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Strike two

June 25, 2014

Issue 20
Vol 3

NLCS Game 4 San Francisco Giants vs St. Louis Cardinals

I had about 60% to 70% of this post done, with some good parts in it before an errant keystroke and I published it. Early. Quickly I deleted it. It was good but exposed to early I won’t stand for that. I mean, typos and misspellings sure but a half fleshed out thought. Fuck that. I have standards.

I normally post around on the 20th of each month. I don’t have much time. We better get started.

Resolution Roundup: Woah, we’re half way there Whoa livin on a prayer

Running – F

I used to run a lot. I used to walk damn near everywhere. That’s when I first got to San Diego. I had no car and I would walk across the base, get on the trolley, and ride to a mall, strip or enclosed, or a starbucks and hangout. I walked everywhere. I lost a lot of weight and I ate a almost anything.

Honestly if I could have found a machete i would have looked JUST like this.

Honestly if I could have found a machete i would have looked JUST like this.

So when I did run it wasn’t hard to get my body used to it again. There was a nice track on base and wide sidewalks. The weather was nice also. It was San Diego.

I look outside, or walk to get my mail and I am reminded what humidity is. I have grown weak and I am afraid that I can’t do it anymore. I know I can’t. It used to be so easy. I hate that I got lazy. Grew so heavy and timid.

It calls to me though, it begs me, it reminds me. I want to find that pain again. The anger that drove me. That reminded me that I wasn’t just alive but I was a fighter, determined and raw like an exposed nerve. Baptized in sweat and moving one foot after another. I wasn’t born to run. I was driven to.

The time has come.

Dating (again(again)) – F

I am tired. When I first wrote this I gave myself an incomplete. I shouldn’t be so easy on myself. Like I said. I’m tired. I really don’t care anymore. I’m tired. Besides who needs companionship and normal human relationships? Hell or even a relationship with reality itself?

I'm way...WAY closer to this now anyway.

I’m way…WAY closer to this now anyway.

I’m not quitting. I’m not quitting. I’m not giving up. I’m not quitting. I’m just tired. I have the right to be tired.

Fast Food – F

I suck at this. All of this. Hell this year is just straight up kicking my ass. How do I sum this up? I am lazy. I wish I was better. I need to be better. It would save money. Now Google image search yourself an aging, bitter, violent superhero and imagine him as me.

Certifications – A-

NOW this is how to kick ass. Last Month I got Network+. It is a lesser certification but its a starting point. Now this really gets complicated. I am working on my next big one, Comptia Advanced Security Practitioner and then I start Computer science classes this fall at Northern Virginia Community college. I am taking a class in the basics of CCNA, Unix and Computer Security.

WAIT…

Wasn’t my plan to have CCNA by the end of this summer so I can focus on OSCP? Well about that…Offensive Security Certified Professional is a high level cert that is going to cost me around two grand to take. The truth is that I only have 90 days, at most, to register, go through every bit of the course and pass it. CASP is a difficult cert to work on and I can’t do that and work on CCNA and actually learn anything.

So the plan going forward is to get my CASP before Halloween, attend all of these classes, get CCNA before the end of the year and start a penetration testing course before the end of the year. I know my goals have shifted and that’s only because I know more now than I did at the end of last year.  I guess that’s a good thing.

If I wrote a book…

Over a year ago I read “Bossy Pants” by Tina Fey and it was amazing. In fact it was the book that really kicked off the “Read two books a month” project that I had. It wasn’t really funny. As much as I like Tina Fey she just doesn’t make me laugh. I do find her attractive however. I recently started reading another book by a sexy comedian: Aisha Tyler. She is so up my alley that its weird. She is a blerd. She is tall. Also…BEWBS. I read her book rather quickly and loved it. It got me to thinking. I have always wanted to write a book one day, in fact its a life goal. By the time I have anything really interesting to write about, interesting enough to pay for, I am sure I will be older. If my current life plan holds true then the book will be about the importance of Cybersecurity and Intelligence in a modern world and I will write it after I have retired from the NSA/CIA/FBI. It will be about the lessons I learned and it will be standard issue reading for those in the Information Dominance Corp. The real question is what would I title it?

If it were a memoir then it couldn’t have anything so boring as the title. Government Drone or Keyboard Warrior or something else as cryptic is clever but doesn’t really capture what makes me…me.

Total F!@& up: A lesson on how to be sort of an underachiever and still do something with your life.

That’s a mouthful. And clearly hyperbole. I am not a total fuck up but I wish I could go back in time and do a few things differently. That’s not an original idea. But I have always thought of myself as an underachiever. I should have done better in school, in sports or any arena in life. I just wish I had the confidence I have now ten years ago. I would have majored in English still but would have focused more on computers and what they can do. I would have approached more women back when I feel like it was more acceptable to be bad at it. I would have worked out more. WAY MORE. There was that 6 month stretch in  2005 when I went to the gym and ran on the elliptical and lost a bunch of weight. I would have lifted also. It just feels like, at 28 years old, that I shouldn’t be in this state of constant adolescence.

BAH…no time like the present.

Irreverent: F!@&’em if they can’t take a joke

You want to know a secret? The hardest thing about boot camp wasn’t the yelling, the little sleep or the pushups. No. It was the fact that I had a hard time making people laugh. The other recruits. YEP. That’s how arrogant I am. I think I am so funny that if people don’t constantly give me gratification and validation by laughing at what I say or what I write then it makes me mildly upset.

Kanye finds you arrogance disturbing

Kanye finds you arrogance disturbing

This would work for me but, however funny, I think I am a life in comedy isn’t for me so the title wouldn’t make sense.

Inputs?

First Class Adventures

If you are in the Navy and I tagged you in this you may think this is about how I am going to be taking my First Class Exam this fall. Nope. That’s not it. Over the July 4th weekend I am going to be flying to St. Louis and then taking a round trip to Jefferson city for a friend’s wedding. How am I getting there?

Flying first class.

I liked Watch the Throne.

I liked Watch the Throne.

I think everyone knows that I got some funds from my mother after she passed away. I did with most of it the way a responsible adult would. The rest I used to help furnish my apartment and get a few things I wanted. Now I am about to get the last of the money and I am going to be responsible again, with a much smaller portion of it however. The rest I am going to invest in some IT certifications and trainings, save for my next car and the rest…well I am going to make good on the potential of my young life. Do you know what you do when you have 1) No children? 2) No girlfriend/wife ? 3)An awkward social anxiety that stops you from doing the first two points and helps you to develop a complex livid fantasy where you imagine are in fact Batman? You travel.

I won’t be flying first class again anytime soon (unless it kicks ass) but I want to stay in a really stupid expensive hotel in New York and fly back out to the west coast at least a few times. I miss the left coast. I also think I may buy tickets for my Dad and enjoy something with him that I know he will love.

I want to take train rides up to New York and find adventures and do dumb shit. I want to explore New England and find those tiny dinners I always imagined and meet interesting characters and talk to them and write about it. If I was writing consistently I would have paid better attention to the night in Perth where I danced and drank the night away.

More often than not my adventures recently, or what will pass for one this post, is just me driving trying to get a lay of the land. I moved to the Northern Virginia area in early February. Thanks to the bitter cold and snow I quickly realized that I was no longer in San Diego. I spent a weekend out on the east coast in September. In some sort of stupid risk I flew to Richmond and went to a wedding without putting in any leave. If I had gotten stranded out on the east coast, and I almost did, I could have been brought up on charges of unauthorized absence. But the wedding was nice and I made the last leg of my flight and got home just in time to fall asleep and go to class the next day.

When I was out here I noticed that Richmond Virginia looked weird. I mean there wasn’t any giant Dr. Seuss trees out here or three eyed people but the area had a weird sense of stunted development to it. Especially for the capital of a large state. Let me see if I can explain.

If you remember Sim city at all then you remember there were three specific zones you could develop. Residential for homes and people, commercial for businesses and industrial for factories. In Sim City 200 there was a even greater break down of light, medium and dense zones. A light commercial zone would have things like a strip mall or a Walgreens on it and a dense residential zone would be apartment complexes. The game sought to simulate the complex relationship of a city and how an area thrives. If it has too much commercial area then people won’t live there. If the heavy factories are next to the thousand dollar homes then no one will move in. Its dynamic and as the game has sequels the levels of complexity increased also. Police stations and Fire houses were always standard but what about education and military bases? But I digress…

Well in real life it is a little more complex and I don’t know how it all breaks down in real life but Virginia feels like the edges of the suburbs or the edges of a city everywhere. There are certain visual clues that tell you where you are in any American city. If you see a Bail Bondsman then you are near a courthouse. If you see a huge sprawling mall with restaurants in the parking lot then you can rest assured that you are deep in the suburbs. But as far as I can tell the entire state feels like the just around the corner, just down the street or avenue there will be a farm OR urban sprawl complete with steel and glass monuments to capitalism.

I will drive on long stretches of road with four lanes and 45 MPH+ speed limits (and if I go 50 I am still going to Goddamned slow and will be passed very aggressively and cut off with vengeance). There will be no shoulders to pull off on to, just steep embankments surrounded on both sides with lush and unkempt greenery, the kind that must have painted the Virginia landscape before it was settled even by the earliest of mankind. Peppered between all of this are large strip malls with huge anchors (an anchor store in a strip mall is normally the biggest brand in the mall. Surrounded by a Starbucks, maybe a cleaners or  a chain fastfood place in the parking lot). All of this tells me that I am on the edges of a city and soon I will find that these roads give way to interstates that send me out west, up north or down to the south. But no. They just go on and after a while I will find another epicenter of commerce. There never seems to be a crescendo into an informal town center or anything that looks planned. Its like a city planner is cock teasing motorist who just know, or feel, that in a mile or two there will be the center of town.

In San Diego I could almost predict when I would arrive at a highway or another municipality. I did live there for almost 3 years but at least a year I was underway halfway around the world. And when I was in port one sixth of every week I was stuck on the ship. When I got my car I did have a rough outline of the city because of the trolley system. But that didn’t explain so much of the city. I was able to figure out how to get anywhere pretty quickly and there seemed to be a preplanned logic to it. Out here in Northern Virginia whoever was in charge of planning this gaggle fuck seemed to dump roads and highways where ever the hell they could fit.

This level of honesty is refreshing as I sit in my car for the 3rd day.

This level of honesty is refreshing as I sit in my car for the 3rd day.

It has its strange beauty and charm but I will go from driving past a series of six-figure houses only to pass a thicket, then a small farm, then a high school and then another strip mall surrounded by corporate high rises and 10 story glass and steel buildings.

I pick a direction and just drive and try to get back to where I live. I get lost and use my phone and spend 30 minutes navigating the roads, dodging people passing on the right doing 25 over and people who think the blinker is optional.

No exaggeration.

No exaggeration.

Then there are the embarrassing adventures or things I know I should be embarrassed about it.

I never went to a strip club before the Navy. It almost felt like a right of passage when I walked into the dark atrium, and took the carpeted stairs, so old that the fibers were matted and the entire place looked like a cheap movie set. A set that in the script the notes said “Make this place look as stereotypical as possible.” Red accents and the musty smell of sweat. It felt more like a locker room. I remember my mother, her round face and a confused look hung on it. I know what she would say and I don’t say it out loud if only because no one would believe me.

“If you don’t get to touch,” She says with a knowing shrug “Then isn’t it cheaper to go look at porn on the internet?” The poignant and practical words of an irreverent mother.

She has a point but I am already sitting down, shoulder to shoulder with my friends. This is the first time I have ever been in a strip club. As soon as I start to sit down I think that I need a drink. Rum and coke? Feel like a rum and coke sorta night.

A thick thighed, short little woman struts out onto to stage. I don’t remember her face. She is not fat…exactly…not toned either. She knows what to do. A professional in every sense of the word. She swings on the pole and a friend joins her. I don’t remember much just rotating arms, warm flirtatious smiles and backrubs from the shadows, elegant fingers and a woman’s touch rubbing a knot out you never acknowledged. The spectacle of it all.

I have seen a vagina before. I had done so much more to a vagina before. Seeing it in the hazy redish light, framed by fleshy legs, wobbling and pulsing in the still air. I am in a trance. They grab a friend and rub his head, affectionately, like the girl friend you had in middle-school. They tousle his brown hair and smile. He grins this dopey grin and looks on, stupefied like the rest of us.

I went to another one in Seattle. I tried my best to ignore the girls as they flirted and fawned, asking for me to buy a private dance in the back. She has a large frame, well toned and athletic and huge boobs (my greatest weakness) dusted with a glitter that I know won’t come out of my dress white uniform in one washing. I have always heard that stripper sweat and glitter makes a glue that would survive flame itself.

My left arm is grabbed by each D-cup as she leans in closer, whispering in my ear, an offer for a dance. I accepted because…bewbs. It wasn’t awkward the way I would have thought. I just keep thinking this is strange the whole thing. I feel guilty not because of the feminist theory I know or the women I am related to or who I respect as friends. I can only feel ashamed because I can only think now about the life she had that led her to this. Who am I to judge or even feel sorry for her.

For the record stripper sweat and glitter comes out despite the legends. I’m a little disappointed.

I have  had other adventures but the best and most recent ones involve a people who don’t want to be mentioned. Well…I will give you guys a hint. I was hanging out with a recently wed young lady. Because she is smart, funny, resourceful, makes noises sometimes when excited, short, feisty and cute she has always reminded me if R2D2. Henceforth she will be called R2D2. Recently R2D2 and our mutual friend we will name her…STARGATE…and myself went to a piano bar. We laughed. We drank. I wore a giant hat and my batman shirt and they called me Pharrell Batman. I won’t go into details but R2D2 puked. Myself and Stargate helped her out and partially carried the drunk droid to be up the steps to the apartment. In the middle of her puking her cantankerous, super villain quality, cat even came to check up on her as she offered a sacrifice to the porcelain god.

God Bless the Internet.

God Bless the Internet.

Just like my promise to make more posts about computer security in the near future I plan to write more about some of the strange things that happen to me and the things I think. I may have to change names, times and place but if you remind me of a character from a movie, and I can find a .gif of that character puking…its going to be in my blog.

Count on it.

~ Adam

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