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And Now You Know - My own edition
And Now You Know - My own edition
This idea isn't original, I shamelessly stole it from mzhunyhole's blog where there is a very active thread going for just this type of ramblings. I didn't want to steal her thunder with my story so I added it to my own journalistic attempts.
You've got to read her stuff, it's awesome! In fact, it wouldn't hurt to read it right now so you have an understanding of why I am writing all this crap here.
These are things about me that you might not otherwise ever learn (or frankly, ever want to know for that matter).
1. I love Jelly Bellies, espcially the cappaccino flavored ones. There is a big bag of them in my right-hand desk drawer.
2. I graduated from high school and went on to college. I was less than motivated in college and they suggested (no, more like demanded) that I not to return after my sophomore year.
3. I was a good swimmer. In fact I was a very good swimmer. In my second year of college I became an avid scuba diver.
4. I couldn't climb that blasted rope in gym in high school, I was a bit of a wimp (except as related to #3, also: See how this has a direct bearing on items 6 & 7 below)
5. My uncle Sam, many of you may know him, invited me to join his team in 1968, I even got a letter in the mail that started with those famous words "Greetings.." and then went on to explain how my uncle wanted me to go on the road with his travel team to southeast asia. I declined, deciding instead to sign an exclusive contract with the maritime branch of the US government. The nice man who I met with promised me I could be a diver in a exclusive group they called UDT/SEAL.
6. I went to boot camp where I was asked to wait around with the other guys who were going to be scuba divers (yeah, right) until there was enough of us to form a company to do specialized basic training. One night I was doing my duty for God and country by keeping watch over the parking lot outside of the barracks to make sure someone disn't steal the garbage dumpster. I was amazed to see 6 guys in shorts and t-shirts running around the parking lot with a BIG LONG telephone pole (must have been 10 or 12' long) on their shoulders. They must have been happy cause they were singing. Did I mention that this was mid January... in northern Illinois... in the snow? The next morning I asked the guy in charge what was with that and he told me that in about a month I would be doing the same thing, they were the UDT/SEAL boot camp company just ahead of ours. My memories of gym class and the rope, and the exercise were all coming back to me. I couldn't think of a single reason to sing about that.
7. One of my next tasks was to show the new guys around the "campus" and tell them where to stand in line for the fun stuff... like shots, and uniforms, and appitude tests. This day I was asked to babysit a group of new guys who were there to audition for the Navy choir (called the Blue Jackets Choir). Now despite my badmouthing the singing in #6 above, I love to sing and have a pretty nice voice. I asked the head guy if I could audition and he said sure so I did. The head guy liked what he heard, I mean what's not to like, I was singing for my very life, those guys were going to kill me on that parking lot or climbing that damn rope. He said "You're in", I was excited but mentioned that I probably needed to get out of a previous committment first, he asked me to explain so I did. He made a bunch of sucking noises with his teeth and lips and said he would see what he could do. Two days later they called me down to the main office and said I was being dropped from the UDT/SEAL program. So, I went from being a UDT/SEAL to being what I learned that the other guys affectionately called a "Bluejacket Queer". This is no big loss to the country, I would have certainly washed out the first time they made me climb a rope.
8. Basic training with the rest of the "queers" was a lot of fun. We got to sing for a couple of hours every day and then we would learn other stuff that we would never use in our Navy careers. We never did any of the other stuff like shoot rifles, or run, or go into tear gas filled buildings and take off our gas masks. Those things were for the normal boot camp people, all we did was sing. We even got to go to St Louis in the Spring of 1969 after President Eisenhower died. We sang for his funeral. We also went to other tourist spots like Norfolk, Virginia and performed. Beats the heck out of climbing ropes!
9. On a much more serious note: While most, if not all of the men I would have trained with as UDT/SEAL went on to Viet Nam, an alarming number of them subsequently died there. I don't find any humor in this fact at all and I am very grateful for the series of events that kept me from that destination and fate. I have the utmost respect for those men. They are true heroes in every sense of the word. Viet Nam wasn't a popular war (if there is such a thing) but these men saw their duty and they did it with pride and honor and I salute them every one!!!
10. Meanwhile, back with the Navy I served my country in such hell holes as Antuiga, British West Indies; Key West, Florida; Naples, Italy (well that was pretty close to a hell hole when you stuck around the waterfront); Norfolk, Virginia; and Yokosuka, Japan.
11. It's a sheer coincidence that this is number eleven because it was after eleven years of the Navy I got out and went back to college. And I studied.... I bet you didn't guess vocal music but thats what I did. After my senior year I went back into the Navy.
12. The Navy took me Norfolk, Virginia (again); Oninawa, Japan; and finally Norfolk, Virginia (once again).
13. While in Norfolk I sang, not for the Navy but for the public. I signed a contract with the Virginia Opera Association and was fortunate enough to sing chorus and bit parts in 8 operas over a 3 year period. This was a very short lived vocal career, that is a tough business and it takes real talent to make a living. Remember, my singing grew out of the need to avoid climbing ropes. Not good enough to consider it as a vocation. It was fun while it lasted.
Well, my chronology is really complete, now, in keeping with the examples of Mz Huny I want to share a few more bits of useless information about myself in no particular order.
14. I have never had sex with a woman other than my wife and I have never cheated on my wife of nearly 35 years. Well, if you have read this blog you will correct me to say that I have never succeeded at cheating on my wife of 35 years but I have certainly tried in recent days.
15. Just about every night, when the weather is warm, I go out back and sit by my pool in the nude.
16. I was born at a very young age
17. I too hate to go to the dentist.
18. I love this blog!!
9/3/2005 12:32 pm
Mmmmmm...just stopped in because Polly said I should....very interesting.|