Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"Hey Goose, you big stud!"

 "Take me to bed or loose me forever!"
Some more pictures from an amazing trip all around... black and white and men uniform never hurt a shot.
I got creative with my new camera, bought on base.  Luckily I had willing subjects.

Here I am in a bomb suit.  This space type thing is what they wear to dimantle bombs.  It weighs 90 lbs., which lets just say is a good portion of my weight.  I felt like I was in one of those sumo suits and I fell down Id never be able to get up.  Imagine wearing that thing in 130 degree weather.  Cuz they do.. the helmets have air conditioning built in!
WOAH Rach!  Who let her have a canon...!!??
Calm down there Private Benjamin....  great pic. :)
While at the palace, enjoy such activities as golf!  There was a driving range devised by the gentlemen who worked there and we did pretty well!  If you need to know what to send the troops stationed at Camp Victory, send range balls.  That's all I'm saying.
So, for this shoot I'm thinking us, the desert, and a military man with a plaque.  Genius!  It's genius!  right there!  That's it... I'm not even shooting you darlings!  Yes!  That's it!  Smile with your eyes... yes! 
Loving on America.
Ok.. So here we are shooting some rifles.  well... some M240 Bravos and such, but potato/potato.  Now, Ive really only shot blanks before, having been in the movie biz most of my life (and having, strangely enough played characters who shoot their fathers and whatnot on the Hallmark channel) but when in Rome as the saying goes... This was very cool.  We are not shooting at people but targets- to be clear.  We were given specific safety instructions and gear.  As you can see my trusty teacher is actually holding my helmet up for me because it was too big and when I laid down I couldn't see a damn thing.  I felt very manly afterwards.  Didn't do too bad either.
After a long day of shooting machine guns and singing pictures you just want to cut loose.  Tie one on with some non-alcoholic beer and really get in with the locals, right?  So we went to Tuesday night line dancing.  Electric slide and all.  But of course, DeAnna had to step it up a notch.  Blindfolded line dancing after being spun around 10 times.  The girl is a masochist for fun.  And I looked redonkulous par usual.  And sort of like the chick from Watcher in the Woods, that scary Disney movie from the 80's... uh..  anyone?  Bueller?
Rachel, DeAnna, Brian (our tour manager, guide, mentor, and personal Creeper) and me on the Iran border.  Ahh.. the sights!  The smells!  Were no different than everywhere else we've been!  But it makes for a nice picture anyway.
I mentioned in an earlier post about the cards and letters sent by kids... most of which make you want to tear your heart out and have an emotional breakdown... occasionally there are funny ones too like this one below.  Genius.
The three of us came to meet the General but to our dismay he was out.  So we decided to take some pics in his office to leave for him.  Seriously, I think DeAnna accidently called Japan.  Shh.  That phone bill is gonna be high.  Someone should have gotten a 5 for 5 plan Sir.
Dad, seriously.  Smile!
Deanna and I on the Blackhawk creeping it out and posing.  oh , by the way... another term- Creeper.  Its a noun, verb, adjective or adverb.  Thats the beauty of it.  It can mean moving in close... feeling out a situation... getting involved or psyched up.. or it can mean general creepy-ness.  Feel free to try it out in your own personal situations.  I'll go first.  "Man, I love these Blackhawk rides!  I could creep up in these all day!"  or... "DeAnna, why are you being such a creeper this morning? You're creepin out!"  also a personal fave, adding the word into popular lexicon such as,  "Hey! Creep it real!", "Creep it down" and my personal fave, "If you like then you shoulda put a creep on it!"  Just because.  Try it.  You'll like it.
Speaking of creepy... we stayed in Saddam's hunting lodge for 4 nights and this was the living room right outside of our door.. if you look at it you might remember this is where he did his final television interview.  Thats the creepy part.  Not the dudes in the chairs.  They were just there and very accommodating to my documentary picture taking.  And not creepy for the record.
We got to take a tour of the palace, which was really cool.  This was on the same property where we stayed and was a large mansion build by Saddam after the Iran/Iraq war.  the money the US government gave him as food money for his people was used instead to build this opulent palace. Nice right?  Anyway, he was so impatient that he killed many architects who wouldn't get the job done fast enough so they started building it with shoddy craftsmanship to literally keep their heads.  Going through it now, there are many panels falling off.. the heavy chandeliers are sometimes hanging by chicken wire (like the large one behind us)... its insane.  Now the US government uses it for a headquarters.
This is very famous chair given to Saddam by Yasir Arafat.  The black and white checks in the small area under the arabic lettering are to represent his headdress.  Many soldiers have sat on this chair and taken pictures, just like me.  It's truly a historical symbol.
I had an amazing time and I thank everyone that made it possible from Pro Sports MVP, Brian Lee, and my comrades, Rachel and DeAnna.  The best part was saying hello to all our servicemen and women and thanking them for all they do.  They bust their butts everyday in harsh environments around the world to look out for our best interests.  Whatever your beliefs about war or our political climate, the reality is we live in an imperfect and chaotic world, and the lives our men and women live over there away from their own families indirectly and directly benefit us and our quality of life here in America.  It's very difficult to judge or form a belief about a situation you haven't seen with your own eyes, and certainly about the people who give their lives to be there.  So I say thank you from the bottom of my heart.  It was incredible, rewarding and enlightening.  I can't wait to go back.