Friday, October 30, 2009

Best day ever in Syria

I actually started drawing this back during my weekend trip in Syria. Definitely one of the best places to go if you want to lean Arabic, the downside being that you will want to kill yourself after a week. Fun for a few days though, especially if you have my great luck!

And you can see my favorite Ferris Karam song here!

Lebanon! (finally)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Too busy for gentlemanly pursuits

That's me in front of our ROTC company as first sergeant- For some strange reason I was put in charge, so I haven't had a ton of free time since school began. Lots of great stuff happened since my post about Beirut, but I didn't feel much like drawing when I was there, and then I went to Amman-Jerusalem-Tel Aviv-Montreal-LA and then I landed back over here and was immediately preoccupied with 1SG stuff.

If the peripheral doodles don't give it away, this was drawn during one of my easier classes. More to come, but probably in a month or so when I really have some hours to sit down and draw. There are definitely some stories from this summer that need telling!

Friday, June 26, 2009

In Beirut!

Religious girls have to work out, too!

I've been in Beirut for few weeks now. I first marveled at how its tanned, attractive, very Semitic inhabitants could harbor any ill feelings against the nearly-identical people of Israel (esp Tel Aviv) - but then I remembered that these guys can barely keep it in their pants when it comes to dealing with their even more similar countrymen (it being their Kalashnikovs).

One thing that sets Beirut apart from Tel Aviv/the Western Euro world is that Beirut is a sort of nouveau-riche Garden of Eden- God has not yet cursed these people with the burden of shame for their nose jobs, breast implants, gold chains, and steroid injections, if those count.

Lots of excellent things have happened that I have been too busy/lazy to chronicle so far... the only reason anything's going up today is that I have a lot of homework that I wanted to avoid.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Nervous cadets are goofy

This was our first formation on the very first day of Air Assault ("Day Zero"). We didn't improve much over the next two weeks.

Air Assault- not THAT much of a schlep

Certainly the hardest ten days in the Army (on your groin). Not always pleasant, but really not that bad.

Enough goofy stuff happened there to fuel many, many posts. Suffice to say that us cadets weren't great at not being stupid, and that the NCOs there weren't great at being tolerant of that. Practically nobody failed (only 24 out of 213 dropped out) so we must have been doing something right... or the course was easier than usual.

Most importantly, I finally got some bling to put on my uniform. Flat-chested no more!

Monday, May 4, 2009

What I actually do in class

School's about to end, so I though I'd put up some of my favorite (clickable) doodles up before I burn all my notebooks. They may not look like it, but some of these drawings were sufficiently time-consuming that they significantly affected my grades. You can see that slideshows about the civil war gave me a lot of practice drawing men with mustaches.

I have no idea what happened in the Ottoman Empire for the entire 18th century because of the sheet with a drawing of a tank.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I'm going to Air Assault!!!! (finally)

After a year of begging, badgering, and fellating my ROTC cadre, I have finally secured a spot at Air Assault School! Air Assault is a 10-day course that basically teaches you to tie big things to helicopters, including, climatically, yourself (see below).
Apparently, learning to strap things together isn't all that hard, so the training cadre fill the rest of the course with painful physical training (what Army folk call "getting smoked"). The last event is a 12 mile (!) ruck march... that was the purpose of the suffering depicted in my post about rucking.

A cadet who already completed the course advised me that it's easy enough if "you can run and you're at all smart."

Well, I can run.

P.S. I am excited about this like an extra in a Grease musical number. Summer days, in sweaty ACUs, but oh, those summer nights!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Don't procrastinate, or fly, when you're sick!

Embrace the Sick

I haven't posted/drawn in a while because I have, indeed, been sick. It turns out prolonged periods of lying on the ground in cold rain (and, later, snow) will do that to you!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

ruck this schlep

I went for my first ruck march in a LONG time, and it was difficult. TIP: Weigh your ruck before you begin.

For those of you who aren't entirely sure what "schlep" means, perhaps because you were raised in certain parts of the midwest, or maybe just have a healthy distrust of immigrant culture, no act embodies it better than rucking.

And for those of you who aren't entirely sure what "rucking" is, perhaps because you had the good sense to stay away from the military, it's the Army's way of saying, "going on a hike with heavy equipment/crap in your rucksack (backpack, only shittier)" or, "if you'd joined up in the 19th century, a mule would be doing this."

Mark Twain famously described golf as "a good walk spoiled." That is because he never experienced rucking. He probably had mules.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Apologies to the New Yorker

After my last post about the body type encouraged by the APFT, I had to draw this:

"Yes, but he never scores below a 320 on his PT test!"

Army Strong

The Army's main measure of physical prowess is the APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test). The APFT consists of sit-ups, push-ups, and a 2-mile run. When I began my cadet career, I could barely do 30 push-ups (100% on the APFT is 71 and the average is in the 50s). Before I knew much about the Army, 30 push-ups sounded like a lot. But being a cadet who can only do 30 push-ups is like being... well... a cadet who is even more of a useless invalid than a normal cadet (okay, enough modesty- we are really fucking awesome).

Fortunately, five years of suffering through cross country gave my body the entirely unnatural ability to move itself 2 miles in under 13 minutes (100% on the APFT but mediocre for cross country. Luckily, I was a pretty damn mediocre cross country runner).

The Marines' version of the APFT has chin-ups instead of push-ups, which I enjoy, but I don't think it will ever catch on in the Army because it's just another way to punish people for being fat (the original method being the 2-mile run).

Apart from the run, the APFT essentially requires only 2 muscles: your pecs and abs. Forget biceps, shoulders, whatever any other sexy beach muscles. Just pecs and abs. I've heard there are literally dozens of other muscles in the human body, so it could be said that the APFT is not really a complete measure of fitness... every jacked cadet who wrestled in high school but can't jog across the unitard store without getting out of breath will agree with you, at least (sorry homeboy, maybe you shouldn't have put on those 30 pounds in your SHOULDERS).

So the APFT is a lot like the SATs- it fails to measure some important qualities, but if you really screw up it there is definitely something wrong!

So does studying for the SAT make you smarter? Because I'm too lazy to hit the gym, so I train for the APFT and nothing else. Now, my body basically looks like this:

I can max the test, but I can't curl anything heavier than a junior bacon cheeseburger.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

How do you remember where you set a rally point?

I asked an honest question in mil sci class today and got a more spectacular answer than I could possibly imagine.

Thank you, sir.

[big comic] I meet a girl in Israel

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Saturday, February 7, 2009

The first post and my banner

"War is Hell" - William Tecumseh Sherman
"War is Schlep" - Me

See what I did there?

When I came up with this unbelievable idea for a blog name, I hesitated to christen any blog with it - seeing as I'm a college student whose time in uniform usually involves rubber rifles and a map of the forest behind the gym (just because the girl's cross country team has no problem jogging there doesn't mean a man can't lose himself in those infernal woods and turn mad before he finds his way back).

But if Sergeant Big Tobacco can write an (absolutely amazing) deployment blog that's mostly about the challenges of jacking off in Iraq, I figure I can dig up some material that's at least as entertaining (If not nearly as substantial).

Also, the name was just too sweet to pass up, and it is my hope that I can sustain this blog until I do actually get to write/draw about higher-stakes adventures in Iraq/Afghanistan/Iran/Pakistan/North Korea/Equatorial Guinea (they know what they did).

This should be my wordiest post ever- I'll try to draw as many of my posts as possible. It's a good gimmick and I can do it while I watch TV.

That's what she said.