Dear Future Girlfriend

“Dear Future Girlfriend, here’s a couple things you need to know if you want to be my one and only all the time…”

This list is a living list of things I have come to know over the last 11 years of serious dating. I don’t include any girlfriends in or before High School and I didn’t do much dating in the Army. Shortly before turning 22, I met a girl and then less than a year later we were married. That was my first of many mistakes in dating. I don’t regret much in my life and try to learn from everything that happens. Here is my list and note to my future girlfriend. I am not ashamed or afraid to say that I want to be married again so that future girlfriend could be my future wife. (More on this in another posting. – note to self to write more on this, lol)

  • Don’t be crazy.
    • This one is self explanatory!
  • Make it easy to date you.
    • No guy wants to be forced to act like a boyfriend. They just want to do what they want and love you the best way they know how.
  • Laugh at my all my jokes
    • Don’t force it but if you think something is funny then don’t be afraid to laugh.
  • Recursively, make me laugh
    • I have a very loose sense of humor, this won’t be hard
  • Accept Sarcasm as a second language
    • If you don’t know it then learn it, quickly.
  • Makeup – less is better
    • I get it that women these days feel they need makeup, and it’s not that I don’t appreciate the way you look but know what looks good and how to enhance your features without adding a whole new layer of skin. Later on when this comes off I don’t want to date two different people.
  • Accept my son. Period.
    • You don’t have to love him, initially, but if you aren’t absolutely sure you can date/marry a guy with a kid then I have no purpose dating you. Simple.
  • Don’t afraid to hold my hand or let me kiss you in public.
  • Updated 8-29-16

I will add to this list as I think of things to add…

If you are wondering, yes, I know this is the public internet and anything I post on here could be read by anyone in the world, but this is my blog…How could you expect me not to be extremely personal on a website with my namesake? Jason Lamb dot ME!

Close Friends who are created under intense situations

Jason & Leb

It was a dreadful August morning in 2006, I was running late to formation at 0900. The night prior was obviously filed with a little too many libations. There was no morning PT so just a 0900 (9am) formation to start off the day. I reeked so bad of B.O and alcohol that I had to find some time to take a shower because in the rush of waking up I had no time before running out the door. I met my Platoon Sergeant who introduced me to a new soldier to our company. He was a 25F just like myself. 25F is the job classification for Network Switching Systems Operator/Maintainer. The new soldier had just finished his first duty station at Fort Bragg, NC. He was airborne qualified and very anxious to start his new duty station in his home state of Texas. I, having a wonderful night before, was his squad leader and as such was to show him around and get him situated. I was not feeling like doing that. It wasn’t one of my best morning. I didn’t make a good first impression to a new soldier to the unit. He became known as Leb, and will be referred to as such for this story.

Jason & Leb being coolI got to know Leb very well as we instantly hit it off as friends. We had similar interest in technology and movies. He was tall and lanky and had a very dark sense of humor; very sarcastic at times. He also had similar taste in women so we had plenty to talk about.

About 2 days before our whole unit was to deploy I woke up with a softball size welt on my neck. I didn’t know how big it was when I woke up until everyone in PT told me I need to go to medical right away. I was excused to the doctor so I went to have it checked out. As soon as I got there they had a look and told me to go to the ER to have it checked. I got to ER and they immediately took me to have a CS scan. It could have been an MRI, I don’t recall exactly. I just know it didn’t hurt but I could feel it. I was in the ER for a few hours awaiting results and treatment. They sat me down to have a chat and told me I needed my tonsils and adenoids removed. I said, “Sure, let’s do it!”. They said come back in two days for the surgery. I said that can’t happen because I am deploying with my unit in two days. They said, “No, your not.” I was devestated! I went back to tell me guys and I instantly felt like a lame-o. I was being put on Rear-D…Only profile and scum bags go on Rear-D.

Jason & Leb watching TVRear-D stands for Rear Detachment. It is the left over soldiers who are either delayed in deployment or won’t deploy at all. A handful of them were scheduled to ETS from the Army within a month. They and were exempt from deployment, but most were back because of some lame excuse for why they didn’t want to deploy and found some loop in the system to “award” them of that shameful status. If you are a soldier, it is your primary job to deploy during a time of war. You are looked down on if for what ever reason you don’t. I digress.
I got to sit back and watch my unit load on the buses head for the airport with all their gear to ship out to Iraq. It was a horrible feeling. All my personal items were already loaded in storage, all my gear was already on its way to Iraq. I had a few uniforms, some “civies” (civilian clothes), and toiletries. The next day after they deployed I had my surgery which gave me 30 days of convalescent leave, the first 14 days were quarters. I could do nothing except stay in my room and go to the DFAC (dining facility) for the first 2 weeks. That was the plan anyway. What actually happened is for another story.

Leb & Jason New YearsA month after my unit deployed I was cleared for deployment. I shipped out with 4 other soldiers and made way to Iraq. Once I arrived at about 11pm I was greeted by Leb and my Platoon Sergeant. It was great to be with everyone again! Over the course of that year Leb and I setup a wireless network with two static IP schemes. We also bought and setup a satellite to give our unit internet access. One IP scheme was to allow the local connection of XBox’s to play very broad Halo multiplayer battles. The other IP scheme was highly secured and monitored network of users who paid a monthly premium to use the internet. I won’t take most of the glory in this. I assisted Leb in the setup of this. Now that I think of it, it might have been wired, not wireless. None the less, it enabled us to have some fun on our down time and communicate with the outside world form the comfort of our wooden shack.

Leb and I spent many long days and nights watching the whole show from season 1 to 10 of Stargate SG1 along with other shows. We alternated on guard duty and spent much time talking about home. We would talk for hours. He became my closest confidant in Iraq. I opened up to him about many close things in my relationship back home and I helped him through rough times as well. He was the Bubba to my Gump.

“Bubba was my best good friend. And even I know that ain’t something you can find just around the corner.”
-Forrest Gump (1994)

Jason and Leb relaxingAfter 13 months overseas our mission was over and we came home. I was only in Texas for the next 3 months as I was getting all my appointments lined up to exit the Army. I saw Leb, and the rest of the unit, a little here and there but mostly had to attend briefings and appointments to ETS (Expiration of Term of Service).

I did see him a few years later when he came up for a visit to Ohio from Virginia. His time in the active Army ended and he started a job working on oil rigs as an IT guy, yes that actually exist. He didn’t like the travel so much and then went to working for a telecom provider in Virgina before moving back to Texas. He is still in the Army Reserves as a 25F and also used his GI Bill to become a certified helicopter pilot.

Chris & LebWe have had several conversations over the years since I left Fort Hood. He is one of the close few friends whom I miss from my Army days. I wish you well in your engagement, Battle Buddy. Although we only knew each other in person for about 18 months, you will always be in my mind when I think about my time in the Army. I hope to hang out some day again. I am glad you are so close to Chris. Both of you are great guys. Thank you both being great friends. I miss you both!

All of that to say this; sometimes your closest friends are the one you spent the least amount of time with because that time was spent so well. I have known many people for a lot longer time and wouldn’t consider them as close of friends as I am with Leb. Much of my time in the Army was like that. Get to know your comrads in a quick and close environment and then things happen and you may never see them again, but you remember.

You can check out my old website for more pictures – icwnow.com/iraq

57th Signal Battalion

Job vs Career

US_Armymeijer It’s interesting to me when people complain about their job. For me, I have a career, a career in Information Technology (IT). I don’t have a Monday to Friday 8-5 job. I go to work to get the “job done.” I have a task or project (usually several at a time) and I prioritize them and complete them in a organized manner. It really boggles my mind when someone is surprised that I don’t get done the same time every day. My work changes from day to day so how can I expect to start and stop the same time every day?

marriottI love what I do, else I wouldn’t do it. I recently changed employment for the better, both for environment and pay. It has actually migrated me to a different city, a much bigger one. I was raised in a big city my whole life and I finally feel at home with where I am and what I am doing.

erieblacktopBack to this job vs career thing. That difference should be abundantly clear to people who are older than 23 and out of school. When I was 15 I started my first tax-paying job at a hotel. I was a glorified bell boy. At 16 I foolishly changed jobs to work at Meijer (the mid-west version of Walmart). At the time the minimum wage was $5.15 in Indiana. At the hotel I was earning $7.25! That was a very respectable hourly wage for kids my age. I got bored with doing all the chores they had for me at the hotel. I worked M-W-F 5p-10p or something similar. I was limited on the hours because of my age. prawatWhen I started working there I remember my mom or dad dropping me off at work because I only had my permit and couldn’t drive alone. When I quit there to work for Meijer I earned a whopping $5.40! I worked more hours but made less money. At the time being 16 I could work more hours, and did. In hindsight my schooling started to struggle about this time because of the hours I was putting in. I did pay for a cell phone and my own auto insurance. It wasn’t until a year later that I would pay for my own car payment, a ’96 Chevy Cavalier. That first car was a “gimme”, a ’88 Ford Thunderbird in 2000.

steinhospiceAt that time I had a job. I was paid an hourly wage for a clock-in/clock-out job that would not end up being my life long employment. It wasn’t until after I got out of the Army that I felt I had a career. not that you can’t make a career of the Army, many people do. When I first joined I thought I would be a “lifer”. I loved my time in the Army and wouldn’t trade it for anything. After 5 years I let a pseudo childish love interest ruin my life and my mind changed which led to my leaving the Army.

millenniaMy average employment after the Army is right at 3.5 years, not including the 8 months I have been with my current employment. I wish I would’ve been at one place longer than 4 but life happens. Each time I have left it has been for a good reason. The reasons differ each time but at those times it was a decision I had to make. I have gained much knowledge from each place that I continue to carry with me where ever I go. I appreciate all my previous employers, some more than others. I feel right now I am in the best place I could be for several reasons that I am not going to go into. Thank you to all my employers that allow me to continue to grow and pursue my goal of being an IT Guru.

love_guru

 

nar·cis·sis·tic

I wrote this on Facebook. To save time and not have to repeat my words I am going to copy and paste it here:

I think I have a serious problem when people have a problem with Facebook. I think I take it personal, truly. Once upon a time, before Facebook, I created my own website to keep in touch with friends and family. You may have heard of it (indycrewworld . com) which was quickly turned into icwnow.com because 14 characters was too long to type. I now mostly focus on myself [at] jasonlamb.me because I am narcissistic, at least that is what I am told. Long story short, facebook is my touch to many people in my life and when you leave it you are in a sense leaving my contact with you….to be continued.

This is the continuation…

I don’t think I am narcissistic but then again people with problems rarely think they have a problem. Google defines it as: narcissistic “having an excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one’s physical appearance“. Merriam-Webster says: “love of or sexual desire for one’s own body“. I surely don’t “love” my body. I don’t hate it but am not in love with my body. File Feb 08, 11 46 52 PMThis picture from a year ago, well, ok…maybe I do look good. But who doesn’t look good talking on a public pay phone that doesn’t work any more outside a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown, Los Angeles, CA? I digress. My mother would argue in favor of my narcissistic behavior because I may or may not have taken a ton of selfies as a kid back when disposable cameras we a big hit. For each camera roll I had at least one selfie. I even did a project last year that I took a selfie a day to show my beard growth.

I have an app called Numerous that keeps track of how many friends I have on Facebook. facebook friendsNot that I want a big number I just want to know when I lose a friend. Right now I am at 421fb friends 421and on my birthday I had 426. I don’t want or need a large number of friends. I think quality over quantity is the key. I just wonder who it is when I that number drops. Is that somebody un-friending me or are they deactivating their account? I will truly not know. The app doesn’t tell me who I lost, just that the number dropped.

Now that I re-read this whole mumbo jumbo I am not sure that me worrying about my number of friends is so much the same as being narcissistic.

Side note: The Numerous app is shutting down its services on May 1st, 2016 due to lack of funding. So no more Facebook friends tracker.

mumbo jumbo

Mumbo Jumbo

Side side note: ‘mumbo” is not a valid word according to my spell check. But according to a Google search it is a cool looking character.

I don’t think I am quite done pondering this topic.

I do want to give a shout out to my anonymous friend who has silently encouraged me to start writing on my blog more. Thanks Friend.