Archives – September, 2007

Packing Time – 28 Days Out!

At 30 days out from a Jamaica trip I usually begin to stress about packing, rounding up all the supplies, and trying to remember all the things I forgot last time. 

Well, this time I’m not stressed at all. Here is it 28 days, 14 hours and 45 minutes from wheels up and I’m completly confident in my packing and organization. I’d like to think I’m maturing, or that I’m learning from my past. But no, I just never unpacked from my last trip!

Don’t get me wrong, I unloaded the stinky clothes, and aired out my big rolling duffel bag, but afterwards I just dumped most of the stuff back in. Then when I moved to Brooklyn I threw more crap in it, and rolled it away in a rented storage space several blocks away. I’ll go get it this weekend and double check it against my list.

Yes! The List! I know how you all look forward to my Packing List, so without further ado: Here it is!

The Packing List – October 2007 Trip with Dad 

Clothes (This is a two week trip, but I’m planning to get some wash done)

  • 2 pairs – Swim Trunks (I plan to do more swimming this trip)  
  • 3 pairs ea Cargo Shorts (Somehow all my shorts have leg pockets these days)
  • 3 pairs ea Gym Shorts
  • 12 Assorted T-Shirts (I just blow through shirts and I usually bring a few silly ones like my Spongebob shirt that seem cool when I’m packing, but would make me look like a moron if I actually wore them in public)
  • 6 Hawaiian Shirts (I deleted the golf shirts this trip, I think I look cool in Hawaiian Casual) 
  • 1 pair ea Jeans
  • 1 pair ea Socks (This was 5 last time, what was I thinking?)
  • 12 pairs ea Underwear
  • 1 pair – Silk Boxers (Just in case)
  • Sandals
  • Flip Flops
  • Running Shoes (As if?)
  • Fleece Jacket (For to and from)
  • 2 Ball Caps (Eagles and Phillies, though with the way the Birds are playing I may opt for an “I <3 NY” hat instead!)
  • A Collapsible Duffel Bag (The last few trips I used this for dirty clothes and stuffed my suitcase with souvenirs)

Health & First-Aid

  • First-Aid Kit (Simple, Band Aids, alcohol wipes, tweezers)
  • Benadryl Itch Stick (For creepy crawly bites – I recommend it highly)
  • Aloe Vera Lotion (Gringo burns)
  • Sun Block 30SPF Spray-On (Spray-On RULES!! Worth the extra $)
  • Sun Block Stick 30SPF (For my nose)
  • Sun Block for Sensitive Skin 45 SPF (For my face, no comments please)
  • Chapstick w/ UV protection
  • Bug Repellant w/ at least 30% Deet (Can’t use wimpy stuff in Jamaica)
  • Pepto Bismol Individual Packs of Caplets (Just in case of Bustamante’s Revenge)
  • Excedrin Extra Strength Individual packets also (Nothing better for a Negril hangover)
  • Vitamins
  • Hand Sanitizer (Sounds a little prissy, huh)
  • Wet-Ones (Put them in the freezer and use them to wipe your face. Woo Hoo! An old restaurant manager’s trick)
  • Condoms (I usually think up a funny comment here, maybe that was a jinx…)


  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Mouth Wash (I usually list floss, but I’m not living that lie anymore! Who flosses on vacation?)
  • Shampoo
  • Gel
  • Disposable Razors (I always bring 4, I know not why)
  • Shaving Cream
  • Moisturizer (Yeah, moisturizer!)
  • Hair Brush
  • Deodorant
  • Cologne (I’m a Polo man)
  • Towels ea Washcloth

Other Stuff

  • Digital Camera
  • Camcorder
  • AAA Batteries ea Energizer Max – 8 Pack
  • Laptop Computer (The Castle has WIFI)
  • DVD€™s 
  • Disposable Flashlight (Rarely needed, but needed when needed)
  • Disposable Rain Ponchos (I’d delete this line, but I still have the same two ponchos I bought 5 years ago)
  • Disposable Lighters
  • Leatherman
  • Travel Clock
  • Cell Phone
  • Sunglasses
  • Breath Freshening Gum (Jerk Chicken is great, but …)
  • Candy for the Kids ea Non-melting, individually packaged, and yummy! (I usually come home with most of it, but I always bring some)

Mind and Body

  • My Jamaica Journal ea It€™s a leather bound journal Kristine got me a few years ago that I only use in Jamaica.
  • My Non-Jamaica Everyday Journal
  • A Good Journal Writing Pen (High quality, low friction. A Fast Pen)
  • Assorted Incense
  • My Travel Buddha
  • My Portable Sitting Cushion
  • Books:

Gone to New York – Adventures In The City by Ian Frazier 
A Collection of Short Stories about NYC.
I thought it would be fun to read about my new home while in Negril.

The Bourne Supremacy – by Robert Ludlum
Working my way through the series backwards, don’t ask.

Zen Buddhism – Selected Writings of D.T. Suzuki
I like to think big thoughts on vacation.
I’ve been wanting to study more classical Zen writing.

Travel Supplies

  • Passport
  • Money some 20’s, and $100 in singles for tipping
  • ID, ATM Card, Credit Card
  • Travel Wallet
  • Plane Tickets
  • Printed Hotel Reservations
  • Pens (Half a dozen pens for immigration and customs forms on the plane. No one ever has a pen, and I like to be the hero)
  • Lonely Planet Guide to Jamaica ’06 Edition
  • Jamaican Road Map (Don’t ask me why. I’m a map guy!)

That’s it for this trip, as always please feel free to comment.

Peace (~~)


27 Comments September 19, 2007

Nine Eleven ’07

My first 9/11 as a New Yorker was thankfully uneventful, though it seemed to me there was a lot more security around on 9/10. All day people were looking up, and pointing south, “Where were you?” conversations overheard everywhere.

In some ways, it was just another 9/11 which is pretty sad. The news covered the anniversary with little enthusiasm; speeches, reading the names of the victims, politicians making uninspired speeches.

I did have one moment though. Kristine sent me a PowerPoint presentation featuring dramatic photos of the destruction, pain and terror of that day. I was sitting in a little restaurant on Carmine Street in Greenwich Village looking at the presentation, and at that moment the radio was playing My City Of Ruins by Bruce Springsteen. I was moved by the pictures, I was moved by the music, I was moved by the gut wrenching emotion I was experiencing. I’m the guy who says, “People forget what happened on that day…” But I’d forgotten. I remebered the details, the ten thousand worthless facts and figures, but I’d forgotten that feeling, that fear, anger and dread. 

In the evening of September 11, 2007, I had the opportunity to attended a seminar dealing with 9/11 and life in New York City; “Moving Beyond Anger.” First there was a screening of a Bill Moyers documentary from the 90’s called Beyond Hate, followed by a discussion of how anger and hate manifest themselves in our daily lives.

The film was hard to watch. It painted a grim picture of our world from a pre-9/11 context, and things haven’t improved. Our discussion dealt with anger and hate from a Buddhist perspective, and though we never got in to much about 9/11 specifically, it was interesting to discuss current events in the light of a 2500 year old tradition.

Where were you?

Vinny (~~)

1 Comment September 11, 2007

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