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..
I really think I'll be ok. They've taken their toll these latter days.
-- Over the Rhine, Latter Days


2001.04 2001.05 2001.06 2001.07 2001.08 2001.09 2001.10 2001.11 2001.12 2002.01 2002.02 2002.03 2002.04 2002.05 2002.06 2002.07 2002.08 2002.09 2002.10 2002.11 2002.12 2003.01 2003.02 2003.04 2003.05 2003.06 2003.07 2003.08 2003.09 2003.10 2003.11 2003.12 2004.01 2004.02 2004.03 2004.04 2004.05 2004.06 2004.07 2004.08 2004.09 2004.10 2004.11 2004.12 2005.01 2005.02 2005.03 2005.04 2005.05 2005.07 2005.10 2005.11 2006.02 2006.03 2006.04 2006.05 2006.07 2006.08 2006.09 2006.10 2006.11 2006.12 2007.01 2007.02 2007.03 2007.04 2007.05 2007.06 2007.07 2007.08 2007.09 2007.10 2007.11 2007.12 2008.01 2008.02 2008.03 2008.04 2008.05 2008.06 2008.07 2008.08 2008.09 2008.10 2008.11 2008.12 2009.01 2009.02 2009.03 2009.05 2009.07

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Contact Me

by email
change to proper format: pattyt81 at hotmail dot com
(I hate Spam)

By mail
(contact me for my new address)

Other Weblogs I enjoy
(In no particular order)

Katy Raymond


Recommended Readings

A Grief Observed

Wishful Thinking
Frederick Buechner

Divine Conspiracy
Dallas Willard (may never finish)

Rich Mullins: An Arrow Pointing to Heaven
James Bryan Smith

Recommended Listening
(from my collection)

The Hymnal, Arkadelphia
Randall Goodgame

Land of the Living
Eric Peters

Laryngitis, Longing
Katy Bowser

Walk [EP], Carried Along, Clear to Venus, Love and Thunder, and live bootlegs
Andrew Peterson

In the Company of Angels
Caedmon's Call

Delusions of Grandeur
Fleming and John

The entire CD catalog
Eddie From Ohio

Bootlegs including Eddie From Ohio, Rich Mullins, David Wilcox, and Andrew Peterson

Things I love
(AKA: Ways to win my heart)
Music, gift certificates, ice cream, music, chocolate, meatballs, music, books, knowledge, music, good movies, music, animals, art supplies, music, cotton candy, fajitas, music, safety, music....

Things I wish I owned and could listen to or read
found at Relevantmagazine.com,
and at pastemusic.com, too

Friday, July 27, 2001

T minus 4 days and counting.

Tuesday is fast approaching.

I'm making good progress, methinks.

I have a lot of junk, most of which I really ought to get rid of.

When I find a place in which to live next, I will be getting rid of anything that I don't need and am not extremely, extremely attached to, particularly if I can't find a place for it.

Not to mention a lot of clothes. I came up here with one and a half duffel bags total, including winter clothes and lots of other stuff.. now I have more.

Shoes. Shoes are amazing me. I never realized that I had acquired that many shoes (the ones that I don't wear regularly stay in my closet.. I'm getting rid of those now) in the past two years. Having had three roommates and known several other people that wear the same size shoes as I, and that give me their shoes when they don't want them anymore, I've gathered quite a few more pairs than I need.

Ah, well.. any shoe size 9/10 females that shop at Goodwill ought be happy soon.

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He came running out as soon as I parked my car, opened his mouth wide, and yet somehow managed to shout, "Look, no tree!!"

Joseph is 6 years old, and I was babysitting him last Tuesday (mid-July) when he swallowed an orange seed during lunch. "Oh, no!" I exclaimed. "Now you're gonna have an orange tree grow out of you!"

His eyes got really big, and he feigned disbelief for a while, but one could tell that he was VERY concerned about the image of a tree growing from his tummy.

When I left that day, he asked his father about it, who played along. He had a friend over the following day, and they had oranges again. Tyler swallowed a seed.

Joseph told him the whole story about the tree growing out of his mouth.

Tyler didn't feign disbelief. Tyler was extremely worried about this.

"Mr. Otto, will that really happen?!??"

Mr. Otto played along for a while, before finally telling Tyler that it wouldn't really happen.

Joseph was relieved as well, but in the back of his mind the thought still nags at him.. was Patty being honest? Will I REALLY turn into a tree??

So every time that he sees me now, he points out that there are no leaves nor branches sprouting from his tummy, to which I reply, "Not Yet!"

We decided tonight that the seeds must have died inside his belly already, but I can assure you that Joseph won't be swallowing anymore seeds in the near future.

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"Do you have a boyfriend?"


"Well then get one!"

I laughed, then (in an effort to find *something* to say to a comment like this) asked what I need a boyfriend for.

"Well, who are you going to marry when you grow up?!"

I thought I was grown up, but apparently I'm not. And besides that, I apparently will be grown up within the next few months and so the rush is on: if I don't have a boyfriend now, I may not be able to get married when I do grow up.

The two boys, ages 8 and 6, continued to barrage me with questions about my love life, or lack thereof.

This week has been full of that.

I returned from a day out with the jr. highers at a water park on Monday, to have one of the younger siblings (who is pretty blunt, curious, and cute.. the stereotypical 5 year old) run into my arms and ask me if I had a baby. At first, I thought she was making an embarassing reference to my gut, which has grown in the past two years. No, I don't, I told her.

She replied, as matter-of-factly as possible, "Well then get married already!!"

What's up with that, eh?

When I was a sales person (for a grand total of a month.. please don't shoot me.) two summers ago, I would go out into the boondocks of this area and do demonstrations in the homes of country bumpkins that had a slightly more narrow worldview than my own. They would ask how old I am, and when told that I was over 18, they would ask why in the world I'm not married with children as of yet.

Again I ask: What's up with that?

I'm at the age where many of my friends are getting married, but then again, many of my friends are 4-10 years older than I, and so really it's that THEY are at the age of marraige. I'm just along for the ride. So either way, I was a bridesmaid once, and was supposed to be again in August 'cept that that couple called it off. I was invited to something like 10 weddings this summer, 5 of which were for roommates or close friends, including the two I was to be in. I have enough wedding-festivities in the atmosphere, thank you very much.

It's not that I feel pressured in that area. I'm not some crotchety old widow that has some odd bitterness against men (and yet a healthy avoidance of homosexuality, not to mention the knowledge that God's way is better than man's perverted desire for convenience and sin..).. it's simply that I'm content being single, and don't want to end up feeling pressured eventually, nor do I understand why people have this need to pressure eachother in an area that is out of our control and that is taken way too lightly in our day.

I don't know, I just figured that I'd share how all of a sudden, all the small children that I know or meet have but one thing on their mind as applies to my life.

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Thursday, July 26, 2001

For those of you that know me as someone that is real, tangible, has an actual address and phone number: I won't anymore. Well, I will eventually, but I've got a time of transition coming. I'll be moving out of my house on July 31st (right, that's soon. Tuesday, for those of you reading this between now and then.) and won't be moving into a new place of my own for an undetermined amount of time. I'll be staying with friends during the process, and I'll be moving to a place within the same city (which makes everything easier and yet more pointless) but I won't have a phone number or address, other than my email address. In fact, unless you see me at some regular function or happen to bump into me around town or somewhere that I'll be visiting, the only way to contact me will be email or the few message boards on which I still post.

Of course I've got a lot of thoughts on this, which I'll probably be sharing if I've got the time over the next week, but for now, just the distributing of information will have to hold you over.

Please pray for me, gentle readers, that I won't get worried and that God will continue to provide, as He always does.

On Monday, I go in to get enrolled at school!

Yay. :)

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Here's the entry I wrote while I was near DC:

So there was this yellow-jacket visiting me while I was reading this morning, and while he was near me, I was tense and tried to somehow avoid him or wish him away. Eventually, though, he sat down across from me at the picnic table and started doing weird things with his legs and abdomen.

Generally speaking, I tend to be fascinated by weird things, so I watched him for a while as I thought about all the wonderful stuff I was reading. I happen to be in the middle of the chapter about enjoying God's creation and seeing him in it, so I thought to myself "how nice that I can enjoy this bee that God made .. as long as it's not near me." Thus began a thought process about how I don't enjoy the bee (or harmful spiders or poisonous snakes) because they can hurt me, but from a distance I'm fascinated by how they move and what they do.

You may have seen this coming: the train of thought derailed from nature at this point, and I began thinking about how I've put up walls with human interaction. I can share with people and love them and watch them as long as they're not near enough to hurt me. Once they get towards the line of being a close friend, I start acting like I'm facing a saber-toothed rabbit, yelling "run away! run away!" Finally I thought about how even if the bee stung me, I could say on week later, "Well, that kinda hurt, but it happened and it's over now and I'm ok." Yes, people have hurt me, but it's happened, and it's over now, and I'm ok.

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Monday, July 23, 2001

I'm still alive!

I'm REALLY busy!

I've been using ! a lot tonite! I don't know why!

Seriously, though, I even WROTE down a blog entry while I was away this weekend, but don't have the time to type it in right now. I've got other things on my mind that I want to blog about, as well, but I very much need to be getting offline now, so I can't tell you about them just yet.

But I will.

All in good time, child.. all in good time.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2001

I took my placement today. The fact that I'm going to be going to school in the fall still hasn't fully sunken in, but buying ice cream to celebrate helps. :)

Meanwhile, looking at what I'll be doing as far as housing in the fall is fun.. not having the slightest clue is funner. I'd be so all for something fairly cheap and possibly even mobile. Who knows. God provides.

That's all. Goodnight.

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Monday, July 16, 2001

On Sunday, after we had our own church service for the jr. high camp survivors, we rejoined our church for our annual Baptism, picnic, and pool party. We watched as two members of our body were Baptized, we ate lunch, and we all jumped into the pool at a large local conference center. The pool, being a pool used by many different people, had a lot of chemicals in it to keep the water clean. Most of those chemicals are working their way through my digestive system as I type.

During the pool party, we always end up in a massive game of water polo that lasts for as long as the ball does. Last year, with my nails longer and sharper than I intended them to be, I revived the internal reputation I'd given myself while still a child living with two brothers. I was once again the ferocious competitor that could outlast any guy in a game of waterpolo or other such water sport. I'm a wimp on land, but put me in water and there's no prayer for the other team. The "shallow" part of this particular pool, though, is 6 feet deep, so that the shorter members of our church (including myself, at 5'4") are at quite the disadvantage to those that can stand on the bottom and still breathe normally. Good news, Patty: if you hold onto the shoulder of one of those guys, you can have a break from swimming *and* block them at the same time! It's a parasitical symbiotic relationship, and it works quite well. This year, it just so happened that the two men that had most commented on that last year were again on the other team, and that once again, my team won. Coincidence? I think not.

Ok so really it's a fun game and it gives girls a more equal playing field as long as they can hang onto the side or find a shoulder to "stand" on.

Meanwhile, my roommates are quite impressed with the tan I've gathered between Onefest, Cornerstone, this weekend, and enjoying walks from my house to the library or the grocery store while warming myself in the beautiful whether we've been having lately.

I've got them all beat, even the ones that are naturally tan and tend to spend much more time in the sun than I do.

And I didn't even try. This is my first tan in three years, and I've been wearing sunblock whenever I knew I'd be spending more than a few moments in the sun.

Either way, I feel like it's helped to bake out the colds that I would normally have been fighting off, and it's certainly helping to make all the bruises that being around 20+ jr high students for a weekend will bring about to be less noticible.

But now, it's time for me to go home and get some rest. I take my placement test for the college I'll be attending in the fall tomorrow, and I can't tell you the last time I got a good, healthy night of rest before last night. I was so exhausted last night I actually went to sleep BEFORE midnight! And I also slept through the night as far as I can remember -- to rephrase, I don't remember waking up at any point during the night as I often do. This is good.

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Tubing: the great equalizer.

Jr. high camp is over now, and I'm home, clean, and only slightly damaged. On Thursday, right after posting the previous blog entry, I went home and quickly threw some items into my car that I would need for camp (clothes, games, sleeping bag, etc -- fortunately, many things had never been unpacked from Cornerstone and so the throwing was minimal) and left for the weekend. Thursday night, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning consisted of being the only young female leader, co-leading with three mothers, a father, two young-ish guy leaders, and one high school student that was helping as a leader. We had 20-some jr. high students with us this weekend, including most of the girls that were in 6th grade when I started working with this group and will be leaving the jr. high group in a month and a half as their transition into high school is completed.

On Friday, we went to a local (and rather famous) lake, where we swam for a few hours before lunch. Within 15 minutes of the planned time to get out and head to the picnic area, one of the girl's fathers pulled up in his boat with two tubes attached to the back. I'm not really sure of their proper titles -- inner tubes isn't right, because these are meant specifically for tubing. But the concept is a large inner tube being towed by a boat (the way a waterskiier or knee-boarder is pulled), with the tube carrying varying amounts of people as it races across the water and often bounces along. Bob had a large tube (meant for two or more people) and a small tube (meant for one person or two small people). So in piled the kids. At one point, there were three girls in the large tube and two on the smaller.

During one of the outings, the larger tube's fabric lining (which holds it to the tow rope) broke, so that we could no longer use that tube. We had two more groups of kids that wanted to go out, including several that had never been before. So we had the small tube, which could fortunately hold two smaller jr. highers at the same time, and that worked just fine.

One of our guy leaders, Thor, is a fair bit larger than the average jr. higher. He went at one point, and we got to watch as he manuevered around the wake before being spilled off in a non-injury-producing accident. I think that there was only one person that went on the smaller tube without getting spilled off after the larger one broke. Before that, both tubes had been used and each run lasted for as long as the time allowed. After that, though, the average run was about 5 minutes, ending in the child or leader floating in the water as the boat was turned around to pick them up.

The smallest camper with us this week, the largest leader (and thusly the largest person there overall), pairs and single riders, no one was an exception.

Then I got to waterski. :)

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Thursday, July 12, 2001

The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.. opress the opressed, trod on the downtrodden..

I went today, for the millionth time, to the community college here where I live so that I can hopefully (finally) start school this fall. This is the third time that I've gone through all the steps of actually applying (fortunately, my high school transcript that was sent the first time is still just as official and just as valid), and each time I've run into major roadblocks that stopped me from being accepted and, had I been accepted, would have stopped me from getting financial aid.

My first stop today was the admissions office. Each trip includes a visit to the admissions office followed by one to the financial aid office. I have no money and I cannot go to school without getting aid, after all. So anyway, back to my story. I stop in to the admissions office, and hand them the forms that they told me last time I needed (copy of my tax return, pay stubs, etc).. they look at my tax return and say "how much did you make last year?" I point at the figure of just over 3 and a half thousand dollars. "You didn't even make enough to be considered independent." So apparnetly because I'm below poverty level income (considering that I have roommates) and can survive on that just fine, I cannot go to school. Well then.

"My living expenses, which include rent, utilities, and food, are just over $200/month. When I have a car and have to pay insurance and gas, they're about $300/month," I told them.

The head woman at the office informed me that while I wasn't making the minimum to be independent, I still CAN be independent, I'd just have to go through a lot more hassle to proove it.

I made $3,000 last year. How much more hassle do I need in my life?

So, yet another example of opressing the opressed. Yah, I can be melodramatic here, I made $3,000 last year.

Well, I found out just what "more hassle" meant, and went to the financial aid office because I planned on trudging through the "more hassle" anyway. At the financial aid office, I dropped off the letter I'd written explaining my family situation and why I was independent, my completed (except for my parent's tax information) FAFSA, and my other forms. When the woman there read the letter, she immediately brough me into her supervisor's office. When the head woman from financial aid read my letter, she decided that I would be her personal challenge for this year, apparently, and immediately went in to talk to a dean from the school. The dean decided that he or she would override everything else that I needed to do apart from bringing in a copy of my lease.


I'm going to be a college student in the fall!


I was so happy as I left the office that I almost skipped to my car. (You know, the one I'm borrowing for the summer.) The blessings are being poured out in my life, and I'm so elated, and God is being glorified so much in it all. Amen!

At any rate, I've got jr. high camp (yet another exciting thing) this weekend, so no blog entries 'till Monday or so, but I pray that Our Father blesses each of you (whether or not you know Him or admit His existance and love) even more than He's blessed me!

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Wednesday, July 11, 2001

So I made it back from Cornerstone alive, in one piece, and tanned but not burned. I had a great time, and am still processing the whole experience.

My arm (the one effected by that whole fight with the tree thing) is nearly healed on the surface -- the scabs all fell off at Cornerstone, which I'm sure you were really hoping I'd tell you. Meanwhile, the lines where the scabs were have turned this weird dark brown, almost black color. The muscle is really tight, and I can still feel a bruise far beneath the surface, but no bruise on top yet.

I've taken several (pop quiz: in the yankee north, what numbers might one mean by several? by few? by couple?) showers since the end of cornerstone, and yet can still see the remnants of the dust and whatnot. I'm thinking a long bath is in order, which will do my muscles well anyway. I drove from here about 6 or 7 hours to Pittsburgh to pick up a friend, 6 or 7 to northern Indiana, stayed overnight, 6 or 7 more to Bushnell where Cornerstone is held. On Sunday morning, I drove 2 hours to Springfield to attend a church that is the church home of some of my online friends, along with the youth group function that evening. Monday morning, or really around noon, we left Springfield and drove with no stops except for restroom and drive-through breaks (didn't even get out of our car for meals, we were feeling such a need to get home) until we got back to Pittsburgh at around 11 that night. I'm not quite sure whether it was 11 or 12 eastern time, but either way it was much too late. So then she was home and I really wanted to be, so I drove for several hours (refer to the quiz) untill I finally stopped for a two hour nap before continuing home, where I arrived around 10 a.m. And all of that was me driving a stick. Through construction many times, so that I had to keep my left foot on the clutch and even stalled out a time or two. Oy!

But I had a wonderful time at the festival and met a lot of great people, along with getting to spend time with other people I'd already met and with whom I share varying degrees of friendship. Each year, Cornerstone offers the oppertunity to meet online friends, some of whom I've known for several (yes, that's the word of the day) years and hadn't yet met in person. This year, I got to meet Pam and Melody, Pam's husband Jeremy, and their baby Emmet. When I was holding him, his name was Walter. He is seriously one of the cutest babies, with one of the most beautiful -- and toothiest -- smiles, that I've ever had the priveledge of seeing. He's ten months old, but already has 8 teeth in, with 5 others on their way as of last week. I also got to meet some people I'm just beginning to know online (when one has been online for as long as I have, it's rare that I really consider myself to KNOW a person that I've been talking to online for less than a year) and all sorts of other fun stuff.

I kept to my "spend no money at cornerstone" budget, with the sole exception of Thor's birthday present, which I got for less there than I would have here, so that doesn't really count.

Babysitting has suddenly become a regular thing for me again, which will be a nice filler between jobs. Today I got a job babysitting for an adorable boy from France while his mother takes English classes, and I'll be doing that 3 or 4 days a week, which is nice. As she learns English and we can communicate better, it will get nicer. That also means, though, that I'm not gonna be catching up on my sleep for a while. Which I don't mind.. kids are worth it.

(I tried to learn French. I really did. I seem to always end up working for people that speak French, whether or not they also speak English reasonably well. I just don't get French, though. Or Spanish. I guess for me, a language has to be very, very different from English for it to stick with me. Japanese wasn't so hard, after all, 'till you get into leaning to write the Kanji (as opposed to the hiragana and katakana, their two more basic and much smaller alphabets). In fact, if Japanese was made up of just hiragana and katakana, I'd almost think it was easier than English.)

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One more thing: be sure to check out the other games. I'm amused. You may not be. I still will be.

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Oh, if you go to that logic problem link, go to "start game" or "play" or whatever, and wait a few moments.. watch the characters before you play. They're highly amusing. Then watch the scene carefully as you play, because the people that made it threw in a lot of fun little bits.

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I found a link from the blogger.com main page to an interesting blog, from which I followed this link: The Logic Problem Game which is a fun little flash game with the age old logic problem. Check it out. I did, and everyone wants to be like me. ;)

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Tuesday, July 03, 2001

I'm in a hotel room somewhere in IN, crashing for a nite so I don't crash for the rest of the drive. Ok, so that was a horrible pun attempt, but still..

The drive out here was beautiful, and it was a perfect day for driving. For that and for many other confirmations that this trip is indeed supposed to be happening, I am very grateful.

Another wonderful thing was sitting at dinner tonite, with two other people that are free spirits much similar to myself. Looking at the general outline of our lives right now, you've got people that are more "European" in their priorities ('cept that God will always be the main priority for me, making mine a bit different than the average European.. but thinking within that context) in the sense that we all want to work for the present. We want to make ends meet, we want to do what it takes to do what we want, which is to travel and to enjoy life. We all have some amount of desire to have a "real career" at some point, and we all have a true desire to manage our time and money well. But for us, managing money well means budgeting properly for a good trip, instead of having it stocked up in investments and savings. After all, if I die and all my money is in a savings account, I will never have gotten to travel .. may well travel while I'm young, and let the rest of life hold a "real job".

That's just about the shortest version of the free spirit shpiel you'll ever hear from me, but that's all I'm awake enough for right now.

Having that community of free spirits, though, was rather refreshing -- it's amazing how little bound spirits understand about us.

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Monday, July 02, 2001

Ok, I'm going to Cornerstone this week. I'm leaving tomorrow morning. Anyone that's going, look for me. I'll be wearing my skirt made out of neck-ties, or one of those wrap-around skirts, or one other sundress thingie. I may be wearing my headpiece (as seen on my bald sparrow pictures page) sometimes, as well. At any rate, I hope to see some folks there. It'll certainly be a wonderful time.

For that reason, though, I won't be doing anything with my blog, nor checking my email, nor many other things for the next week. For those that have emailed me previous to tonite and I haven't responded, I'm sorry. Things have been literally CRAZY and my access has been more limited than it was when I first got back from Onefest, so I just honestly haven't had much time to do things and what time I have had has been spent working towards various goals. Personal communication, keeping in touch with friends, etc are all goals that I have long had and long kept meeting .. but for now, they have fallen behind on the priority-list-of-sorts. You don't mean any less to me, but other things have come to mean more than they did, or come to be more possible than they once were.

This is going to be a much busier summer than last year (last summer included the wedding of my older brother ( !!!! ), Atlantafest, Cornerstone, Jr. High Camp, a job, and a few other significant events) even though I'm really not *doing* much more. But from the start of the busy season with my grandmother's memorial service, and with several friends getting married (including two weddings that I was/will be in), and with a lot more goals, plans, and tangible aims at the various events I'm going to or taking part in, I'm nearly blown away by how much I'm participating in this summer, as opposed to being more of a spectator than last year.

So, that's my update for the time being. I will be back on Monday the 9th or so, and will probably find some time to post that evening. The following weekend is Jr. High camp, so I'll be away again thursday evening through sunday morning, but that's all just a part of my busy summer.

May God bless you all even more than He's blessed me, if that's possible.

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Hippie: (after hearing Max wants to avoid the draft)You still have options man.
Max: Yeah, jail or Canada and they both suck. I mean I could never come home, so what is it, it's a choice of a 6x4 cell or an endless wasteland of frozen tundra.
Hippie: Montreal is cool.
Max:Man, they speak French there.
Groupie: So learn French. Learn French or die.
-- Across the Universe

"So how do i do normal
The smile i fake the permanent way
Cue cards and fix it kits
Can't you tell - I'm not myself
-- Frou Frou, Hear Me Out

"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.
Don't forget to bring kindness, don't forget to say thanks. Don't forgot to spend your love, no it will break the bank. Don't forget to bring some empathy, for the saints and the sinners. Don't forget to bring encouragement. Yeah, we're all just beginners."
-- Bill Mallonee, Bank

"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!"
-- (The late) Mitch Hedburg

"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!"
-- Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

"Only one more trip," said a gallant seaman,
As he kissed his weeping wife,
Only one more bag of the golden treasure
And 'twill last us all through life.
Then I'll spend my days in my cosy cottage
And enjoy the rest I've earned;
But alas! poor man! For he sail'd commander
Of the ship that never returned.
Did she never return? She never returned,
Her fate, it is yet unlearned,
Though for years and years there were fond ones watching
Yet the ship she never returned.
--The Ship that Never Returned, Henry Clay Work

"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."
-- Justin McRoberts

Regarding 2007:
"the year has gone quick, but most of the days haven't"

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days o' auld lang syne

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stoup !
And surely I’ll be mine !
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
and pou’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin’ auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin’ auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !
And gies a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right gude-willie-waught,
for auld lang syne.
--Robert Burns, "Auld Lang Syne"

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.

Did my sister get a baby doll? Did my brother get his bike? Did I get that red wagon, the kind that makes you fly? Oh, I hope there'll be peace on Earth, and I know there's goodwill towards men, on account o' that baby born in Bethlehem.
--Rich Mullins, You Gotta Get Up (Christmas Song)

O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie,
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.

O Holy Child of Bethlehem,
Descend to us we pray,
Cast out our sin, and enter in,
Be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels,
The great glad tidings tell,
O come to us, abide with us,
Our Lord Emmanuel.
--L.H.Redner, "O Little Town of Bethlehem"

Walk humbly, son
Walk humbly, now
And cherish every step
For a life well spent
On this earth we're lent
Will be marked by the void you have left

May you conquer (not curse) challenges
May you hold back the dark like a dam
May you lead your life with lion's roar
May you leave it like a lamb

Don't await rewards for your good deeds
A reward won't make them good
Don't await judgment of any foes
They'll receive just what they should

When you find the axis of this world
Don't tread too far inside
Run away as far as you think you can
Be well and enjoy the ride

Walk humbly, son
And store your pride
When you need strength later on
For your life's work will be judged if earth
Is saddened when you have gone

Walk humbly, son
Walk humbly, how
And forget not where you are from
May you go further than those before
And provide for those to come

Will you walk humbly, Son?
--Eddie From Ohio, Walk Humbly, Son

Strings of lights above the bed
Curtains drawn and a glass of red
All I ever get for Christmas is blue

Saxaphone on the radio
Recorded 40 years ago
All I ever get for Christmas is blue

When you play my song
Play it slowly
play it like I'm sad and lonely....

Weatherman says it's miserable
But the snow is so beautiful
All I ever get for Christmas is blue

It would take a miracle
To get me out to a shopping mall
All I really want for Christmas is you
--Over the Rhine, from Snow Angels

"In a little while I'll feel better
Gonna travel around the world
Gonna see it all

Gonna go to Paris, maybe Rome
But I'll feel better miles away from home,
Gotta figure some things out

So sell all my things, I'm not coming home
There's nothing there to keep me there
Just heartache and panic and worries and things that'll bring me down
My head feels much clearer being here

In a little while I'll feel better
Gonna spill my heart to every stranger in every town
I'll visit castles in Ireland, have some fella play the violin and play a song for me

So sell all my things, I'm not coming home
There's nothing there to keep me there
Just heartache and panic and worries and things that'll bring me down
My head feels much clearer being here
--Rosie Thomas, Sell All My Things, from Only With Laughter Can You Win

"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."
--This Train, I think it's from a song on Emperor's New Band.

"Every once in a while, a bannerzen posts."
--Me, during the 2002 Boredeys at Cornerstone Festival

"7:30. What kind of people have to be at work at 7:30?"
--Mr. Holland's Opus

have you seen my love
is he far away
have you seen the one for me
whose face lights up my day
i won't let one boy steal a kiss
or call me his instead i'll wait
for his voice to call out to mine
and carry these daydreams away
have you seen my love
is he far away
have you seen the one for me
who won't let me get away
please tell him that i'm
waiting for him praying for him
night and day for now i'll be a
lonely girl just longing for his sweet embrace
--Rosie Thomas, Have You Seen My Love, from When We Were Small

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.
--Friend of a friend of a friend

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
--Peter, my twin brother, while we were talking about bicycle accidents.

"You had no alternative .. We must work in the world. The world is thus." --- "No .. Thus have we made the world."
-- The Mission (a movie)

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."
And it was cloudy in the morning And it rained as you drove away And the same things looked different It's the end of the summer It's the end of the summer, When you move to another place
--Dar Williams, End of the Summer

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!"
--Eddie From Ohio, Fifth of July.

Ooh! Get me away from here I'm dying
Play me a song to set me free
Nobody writes them like they used to
So it may as well be me
Here on my own now after hours
Here on my own now on a bus
Think of it this way
You could either be successful or be us --belle and sebastian, 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."
--Leo Bebb in Frederick Buechner's "Treasure Hunt"

"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."
--D., in a recent email.

"in time memories fade.
senses numb.
one forgets how it feels to have loved completely."
--Pedro the Lion, The Longest Winter

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.
--Julie, from her blog on 4/8, after a large group of friends from all over gathered at my house for the weekend.

"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."
-- Jesse, in response to my Weltschmerz blog entry

"After the last tear falls
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"
--Jamie, during a recent IM conversation

How will you answer when, years from now, your child asks you: 'Mom or Dad, what did you do to combat the evil of squirrel hazing?'"
--From Dave Barry's Blog

"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."
--Rosie Thomas, in an interview with Kathleen Wilson

"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."
--The non-box result from a random quiz I took today. (No, I frankly can't recommend this quiz site, but if you're really bored and you're not seeking to remain pure, go right ahead..)

"No one wants to oil a snake these days!"
-- Emmett Otter, Emmett Otter's Jug Band Christmas (Found under the Specials section of the TV section of the Henson website.)

Jamie: "I am one of the greatest criminal masterminds in the world."
Her mom: "We're all safe."

-- Jamie Bevill and her mother during Christmas-Decorating dinner, December 20, 2002

"and if i were a jetson
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"
-- Eddie From Ohio, If I were a Flinstone

"The best way to have God's will for your life is to have no will of your own!"
-- Charlene Potterbaum, Thanks Lord, I Needed That!

"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."
--Jan Krist, 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."
"They made good time, despite the lingering tenderness of Mara's ankle and the distractions inherent in a faceful of itch."
-- Timothy Zahn, Star Wars: Heir to the Empire

"It's on the internet.. so, then, it must be true."
-- Five Iron Frenzy, The Untimely Death of Brad

"Be at least as interested in what people can become as you are in what they have been."
-- Steve Griffin

Blessed be the rock stars!"
--Justin Dillon Stevens

Get up for the shower.. wash and scrub and scour every part as if a cleaner man could better bear the shame..
--The Waiting, Look At Me

"She was eating gnarly amounts of calcium."
--Samuel Hernandez

Homeless man to girl trying to give him money: "No, thanks, ma'am. I never work on Sundays."
-- Amilie, the movie.

"Wow! I never thought I'd need a radar-guided spatula!"
-- Larryboy, Larryboy and the Angry Eyebrows

"Isn't it great that I articulate? Isn't it grand that you can understand? ... I can talk, I can talk, I can talk!"
-- Wilbur, Charlotte's Web (the movie)

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.
(and in another entry)
When we close our eyes to the deep needs of other people whether they live on the streets or under our own roof -- and when we close our eyes to our own deep need to reach out to them -- we can never be fully at home anywhere.
(and in another entry)
Maybe at the heart of all our travelling is the dream of someday, somehow, getting Home.
(and in another entry)
The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet. -- Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking: A Seeker's ABC

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."
-- C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

CCM: You've spoken a lot more about crying than I ever thought you would.
JK: Oh, I've cried a lot. Truthfully, I've cried a lot more this past year than I've probably cried in five years.
CCM: Why?
JK: It's fun to feel.
-- An Interview with Jennifer Knapp in the January Issue of CCM Magazine

"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."
-- General Douglas MacArthur

""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."
-- Emily, from the Emily books by L. M. Montgomery

"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"
-- Emily, from the Emily books by L. M. Montgomery

"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."
-- Waterdeep, 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."
-- C. S. Lewis

"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."
-- Rich Mullins, during a radio interview, as quoted in An Arrow Pointing to Heaven

"find that which gives you breath and grants you more to give
because life ends not in death but with what dies inside while we live"
--Christopher Williams, Breathe

"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."
--Dog Named David, Heavenly Rain

"Open up your weepy eyes, everyone is dancing. Angels peer through sweet disguise, through a fire of cleansing.
--My Brother's Mother, Finest Hour

"Long hair, no hair; Everybody, everywhere: Breathe Deep, breathe deep the Breath of God!"
-- Lost Dogs, Breathe Deep

"You may be bruised and torn and broken, but you're Mine!"
-- Asiam, Relentless Love

"I don't deserve to speak, and they don't deserve to hear it. It's makin' me believe that it's not about me."
-- Justin McRoberts, The Story Stands Alone

"Kickin' against these goads sure did cut up my feet. Didn't your hands get bloody as you washed them clean?"
-- Caedmon's Call, Here I am Again

"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"
-- Andrew Peterson, Land of the Free

"Computers will know everything in the 21st century. They'll be like me in the 20th century."
-- Crabby Road