A deadline is negative inspiration. Still, it's better than no inspiration at all.

~Rita Mae Brown
Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.

~Alfred Adler


On The Bedside Table
  • NOS4A2
    by Joe Hill
My Now
Old Writey Bits
My Thanks
Matt Fitzhardinge - Alaskan dogsledding header picture

An Appeal Written During Basic Training 2006

Okay, so you'd like to send me something to make my day a little better, my life a little happier, the current 10 minutes of my life a little easier to get through, but you've no idea what?

(If you don't already have my address, please email me at my.own.boat(@)gmail.com and I'd be happy to send it along.)

First, some guidelines - FOOD - if I can't eat it, drink it, hide it or give it away before lights out at 11 pm, it's of absolutely no use to me. The guy who's mom must have thought we lived in a college dorm with a kitchen, microwave and cupboards and sent noodles, bags of cookies, brownies, tea and every other foodstuff a college kid would want.... 90% of it went in the garbage.

STUFF - if you think any of it has the slightest chance of embarrassing me or getting me in trouble? It will. Any and all packages (even cards and letters) are opened in front of the staff and the rest of the platoon. However funny it may be, or however much amusement I may (very) briefly get out of it - it's not worth the pain you will cause me.

These are people who go through your shopping and pat you down when you return to the barracks.

Some of these things may sound totally fucked up but you also have to remember that all of my stuff has to fit in here.

NO books or reading material. I won't have time to read anything, at least for the first month. I may get through a book or two in the second month but I'll already have them with me.

NO jewellry, wristbands, or adornment of any kind. If it's not issued by the army, it ain't on my body.

Notepaper. I've got some.

NO offensive t-shirts, pj pants or "omygod thisistotallyjen" clothing.

NO gum. We are not allowed to chew gum in uniform. And for two months, I will always be in uniform.

Now, with the army having taken all the fun out of care packages, there are still things I can think of that may not sound particularly fun or exciting but, trust me on this, to ME they will be and it's sad only in that you will not be able to witness my ecstatic happy dance (hobble, stumble) of joy.

I should qualify all this by saying that if I say...Snickers.. f'rinstance, don't send me 20 Snickers bars. I can't eat or hide that many. So, yanno, two or three of something is PERFECT.

Chunky KitKat!
Hard candies.
Scotch mints, aniseed balls, Wonka runts/teeny jawbreakers in a box, etc.
Red licorice.

Gatorade or other sports drink (clear ones only. funky colors are BAD - they don't look like water. what I can't guzzle down will go into my canteen)
Ice paks. The kind that you have to pop to make them work, no refrigeration required.
Pain patches. Preferably cold ones. I'm not sure what these would be in countries other than Canada but here's a couple examples.
Blistex, Chapstick...etc. I'm an addict. And it's really hot out. (which may have nothing to do with frequency of use but I like to remind people of).

Camel Lights. Hardpak. The American kind (yes, there is a Canadian version. They suck). Considering they are $10.47 and I took a carton with me ($100), then I think if any of you are Americans... send me these, cause they be WAY cheaper for you.