it has so much: Kate Chopin’s “Story of an Hour,” William Faulkner’s “ “A Rose for Emily,” as well as other things by Hemmingway, Joyce, Hawthorne, Steinbeck, Welty, Kafka, as well as a poetry section. I feel like Burgess Meredith in Twilight Zone, who has a library all to himself (Now where are my glasses…?).
Yesterday I was on a working party, loading the ship with food, and one of the boxes was tossed to me, standing at the bottom of the ladder, and it landed on my left ring finger. Its swollen, but x-rays were negative. Funny, but it’s sort of a good thing. You see, just an hour or so later, without them knowing, I was volunteered by the XO to be part of the VBSS. I didn’t even know what that was, but it is the boarding search and seizure team. Yikes. Do I seem cut out for that? Perhaps not. Regardless, I was told by my department head, Lt. McDowell, that the XO was impressed with me, and that’s why he had me added. I can’t think of what I did to deserve it, but I guess I feel that if you’re in that position you don’t say no. I went along with it, but that’s all gone by the boards now that I’m light duty for a week. Doc wouldn’thave let me anyway, because of the Concerta.
So those are the big things. I was told today that the ‘boys and bears will be playing each other this year. Who do you think will win? Ok, gotta eat while the line’s still open. Fill me in on anything you have going on, or whatever’s bouncing around your mind.