Sunday, March 31, 2013

Break from The Past Two Years

Well, it is that time again, a post!

Today was a special day for a few reasons; One of the bigger reasons is that I just participated in my church's Drama group's THIRD "Night at the Improv". We had an EXCELLENT turnout and a whole lot of fun and laughs; Everything from setup to take down was a blast and I had loads of fun being with the group I was with. It was also a bittersweet time because one of our own will be leaving for school and she will be greatly missed. But enough sad stuff, we had fun today and that is what matters.

Also, recently I have taken up Ballroom dancing again, which is a TOTAL BLAST! This has lead to several things in and of itself. The story is a cool one so I will start at the beginning...

SUMMER 2007:

After I graduated high school, I went on a trip to the UK and Ireland; While I was in Ireland, the tour group I was with went to a a local restaurant where they had live entertainment, part of the performance was a group of dancers. The dancers did their dance and then had people come up from the audience and dance with them. Well, I had NO INTENTION of getting up on the stage because A) I was shy. B) I couldn't dance and didnt want to make a fool of myself. Well, one of the dancers came up to me and said this, "Do you want to come up and dance with my friend? She's shy and wanted me to ask for her."...well I was happy to go up...I mean a girl chose ME! (Looking back on this, it was probably just a ploy...) Regardless, I had fun!...and that is how my interest in dance was piqued. But I never thought that I would do it again.

FALL 2007:

I went to a military school for my freshman year of college and one of the things that military schools have is BALLS, (The fancy dancing kind.) and a couple of weeks before, there was someone that offered FREE ballroom dance lessons, so I signed up and learned the very basics of the Tango, waltz, cha-cha, and foxtrot. I mean who wouldn't want to learn some cool dances that make you look sophisticated? Well, I learned these...kind of, and used them at the Ball, and they turned out ok! Unfortunately there wasn't a whole lot of interest in dance so a club was never made, but I had fun learning and that interest stayed with me for quite a long time, but as timed passed, it slowly faded from memory until...

SPRING 2013:

I have a friend who is REALLY into dance and I've seen her post about dancing and various dances and this awakens that sleeping desire in me to possible explore the idea of taking up dance again so I mention that on Facebook and whadaya know? She tells me that I should! ( I know I should), but Im a shy guy still and usually don't like starting new things alone. Well, it turned out that she went to a dance studio called Royal Palace Dance Studio ( AN AWESOME place to learn dance if you are interested.) and she invited me to a group class...well I went and I had a BLAST!! The instructors were amazing and the students were supportive and fun to be around...and when I left there after that first class, I knew that I would be I have gone for 4 classes AND a Michael Jackson Theme party which was a TOTAL BLAST! Had a lot of fun and learned to put some ballroom/latin dances to some of MJ's music, learned how to do the moon walk and I even won  a prize for a "putting forth most effort " category for a MJ line dance.

This actually happened this past Friday and it was one of the things that made this past week so great, As well as hanging out with this friend on multiple occasions...but her story will have its own future post. ;-)

But yes, this week has been great and now Im tired...but now you know how I got started with dance, and now I hope to continue learning and getting better and maybe one day be an instructor...because more people need to get in on Ballroom/Latin dancing...just saying.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The past two years...part 1

Alrighty, it has been quite some time since I have blogged about anything I am long overdue!   I am writing this looking back at my life since I've been back from Afghanistan and seeing the the ups and downs that have been my life. This is going to be blunt and to the point. The only place to really start is late 2009, the months before my life changing deployment.

  Before the deployment, I was just like any other guy. I thought I knew where I was going in life, thought I knew it all, had some friends, had a job, etc. LIfe was decent. When I found out my unit was getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan. I was given a choice. To either stay state side and continue school, or deploy with the others. To me, this was a no-brainer, without thought I gladly said sign me up to go! I mean, this is what I have been training for, the opportunity of a lifetime, to visit a place where the culture and geography is vastly different and to "make a difference." I went home and told my parents the news and there were the expected emotions. Shortly after we packed up and went to Louisiana to train full time to get up to speed about the latest Tactics and procedures, spend a few weeks there, and then went home for christmas to say good bye to our family, friends, and employers.
   January 8th 2010, we left Vermont to our Pre Mob site in Indiana where we trained even longer and harder till we were sharp and ready to face whatever dangers and threats we might encounter. We trained till early March when we left Indiana without notice, in the dead of night. By this time, I had a girlfriend. We hit it off pretty well. We talked and texted whenever time allowed, the typical new relationship thing. I remember right before our planed took off texting her "I love you so much! I'll talk to you when I can :-(" I'm not sure if she ever got it...oh well. Our first refuel stop was in Leipzig(sp?) Germany. It was here that I got to call my girlfriend and parents to let them know that I was in Transit to Afghanistan. We weren't there for very long; just long enough to maybe use the phones, (if we were lucky.) and buy snacks or souvenirs or whatever we wanted. From there we flew to Kyrgyzstan, the "Gateway to Afghanistan" It was a beautiful place, the Tien Shan mountains were snow capped and put our mountains to shame, they were HUGE! We were only there for a day or two.  Other than the mountains, all I can remember was the chill in the air and the snow on the ground. It was pretty nippy. The next stop was our final destination...Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan....