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    Monday, July 10, 2006

    Forza Italia!!!

    How about those Italians in the World Cup today? Did anybody catch the game? I have a special place in my heart for Italy. I spent two and a half years of my life there, and witnessed the 2002 World Cup dreams come to a bitter and disappointing end for my new friends. It was my second introduction to soccer, but my first experience really. I had played when I was young, but eventually quit in order to pursue basketball and baseball. No one liked soccer at the time, and my parents had to drive me three hours away to play as our town didn't have enough people to form a team much less a league. So my love for soccer would be birthed twenty years later in a town called Pisa where I honed my own skills amongst the locals, and acquired a taste for this foreign obsession. I knew Italians took their Calcio serious when during one of the games, my neighbors at the time, Francesco and Giada, took their TV and threw it out of the window into the Piazza from three stories up when they lost. I had never witnessed fans like this before. The whole city was closed, hell, the whole country, when Italy had a match. I have been a soccer fan ever since. Today was a highly emotional match, I found myself running around my friend's house like an "escaped mental patient" rambling and cursing in Italiano while my friends looked on in bewilderment. When the Azzurri pulled it off, I felt the joy of the Italian people from across the Atlantic. I wondered what Franc and Giada did this time around, or what my local butcher would be roasting in celebration in the Piazza, or what I would have done had I been there. I speculate I would have probably been so overcome with emotion that I would have planted a juicy kiss on one of those beautiful Ragazze and eloped to Capri. Yeah, that's what I would have done. I am sure the Italians will be celebrating for the entire upcoming week at the least. So this shoutout goes out to the Azzurri, any Italians reading this post... and of course Mother Mary.

    I'll be headed into the woods for a few weeks for some survival training until the 30th-ish. Pray for big earthworms.

    Shamrock is coming with me, and after his last rant where he sums our Arabic experience thus far, and calls the North Korean dictator a "portly lil spring roll" I think he could use some time away in the woods. Shamrock certainly has a special sense of humor.

    A presto!

    Saturday, July 08, 2006

    Thanks Robin!

    So, guess which blogger received a "shoutout" from CNN's brightest, most beautiful, and most beloved anchor?... Michelle Malkin? Nope. The Daily Kos? Nope. Blackfive? Nadda. It was none other than... *clears throat* yours truly, Jake. No, I am not bragging... I am gloating in the oh-so-honorable mention. Speaking of mentioning- did I mention I received an email from the ever so gracious Robin as well? Yes I did, and let me tell ya, I about pissed my pants. Alright, I better shut up lest I sound like a certain word over at Doug's the other day.

    The quick shoutout was the talk of the schoolhouse, and I was the recipient of many a high-fives throughout the day. Robin Meade sai hello, specifically, to my buddies and I at the Special Warfare Medical Group at 0806 EST Friday July 7th, 2006 on her show, Robin and Company.

    Guess what else? You're not going to believe this, but I actually missed it. I know, I know. The one day I decide to skip my daily routine of eating breakfast at the chow hall, and enjoying Robin and Company is the one day my favorite anchor says hello to me and my friends. What is the deal with that luck? I've been loooking for a podcast or a transcript, but have had no luck on the CNN site.

    So, a special thanks to the charming Robin Meade for a small, thoughtful gesture that made quite the big splash. Muchas Gracias! Neva- I am forever grateful.

    Friday, July 07, 2006

    Teddy Roosevelt Once Said...

    "Americanism means the virtues of courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity, and hardihood- the things that made America. The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living, and the get-rich-quick theory of life."

    -Theodore Roosevelt

    I know this isn't much, but bear with me until later today/this evening. I'll have something decent up by tonight, and I'll be saying goodbye for the rest of July on Sunday.