The Bow Ramp

Friday, July 22, 2005

Amphibian Bites Goat (Details at 11:00)

Happy Birthday Cdr. Salamander, one year old today. However, instead of receiving presents, he decided to give me one instead. The dreaded Meme strikes again! Here's what this one is all about:

List 3-5 things that you would put in a "Back to the Future" type letter from you now, to your younger self you, say 20-21 year old you about to graduate college or any other similar pursuit. There are only two caveats here: 1) you cannot direct your younger self to do anything or violate the principle of free will in decision making and 2) you should not try to reveal specific events in the future since, in theory, if any of your advice is accepted it will already screw up the time line and the events won't happen at all. This should, however to allow you to give your younger self some advice, and in the process force some introspection into your own existence. It can be as shallow or as revealing as you like, and feel comfortable with.

So without further ado, here is the letter to myself on my 22nd. Birthday.

Happy Birthday me,
Isn't this a kick-ass party you're throwing? Rooftop of the President Hotel in beautiful downtown Saigon. The whole Starboard watch section (or is it the Port section? Damn, I'm getting old!) is there. Food, booze, girls, and what a view. Check out those illumination rounds over by "The Cemetery."
Yep, this is yourself from the future sending you a little Birthday Present. Please keep the following in mind:

Start saving -- if you don't do anything I wouldn't do (as if you could,) you'll live through your tour in country. Might as well start thinking about your future.

Your youthful idealism is about to take a few hits. Don't worry about what others do. Keep focused on your duty--you will come through ok.

You know it in your heart already, but I'll confirm. You WILL be blessed with a wonderful love. Don't push it--it will come at the most unexpected time. You'll know it when it happens.

Start saving every conceivable bit of memorabilia. Collect it in boxes and ship it home to the folks. You have no idea how precious all that crap will be to you/me in the future.

Now go have a '33' beer on me and enjoy yourself shipmate!

p.s. Don't worry about that rocket that hits the hotel tonight. Nobody gets hurt and you'll have a great Sea Story to add to your collection. "Charlie" is a lousy shot.