C'est La Vie
What a beautiful piece of heartache this has all turned out to be. Lord knows we've learned the hard way all about healthy apathy. And I use these words pretty loosely. There's so much more to life than words..
Things I love
Monday, July 13, 2009
That album is being released in just over a month, a good bit earlier than I think he was initially seeing as likely. The progress he's outlined on his blog sounds fantastic, and I'm very much looking forward to hearing it! Eric has some of the songs that have, in the best possible way, gotten stuck in my head as I pondered the lyrics or as they've served as a soundtrack to certain moments of life. I've related, learned, cried, laughed, and been blown away time and again listening to his music and seeing his shows.
It's been years, of course, since I've seen anyone's shows.... but the music went right over to Bahrain with me and traveled well.
Please, seriously, please go to http://www.ericpeters.net/2009/07/11/chrome-release-day-pre-orders/ and pre-order a copy or two. Discounts with multiples.
Also, if you're in any position to do so, it would be great to fill one of the "Patron Saints" slots that remains and help fund the album process a little further. It's a great deal in what this offers (materially --- two albums, two concert tickets, etc --- plus you can have the albums personalized for gifts!), and also a fantastic way to get involved in a process when your part is usually so after-the-fact.
He's got a kids book out and for sale, too (and just as personalizable).
Hope you take the time to check this out and place an order. You'll be glad you did!
Friday, July 03, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
My internet has been acting funny today (as is usually the case here) and I just lost the post i typed up because i forgot to copy it beforehand and forgot about blogger's autosave feature before ruining it with this fake update.
well, i don't have it in me to start over. Much of it was rambling anyway .... which is probably what you've come to expect from me, but i'm trying to get better about that.
I need to get off this computer now and do something productive with my day. I will have to come back sometime later on, hopefully when my internet is being a little better behaved. If that ever happens before I get back to the States.
So.... more, later. Can't say soon, because it's been forever since my last post and I didn't mean for that to happen. I've also not been catching up on other blogs as much lately. I'm just so darn sick of computers by the time I get home from work and my attention span is also shrinking after getting so drained every day... but hopefully soon.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I have been sponsoring a child in Uganda through Compassion for several years now. The chance to watch her grow up from 8 years old to 16 has been incredible, and it's so wonderful each time I get a letter (and I get a few each year!) to hear about how her family is doing and how well she's doing in school.
Compasion has put together Global Food Crisis day to help focus everyone on the Global Food Crisis so that those of us with a bit of excess can give to an organization that will directly help those with not enough.
Please consider making a donation to Compassion's GFC fund today and spreading the word to those you know. We can bring nourishment and hope to those who are struggling. Thank you!
Sunday, March 01, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
There was a tour group going around seeing the larger animals kept in more secure fences, and everyone was snapping photos, pointing, and talking a little bit as we went around to most of the animal habitats. When we got to the giraffes, though, most people gasped or got silent for a moment, and then there was a flurry of very excited chatter. Perhaps it was the sunset taking place right behind their majestic heads, or the fact some were eating in such a cute way, like this one:
Another animal that, if not getting a reverential type of attention such as the Giraffes got, at least was common within the grounds, was the ostrich. They had at least two and maybe three varieties (plus emu), and one was actually pretty cute. You don't get to see him yet. Instead, here is the really gross looking one. Aptly named, and with what "Redneck" means to Americans, I thought it just that much more funny.
After getting rid of all the pictures that were just trash, I was still left with 500 from this day, about four-hundred of which were just ok. Another fifteen or so are just good for their textures, but then the rest are actually pretty decent photos. Of course, I've gotta go through and correct some of the just-ok pictures to make them more visible, so perhaps that will promote a few, because all of these pictures I've already posted needed that treatment.. I think I had my camera settings wrong that day (I was using my Nikon) and I really need more practice to not have to color-correct every photo I take!!
Now I'm about to be late for work if I don't leave right now, so ... bye!
Saturday, January 24, 2009
In my (apparently futile) attempt to unwind after long workdays and on what time of weekends I do actually get off, I've ended up getting sucked into a lot more TV viewing than I ever previously have. It's amazing to think that not so long ago I didn't even own TVs, and that since I didn't have cable at my last place and therefore only watched network television, and then only when it wasn't too fuzzy, I still wasn't much of a TV watcher even when I did have all necessary equipment. I still remember when I was hosting a sleepover for the jr. high girls I used to work with, and one of them brought her father's portable TV/VCR combo so that we could all watch a movie that evening. All memories aside, I've been watching a lot of TV since arriving here a year and a half ago, and it surely hasn't improved my life but I do think it's helped me feel more at home.
Since they don't have a TV guide book and since the programming can change frequently, part of watching more TV means regularly browsing the websites for the various stations to see what they're showing. I have mentioned here in the past how one of them has some pretty humorous attempts at describing their shows. One current example is the plotline for American Idol: "New Season Of Uncovering Vocal Gems" (Next week they'll show the Jacksonville auditions) ... Even better, though, is the summary for Alias:
Operating Cindy Bristow (Sydney Bristow) Kamjendeh Organization SA. De -6, where you think in the beginning that the organization is working with the government owned, before they discovered anti-government after the death of her fiancé by agents working for the organization.
What was that?
They do, on all the various cable channels here, show quite the mix of movies I wouldn't expect to be shown here (such as Syriana, The Kingdom, and others that take place in this region... though I must say that The Kingdom does show an accurate understanding for the mentalities and the thoughts that have led to some of the attacks on the western world, and I really recommend that everyone watch this movie) and movies that I can't help but wish were never made (perhaps more accurate than I'd care to admit, but certainly uncomfortable for me to even see the previews for)...
All of this to say that I've certainly not been torn away from many of the comforts of home, right down to nearly-recent seasons of favorite shows (and not-so-favorite) ... only the commercials are entirely different, and of course having more than the Spanish bumblebee as foreign-language entertainment when I flip through the channels.
Well, I've been rambling about stuff that surely isn't very important or exciting back home, and yet it's so much a part of my life here and something very important in a way, in the connection it brings me.
On to things that might be a little more interesting:
Actually, mostly, those will be saved for future posts. How future, yet, I don't know, but I'm tired of saying I'll post soon and then not doing it.
But as a little preview, here is one picture from my recent adventures. I recolored the sky to increase the contrast and more accurately reflect the sunset taking place when I actually snapped this photo, and I was pretty pleased with the overall result.
For now, though, I'm off to bed. Goodnight!!
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
So, hopefully it comes back up and I can post some of the photos I wanted to soon....
Until then: I hope your New Year is going great already!!
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I don't actually have enough room on my hard drive yet to do much with pictures, so the photo updates will have to wait further into this new year.... soon, I hope.
I have just gotten in from the New Year's celebration I went to. It's not the New Year yet for my hometown and anywhere else I've ever lived, but it's getting closer. By the time I wake up today/tomorrow it won't even be the New Year in California for my father unless I sleep through my alarm. I might very well just not set my alarm. At any rate, it is still nice to think about the time differences on a night like this.
Last year I was with mostly Americans, most of whom I'd known for the several months I'd been here at that point, and it was a large party, but not a wild one (just a few particularly memorable moments) with lots of food, playing cards, watching movies and tv, etc....
This year, I have just returned from a very international party, with folks from all throughout the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and North America, and one African. I wasn't aware of anyone there from South America or Australia, but perhaps there was one or two and I just didn't bump into them. It was not a large party, just a small representation from each country, but it was nice hearing such a mix of accents (English, of course, was still the language of the evening and only a few people not from the same country spoke the same languages --- such as the Canadian speaking French, whereas the Germans and Spaniards and Arabs didn't speak French...and I only spoke a few words) and about so many different New Year's customs all around the world. The food, most of it ethnic holiday favorites from the countries of the attendees, was all delicious, the company was all friendly, and the actual moment of New Year's found everyone counting down in English from ten to one and then six of the French popped out the corks on their champagne bottles and everyone cheered. It was different from a typical American party, but in a cozy and comforting way... a beautiful night of people from all over the world coming together and compromising on their own customs and traditions to have one unified celebration. Not that there wsa any particular *effort* put into this, mind you --- there were no dialogues or treaties beforehand, there were just a couple of moments of saying "oh, don't wish me Happy New Year before midnight, because that's bad luck" or similar cultural explanations that helped make it a nice party for everyone, without stepping on anyone's toes.
It was a great evening. And now I'm so tired my eyes are tearing up, so I'm off to bed.
Happy New Year, boys and girls! May the good Lord pour out His wise blessings upon us all, and grant us the great blessing of insight when He does.
Monday, December 29, 2008
My wanderlust is getting oh-so-much-stronger, which is saying a lot since I'm always up for travel... I still hope to go visit the Ozzies if possible, or at least go somewhere nearby since I probably won't be living in this part of the world again.. who knows, though, what the future will bring.
With that, I'm off to work. But a real update should follow in short order.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
After several weeks of REALLY long work-days (mostly ten or more hours) and working on many weekends, and this week in particular we had four days (since our Monday is on Sunday, so we only have tomorrow off and Friday is our normal weekend) and all of them were 11 to 14 hours at work... and we just have the three day weekend because we'll be working again on Sunday and I need to put in probably ten hours on Saturday as well and maybe I'll go in tomorrow after our little department Thanksgiving meal... so my point is that it's been a rediculously long week following a rediculously long month, and it seems it won't let up as we had hoped it would next week, but instead might go well into December...
So anyway, tonight when we were supposed to be getting off early as people often do the day before Thanksgiving, and we were cut loose by our boss at about 3:30pm (ok, an hour and a half instead of the half-day most people get, but it's something), but that's when the REAL work started. So by 6:30pm when I was finally so ready to fall over that I sent a few "I'm not ignoring your pay issue, I just wouldn't fix it correctly if I tried to do so right now" e-mails and then left for the evening.... I went and grabbed my friend Jen who was also still in her office for who-knows-what reason, and kidnapped her back here so that we could try to relax for one evening and recover from a crazy week.
(She, like myself, has also had some crazy stuff going on in her personal life that makes the out of work time that much less relaxing as well...)
It's Thanksgiving Eve, and we know all the rules about not starting with Christmas music, decorations, or anything else until after Thanksgiving... but we bucked the system and had an evening of eggnog and chatter, and then I popped in Andrew Peterson's Behold the Lamb of God DVD, and as she cried at some of the songs and I reminisced inside my head about the old days before I joined when I used to actually see this concert live and even went to Nashville to be with the community I used to be a part of (and miss terribly) and see the musicians I used to see in concert, this beautiful music kept weaving through the story behind the coming of Christ.
If you don't have this DVD or at least the CD already, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Seriously, let me know, and I will buy you one. Seriously. (It's a tax refund. Your taxes pay me, of course.) Just give me your address and I will get it ordered and mailed off to you right away.
This was the most perfect way to kick off the Christmas season that I could have found while here, and I am really Thankful for Jen, eggnog, and the BtLoG DVD.
I am Thankful for so much this year, and I am so much looking forward to where next year will find me. Perhaps in Nashville again whenever they do the BtLoG concert there, and perhaps with many new and wonderful things to be thankful for, as well as the return of some familiar old faces and hobbies/activities.
Four and a half years in, 16 months here so far. It's been a Long, Long journey. The next eight months are going to fly right by!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Shelley is still keeping me company here, of course. And I think that other than the soil that got everywhere from MB diggin through my plants, and the soil bag that no longer has one of its major edges or the cardboard box that can't really stand on its own too well anymore now that the corner seams have been chewed all to bits, it seems the only other real damage were the little presents she left for me... all in all, so far it seems she didn't do toooo terribly much damage while in residence.
And now that I've done nothing I needed to do this evening (and I mean really needed to do), I'm off to stay up late sewing and ironing and such... goodnight.
Friday, November 21, 2008
I do have two new girl friends with whom I spent the evening last night, which was, to make an understatement, a much better way to spend the evening than working as I thought I would be until 11pm. Fortunately, we were able to leave instead and I ended up not going in today either as I was originally going to, because I was sick again, but I actually would have rather been at work today than here being sick. I have lost all the weight I gained back and then some, I think, and the jeans that fit me so perfectly and comfortably when I came here now fall down several inches if I don't wear a belt, and I've had to add extra safety pins around the waistline of all my skirts. Anyway, tomorrow should be a nice day if I keep getting better as I have been throughout this evening, and maybe I'll get to go try out the new camera equipment I just got in (I bought the lenses and some other accessories from my wish-list tracker to go with my D80). THAT is something to look forward to!
Mousey Brown has evaded every attempt I've made to trap her without injury and take her outside, and she has also apparently tried to dig her way to China through my potted plants. So that was pretty upsetting to me, to see my aloe and my wildflower sprouts all disheveled (or is that de-shoveled?) and injured, with soil all over the floor and the back of one couch. The good news is that I think I know where she hides when I'm around, and it just so happens to be in the box in which I am storing my extra soil, seeds, etc, so I should be able to just put a big plastic bag around the whole thing and take it outside to release her far away from buildings, where she can fight it out with the rather large local stray cat population.
Shelley, on the other hand, has become a rather welcome addition to my nightly routine, waiting to hear her starting up her songs, and being able to tell it's still not time to wake yet if she's still singing. (Although the sun rises here very, very early, I keep the thick curtains in my room shut and the neon from the nearby buildings still leaks in, so it's not easy to guess the hour without concentrating too much for early morning)... I doubt I will ever catch her for outdoor release, and she seems content enough as far as I can tell, so I just try to somehow get food close enough to where she stays that maybe she will get over her fear of me enough to reach it. I still have the large paper cup stuffed with some of my old spinach stalks and paper towel pieces sitting there near the fridge, too, so that if she ever does decide she'd like to be released outside as well, I can do so.
That has been my life lately. Oh, and one other thing:
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Finally, some pictures from when I went to see the boat up close:
Hippie: (after hearing Max wants to avoid the draft)You still have options man.
"So how do i do normal
"It's been known for a train to jump its track. It's ok, so you'll know, most times they come back. It's ok to lose your life, when you finally see your birth. It's ok to say, "I love you," and figure sometimes it's gonna hurt.
"As a comedian, you have to start the show strong and you have end the show strong. Those are the two key elements. You can't be like pancakes, all exciting at first, but then by the end you're sick of 'em!"
"Hey, this is weird! I ordered one frozen yogurt and they gave me two. You don't happen to like frozen yogurt, do you?" "I love it!" "You're kidding! What a crazy random happenstance!"
"Only one more trip," said a gallant seaman,
"It was Flannery O'Connor who said that 'grace must wound before it heals.' Her words help me to separate what is most true about life from the things we want to be true. We want life to be painless. True grace is a hard sell because in order for the human heart to understand forgiveness and love, it must first experience darkness and isolation. A life lived under the rule of grace is a life of need which allows us to receive an appreciate the gift of the giver of grace. This is why we will always have the poor with us; this is why God will not allow us to ignore injustice; this is why we are called to a life we cannot handle alone, which can and will break us in the effort to live it -- because grace must wound before it heals."
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
I thought Christmas Day would never come. But it's here at last, so Mom and Dad, the waiting's finally done. And you gotta get up, you gotta get up, you gotta get up, it's Christmas morning.
O little town of Bethlehem,
Walk humbly, son
Strings of lights above the bed
"In a little while I'll feel better
"Please tell me once again that You love me. That You love me. Please tell me once again that I matter to You and You really care. Please tell me once again that You're with me, forever. It's not that I could ever doubt you, I just love the way it sounds. I just love the way it sounds."
"Every once in a while, a bannerzen posts."
"7:30. What kind of people have to be at work at 7:30?"
have you seen my love
Traveling is significant because it takes so much effort. Either you're going to some place you love, or you're leaving some place you love. Usually it's both.
I think I have Bond's ability to get into trouble but not his ability to get out of it. Someday I'll be in some foreign country with 5 thugs with automatic rifles pointed at me, and I'll just.... fart
"You had no alternative .. We must work in the world. The world is thus." --- "No .. Thus have we made the world."
The summer ends and we wonder where we are And there you go, my friends, with your boxes in your car And you both look so young And last night was hard, you said You packed up every room And then you cried and went to bed But today you closed the door and said "We have to get a move on. It's just that time of year when we push ourselves ahead, We push ourselves ahead."
Looking out the bedroom at this snowy TV.. ever since commencement, no one's asking 'bout me. But I bet before the night falls, I could catch the late bus.. take small provisions and this Beethoven bust. I could find work in the outskirts of the city, eat some fish on the way.. befriend an old dog for a roadside pal, find a nice couch to stay -- a pull-out sofa, if you please!"
Ooh! Get me away from here I'm dying
"The trouble with folks like Brownie is they hold their life in like a bakebean fart at a Baptist cookout and only let it slip out sideways a little at a time when they think there's nobody noticing. Now that's the last thing on earth the Almighty intended. He intended all the life a man's got inside him, he should live it out just as free and strong and natural as a bird."
"Life is a phantasmagoria .. It is a pell-mell of confused and tumultuous scenes. We try in vain to find a purpose - to bring an order, a unity to life. I suppose that is the appeal of art. Art is the blending of the real and the unreal, the conquering of nature. It is real enough for it to reflect life, but has the unity that life lacks."
"in time memories fade.
I've always had this feeling about Patty that she's complex and intriguing...I like Patty alot. She's got a good heart and tells terrible squirrel jokes.
"Try to remember that world-weariness isn't necessarily a bad thing. In the book of Mark, I think its Mark, Jesus looks at a blind man and sighs. Jesus sighed before even telling the man he would be healed. He sighed, and I'm not sure that there's a much more human expression of frustration than this. Faced with the horrid picture of a cursed earth and looking into the white eyes of a man blind from the day he was born, He sighed. The Creator of the universe in human form was sad "of the evils of this world," the world He created. Your Creator sighed for you in the same way before He healed you and made you His."
After the last secret's told
After the last bullet tears through flesh and bone
After the last child starves
And the last girl walks the boulevard
After the last year that's just too hard
There is love
-- Andrew Peterson, After the Last Tear Falls
"when you most need people, you don't need perfection - just to know someone gives a damn"
"My brother's always [telling me], 'You should be more mysterious--boys like that.' But I'm not good at that. It would just make me more uncomfortable."
"Loners want to kill you, but not for any particular reason, and they'd probably like you if they weren't being guided by the violent voices in their head."
"No one wants to oil a snake these days!"
Her mom: "We're all safe."
-- Jamie Bevill and her mother during Christmas-Decorating dinner, December 20, 2002
i'd throw out all my shoes
i'd set up cans for friends
to dump their shoes senseless shoes
a pioneer of callouses
lordy-be and bless my soul
i'd be a barefoot spaceman
the first you'd ever know"
"The best way to have God's will for your life is to have no will of your own!"
"Generations circle and each one atones. The sins of the father are seperate from my own. In Pilgrim's Progress, it's forgiveness that makes whole, and as time levels and consoles, I place the daisies in your bowl."
"For a moment he just stared at her. Then, with an urf-urf-urf of laughter, he turned back to the controls."
"It's on the internet.. so, then, it must be true."
"Be at least as interested in what people can become as you are in what they have been."
Blessed be the rock stars!"
Get up for the shower.. wash and scrub and scour every part as if a cleaner man could better bear the shame..
"She was eating gnarly amounts of calcium."
Homeless man to girl trying to give him money: "No, thanks, ma'am. I never work on Sundays."
"Wow! I never thought I'd need a radar-guided spatula!"
"Isn't it great that I articulate? Isn't it grand that you can understand? ... I can talk, I can talk, I can talk!"
I believe that people laugh at coincidence as a way of relegating it to the realm of the absurd and of therefore not having to take seriously the possibility that there is a lot more going on in our lives than we either know or care to know... I suspect that part of it, anyway, is that every once and so often we hear a whisper from the wings that goes something like this: "You've turned up in the right place at the right time. You're doing fine. Don't ever think that you've been forgotten.
When I lay these questions before God I get no answer. But a rather special sort of "No answer." It is not the locked door. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. As though He shook His head not in refusal but waiving the question. Like, "Peace, child; you don't understand."
CCM: You've spoken a lot more about crying than I ever thought you would.
"Youth is not a period of time. It is a state of mind, a result of the will, a quality of the imagination, a victory of courage over timidity, of the taste for adventure over the love of comfort. A man doesn't grow old because he has lived a certain number of years. A man grows old when he deserts his ideal. The years may wrinkle his skin, but deserting his ideal wrinkles his soul. Preoccuptaions, fears, doubts, and despair are the enemies which slowly bow us toward earth and turn us into dust before death. You will remain young as long as you are open to what is beautiful, good, and great; receptive to the messages of other men and women, of nature and of God. If one day you should become bitter, pessimistic, and gnawed by despair, may God have mercy on your old man's soul."
""Don't go matchmaking for me, Ilse," said Emily wit a faint smile... "I feel in my bones that I shall achieve old-maidenhood, which is an entirely different thing from having old-maidenhood thrust upon you."
"I wish Aunt Elizabeth would let me go to Shrewsbury, but I fear she never will. She feels she can't trust me out of her sight because my mother eloped. But she need not be afraid I will ever elope. I have made up my mind that I will never marry. I shall be wedded to my art"
"Tomorrow seems like a long ways away. But it will come, just like any other day... Deep inside, where the wounded creatures hide, I am afraid. Maybe I got lost somewhere along the way somehow. Please rescue me... Yea, though I walk through the valley of the dark shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For you are with me... Though I fear, though I am afraid, You are with me. Though I'm angry, tired, broken down and confused, You are with me. Though I sin like I've never sinned before, lose myself right out an open door, You are with me."
"The invisible people agreed about everything. Indeed most of their remarks were the sort it would not be easy to disagree with: "What I always say is, when a chap's hungry, he likes some victuals," or "Getting dark now; always does at night," or even "Ah, you've come over the water. Powerful wet stuff, ain't it?"" -- C. S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
"When People object... that if Jesus was God as well as Man, then He had an unfair advantage which deprives Him for them of all value, it seems to me as if a man struggling in the water should refuse a rope thrown to him by another who had one foot on the bank, saying, "Oh but you had an unfair advantage." It is because of His advantage that He can help."
"But, you know, as a Christian, one of the big questions you always ask yourself is, "So we believe in Jesus, we believe in the teachings of the church, but what does that look like when it's lived out?" Because surely, one of the things that Jesus said that I think we often overlook is, "The person who hears my words and does them is like the wise man who built his house on the rock." He didn't say "the person who hears my words and thinks about 'em" or "whoever hears my words and agrees with it." But he said, "Whoever hears it and does it."
"find that which gives you breath and grants you more to give
"I have packed all my belongings. I don't belong here anymore. This pair of sandles, one pack to carry, this old guitar and this tattered old Bible. And I know I won't be afraid. 'cause I know, I know Home is where You are."
"Open up your weepy eyes, everyone is dancing. Angels peer through sweet disguise, through a fire of cleansing.
"You may be bruised and torn and broken, but
"I don't deserve to speak, and they don't deserve
to hear it. It's makin' me believe that it's not
"Kickin' against these goads sure did cut up my
feet. Didn't your hands get bloody as you washed
"They say God blessed us with plenty. I say
you?re blessed with poverty. ?Cause you never
stop to wonder whether earth is just a little
better than the Land of the Free"
"Computers will know everything in the 21st
century. They'll be like me in the 20th