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So I was sitting in traffic on the 405 yesterday during Rush Hour (I know, big mistake), when I recieved a call from one of my guys who'd joined the navy out of my office a few months back. He shipped to Boot Camp back in February, and had just gotten to Charleston about a week ago to start the lovely mental marathon known as Naval Nuclear Power School. 

Before he shipped to Great Lakes, I'd told him to call me when he arrived in Charleston, and I'd give him the low-down on all the best places to hang out (after all, he's going to be there for the next 2 years- might as well enjoy the time spent there, right?). As I started listing off the various bars, clubs, dives, restaurants, and other hangouts, it brought back a flood of memories from those days, well over 6 years ago now. (Wow, we're getting old, aren't we, Mandy?) After I hung up the phone, I started remembering incidents, encounters, and drama that I'd long forgotten about- and was reminded of what a profound effect those 20 months had on me in the following years. I learned a lot in that time, and I'm not just talking about electron interactions and neutron absorption ratios. 

When I initially joined the navy and left home for the first time, I was a bright- eyed, wet- behind- the- ears idealist who viewed the world through rose- colored glasses. I was incredibly naive in the ways of the world, and hadn't the foggiest idea about much of anything. 

Contrary to what I believed, of course.

With that in mind, I've decided that I want to rewind the clock to my early, formative days back in Charleston- circa 2000- 2001. Mostly focusing on the crazy, drama- filled year that was 2001- my first apartment, my first roommate, my first 'real' birthday party, and my serious heartbreak. It was a long, interesting journey, and I'm glad we all made it out without getting arrested, kicked out, or worse. Anyway, I'll start with those soon.

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Tiger In A Cage

March 2016

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