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A Look Back at Anger   
03:00pm 01/12/2010
  I just wrote my bio for the program of our new sketch show:

Steve Ruggiero never got to be in any plays when he was younger, so of course he performs live theatre now during his second adolescence.  Steve was a happy, financially secure adult capable of engaging in emotionally supportive relationships until he lost his career, house and wife during Christmas of 2007.  Now he spends his time acting to heal a crippled heart, hiding from any real sense of responsibility and bartending to pay the bills.

Given the theme of our show the idea was to be pissy, not to sugar-coat anything like you normally would in a bio or resume.  So someone might say that they've wasted thousands of dollars on improv classes when it's factually true that they've spent a lot of money on classes, but they may or may not really feel like it was wasted.  Mine is very real and conveys more sadness than bitterness, although I sometimes feel a lot of both.  I don't always feel this way about my situation, but reading it really makes me question how much of these feelings influence my behavior under the surface.  Especially the part about hiding from any real sense of responsibility.  Do I really do that?  Is that part of the reason why I refuse to get a "real" job?  Not being reliably employed frees me up to do many of the things I love, but is there a part of me that is rejecting responsibility?  I think so.  I also think it's part of why I'm avoiding any kind of relationship and almost all intimacy.  It's fucked up.  It's fucking me up.  I need the things that I am rejecting!  To heal!  In order to heal I need the things I am rejecting.  Am I rejecting the healing itself?

Fucking three years later and I am just now asking myself this.

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question thingey   
09:14pm 08/09/2005
  1. Go here.
2. Pass it on.
my answersCollapse )
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in which i get a parking ticket   
07:35pm 03/08/2005
  i would be asleep already if i didn't know that my phone will ring at least five more times tonight. not that i'm special, it's just that i have to be up at 2:45 tomorrow morning and that's how things go.

i forgot to tell my class to each bring a quarter tomorrow to clean their weapons. you see, tomorrow is Lucky Dip, and if I have anything to say about it, their weapons (indeed their whole selves) will be covered in mud by noon. last time i used five of my own dollars to operate the spray hoses at the car wash across the street and thus cleaned their weapons en masse. after we had to go back and spend five more dollars the next day to clean them all again (somehow muddy rifles don't look as dirty when they are wet) i decided it's time to try something more cooperative. the only problem is i forgot to tell them like i promised myself i would.

i also promised myself not to do anything stupid today, but then i ended up parking illegally behind the guy who was parked in my RESERVED parking spot. usually when someone parks in my spot, i go park elsewhere and walk farther. today i was on a tight schedule, and i was getting back from another obligation just in time to attend my buddy's award ceremony. which, by the way, meant that all the parking nearby would be taken since it was a fairly big ceremony. so rather than go through the trouble, i took the advice of many of my co-workers, which was: "shit, if someone parks in my spot, i just park right behind 'em!" so i did. and when i came out thirty minutes later, there were two MPs in two squad cars writing me a ticket. unbelieveable! they sympathized with me, truly, but they had no choice because a lieutenant colonel had called about some reckless hooligan obstructing traffic in a busy parking lot, and he wanted to see results! well here, take off my hand! and my fucking driving foot, and the fingers i use to flip the turn signal! but after hearing my story, they also wrote a ticket to the guy in my spot. consoled? not so much.

i did teach my first class today, which was fun. it was on Risk Management, a very basic topic. the class was rigidly attentive, very responsive, and they participated when prodded. couldn't ask for anything more. i also managed to put the 400 pound civilian girl to sleep.

wow, in the time it has taken me to write this, my phone has rung not once. maybe i should try to sneak in some sleep.
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new jersey   
11:09am 12/03/2005
mood: drunk
I'm on my first stop in the states, scenic New Jersey. Ft. Dix is in the middle of nowhere but we still had a good time in the local bars. We stopped drinking just before our bus for Philidelphia airport arrived. I'm surprisingly able to keep a level head despite my complete lack of tolerance for alcohol at the moment. It must be my jeans. Wait... where did my pants go????

First Beer
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freedom flight   
11:55pm 09/03/2005
mood: tired
We're catching a "freedom bird" back to the states on the morning of the 11th, just barely two weeks later than we were supposed to leave. For those of you wondering, my soldier was found NOT GUILTY of rape but guilty of adultery and indecent behavior. He was reduced to the rank of Private and sentenced to 45 days confinement to Kuwait. Funny, that's how I would describe the last part of this deployment.

Anywho, that puts me in Chicago I-don't-know-when. I'm starting to wonder if I'll be able to make it before the 20th. Well crap in a handbag, if this little excursion didn't just ruin all my plans for leave.

Or maybe it just altered my plans and now I'll have to include a trip to Carbondale, IL.
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am i fucking nuts!!?!   
11:04pm 26/02/2005
mood: giddy
On this, the day that I watched my entire unit leave for the United States, I started thinking about what I'm going to do when I get back. I mean, logistically speaking, how everything is going to work out and such. So at dinner I'm telling Mandee, a fellow lieutenant and friend of mine, that I'm worried about driving in the States due to the stresses of driving in combat for a year. It seems that most people leaving here have the hardest time readjusting to driving on US roads because we have had to deal with complete anarchy on the roads for the past year. Not only that, but on convoys you have to act as if you own the road, forcing any civilian vehicles out of your way. I guess most soldiers who ran convoys for even six months find that they have serious road rage in the States.

So I'm telling her this, saying that I'd like to drive back to Chicago from Virginia when I take my leave. This way I can have my car and not be forced to stay at home with Nannie for two weeks straight. Not only that, but buying a plane ticket at the last second can be expensive, and I'm sure I'll have no idea when I'll be able to leave Virginia until literally hours before they release me. The only problem is, I'm worried about making such a long trip so soon after redeployment. Would I be ready to face the road and drive normally? Or will the stress of having to drive calmly in a straight line at a decent speed be too much for me to handle??

That's when Mandee suggests having a friend drive back with me from Virginia. Unfortunately, none of my friends there have any reason to go to Chicago for two weeks, I am sure. So she says, "Why don't you have a friend come down from Chicago and drive with you back?" Even though I shrugged off the suggestion as unrealistic, a seed was thus planted in my brain that would later germinate and nearly crack my skull in a following conversation with my grandmother.

So when I call Nannie to tell her that, yep, I am still in Kuwait, she starts to ask about when I'll be home. This quickly leads to a discussion of the pros and cons of driving home alone for thirteen to fifteen hours. That's when she says that she would LOVE to drive with me back home. Thinking that, hey, Nannie still hasn't seen my house in Virginia and, SAY!, she's never even met my roommates, I start to warm to the idea of having her visit me in Virginia. In a few moments I'm browsing through one-way ticket options from Chicago to Norfolk as I'm speaking to her and suddenly I say, "Hey, here's a one-way ticket to Virginia on March 14th for only a hundred bucks." She is visibly delighted (yes, even over the phone) and proclaims herself "thrilled" crying that I've made her week, etc. Happy to have found a way to to simultaneously make my trip back to Chicago safe and make Nannie's week, I click on the purchase button.

So that is how I fooled myself into thinking that I'd be able to stand having my lunatic grandmother in the car long enough to drive to Frank's Finer Foods, let alone on a fifteen-hour highway extravaganza. I have never been able to stand driving with the woman, and I have on one occasion actually forced her to get out of the passenger seat and ride in the back before I even made it from my house to Winfield road. She has a pretend brake pedal that she stomps vigorously anytime a crossroad is visible, and she thinks she can judge my driving speed more accurately than the speedometer, which, according to her, displays my speed as 10-15 miles per hour slower than reality. The last time she was even in my vehicle she stole over eight dollars worth of quarters and blamed it on my sister, who doesn't even pay the tolls she passes through, negating the necessity for vast amounts of change. But worst of all is the incessant nagging, criticizing, and otherwise completely distracting, one-sided conversation that she insists on delivering in a voice too loud for a room full of people, let alone a mid-sized sedan. Those of you who know the woman know exactly what I'm talking about.

Why these memories didn't surface in my mind sooner, I don't know. So I don't know what I just did, or if it will mean my certain demise. I can not think of a more stressful driving situation than having her in my front seat. Maybe I can drop her off with the Mennonites of Western Pennsylvania and mail her a check every month. More than likely, they will not let her stay with them, although she can pull off a wicked good "wholesome religious lady" facade for about five seconds if she has the mind to. Does anyone know how I can get a hold of some horse tranqs on short notice??
not even a reach around   
12:46am 25/02/2005
mood: confused
well, the results are in, the opinions tallied, and i am officially a witness for the court martial

GUILTY as charged

Your punishment, sir, will be 10 days confinement to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. You will serve your time consecutively, without opportunity for parole.

oh, and by the way, you are hereby robbed of the memories yet to be made at the home-coming celebration in El Paso with the soldiers you risked your life with for the past year. an irreplaceable life experience, to be sure

and you know i'm all about life experience
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03:35pm 23/02/2005

Here are the bravest men of my platoon, the guncrew. They manned the two guntrucks that kept the rest of the soldiers safe, Viper and Wolfpack. They volunteered to put themselves at greater risk to protect 2nd platoon's convoys on mission after mission after mission. Even after being shot at, ambushed, almost blown up and nearly run over on several different occasions, they never backed down. Each one of them knew that they could step down and be replaced if they ever felt the need. Throughout 12 1/2 months of dangerous missions, not one of the original nine stepped down.

For the past year, these soldiers have been more than members of my platoon. They have been my brothers. Every time I went on the road, they were there to watch my back. We faced the dangers of the road together every day. Every time we saddled up for a mission we rolled the dice, knowing that today might be the day our best wasn't good enough. But we made it.

These are the few who courageously did a job that not many were willing to take on. It is because of these men that everyone in 2nd platoon came home.
09:56am 22/02/2005
  if popularity is measured by the amount of messages in your inbox, then my social life is really starting to pick up!

thanks, guys, for making me feel cool again
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future career path   
10:23am 19/02/2005
  I've finally decided what I want to do when I grow up. I'm going to be an Urban Legend inventor. The other day, I made this one up in the middle of a conversation:

"Do you know which Sesame Street character has the most expensive costume or puppet? Obviously Big Bird or Snuffaluffagus, cuz they're huge, right? Wrong. The Cookie Monster puppet costs six times more to make than Big Bird's costume. It's because ever since 1987, his blue fur has been made of a special polymer invented by NASA that prevents cookie crumbs from sticking in his fur."
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mission complete   
05:19pm 12/02/2005
  well, I'm back, safe and sound. the mission was absolutely miserable... i showered twice the whole week and forgot to pack a pillow. on the upside we had a pick-up at a camp in baghdad that my old roommate from west point lives at... we got to hang out for a few hours. it turns out he got married by proxy to his girlfriend while he was deployed out here

today is day 365 of our deployment... only about 2 weeks until i see the states again
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ok i lied   
09:34pm 03/02/2005
mood: anxious
I'm going back on mission to Iraq tomorrow morning. Yep, even though I said I was done, I've decided to roll out one more time. Just about my whole platoon is going and I really want to be out there with them. Even though I already mailed home some of my Army equipment. Ooops.
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listen to this crap   
03:41pm 01/02/2005
mood: annoyed
Ok, ya know how my unit is supposed to leave on 26 February? Well, about five months ago, one of my soldiers allegedly raped another soldier. It was a horrible event, to be sure, but apparently it was not the first time these two soldiers had been intimate. I'm really not sure if he's guilty or not, but that doesn't matter.

I was interviewed as a witness during his Article 32 hearing (to see if his case has enough evidence to go to trial) and now I may be called as a witness in his court martial. His court martial is scheduled for March 6th and 7th. That means if I am named as a witness, I will be here a bit longer than anticipated. There's also a chance that, even if I get called as a witness, the court martial may be postponed and I will still go home on time... only to be flown back to Kuwait for the trial. Ugh.

I am hoping with all my might that I don't get selected as a witness. The problem is, the witness list for the defense won't be released until 24 Feb., two days before my flight.
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32 and a butt days   
09:22am 24/01/2005
  according to my calculations, i'll be heading home on February 26th. My return schedule looks like this:

Feb. 26th - fly home
Feb. 27th - arrive in El Paso
Feb 28th - approx. March 7th - stay in Texas
around March 8th - fly to Virginia
March 8th - 15th - mandatory "readjustment" period in Virginia
March 15th or something - fly to Chicago for 2 weeks

So basically I'll be home around the middle of March. It all depends on how it actually plays out... could be a few days off in either direction.
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what does it mean?!>? WAht does it all MEAN!??   
06:09pm 13/11/2004
mood: contemplative
I had this vivid dream the other day... and since you're always trying to get me to post here, Brian, well, here ya go.

Brian Larsen and I and someone else, I think it was Jesus, (hey-zeus... not the Christ) went on an adventure. We ended up staying in this weird hotel in a city that I can’t remember anything about, but on one of our adventures we went to this rural Asian village. There was a shop there whose patrons were eager to sell stuff to tourists, but I don’t think this place got many tourists. Everything in there was dirty and very weird, but I was fascinated. One of the shopkeepers had a pet… what was it? A ferret? No, what are those monkeys in Madagascar called? Lemurs! Yes, they had these lemurs with really long tube-like bodies, and they could stand up straight and tall, like 2 or three feet tall, on their hind legs. This one was especially talented and could make hand motions and noises like he was begging for a handout. And he was sooo cute I wanted to give him something, but I had nothing to give him. And he could even talk like a parrot with a cute little chipmunk voice. Well anyway, I had no intention of buying anything but they kept haggling with me. At one point, everyone went back to the car (I guess we drove to this remote Asian village, from the hotel in the city) because everything in the store was gross and I was still inside for a while. I eventually relented and bought a Lemur and something else… something perishable or maybe something else alive. They put the lemur in a clear plastic bag and tied the top, like you would to a goldfish, but I don’t think there was any water in the bag. So I went back out to the car and showed you guys what I bought. Now we were in a parking lot and it was nighttime and these three sexy women come over to our car and start flirting and something about going somewhere, maybe to a party? They are very playful and I think they are trying to pick us up! They go back to their car, and I am very excited about the prospects for further adventure. Brian wants to go back and join the women and I’m all for it when I notice that the Lemur has died in the bag. What the heck? Why would they put the Lemur in a bag like that? And the other thing I bought was also ruined. So I’m torn… on one hand I want to go and party but I have this dead Lemur in a bag. I think I went back in to take care of the Lemur because I don’t remember any fun adventure after that. I think I ruined the fun for the day. Oh well.
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did you guys give up on me yet?   
08:59pm 16/01/2003
  holy frijoles! i've been off of work for four hours now and they haven't called me back in yet! no, I'm not kidding... i have worked long hours every single *uckin* day since I arrived on tuesday of last week.... including twelve hours on saturday followed by a twenty four hour shift on sunday followed by all monday evening until two thirty am followed by all day tuesday starting at six thirty am followed by an inconceivable wednesday from five to nine (that's five am until nine pm, all of which was spent outside in below freezing temperatures). Today was by far the shortest work day... it began at six thirty am and ended with my clandestine escape shortly before five.

all this in the haste of preparation for war, i am considered a key leader in my unit yet i have no idea what is going on. reassuring, hardly. but don't lose faith in our warfighters yet, our army is supposed to be able to operate without its leaders. though i am present, i am only a leader in title. no, that's not discourageness or hoplessment you smell, i just realize that it's too early for me to frantically seize the reins of my well-oiled unit.

last time i tried that it scared her away

for now, i observe. we'll see how long it takes for me to get comfortable.
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02:49am 24/12/2002
  is this thing on? today was a good day... i started my live journal today! in the past 4 days i have driven over 1,600 miles.... not all of it was alone. my father tried to speak pakistani to a native american today. i was recognized by a total stranger in a barber shop. I drove the girl I love to the airport so she could return to her boyfriend. Before she left she made me promise to rent and watch Swingers tonight. I feel compelled to fulfill that promise.  
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