MARK SWEENEY

Dear Diary 2010
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1/5/2010

Dear Diary-

I just returned from northern Arkansas after a weekend of deer hunting. I’m not really a deer hunter, it was actually my first time, but I figured I’ve hit four of them with my car, maybe I should hit one with a bullet. Seems fair. It was cold though, down into the 20’s, hard to dress warm enough to sit in a tree stand when it’s 21* outside. I’d never been in a tree stand. They’re not the most sturdy of platforms. There are also not easy to get into. I’ve got a back pack on, I’m bundled up against the cold and I have a rifle slung over my shoulder. I maneuvered up the steps and then tried to get my back pack off and slung over a branch so I could lay my rifle down and then slide under the safety bar, while holding on with one hand. Ticklish. I can see why hunters sometimes die falling out of a tree stand and blowing a hole in themselves. These thoughts ran through my mind before climbing and I decided to unload my weapon first. I wasn’t sure of the protocol, but it seemed the like the safest thing to do. Once the wind picks up, it shakes the tree which in turn, makes the tree stand wobble. I was a little uneasy about the movement of the tree, it was actually getting me sea sick. Imagine that, sea sick up in a tree. Once I got to the point where I was about to blow lunch, it was time to go. I didn’t shoot a deer though, I didn’t even see a deer, until I got home, then there were three of them standing in the back yard. And if I’m not mistaken, one of them was flipping me off.

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       We didn't shoot a 14 pointer, but we did bag a 14 year old.

 

 

1/17/2010

Dear Diary-

I just got back from a most triumphant weekend in Toledo. I know, I know it’s Toledo, but it was packed the entire weekend and I had a blast. It’s a great club and staff. I did some promo though. Four radio stations and two TV stations, that’s a busy morning my friends, that’s a busy morning. I also ate like a pig. They’ve got a Fat Fish Blue restaurant there and I gorged. The first night I had a desert called a “carpetbagger,” and it was aptly named. It was a square of chocolate the size of a small shoe box and it was filled with angel food cake and whipped cream, topped off with strawberries and blueberries. It took me three sittings to finish it. I could’ve done it in one sitting, but I wouldn’t have been able to face myself in the morning. I also had the best mac and cheese I’ve ever had. A huge bowl with shrimp, andouille sausage, and swimming in cheese, it was ridiculous. It’s been three days and I still feel fat, but it was good. An old man can’t eat like that, well, he can but eventually he’ll end up in a wheelchair because his legs won’t be able to carry his big ass body.

1/21/2010

Dear Diary-

Guess what? John Edwards our former Presidential candidate, finally had one of his balls drop and admitted he fathered the child of his mistress Rielle Hunter. You know, the one he was sleeping with while his wife underwent radiation treatments, that one. He admitted he was the father? Um…yes we know. We’ve known all along. Everyone knew. We always knew. But isn’t that something? The gall. This douche bag thinks that because he didn’t admit it, we wouldn’t know the truth. Hilarious. Hilarious in a way, utterly sad in another way. There’s also something about him that makes me want to punch him smack dab in the middle of his stupid, grin bearing face. I can’t believe a guy with this kind of integrity ran for President. Well OK, I can believe it, after all, he’s a politician, but I can’t believe it.

1/28/2010

Dear Diary-

I watched the State of the Union address last night, or I should say, I tried to watch it. After 10 minutes of applause breaks and standing ovations, I couldn’t take anymore. I don’t think EVERY statement needed that much response. “We need more jobs” (standing ovation). “We need health care for everyone” (standing ovation). “We need to fix the economy” (standing ovation). Holy shit, let the man speak. And Nancy Pelosi- Jesus lady, sit the f**k down, somebody put some straps on her ass. The speech went an hour and 10 minutes and it could’ve been over in 40 minutes if she would’ve keep her ass in the chair. I have never seen such a brown noser. Oh wait I have, it was Nancy Pelosi sitting behind Obama, the last time he gave a speech. Why do they let those two sit behind the Prez anyway? It’s too distracting, put them off on the side somewhere. Out of sight, out of mind. I think most of the cheering was her doing. Everything President Obama said would get her in a tizzy and she’d pop to her feet like a Jack-in-the-box and applaud like a special ed child. Enough already, we get it, sit down. I should make it clear that not everyone was participating in the praise fest, mostly it was the Democrats, OK, it was ONLY the Democrats, but damn they love their Prez don’t they? The Republicans just sat there and shook their heads. It was actually pretty amusing. We thought that after electing a black man to the White House, they would all get along. Well, not so fast there Mr. America. The Dems and Republicans still don’t get along, and it maybe worse than before. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such diversity in this government. One side stands and applauds every time Obama takes a dump and the other side thinks he should’ve used the downstairs toilet. These are the people who are in charge! They run this country and they behave like spoiled children.

God help us all.

2/4/10

Dear Diary-

You are not going to believe this. What a wild tale of woe. There is a Taco Bell close to my house that I visit once a month or so. Out of my last 5 visits, 4 of them have had the order wrong. I usually don’t realize it until I’ve reached home, all excited about my little meal only to find that my bean burrito has been slathered in onions, when I of course, ordered it with no onions. I checked the receipt and sure enough, NO ONIONS was on the ticket. I do realize that this is fast food and I’m paying $5 for it, so I shouldn’t expect too much, but I do Blanche, I DO expect a lot. I know it’s fast food, but it’s also your job, is there no pride in a job well done? Regardless of salary? This is what you’re doing for a paycheck, act like you give a shit. It’s not quantum mechanics, it’s tacos and burritos, look at the order and put the shit that’s on the order inside the shell or tortilla, wrap it up and move on. At least TRY and put some effort into it. Again, it’s Taco Bell, not the Four Seasons, but still. Once in awhile an order will be wrong, but 4 out of 5? 4 out of 5 is supposed to be a GOOD thing, ask the dentist’s group. They (Taco Bell) always give you a website to log onto for a chance to win money and offer a critique if you’d like. I never do, who’s got that kind of time? But this time….this time, they pissed me off. I ordered four items from the $1 menu and decided to splurge and get a chicken gordita supreme. (I’m not sure what a gordita is either, they don’t have them in Mexico.) The gordita is like $2.59, so you know I’m celebrating something. I don’t know why I don’t check my order before I leave the window, but I don’t, I just assume they can get the order right. I got home and sure enough the gordita wasn’t there, and I was pissed. Because they didn’t leave off a chicken taco or bean burrito, no, they left off the most expensive item on the menu. $2 freakin’ 59 man, and they STOLE it from me. I was flabbergasted, shocked and appalled. Once again, Taco Bell had bested me. Not just ANY Taco Bell, my HOME Taco Bell. It was like being slapped by a family member. So this time, I log on, I register for the money (didn’t win) and then lodged my statement about my recent orders. I was not mean, I was not snotty, I simply explained my disappointment in my recent dealings with them. OK, I’m over it, let’s move forward, I just won’t go to that Taco Bell anymore, I’ll slide my allegiance to the one 2 miles away, sometimes one must make sacrifices to hold together ones mental status.

Yesterday I was running late and had to grab something on the way home and yes, I stopped at Taco Bell. I know I shouldn’t have, but it was there and so was I. I ordered 4 chicken tacos and a bean burrito. As I left, I stopped and checked my items. 1,2,3,4,5, OK, they’re all there. I thought of checking the burrito for onions, but I trusted them. In the big scheme, it’s not a big deal, so I’m not unwrapping this burrito in the car to check. I love and so I trust. I get home, plop down, fire up some Dog Whisperer and open my satchel of Taco Bell deliciousness and what do you know, my chicken taco has no lettuce or cheese. I’m not shitting you, I’m looking down on a bare tortilla with about 8 pieces of chicken on it. I didn’t even get mad, it started to crack me up. It was actually pretty funny, I’m thinking “they got me, they got me good again.” Only in my world would something like this happen. I checked the other 3 and 2 of them had lettuce and cheese on them, 1 did not. So what you’re saying is this person who made 4 chicken soft tacos on an assembly line type of production, made 2 one way and 2 another. How in the world is that possible? Where are they hiring the Taco Bell food assemblers? I wondered if anyone else’s order gets screwed up this much and the answer is NO. How could anyone have so many wrong orders from the same store? Is it a conspiracy against me? Do they know it’s me when I order? Do they know it’s the guy who lodged a complaint on line? How could they know? I didn’t use my name or address. Do they recognize my voice? How? Why? I’m not sure why or how they continue to conspire against me, but that chapter of my life is closed now. I won’t let them get inside my head again. That way, I can feel as if I’ve still won.

2/8/10

Dear Diary-

Well, the Super Bowl is over. I thought it was a great game. I pulled for the Saints, myself and my buddy’s son were the only ones to do so at our gathering. I have a lot of friends that are Colts fans so it’s hard to cheer against them but I did it for several reasons. First of all, the Colts already won it and I think every football city should get to experience a Super Bowl win, secondly, I’m an NFC guy and thirdly we go back to Dear Diary Oct 18, 2005, that should explain reason #3. The commercials I thought were average at best. I liked the fiddle playing beaver. Once again, I often had no idea what the product was that was being advertised. I don’t think we needed 2 back to back ads with men in their undies, overkill there. And with the amount of Bud and Bud light commercials, I wondered how many people InBev/AB could’ve kept employed if they didn’t spend so much on advertising. Hmm. I don’t know why people get so excited about the commercials, the rest of the year we just fast forward through them and now, all of sudden they’re worth watching? Why don’t companies put as much thought into the everyday commercials instead of just the Super Bowl ones? Then maybe we’d watch them.

2/28/10

Dear Diary-

I’m leaving Indianapolis after a great week, the crowds were hot and I was delightfully funny. It snowed almost everyday but now I’m headed to Pensacola, Fl to see my buddy and then head to Tampa. I’m ready for a little Florida. It’s almost March and the sun should be shining. I’m going to grab some and rub it all over my bod. I can’t wait. I haven’t seen the ground in 4 months. I’m ready.

3/1/10

Dear Diary-

I’m in Florida and it’s about 36* out and the wind is blowing off the gulf around 40 mph. I went to the beach for about 5 minutes. I couldn’t take anymore sand blasting, so I went back inside and huddled behind the door. Maybe it will be nicer tomorrow.

3/2/10

Dear Diary-

We had frost last night. That’s right…frost. In March, in Florida, and right now as I’m typing this, I’m freezing my ass off. I had planned on wearing spring outfits and by God, that’s what I’m doing. I don’t care if it’s 31*, I’m wearing shorts. For now. This will chill you right to the bone. Then I heard the news say it was the coldest winter in 27 years. I didn’t feel so cold then.

 

3/4/10

Dear Diary-

I’ve arrived in Tampa. The day was gorgeous and you know why? Because I had to spend it in the car. Sweet, the first day of sunshine in 73 days and I’m sitting in the car, what else have you got for me? OK, how about this? I’ve got a little food poisoning. That’s nice isn’t it? Just a little food bug to keep me company in the car. I stopped about 15 times. Curses.

3/5/10

Dear Diary-

Well, it’s been a rough few days. I’ve finally eaten after almost 48 hours. Soup and crackers, that should get me through the 2 shows I’ve got tonight. My tummy is settling down and all is starting to get groovy.

3/6/10

Dear Diary-

What is it with this week? Now that my stomach is fine, my back is gone. I tried to get out of bed this morning and had to roll on to my stomach, hang my legs over the edge and slide my way off. Shit. I was hobbling around the place all bent over and realize, I need some meds. I headed to the store, which is no small task when your back hurts. People that suffer from the occasional bad back know from where I speak. You don’t have to specifically DO anything to it, sometimes- it just goes. I was so bent over, I had to get a shopping cart to brace myself. Pitiful. I found my back meds and tossed them into the cart. Now I’m walking around the store with a box of Doan’s pills and nothing else in the cart. You sad, sad man.

3/13/10

Dear Diary-

I don’t know if you heard or not, but Rep. Eric Masssa had resigned amid allegations of slapping and groping his aides and then tickling one of his aides “until he couldn’t breathe.” Classy guy, thanks for representing us with such valor and dedication. Asshole.

Now we’ve got Rep. Kevin Garn, the House Majority Leader in Utah. He recently confessed to skinny dipping with a 15 year old girl when he was 28. (25 years ago) He confessed to the House and they gave him a “thunderous round of applause for his honesty” and then they embraced him. Are you shitting me? Can this group get any further away from reality? I only wish they would’ve given him a standing ovation so they’d be easier to pick off. These “Representatives” are an embarrassment to the United States. Applaud this douche bag because he ‘fessed up to something from 25 years ago? They think he’s doing an honorable thing. I truly believe there isn’t one decent bloke in this government. They have no morals or ethics. Why can’t a tsunami hit Washington? That would be nice change. Wipe the entire town out and start over from scratch. Fill the seats with the unemployed. I’d rather have Don, the electrician from Birmingham writing my ethics bills than these guys. Oh, and this Garn nimrod was the driving force behind several ethics bills, wow. Skinny dipping with an underage girl while writing ethics bills. Hey dipshit- you can’t discuss ethics if you don’t have any. He also paid her $150,000 during his last re-election bid, so he could “help with the healing.” Fuck you Kevin. Heal this.

3/25/10

Dear Diary-

Lately, I’ve been having problems with the audio jack on my Ipod. I did some research and found out that I could send it in and have it fixed for $89 plus shipping and handling or fix it myself for $16- I think you know the road I chose. I’m a fairly handy guy and I have worked with small components before, but I was woefully under prepared for the microscopic level I was venturing in to.

I watched a video on how to disassemble an Ipod, and it didn’t seem that difficult. You just need teeny, tiny screwdrivers, that I actually happen to have. I had my workstation set up with proper space and lighting and I dove in. Getting the back open was a task in itself, but I did it and then started on the guts of the matter. The video made it seem like pulling out the view screen would be a breeze, and it was, except when I did it, I broke some type of vacuum seal and blue stuff crept across the screen and now it’s ruined. Oops, that’s going to cost me. I hope doing this myself is going to be worth it. I take a time out to order a new screen to be delivered in 3 days, that’s another $25 but I’m still saving money. Ok, back to work. There are a couple of small ribbon connectors involved which require a delicate, dainty touch. There are also little clips that you have to lift up to release the connectors but they were so small-I couldn’t see them. I knew they were there, I could feel them, I just couldn’t seem them. Who do they have working on these things? I imagined normal size people with Barbie doll sized hands bent over their benches full of tiny tools to fit their tiny hands under tiny lights in a tiny shop in a tiny building in a tiny town. I used a needle to flip the clips up, a freakin’ needle, now that’s a tiny clip.

Now you need tweezers to gently lift the ribbon out of the connection, it is a delicate operation, one wrong move and I’m ordering more parts. Because I have the hands of a surgeon, I was able to remove them all safely. OK, that’s only taken and hour. Looking Good.

Then I moved on with removing the circuit board. Once again, I couldn’t actually SEE the screws holding the board but I could see where they were, if that makes sense. I could see dark spots where they were supposed to be, but couldn’t see any slots in the screw head. I realized I need assistance in viewing these stupid, smaller than they have to be screws. I grab a flashlight and a magnifying glass (yes, I have one for burning ants and melting crayons) and duct tape them to the side of my computer. It took me awhile to get them in perfect position, but when I finished, it was a thing of beauty. Is there anything duct tape CAN’T do? I get set, situated and mentally prepared for microscopic battle. I lean over and dig in, but no matter how hard I tried I just could not get purchase on these screw heads. I have the tiniest screwdriver you’ve ever seen and I’m failing in my attempts.

Then I started taking it personally, these screws thought it was funny, they’re messing with my head. Now, there is no way I’ll let them win. Apple makes them small so normal humans can’t work on them, well, I’m not falling for that, there is principle involved now, although I was beginning to think that my home repair idea was not too swift, paying the money would’ve saved me some frustration. The point is: I’m not letting these things beat me, they’re inanimate and stupid. The size of these screws was ridiculous, a tick could’ve carried 3 or 4 of these thing on his/her back. I doubt you get a tick to do that, but the point remains. I finally had to re-tape the magnifying glass and flashlight to get a closer view and then I got the first one out, YES, I can do this, I WILL win. I eventually got them all out, replaced the audio jack and got it back together. HA, I win, I fixed it myself. The whole thing took me about 2 hours and tested my patience to the brink, but I beat the screws and that I thought, counted for something.

Then I remembered- I’ll have to do it all again when the new screen comes, uh oh.

 

4/15/10

Dear Diary-

Jesse James is now in rehab for “sex addiction.” Tiger just got out and now Jesse is going in. Sex addiction- what a crock of shit. We’re all “addicted” to sex, it’s part of being a human. Especially men, sex is just about all we ever think about. Once you’ve had sex, you want it again, and again and again… We’re all “sex addicts,” and it’s sweet. That term is just what people in that situation use as an excuse for their behavior. This society is great at putting labels on things as an explanation for poor behavior. Sex addicts- please, remember when we just called them assholes? Wasn’t that a much simpler time? People who behaved badly didn’t have addictions or disorders, they were just assholes. I don’t think these public apologies are doing the trick either, it’s always the same thing. “I let down my family, etc, etc etc.” Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard it all before, from every other dipshit, that gets caught cheating on his wife. You don’t have an addiction or a disorder, you have a lack of morals and ethics. Wouldn’t that be great though? If one of these guys just came out and said “I’m an asshole. The opportunity came along to cheat on my wife and I took it.” Thank you for your frankness, you’re still a d-bag, but I appreciate your candor.

4/25/10

Dear Diary-

For some reason, I went to Taco Bell again, not the one by my house, but one in another town. I went through the drive through and then had my payment rejected. I had a $20 bill that was made before the security strip was embedded in it. The young clerk looked at the bill, held it up to the light and then glanced at me suspiciously. He walked over to the manager, who appeared to be at least 25, he too, then eyed the bill, held it up to the light and then shook his head “no.” The window clerk brought the bill back and informed me that there was no security strip in the bill, which made it counterfeit and he couldn’t take it. I tried explaining to him that bills made before 1990 didn’t have the strips and that it wasn’t counterfeit at all, but an honest to God real piece of U.S. currency. We bantered back and forth aimlessly for several minutes before he returned the bill and I gave him a newer one. I was a little amazed that the bill was returned to me if thought “counterfeit,” but if this staff didn’t know bills were once made with out security strips, I doubt they would know enough to report a major felony. Ah, the youth of America, God help us all.

5/3/10

Dear Diary-

Back home after a weekend in at Jokerz in Milwaukee. The club is beautiful, they take care of your food and beverage and there is a strip club upstairs. Is there anything more a comedian needs? No, would be the answer to that one. Although having a strip club right upstairs is nice, you can’t go up alone, the girls are on you like a pack of piranha on a bleeding, flailing spazoid. I just wanted to stand alone against the wall and have a beer and watch some naked girls gyrating- what’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with it is; once the girls get done with their set, they walk the room looking for tips from the roamers. I had to use my standard response to the question “Did you enjoy my dancing?” which was “Yes, I did, but I’m just the comedian from downstairs.” That would usually send them away, but sometimes they would continue to just stand there, waiting. Uncomfortable indeed. I’d usually just wander off, like I was looking for someone, only to be approached by another one- “Yes, I did enjoy your dancing, but I’m just….”

        The following night I went up with one of the owners, I figured I’d be safe with the owner as a buffer. I was wrong. Strip clubs have a lot of turnover, so many of the girls didn’t know who the owners were. Even though we were behind some velvet ropes, they would still approach, but at least now I had him saying “I’m just one of the owners.”

6/25/10

Dear Diary-

Well, it’s back, the Iphone 4 I guess it is. The Iphone’s 4th edition. Sad. Once again; people were lined up for nearly 15 hours in order to get… a phone. I feel kind of sorry for them. If the most important thing in your life is your freakin’ phone- you need some friends or a hobby, or a job or a life or something to fill the empty void that seems to be filled with a telephone.

     Sometimes I wish we could just tell the phone companies- “Look, you’ve done an incredible job with these things, but enough already, the…phones…do…enough.” We don’t need them any faster, prettier or to do anymore shit. These phones do more than anyone could’ve ever hoped, but let’s move on to other, more important things. I read an article recently that said they are now working on 3D screens for phones. Really-3D. One executive said “We’re working on it because the American people demand it.” I doubt that’s true- demanding 3D screens on our phones? The thought never even crossed my mind until then. I don’t claim to speak for the American public, but I am part of it and I say we demand a stop to the oil leak and the war. We demand jobs and affordable insurance and safe neighborhoods and honest politicians. That’s what we demand, what do we get? Development of a 3D screen for our phones. Yes indeedy, these guys have their finger right on the pulse of America.

 

                                       IRAQ 2010

7/20/10

Dear Diary-

My bags are packed and I’m ready to go. Off to Iraq in the morn. I’m quite the efficient packer too, I’ve got this Iraq trip packing down to a science. A back pack and a bag small enough not to check. Now that’s a packing fool. We have to drag our own shit everywhere we go so it’s imperative you pack small. After the first trip when I spent 2 weeks dragging 48 lbs of baggage off and on helicopters, and down gravel paths, and through 4 inches of dirt, I learned my lesson- pack small. I’m off for slumber shortly, tomorrow is a long day and I need my beauty sleep. You have to mentally prepare yourself for that flight from D.C. to Kuwait, it is truly a tester, we actually travel into the future and that’s always tiring.

7/21/10

Dear Diary-

My layover in D.C. was 6 hours and in that time I made a couple of observations about air travel. Firstly- why do people dress so casually when traveling by plane? A lot of them look like they woke up to take a pee and decided to go to the airport. This isn’t your home, take off the pajamas and flip flops and put on some freakin’ clothes and proper footwear. Oh, and leave that nasty ass pillow at home, how many germs are you picking up on that thing dragging it through the airport? Secondly- I saw a man wearing capri pants. I know they probably don’t call the ones men wear “capri,” but they come down to mid-calf and that’s a capri pant if you ask me. Shorts or long pants, make a decision and stop making us wonder if you're wearing your wife's clothes. Lastly- men wearing crocs. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but for the love of God, leave the crocs for working in the garden or something. Everyone is making fun of you, don’t you know that? You are a grown man, stop wearing rubber shoes. I saw one guy (and he’s the one that started me down this path) wearing crocs and black ankle socks. It was all I could do not to pound on the top of his head until his balls dropped. Men wearing crocs, it must stop. Either that or start leaving the house wearing speedos and a mesh tank top and just get it over with.

 

7/22/10

Dear Diary-

We made it to Kuwait. That flight sucks. I did have a window seat, that was nice, and I did control my fluid intake before take off to minimize potty breaks, but damn, that’s a long flight. It was only about 2 hours to D.C. and then 13 to Kuwait, but it’s a long 13. I was prepared mentally, but once you get strapped in with no leg, arm or head room, the mental preparation gets erased with, shit- this is a long flight. I’ve learned to break it up into 1 or 2 hour segments, then you only have to do that 6 or 7 times. I usually read newspapers for the first hour, then we eat and watch a movie on our little screen for the next 2 hours, that’s 3 down. The problem with that is, my audio jack in my seat doesn’t work, so I can watch the movie, I just can’t listen to the movie. That’s going to alter my plan, I didn’t want to alter it, so I watched the movie with no sound and that my friend is dedication. Then I read a book until I fall asleep, how much time that kills is a toss up, sometimes 3 hours, sometimes less. Once you wake up, you start the process over again, movie with no sound, read, maybe do some puzzles, read, sleep, movie with no sound, puzzles, read sleep, check watch, still 7 hours to go, shit.

We landed, scooted through customs and got picked up by our escorts, Gary and Ed. By then it was almost 5 p.m. Where did the day go? Walking out of the airport into the Kuwaiti evening was like walking into an oven. You can feel the air heat your lungs, it was still almost 120* at that hour. This should be fun.

    

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Scott Kennedy, Me, Wayne "The Cat" Federman

7/23/10

Dear Diary-

We just got through our first show at Kuwaiti Naval Base. Yes, Kuwait has a Navy. They’re right on the Persian Gulf. It was an outdoor show, so it was a little sweaty. There were almost 300 that showed up and I thought my set was mediocre, it’s weird over here, jokes that get laughs in the States don’t get laughs here. Good bits too, and I have never figured out why. Some bits just don’t work. Five minutes after my set started, I was wet to the nipples, not a thing I could do, it’s 108* with no breeze, so sweaty I will become. Half way through my deer hunter being shot bit, (which is a long piece of material) the truck that drains the porta potties drives by, it’s an old diesel truck so it’s as loud as any truck I’ve ever heard. And when I say drive by- I mean 10 feet from where I’m standing. The speed limit is 5 kph, so it takes him almost 3 minutes to get past me far enough for me to continue my humorous musings. By this time the bit is dead and I have to move on to other things. It’s awkward standing on stage just waiting for a truck to drive by, I just stood there sweating and waiting, waiting and sweating. It’s good to be back, I should hydrate.

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Wayne and I in the dive helmets

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Camp Patriot

7/24/10

Dear Diary-

Well, we made it to Iraq. I was in bed by 10 because we had a 1:30 a.m. call time for a 90 minute drive to Ali Al Saleem Air Base to catch a flight to Baghdad, then Mosul. We were issued our body armor and helmets today. They are very nice accessories to the 124* heat of today. No breeze through Kevlar, that’s for sure.  One thing about the heat, when you're forced to use a porta potty wearing body armor in 124* temps, you don't bring any reading material. It's a quick visit, barely time to pull down your pants, do your thing and get the hell out.  Sweat actually puddles at your feet if you're in there too long. 

We flew on the C-130 again, it was a little toasty, not too bad though. We’re headed to Mosul, it’s Saturday, I think. It’s a travel day, so no show. There was a little confusion about that. There is another group that sends comedians over and they don’t do shows on travel days, Kennedy’s tours usually do, we do as many as they want, when they want. Apparently they got us mixed up and didn’t schedule a show today. I don’t want to say there was nothing to do in Mosul, but there wasn’t much to do on the base. We weren’t within walking distance of ANYTHING, and there was some question as to whether or not we could even leave our secure compound. So we had chow, I read and then slept for almost 10 hours. I must’ve been pooped. Time to hydrate.

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My new accesories

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On the road again

7/25/10

Dear Diary-

Today was tour day. Many times when entertainers come on base they like to give tours of different units informing us of what they do etc. The tours are great, but most of them are outside. It’s hard to be comfortable when there is a constant stream of sweat rolling down your back into the crack of your ass and then being absorbed into your shorts. Many of the tours include vehicles which we climb in and around. It’s an amazing amount of technology in these things. When you see some of the equipment we’ve got it’s amazing there is a war at all. It’s like Star Wars fighting the Flintstones. We mostly climbed around the IED search vehicles. Very important vehicles as you can imagine. Hold on, I need to hydrate. The show tonight is indoors, so we should be fine.

A word on hydration- it’s a must. You must HYDRATE. There are signs above all urinals with a pee color chart. You compare your urine color to the chart and then you can see how fast you’re approaching kidney failure. The clearer, the better. The only way to keep urine clear is to hydrate, and hydrate we do. All day long we pound fluids. Then at night, your body insists on disposing of all those fluids. You can never sleep more than 2 hours at a time because you need to pee. It’s a vicious cycle that doesn’t stop until you return home. I’m not sure if the human body can utilize 3 gallons of fluid a day, we tried damn you, we tried.

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On the porch of my condo in Mosul

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View from the condo porch

7/26/10

Dear Diary-

Great show last night, over 300. Now we’re waiting on our flight to Kirkuk and Camp Warrior. We’re going by Blackhawk helicopter today and we’re required to wear long pants and long sleeve shirts now, it’s only 123*, so we should be fine.

The chopper flight, while normally fun, wasn’t so much this time. A Blackhawk can hold 10 passengers, and we had 10. It’s snug with 10 people, but it’s even more snug with 10 people and their luggage. They loaded us up and then started tossing bags in, the chopper crew just kept stacking bags until they we up to our chins, slammed the door and off we go. Two hours we spent like that, flying over the Iraqi desert with no body movement possible. I knew it was going to be crowded, so I slyly grabbed a window seat. I’ve been to Camp Warrior before and if I’m not mistaken, it’s an outdoor show.

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Nice view

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7/28/10

Dear Diary-

Wow- what a day yesterday. A 4:30 a.m. call time for a flight to Camp Speicher. We made it as far as the flight line, waited for 30 minutes and then got sent back in, the flight was delayed because of a dust storm. We’ll try again in an hour. Then we’ll try at 1 o’clock, oops, we’ll try again at 3 o’clock, well, what about 5? Can we try then? No more flights leaving for Speicher. Even if we get to Speicher, we could get stuck there for another 4-5 days. That’s no good, we’d miss our flights home. After much consulting and phone calls, they decide to ship us back to Kuwait. We’ll miss 2 days of shows, but when Allah blows the wind, there’s nothing we can do. As much as I like going to Speicher, I don’t want to spend 4 or 5 days there doing nothing while our flight home leaves without us. So it’s off to Kuwait for the last 3 days. We threw in impromtu show together on one of the nights, but that’s all we could do. Bummer. It sucks cancelling shows, but it’s beyond our control.

 

 

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Camp Warrior- Kirkuk

7/30/10

Dear Diary-

We had a great show at the community center last night. The night before we went and saw Inception. Yikes. You could tell after 5 minutes it would be one of those movies where you had no idea what was going on. Total confusion. It’s being talked about like it’s a great movie, it isn’t. Special effects don’t make a movie great. It did have great special effects, but if you can’t follow the story, what difference does it make? It should’ve been called WRF? It would’ve fit right in with the plot. We’re taking off tonight at 11 p.m. Time for a quick nap…after some more hydration of course.

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The dust

8/1/10

Dear Diary-

Well, we made it back. It was a great trip as always. Not as great as others because we lost some shows and didn’t do all we wanted, but we did what we could and that’s what counts eh? I do love going over there and doing shows for the troops. They have such little to do during off hours, it’s really rewarding to be able to take their minds off the war, if only for a little while. We really got the feeling that things are winding down in Iraq. A lot of the FOB’s we’ve done on previous trips are gone. It was mostly bigger venues this time, no standing on milk crates in the courtyard of a bombed out building. Which; in the long run is a good thing. For the troops in Iraq, now it’s time for another trip to Afghanistan. It seems like that’s the new place to be.

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My artsy shot of the trip