Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sweeping the Sox

I swore that I would not become one of those obnoxious fans who blogs constantly about their team but sweeping the Sox is just too great to pass up!

How awesome is it to go from getting spanked 16-0 to sweeping the #1 team/long time rival Red Sox? (Pretty damn awesome.) Johnny Damon played great...The Rocket pitched like the good ole' days...A-Rod hit a home run, Derek Jeter looked and played GREAT. It was a great series of the Bronx Bombers.

Yet the highlight of being a Yankee fan this week was release of the statement "Wherever Red Sox Nation is...I wish Bush would invade it." My political and military commitment frowned on the stab at my Commander in Chief however I loved the statement.

I respect the die hard Red Sox fans who have put up with years of disappointment from their boys. I wish them the best as they enjoy their time in 1st place (short lived as it may be). It is the damn bandwagon jackasses who drive me crazy. It is for them that I challenge that this week is only the beginning. Get ready for your first taste of being a real Red Sox fan...which is disappointment during the playoffs. It might not come at hands of the beloved Yankees...but after the ignorant things that the Red Sox Nation have said this past year...I just hope the pennant goes to any team other than them.

Let's Go Yankees!!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

iPod Trouble

I have spent the past week using every bad word in known to Millie over the past week as I struggled to repair the nightmare that is Millie's iPod. I am not electronically savvy to begin with, so I probably made it harder than necessary. totally sucked.

It all started when my $349.00 80gb iPod started to act up. (I only mention the price to further stress my frustration. My old $69.99 Sony mp3 player never gave me any trouble until it got stolen in my SUV last year. Damn Crystal Owens for stealing my car. Her hearing is soon BTW, so stay tuned for update on that saga.) It started to cut off songs before they were over, sometimes seconds into the song. It usually happened to really great songs like Don't Stop Believin' or Someday, Someway as opposed to boring songs that are on the iPod because I am too lazy to take them off. Of course, I listen to these songs more than the boring songs so I guess it increases their odds of being cut off. The point pissed me off.

So I trouble shoot on various websites, I go to iPod blogs, I even flirted with Apple Store Geek Manny (who automatically had a strike against him because of my hatred for Manny Ramirez) for help. They all told me the same thing...restore the iPod. So I did and ended up having to import a bunch of movies and songs manually because for some reason iTunes couldn't find them. Hours is still cutting off songs.

So I went back the Apple store to seek help from anyone but Manny. Yet as fate would have it, Manny was working and remembered me and rushed over to help. Poor Manny is nothing like the namesake that makes me see red (no pun intended) and I try to remember that as I explain to him that his plan didn't work. So he offers another precious piece of an update on iTunes. This should repair the error. So I did and things just got worse. I lost everything but my purchased music.

No big deal right? Wrong...for over half of my collection was added from CDs or other music sources. So once I again I had to manually import the lost tracks. This time it was 1107 songs that had to be manually imported. I lost my playlists, my song counts, etc. I might have been the cause of this...since I as I already admitted that computers are not my strong point. However, I admitted this to Manny too...and I wish that he would have warned me that this could happen. RK asked me if I would be this pissed off if the guy at the Apple store was named Derek as opposed to Manny. The point was well taken. I think it proves my point that nothing good can come from someone named Manny.

I have no real point...except to vent. As mad as I am about the iPod (which is still cutting off songs) I am even more pissed that the Yankees are losing while the damn Red Sox are winning. Yet...there is still hope. Can I get a "Let's Go Yankees!"???

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

TAPS to my Loved Ones

The truth is that Millie the Geek is destroying Millie the Coastie as of late. It is kind of sad since Millie the Coastie has been on top since January. I suppose nothing great can stay that way indefinitely. This is my link to the Navy Times. (For those of you who don't know...Millie is actually Jacqueline. Shh...don't tell.) The point is that Millie the Coastie was doing least for a little while.

I love the Coast Guard. Whenever I am feeling less than Semper Paratus, I will read the Coast Guardsman Creed, I will stare at my plaque of the CG Core Values, or my MLCPAC EPOY Plaque or I will look at the picture that I took last week of the 11 year old who stopped me at the M's game to take a picture. I look at these things and usually feel renewed. Usually I am filled with pride of being part of the world's premier maritime service. Yet for the past few days I feel nothing.

I am not sure what is the cause. Perhaps it is the changes in my office, perhaps it is the one year anniversary of losing some great shipmates...I honestly don't know.

I know that when I think of LT Jessica Hill and BM2 Steve Duque I still break down and cry. I think of MK1 Brian Bernier and I cry. I think of PS2 Eddie Thomas and I cry. I think of PS2 Gill and I cry. These shipmates were not my closest friends so maybe I don't have the right to cry. Yet these are fallen shipmates that I had the pleasure of serving with and their void still pains me. All four passed away in the line of duty about a year ago (or even less).

LT Jessica Hill is the hardest to think about. I liked her so much as a person. When I think of her, I think of how great she was with kids, namely Elizabeth, and I cry. She would have been a great mother. She was a great shipmate and a great woman. As time passes, fewer people remember LT Hill. I was lucky enough to know LT Jessica Hill and plain Jess Hill the person. I don't know if the day will ever come that I don't tear up when I think of my fallen shipmate and friend. Part of me hopes that it never comes. The Coast Guard lost a great officer when we lost LT Hill, and I feel like I lost a friend and role model when Jess passed.

I did not go to her memorial service last Friday. I was a coward. I was terrified that I would see her father. I remember meeting her father in November 2004. He reminded me of my own father. He was so proud of her just for serving her country. I was terrified that I would see him and not know what to say. I often consider sending him emails to let him know that his daughter was one of the great CG role models in my life. I know that I cannot send this. It means everything to me that Jess was my role model. a father that lost his daughter...I am sure that my words of praise will offer little comfort.

I did not know Steve Duque...but I feel that I understand what kind of Petty Officer he was. I don't have much to say...except that as long as I wear a CG uniform I will always think of the young BM2 who gave his life for the United States Coast Guard. I often wonder what great changes he would have made if he had lived long enough to climb the chain.

Brian Bernier lived the Coast Guard Core Values. He was off duty and fate put him in a position that required him to be a Coast Guardsman. He lost his life in that situation, in front of his family. I only met Brian once, yet I think of him often. Brian and his family will be in prayers everyday.

I think of PO Gill everyday because he left behind a pregnant wife. I console myself with the fact that I made a contribution to his memorial fund that will hopefully give something to the family that he left behind. I never met PO closest tie to him is that I presented colors at his memorial service. A day doesn't pass that I don't think of his wife and child.

Lastly...I talk of PO Eddie Thomas. I honestly feel guilty when I think of him. He was a fine Coast Guardsman and police officer. He died while serving as a police officer. I often think of that night. I remember the sirens, as he died only a few streets down from my house. (It is a safe neighborhood...yet one person can ruin everything.) I remember the the time there were merely a noise that was keeping me awake. Yet the next morning I found out that those sirens were the sound of a shipmate in trouble. When I think of Eddie, I think of his smile. He always entered my office with a smile. He loved the Coast Guard and the police department equally.

All of these shipmates passed on in the past year (or less.). Brian and Steve are names and legends that I think of and aspire to be. Jess and Eddie are friends that I continue to grieve for. Their void will never be filled...they will never be replaced...and nothing can erase them from my memory.

Why do I write about this? Maybe it is because their memorials are opening up wounds. Maybe it is because I am frustrated and I am looking for my way in the CG. I don't know.

I have achieved some great things in my 5 years in the CG. MLCPAC EPOY is no small feat. Navy Times Coast Guardsman Person of the Year Honorable Mention is no small feat. Yet is nothing to my shipmates who gave their lives while living the Core Values.

The only purpose of this post is to show respect for my fallen shipmates...even if no one else reads it. I will probably never be in the position to give my life in the line of duty and I am okay with that. The only thing that I have to offer Jess, Steve, Brian, Ronny, and Eddie is that I will continue to serve. I will continue to be the best US Coast Guardsman I can be. I might not change the Coast Guard... but no one in the CG will forget their sacrifices while I wear the uniform.

Today...Millie the Geek is the winner. Yet Millie the Coast Guardsman morns the loss of 5 shipmates in less than a year. It isn't a fair fight. Please bear with today is a bad day.

I love the Coast Guard...I love America...and I miss my shipmates. Even though today is a day that I am not gung ho Coastie...I still wouldn't give it up for anything. And so I close with a moment of BLOG silence for my fallen shipmates whom I miss and love dearly.

Come to think of it...I started this blog thinking that Millie the Geek won but I have changed my mind. Millie the Coastie won. As long as I continue to think and serve for my fallen shipmates...Millie the Coastie wins.

Semper Paratus!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I'll tell you this much...they ain't getting the TV!

So tonight instead of fighting (and probably losing ) the battle with insomnia I decided to turn the TV back on and find something to the pass the time. Much to my delight, HBO was showing one of my favorite guilty pleasure movies...Mars Attacks...hence the title of tonights blog.

I have met very few people who are willing to admit this that they have seen and liked this movie. I absolutely love this movie! It is a pop culture geeks dream. The cast is amazing, the lines are funny and well written (well most of them), and it has martians! What is not to love? I guess that you either love movies by Tim Burton or hate them, even though he is obviously a genius.

It is hard to say what is the best part of the movie. I have listed a few of the great moments/lines from the movie that make it an awesome flick. (Other than the obvious parts such as Sarah Jessica Parker's head being attached to the body of dog or the senile grandma who is unaware that her retirement home is being invaded because she is jamming to her headphones.)

- Jack Nicholson. The movie would not have been great without him. First, he plays two different, yet distinctly Jack characters. The character Art was okay, but it was his role as the President of the United States that really kicked ass. After Congress is destroyed by the martians, he delievers what is probably the most famous line of the movie. In the role of President Dale, he tells his staff "I want the people to know that they still have 2 out of 3 branches of the government working for them, and that ain't bad." I would vote for Ole'Jack if he ever ran for President.

- Tom Jones (who is a guilty pleasure entirely on his own). Not only does he play himself in the movie, but he sings his signature "It's Not Unusual." So there he is, belting out his classic as the world is being invaded by martians. The stage lights dim and suddenly he is sharing the stage with two martians, who are grooving to the song! It is totally awesome! Later he joins forces with boxer Byron and starts shooting martians after proclaiming that he knows how to fly a plane. He finishes out the movie with in song with animals bobbing their head's to the beat of "It's Not Unusual."

- After the President orders a launch of nuclear weapons, the martians launch their own device that absorbs the nuke into a balloon looking thing. Then the head martian inhales the nuke like helium and talks in an even higher pitch voice, while his minions laugh.

- As referenced in the title of this blog, Mrs. Norris is in the process of loading her 12 gauge and utters my personal favorite line of the movie "I'll tell you this much...they ain't getting the TV." Now, if martians were attacking my home the TV would not be the first thing that I would fight to protect, yet I can't imagine that I would let it go without a fight. After all, I have learned more from TV than any other resource. (Sorry Mom and Dad but to quote Bart Simpson, "It spent so much more time raising us than you have.")

- As subtle as it was, one of my favorite parts is the fact that while the martians are destroying everyone and everything that they come across, one of them is carrying the translator around with him. So as his buddies are shooting and pulverising, you hear the translator saying "Don't run, we are your friends." Now, I have seen this movie at least a dozen times and one of the many times I watched it, it was a good friend named Kevin D and we argued over the intent of this part of the movie. I thought it was supposed to be ironic because they are expressing friendship as they are killing people. Kevin swears that is a reference to shoddy American made products (Kevin is a bit of a hippie). I don't know which one of us is right (probably me because it is my blog) but it is still funny. is great movie, especially at midnight when you can't sleep and need a break from YouTube. If you do find yourself on YouTube, search for "Coast Guard Academy Fun" "Dancing Coastie", or "Coastie Prank 1" for a quick laugh. (The Coastie in me does not condone the behavior but is still funny.)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


So today I had what I have come to refer to as a "Buzznik kind of day". I must have missed the memo proclaiming it to be Piss Off Millie Day. The rest of the Seattle-ites obviously had no such problem. The day actually started out okay but here are a few of moments that were impossible to overlook.

- There was the lovely hippie at Safeco who was flipping off the TV at the concession stand while it was showing the flag during the National Anthem. I respect her freedom to express herself freely...but I wanted to express myself by pouring an overpriced beer over her head. If she wants to disrespect the flag, and the millions who fight and die for her right to express be it since it is her right to do so. I would just prefer that she didn't do it at a baseball game where the theme of the day is "Foster Kid Day". Show some class in front of the kiddos...that is all I ask. Yet score one for the use of Goosefraba...because I didn't do anything that would have gotten me reported to my CO.

- Then there was the obviously pro-botox bleached blonde lady who felt it was her place to comment on my snack of choice for the game...Grounders' Garlic Fries. Why she felt the need to tell me that I would never find a husband if I eat those is a mystery to me. Instead of telling her that her BBQ pork sandwich wasn't going to work any miracle for her either, or to ask why she automatically assumed that I was looking for a husband a Mariners' game, or just flat out tell her to mind her own GD business...I relied on the power of Goosefraba and smiled politely as I walked away. But even Goosefraba has its limits...

- So let me tell me you about the Mazda Man. The Mazda Man was quite successful in showing me that everyone is capable of TV style road rage. It could have been the fact that it was hot, it could have been the fact that I was in hurry, it could have been the fact that traffic is a nightmare on the I-5, but I think that it was the fact that the Mazda Man was the biggest quack behind a wheel in the Pacific Northwest.

The saga of Millie verses the Mazda Man starts with a failed attempt to merge onto I-5. Anyone who lives in Seattle knows that people out here can't merge with a damn to begin with but add three lanes of traffic merging into one lane and you have the makings of a nightmare. Add with it the re-direct as a result of construction and you have the makings our saga. I was trying to merge into the one lane...and Mazda Man wasn't having it. Now...if I wasn't driving a car that is less than a month old and full of passengers...I assure that I would have won the battle. I had the upper hand based on my position.

More than the desire to keep my car and passengers in top notch condition...I think that I lost the lane because I could not believe that Mazda Man was intent to rear end me if I didn't move onto the shoulder and let him pass. I let him have the lane so that should have been the end of it...but that was just the beginning.

After cutting me off...Mazda Man then opens his door and acts as if he is getting out to fight. Step-Dad Steve was the only man in our car...and I know that he could have taken the old man but that is not the point. The point was that we were still moving...and merging onto a major interstate. So after crazy Mazda Man finally shut his door (Steve thankfully did the same thing), he begins to flip us off and make incredibly obscene gestures in the window. More concerning than the array of vulgar gestures that this man was using was the fact that he was taking both hands off the wheel in order to deliver them. Rather than stay behind him, I got over one lane and attempted to move on. (Steve graciously return the sentiment by flipping him off as we passed him. A tame gesture compared to what were seeing.) It still wasn't the end.

So as fate/traffic would have it...Mazda Man catches us and decides to cut into my lane without any warning. (I had a feeling it would happen though so I slowed down once I saw him approaching in the side mirror. The gestures continue and it was then that Goosefraba went out the window. (As opposed to the coins that my sister wanted to throw out the window in effort to scare the man away. I haven't tried this but two sources swear it is a great way to to a make someone pay for their road rage.) My own road rage (that I truthfully never knew that I had) surfaced and it was on. Steve and I were in the front seat, swearing up a storm. Even thought I am old grown up now...I would ordinarily be embarrassed to swear like that in front my mom but I think that the circumstances excused my colorful language. So Steve and I were swearing and flipping the Mazda Man off as my sister is in the back seat threatening to use her coins and explaining the situation to her boyfriend on her cell phone. (Note that her boyfriend is source 1 regarding the throwing of coins.) All the while...Mazda Man is continuing to break check me and display his collection of vulgar hand gestures at the same time. I have to give him credit for his creativity and his driving skills.

Once again I manage to get away from him and the exchange of gestures ceases for the moment until he caught us as we were on the bridge. We go through one more round of hand gestures and cell phone waving. (I think he was trying to say that he was going to call the cops but the truth is I almost hoped for it because I knew that I was not a skilled enough driver to get away from him in that heavy of traffic and there are approximately 35,000 people in King County with licensed hand guns and with my luck Mazda Man was one of them.) Leave it to Mom (who used to be quite the trouble maker in her days but I suppose has calmed down with age) to resolve the issue. As we attempt to leave him again, Mom waved at him and the crazy man waved back! Several miles later...we see him again and he waved again. Not a bad family moment...considering that is the first time we have been together (and gotten along) in years.

Please know that I don't actually believe that saying Goosefraba really does anything. It only calms me down because I think of Derek Jeter telling it to the Rocket in Anger Management. I don't believe that it should be relied on to solve any real conflict. I also do not condone coin throwing on the freeway. I learned comforting to have a coin tray in your car just in case.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Top 5 Songs

So today I got one of those email polls where I was asked to name the top 5 greatest songs ever. I am not sure how RK (the blast from the past who sent it to me) classifies great so I picked five songs that are great in their own right for different reasons. Now to most people the Millie opinion doesn't count for much (of course if you feel this way, what are you doing reading my blog in the first place?) but it is my blog so here it is and why.

#5 Only in America by Brooks and Dunn. The reason is because it is the best snap shot of being an American. Obviously I love America and love being an American, and this song is sings the reasons why. These days there is more focus on the negative side of the home of the free but there are a lot of great reasons to proudly fly Old Glory. On those Whiskey Tango Foxtrot days in FOT, all I have to is blast this song and I am instantly back on track. This song answers the question...what is so great about America?..."We all get a chance...everybody gets to dance." Damn straight Only in America!

#4 Sleepwalk by Santo and Johnny. This is a hauntly beautiful song that for a long time I referred to as the Ritchie Valens song, since I first heard in the movie La Bamba. (Still one of my favorite movies BTW.) It is sexy and sad at the same time, yet strong enough not to need to words to convey its emotion. I still think of Ritchie when I hear this song...but only at first. This song makes me dream of that perfect slow dance with that mysterious soulmate that only seems to exist in mind-wandering sequences such as this.

#3 The Honey and the Moon by Joseph Arthur. Unlike the song before it, this song has lyrics and great lyrics they are. The first line of the song captured me so that it didn't really matter what lines followed. (Single guys...steal this line! Well look it up and then steal it.) Luckily the rest of lyrics are pretty good too. It is a hot song. .

#2 Don't Stop Believin' by Journey. It is hard to put this song second, especially since it is the most played song on my iPod. It has it has hope, it has love, it has powerful lyrics. Odds are that you know all or most of the words and therefore you don't have to be drunk to sing it (it might help though). If you are smart ass like can quote it to your troubled friends in times of woe. It might not give any answers but if the right line is quoted at the right time you are bound to get a laugh. (Just ask Dino.) Seriously, what's not love?

#1 Livin' on a Prayer by Bon Jovi. (No surprise here.) There is no better song in my mind. It is the ultimate ballad of hope. More than is incredibly sexy. I doubt I would care who the man was if he said to me "Take my hand and we'll make it I swear" I would be hard pressed not to take the leap of faith. As hot as the song is, there is another more significant reason that I LOVE this song. Livin' on a Prayer offered me the line that I try to remember on those rough days. "You live for the fight when it's all that you've got." Some days, the fight is all you have. This song reminds us to fight like hell.

And so that is Millie's five cents for the day. RK...I dare you to come up with a better list.

Promicin...Would You Take It?

Yes...I would.

I know, I know...there is no such thing as Promicin. It is a made up drug from a television show but it is quite thought provoking. After all, who wouldn't want to be extraordinary? Who wouldn't want to develop an ablility that could change or at least improve the world?

I'll tell you who...just about everyone that I asked at work. Even though it isn't real it prompted quite a few passionate answers. Almost everyone said that it wasn't worth the risk. Most were shocked that I would take that risk.

Why is it bad thing to want to be better? Why shouldn't we strive to be stronger or smarter? Even worse...why is taboo to believe that you can be the best? To even express that you believe that you can be better is viewed as arrogant. How did Americans allow themselves to degress to this? Aren't we a country that was built on dreams of a better future? Isn't history littered with feats of greatness achieved by someone who believed that they would succeed?

If there was a shot in circulation that could possibly give me the chance to improve the world, I would take it. I've said before and I will say again...I understand Anakin's turn to the dark side. I understand the desire be more than average. Call me crazy, call me arrogant, call me a geek...but there is still a part of me that longs to embark on that quest for greatness. For now I will continue to focus of my quest for Yeoman First Class. Damn E-PME test.
SP and MTFBWY for a great week!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Seeing Stars...

There was no contest today as Millie the Coastie prevailed over Millie the Geek. There was no doubt in my mind that the Coast Guard was the only place for me. These days are less frequent than they were a year ago...and prehaps that is why they are so bittersweet.

Today was quite the day at the Pier. Most days I am indifferent to all of the brass walking the base, (probably a result of the EPOY stuff I have gone to over the past year), yet today was different. I felt that strange feeling of awe, usually saved for greats like Derek Jeter, Bon Jovi, Gary Sinise, or even finding the blog of very intriguing WSOPC champ Victor Lee. But today is not about my vice...(pop culture and all things pertaining to...) Today it was the awe of seeing Coast Guard greats like Admiral H, Captain B, and MCPO CJ. (I heard that the COMDT was on base but the closest thing that I saw to him was his flag soaring over the base.)

I will start by confirming what anyone who has ever heard or seen the COMDT speak has already said, and that is that the Coast Guard could not be in better hands. I read his notes and emails, I hear his speeches and I am filled with a sense of pride for serving in CG. Yet, the devotion to duty is renewed and reinforced by the presence of MCPO CJ. Her leadership is one of the strongest motivations that I have to stay on the right side. I could go on and on and never capture the enigma that is MCPO CJ. If you have met her, you know what I am referring to. Those who haven't...I would compare it to Luke being in the presence of Master Yoda. Yoda never needed to boast, rarely showed off...yet you knew he was a badass Jedi. MCPO CJ is the Yoda of the CG.

I will close by saying that the Coast Guard is losing one great leader. I am sure that he will support his shipmates as passionately in retirement as he did on AD but there is a sadness from knowing that his charisma is no longer going to be a daily feature in the pacific northwest. He never made me or any other enlisted shipmate feel like a low petty officer, and that is just one legacy that he will leave behind. Fair Winds and Following Seas to one heck of 2 Star.

Semper Paratus!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

First Blog - Millie the Geek

I figure that if everyone else can have a blog, so can I.

Today...a good friend told me that me for the zillionth time that I am in fact a pop culture geek. He softened the blow by saying that at least I was a cute geek. This tells me my alter ego, Millie the Geek is coming out more and more in my daily life...

Maybe it is the fact that I worn the same uniform and had to act like a respectable grown up for five years that is causing me to slip up more often. Maybe it is the fact that the whole military bearing thing is still a stretch for me most days. I long for the days of late night karaoke and 80s movie marathons.