Flat rate. Saturday, April 11, 2009A little bit ago I instituted a new budget, and while I'm valiantly trying to stick to it sometimes is massively hard. I swear, I am a bit shocked at how much money I can easily blow on a Saturday morning just doing the normal weekly shopping.
It does not help that lately I've had one of those runs where all the expensive crap I need all runs out at the same time. In one week I ran out of propane for the grill, olive oil, toilet paper, plus I needed to gas up the car and on and on. So of course that is adding extra to my weekly bills. Another $20-30 depending on the week.
But what really put me under was shopping for my brother. Little bro is in Afghanistan and stationed on a super remote mountain top without out some of the most basic neccessities. Like a shower, depending on the week he may or may not get a shower. Ok, so a bunch of people shoot at you daily is definitely higher on the list of shitty things about where he is. There is absolutely no way in hell I could do his job.
Mail can be sketchy, and take weeks upon weeks so shelf stable food that can hold up to be dropped from a helicopter and various other rough delivery treatment is a must. When he was home in February he was so damn skinny, probably the thinnest I've ever seen him in a long time. He is having trouble getting enough protein in order to keep on muscle so he specifically asked for high protein items.
The packages were loaded up with beans, beans, tuna, laughing cow cheese (did you know this stuff is shelf stable? Isn't that awesome?!), rice, coconut milk, 6 boxes of triscuits (his favorite) and various other canned food stuff. The thing that blew my mind, besides the Laughing Cow cheese, is that those things are so freaking expensive. I rarely, if ever, buy those things (except the beans and laughing cow) that I spent more on his groceries that I do on myself in two weeks.
Luckily the post office has flat rate shipping boxes to APO addresses. I just hope he gets it all, sometimes things get lost or damaged and like I said- stuff happens and mail delivery can be postponed for months.
Dan Rather recently did a show about where my brother is stationed, it's entirely too surreal to hear Dan Rather say my last name over and over again. My brother sounds so smart and diplomatic, the camera really loves him too. It was more than a bit hard to see how he is living (shanty-like bunkers) and the sort of thing he deals with on a daily basis but important none the less. The show is called A Border Runs Through It (available on iTunes) and if you'd liked to know which one is my brother email me (address at the top right column of this page) and I'll tell you my last name so you'll know which guy he is.