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Jason Grose's BLOG

November 2004

 

 

 


What's a blog, you ask? It stands for "weblog" and it's basically an online journal of daily thought. We'll see how long I can keep this up (as though I don't have enough to do!)

If you must have a title, I'll go with: The daily thoughts/rants of a Marine Officer, father, scholar, husband, marathon runner, Flash cartoonist, computer nerd.


Monday, November 1, 2004

Quote of the Day:

"MADNESS TAKES ITS TOLL. PLEASE HAVE EXACT CHANGE."

- Unknown


I woke up. But I wished I hadn’t.

Life goes on…painfully.

It just so happens that I had to cover a meeting in Washington DC. What did this mean? A VERY early departure time, in my Bravos (tan long sleeve shirt, tie, green trousers, black plastic shoes), and sitting in traffic. In other words, the exact opposite of what I wanted to do today.

I had to leave crazy early and even so, I got caught in traffic as I entered downtown. I had to go to the Navy Annex and I was stop and go for hours. It was almost comical since my body was screaming at me for what I had done to it yesterday and for some reason, call it being punchy, I was not irate but rather amused at my situation.

When I got to the Annex, I had to go through security. I had been through this process once before and last time, it didn’t matter that I was in uniform. I was treated like a weak sister and even chastised for only having one piece of identification (I made sure to bring two this time, as counseled.).

To my surprise, I was treated well by the civilian guards. Maybe it was the difference between cammies (last time) and the dressier uniform this time. But they saw me come in, took a cursory look at my ID (calling me “Sir” very politely) and handed me a badge right away as though they had started it the second I walked in the door.

The lady said I could go through and I didn’t even have to go through the metal detector as the next guard just opened the little door for me. It was weird and I felt more special than I should have under the circumstances. Too bad I was walking like the Tin Man, though, as a result of my condition.

I was there for a meeting and basically had to give an update of our program. We had been funded by these people and they wanted a status report on our program to make sure they were getting their money’s worth.

I gave my short update and it was very low stress all around. As they went around the table, I noticed that everyone who spoke seemed to defer to the man at the end who I ascertained was the boss. It didn’t matter to me since I didn’t know any of them and I was just there to brief.

But when the meeting started, someone asked him how he did in the marathon. He tried to minimize the fact that he too ran the marathon and I felt a certain bond with him that can only be shared among people who had suffered the same race. All these people were treating him like “The Boss” and I knew I had a different “in” with him, as though my status as a fellow marathoner was above the roles we had in the meeting room. The marathon was the great leveler.

After the meeting, I cornered him and we talked for a few minutes about the marathon. I had beat him by a few minutes but that didn’t matter; we were both feeling the after-effects.

As we talked in the hall, about 3 full bird Colonels came up at different times and I was introduced. Now I’m not intimidated by rank but in my state, it was a bit disarming to get introduced time and time again to Colonels. They were all in Bravos also and this happened to be the first day of the uniform changover. So everyone was uncomfortable going from the open neck of the Charlies to the long-sleeve and tie of the Bravos. I noticed all the necks of the Colonels were chafed and that they didn’t bother wearing either shirt-stays or ribbons.

I was ready to get out of the Navy Annex, away from the meetings, and away from the Colonels. At least I could sit in traffic going back to the office.

As a parting shot, I asked my fellow marathoner if I could ask him something. “What time will you be going home today?”

“Oh, I got meetings all day so it will be a normal working day.”

Rats. I was hoping this man of position would feel as I did: desiring to take off a little early since my body was severely upset at the events of the last 24 hours.

By the time I got back to Quantico, I was convinced that it was a very good idea for me to go home. I had been up early for this meeting, spent several hours on the road, suffered immeasurably through a meeting in an uncomfortable uniform, and my body was going downhill fast. I didn’t care about the rewards, albeit limited, of hobbling around the office while people knew it was a result of a marathon.

I went in to talk to my boss and I was hoping, really hoping, he would just send me home. I briefed him on how the meeting went and afterwards, when it would have been the perfect time to cut me loose, he said nothing.

I started to walk away and then realized I really had to say something.

“Sir, how about and early birthday present?”

He smiled slightly and responded “What’s that?”

“How about you let me go home a couple hours early. I’m hurting bad.”

He looked at me and it was almost like he knew I had wanted this from the start but wanted to see if I’d asked. Well, I asked and he agreed. Then, for good measure, he says to me,

“You look swollen. Your face if puffy.”

Wow, he really knows how to compliment a guy. I knew I wasn’t feeling all that good and I knew I needed some rest, but I didn’t expect him to comment on my face. I looked in the mirror and I didn’t see it which meant he was either seeing things or I was missing something. Neither explanation made me feel very good.

I drove home in a daze. All I could think about was getting into bed and the warm ride home didn’t help things.

But then something weird happened. You know when you are so tired that you are not sleepy? I got some crazy second wind when I got home and as celebration for all the training, I invited my wife to lunch at the Olive Garden. I think I had earned it and I wasn’t about to watch what I ate after what I had been through the day before.

We had a good lunch but there was no third wind. When I got home, I hit the bed at mach 2, telling my wife to check my pulse every so often.

Hours later I awoke and felt like a new man. I was so tired that I ate dinner later on and went to sleep without as much as a hesitation before I fell asleep. My body was soaking up rest like a sponge.

A big, swollen, puffy sponge.

Free Advice for Today:
Compliment even small improvements."
- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

BLOG entry for this day from 2003

BLOG entry for this day from 2002

BLOG entry for this day from 1997


Email -- jason@grose.us
Web -- http://www.grose.us/