Saturday, June 10, 2006


Dear Friends, throughout the day I had been musing about what I might post. Should I write about the nifty sushi bar I had recently discovered? Perhaps some reflections on having reached the first anniversary of my move to Vancouver? How about The Jam's Sound Affects, which I had recently rediscovered and had been on heavy rotation on the car cassette player? Or maybe transsexuals? I decided to see how the day progessed and what would move me to write.

Well, something eventually did.

This evening, as I was getting ready to read to Darling Daughter, my father-in-law rang to say he had heard news of his nephew, Robby, who is a US Army combat scout Humvee gunner in Iraq. A couple of days ago, while on a mission, their convoy was hit by a roadside bomb. The good news was that Robby was uninjured. The bad news was that one of his buddies, nicknamed Toast, had been killed. He was also a gunner.

I despise the war in Iraq. But I am concerned about Robby and have kept in touch with him. He is doing what he feels he must, and is doing so with good humour and honour. He recently turned twenty-one, but I get the sense that he has aged far more than that over the past six months since his deployment.

I never met Toast. I had only heard him mentioned in passing by Robby's father. But this evening I visited his Myspace page.

Toast was twenty years old. He was engaged. His fiancee is eighteen.

He was proud to be serving with his buddies in Iraq, but was equally "interested in completing my job so I can go home."

He liked Interpol, The Faint, Deftones, The Strokes, Bloc Party, My Chemical Romance, Bjork, Donnie Darko, Clockwork Orange, Leon, "and other good stuff".

His penultimate blog post on Myspace, dated 28 May, reads: "In june i will be home again,i am excited to be seeing my friends and family again.I am also excited to be spending the money ive earned so far.Its gonna be a long trip home but it will defanitly be worth it.Cant wait,im so hyped up, just got to stay alive till next month."

Twenty years old.


Excited to be seeing friends and family.

I never met Toast. But I feel so achingly sad.

And I know what I have to post tonight.

Interpol - A Time To Be So Small (buy here)
The Faint - Glass Danse (buy here)
Bjork - Army of Me (buy here)
The Strokes - Vision of Division (buy here)