Zhou Pei Lin

And I find it kinda funny

I find it kinda sad

The dreams in which I'm dying

Are the best I've ever had

Yin Yang

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Friday, July 28, 2006

... I really don't know what to think.

He tells us not to worry, but seriously; that's the only thing that people who care about him can do, with him being so far away, and us unable to do anything about it. After much relief that Chris is getting out of the Happy Sandbox after a year of duty, he was told, much to everyone's dismay, that his entire unit is being RE-deployed. AGAIN. For the SECOND. FUCKING. TIME.

To think he'd probably be back in the University of Arizona by now if he hadn't got deployed in the first place; he'd be out a loooooooong time ago. This is not fair, I swear. Gone are the days where the head of the country would LEAD his troops into battle, IN THE FUCKING FRONTLINES.

He makes himself look like a fucking Mafia boss.

3,500 troops expected to redeploy in Iraq to boost Baghdad security

By Drew Brown

McClatchy Newspapers


WASHINGTON - Instead of returning home to Alaska in coming weeks after a year of combat duty in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the Army's 172nd Stryker Brigade will remain in Iraq for as many as four more months, the Defense Department announced Thursday.

Though no official announcement has been made yet, the brigade's 3,500 troops are expected to redeploy to Baghdad as part of a plan, announced by President Bush earlier this week, to bolster U.S. forces in the Iraqi capital in response to a surge of sectarian attacks that threaten to plunge Iraq into full-scale civil war.

A defense official, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity in accordance with Pentagon rules, said that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld had approved the 120-day extension for the troops from Alaska. He said that Rumsfeld would have to issue a new approval to extend the troops beyond that.

The brigade, based at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska, is a logical choice for the sprawling metropolis because its 21-ton Stryker vehicles are quiet, fairly fast and agile in city streets. The vehicles have stood up well to roadside bombs and rocket-propelled grenades, the insurgents' preferred methods of attacking U.S. forces.

Another of the Army's four Stryker brigades, the 3rd Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division from Fort Lewis, Wash., is en route to Iraq, where it was scheduled to relieve the 172nd Brigade in Mosul. Some or all of it could now be sent to Baghdad, defense officials said.

The Pentagon also identified four additional Army and Marine Corps units, with a total of about 25,000 troops, which now will deploy to Iraq in late 2006 to augment a regularly scheduled rotation of U.S. forces.

The units include the 1st and 4th Brigades of the Army's 1st Cavalry Division, based at Fort Hood, Texas, and the Marines' Regimental Combat Teams 2 and 6, based at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Another 3,500 soldiers from the 1st Brigade of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division, based at Fort Stewart, Ga., have been placed on standby for possible deployment later this year, the Pentagon said.

The additional soldiers and Marines will join 86,000 other troops who earlier this year were notified for deployment. They're from:

_ Headquarters, 2nd and 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

_ 2nd and 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo., and Fort Lewis, Wash.

_ Division Headquarters, 3rd and 4th Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, and Fort Richardson, Alaska.

_ 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Div., Fort Bragg, N.C.

_ 1st Brigade, 34th Infantry Div., Minnesota Army National Guard.

_ 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force from Camp Lejeune, N.C.

_ 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Schweinfurt, Germany.

_ 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.

_ 13th Corps Support Command, Fort Hood, Texas.

_ 3rd Corps Headquarters, Fort Hood, Texas.

Virtually all the units deploying to Iraq later this year have spent at least one previous tour in the combat zone.

There are about 130,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, slightly below the baseline average for U.S. forces for much of the past two years.

Pentagon officials had hoped to reduce U.S. forces in Iraq below 100,000 by the end of the year. But deteriorating security conditions in Baghdad and Bush's promise to redeploy U.S. forces there means that "the Pentagon's plan to withdraw 30,000 troops from Iraq this year is implausible," said Mehdi Noorbaksh, an associate professor of international affairs at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, in Harrisburg, Pa.

The 172nd Brigade's 120-day extension is the second time that soldiers and Marines have been notified that they'd remain in Iraq beyond their original redeployment date.

In December 2004, more than 12,000 soldiers and Marines from Germany, Hawaii, Fort Hood and Okinawa were told that they'd stay for two additional months in order to provide increased security for Iraq's first round of parliamentary elections in January 2005.

... I just hope Chris'll be home in time for Christmas, or better yet, Thanksgiving. I wouldn't want him to be away from his family for a second Christmas. It's depressing to even think about.

. // prawninator | 23:36 + ~

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

It seems like I'm going to the Alexandra Hospital every day for the past week. One of my bosses has conjunctivitis, an inflammation of the cornea and so has to see a specialist every day. I still get work from her, so I just cross the road and meet up with her.

But I'm going to the hospital tomorrow for a very different reason. My paternal step-grandfather (my grandmother [God bless her soul] remarried after my actual grandfather passed on) has been taken critically ill and is now under observation. According to Mom, he doesn't have very long left to live, which scares me a bit.

I found myself remembering how my grandmother and my grandfather used to sit me in the huuuuuge truck and drive me to my cousin Kevin's house where I'd stay and play after school while my parents worked during the day. I'd stay with my maternal grandmother more because they lived nearer to home, which made me treasure the time spent with my paternal grandparents. I still miss my grandmother. My grandfather does too; he keeps a framed photograph of her at his bedside all the time.

I don't know, I have mixed feelings about visiting my grandfather. After my grandmother passed away when I was eleven and when I grew older and capable of walking home from school on my own, we became a little more distant. We'd only visit on Chinese New Year's, and even then, we don't talk much.

Two of my dad's brothers (the oldest and the fourth) fell out with the rest of the family, so that drew us even further apart. I remember my cousins, especially Kevin, who's 26 this year. I remember finding him on Friendster three years ago after losing contact for nearly a decade, and I was ecstatic. When I told him who I was, he never responded. Even until now. But I made another effort and sent him another message, telling him about grandpa.

I just hope he responds.

. // prawninator | 23:13 + ~

Monday, July 10, 2006

I win my beer. WHEE!

So Italy FINALLY won the World Cup again, putting them in second place for the highest number of World Cups won, one tournament behind Brazil. I'm really proud of them, having supported them ever since I was a kid (Maldini was my hero, as I used to play defense a lot as a child). I brought out and dusted off my 8-yr old Italia jersey, taking it to work and proudly draped it on my chair, the bright Italy emblem shining in all its glory.

I was ecstatic.

That, and I was on a caffeine overdose (thank you Stacy!)

. // prawninator | 22:06 + ~

To whoever you are, wherever you are, I love you. I probably don't know you yet, but when I do, I'll know, and so will you. And you'll love me for who I am, as will I.

You might be living in my neighbourhood, or some other town or country far away. I don't know. And neither do you, at this point.

Wherever you are, I know I'll find you... if you don't find me first.

It's just a matter of time.

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