Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Typical Day...@ Bagram Airfield Afghanistan

Hey ya'll!

Here are some random pictures of my room and some of the sights here at BAF. I still have all afternoon and evening to go until my day is over (oh, Happy May 1st everyone! A new month means that I'm that much closer to going back home...so it's a pretty exciting Tuesday for me, haha) but I decided to take a couple pictures this morning, as well as use some of the pictures I took last month and kind of 'paint a picture' as to how I see things each and every day that I'm here, as well as fill you in on my daily routine.

So whenever I'm not out on a 'mission' at a random camp/fob/cob/cop etc. I'm here at BAF (Bagram Airfield). Since this is our 'home base,' all of my belongings are here and I usually have time to take it easy. There is still work to do here from time to time (none of it being very time consuming at all), but for the most part there's not a whole lot going on.

Now, no matter what day it is (and without my Audrey Hepburn calendar I'd probably never know what day it was anyway, lol) I usually wake up and get my day started at about 0730.  Thankfully the building I live in is dedicated to all REF (Rapid Equipping Force (who I work for)) personnel, and we share this building with some U.S Army officers as well. With that, our building has bathrooms, showers and a laundry room, so we don't need to leave the building and walk somewhere just to shower, or do laundry etc (as I have to do once I'm on mission or during my previous deployments). So the living situation is pretty convenient and comfortable.


I do have to share my room with a co-worker....and I'm not a fan of that at all. As you'll see in the pictures, there isn't a whole lot of room for 2 people live comfortably. That, and if we're not out working on something, our room is really the only place where I can go to 'relax.' Soooo on days like today when there's nothing going on, I spend most of it in my room...with my co-worker. Now I'm a respectful guy...I don't say much...but having to deal with my 'roommate' bringing food into the room and  for the next 2 days the whole thing smells like chicken, or listening to him Skype with his 'girlfriend' and burp, fart, sneeze, cough etc day after day after day, it gets prettttttty annoying!

Anyway, back to my routine. I wake up at 0730, go and get cleaned up, brush my teeth and so on. As I exit the building I walk further into the 'compound' in which we are situated to a 'pull-up' bar. Prior to breakfast, every morning, I come to this bar and knock out some pull-ups...just to stretch and get the muscles a little loose (secretly I also do this so I can walk to chow (breakfast) looking a little buff, lol). I go and eat breakfast, which usually consists of the same thing every morning and head back to my room......aaaand that's it. If at any point during the day there's work to be done, we go and knock it out. If not, I'm in my room either reading or online. When 1700 (5pm) rolls around I'm off to the gym for about 2 hours (I have a pretty awesome workout/cardio routine that I've been following), then walk to evening chow (dinner), and then it's back to my room to shower and maybe watch a movie or work on this blog until I pass out (usually around 2200hrs (10pm)).

I apologize for the epic paragraphs, and I kinda rushed it at the end there so ya'll could quit reading, lol. Anyway, here are some pics!

 So this is my room.....the top bed (which is ridiculously squeaky) is mine and the top 2 shelves in the back there are for my things.....these rooms are really meant for one person...sharing it sucks!

 My only friend out here, my Mac, lol..and my Audrey Hepburn calendar helps me keep track of how many days I have left until I'm homeward bound!....and it provides me with the name of whatever holiday might be going on around the world on any particular day. Sweet!
 The shelves where I keep my Mac, iPad and iPhone on, lol, as well as some positive reading material, my hygiene bag, and my workout supplements and shakers

 The half of the closet that's mine. All those shirts that you've seen there I haven't worn yet. I've been sticking to the same ol' 5 black/grey shirts, and 3 pairs of blue jeans since I've arrived....pfft, who needs a fancy wardrobe? lol..
 The temperature this morning. Beautiful day!
 Ah, my old nemesis,  Mr. Pull-Up Bar. Before I go to breakfast and lunch, him and I do battle!
 Walking to chow on Disney Road. Not a whole lot going on.
 Pretty much what my breakfast looks like every morning. I always have one boiled egg, a cup of oatmeal with brown sugar, 3 turkey links and some kind of fruit....the biscuit was new...not sure if it's going to make the cut for tomorrow's breakfast
 The sign on the outside of our building.
 Some of the mountains that we're surrounded by.
 Afghan kids riding their bikes to who knows where just outside of the wire.
 One of the systems that we support.
 More mountains.
You guessed it...more mountains...we don't have these things in Texas, lol....

Monday, April 30, 2012

COP Margah pt 1

Ah yes, COP Margah, where my adventures in Afghanistan really began! Some quick background information about this video: First, notice the facial hair. For whatever reason whenever I find myself in either Iraq or Afghanistan I tend to go 'local' with my facial hair....and with this particular mission lasting a total of 5 weeks, I looked like one tough, badass (or some homeless guy....or a 'little terrorist' as one soldier called me who thought I wasn't American)..either way, try not to be mesmerized by it all. And I say 'all' because normally I'm pretty clean shaven....and am I really talking about facial hair in this post????


Just getting to COP Margah was an adventure in and of itself (I'll post a video about that sometime later). We were treated really well by the soldiers who were there once we got on the ground. I got to witness an IDF attack (Indirect Fire), watch the U.S and A.N.A go on patrol, live fire exercises etc. It was a really awesome experience for my first mission on this particular 'deployment'  and I wish all the guys there (not one woman was there...it was weird...and hilarious! Because whenever a woman would show up on tv while we were all eating chow, everyone would stop talking and stare at the tv until she was gone, lol....) god's speed in getting home safely!
Anyway, enjoy the video! 
Part 2 on my Margah mission should be up by the weekend, so look out for that!


Molato Marco Presents: Spoken Word! Part 2

Hey ya'll! Welcome back! Soooo this one is a little different....I wrote this one back in 2009 for a talent show that I was going to participate in over in T.Q (Al Taqqadum, Iraq). Thanks to my old co-workers for being my 'practice audience' for the whole day I was writing/reciting this, haha. I wanted to go with a different theme, since my 2 previous spoken word pieces were about relationship/love etc...I'm a fan of Milton's 'Paradise Lost' and Dante's 'Divine Comedy' (the whole trilogy actually...good stuff!). Anyway, Enjoy!

Dear Dad,

It's me, your oldest son
You remember me, the 'boldest one'
The only one left out in the cold
Truth be told, I never thought that I would speak to you again
In the beginning it was you and me, 'the father' and 'the son'
Won't bother to go any farther because obviously 'the son' was the one 'the father' didn't want to be bothered with....
Or be the father of
Without a mother all I wanted was my father's love
You would watch little Adam and Eve play in the garden like. all. day! 
I didn't want to believe, but as my heart started to harden a part of me wanted to see. them. all. pay..
I was an outcast before I was cast out!
And you told me to show them love and respect just like I show you I told you I wouldn't do it!
Because you get the best of me, while they're getting the best of me, like a joke, as in jest
So I choke because that's something my pride just won't ingest
It was hard to swallow, I wallowed in grief and pain
Until my voice was void of reverence when I would speak your name
I had no choice BUT to be annoyed, things were no longer the same

I went from 'Number 1 Son' to just a number
Oh the irony, i can see it now finally!
For how can I be proud
I lost myself to the point where you couldn't find me in a crowd, of mirrors
But like the silver lining of a cloud
I allowed myself to be blind, reminding me of how, 'hope springs eternal'...
Truly ignorance was bliss

What was so wrong with me wanting to be grown too?
'Like father, like son'
I would build my own home, sit on my very own throne!
If the roles were reversed I would never disown you!
But I supposed that I'm cursed, opposed to your own views
I guess, me being second best was the first sign
Normally alert but caught off guard at the worst time
I felt sad and hurt for the first time
You replace me and expect things to work fine!? 

Meticulous, but never careless because apparently I've got my character flaws
Ridiculous the pain inflicted from a parent could cause
If only I could sleep....
And awaken in paradise...lost..alone 
That bright light that my life shone? For what I was named after?
Diminished in a flash, my heart hardened to stone
I guess I wasn't 'worthy'
I bore witness to his 'mercy'
He didn't care that it would hurt me, never heard of love being the reason that you'd desert me
But the fate that I've suffered is all part of the plan:
A snake, A garden, the downfall of Man

Sincerely and with all the love I possess,
Lucifer, your son......

Molato Marco Presents: Spoken Word! Part 1

So since I'm still pretty new to this whole blog thing, I figured my first, official post would be something....well, a little different. One of the things that I like to do in my free time is write/perform 'spoken word' poetry. With the lackluster internet we have here in Afghanistan, and me having to share a room with a co-worker, finding the time to actually record myself 'performing' some of my works, and then uploading them on here is something that's going to require some time. So in the meantime I thought I'd just post one of my very first pieces for you all to enjoy!

If the eyes are the window to the soul, I was window-shopping

Soul searching
Left with no option

Closed curtain
My heart was a target

My soul, deep and dark as a tar-pit

Made for enduring heartbreaks and hardships

Until you smiled at me....

That was when the fire spark lit

My entire heart skipped
 and plummeted

And my stomach was feeling car sick
didn't think that it was love, just lust

And that my feelings would be brushed like dust under the carpet

That's how it started

Or it began
Not believing that you're the reason for being all I am
And now I think about my past, present and future

And how much time would have to pass to make my present my past so that you're present in my future

But I'm hesitant to make these feelings evident

Ever since I had my heart broke and I still have the bandage as evidence

But I believe that she's heaven sent

With a smile so bright, it can fully eclipse the sun's light

Some might think they can achieve it in one night

But it takes time

Sure it's easy to make rhymes

Talking about it, but I couldn't walk a straight line

Because I'm so intoxicated by her presence

And the mere fragrance of her essence
Not just her physical, but spiritual form

What seed was planted for this miracle to be born?
Just the thought of us being together, so ecstatically collaborated

Had me thinking that the love I used to know was just dramatically elaborated

But the love that she has for me is why my anatomy is animated

Meaning I nearly died
 but I'm clearly alive

The reason being that she's my reason for being

Not seeing the truth
 because love is blind and I needed the proof

I was glad to witness that my image of self

Went from rags to riches, no material wealth

Because the most you can spend on any woman is time

If I could go back and show that to any woman of mine

I'd be sure to capture that moment in time with my Kodak

And let the picture unfold.....

So what you all think? I apologize for the way it's laid out, it probably made for some difficult reading. I promise that when I have some quality 'alone time' I'll put an actual video up of me reciting this. Do any of you have an interesting hobby? Competed in any talent shows? Have some poetry to share? Let me know!

*sidenotes* For some reason, when I first started writing rhymes/poetry/whatever you want to call it, it all dealt with love and loss and had a real 'emo' feel to it (well to me at least). I found it odd because I've been single for years and years and this subject isn't something that my mind dwells on...I just find the topic to make for some interesting writing I guess....meh