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
Wednesday, December 19, 2001
Meanwhile .. at about quarter 'till 9 this morning I went to the mall in my town, which I don't go to often. But today was a special day. Lord of the Rings (for reasons beyond comprehension) will be playing at the mall (instead of the NICE theater across town) and so I had to get there nice and early to buy tickets since they weren't doing any advanced ticket sales. Silley people. At any rate, I ended up being the second "person" (there was a group ahead of me, but only one person actually buying the tickets) in one of the two lines and the news team filmed my entire transaction as I bought tickets for many of the members of the jr. high youth group I work with and their parents and fellow leaders and such. So apparently the camera made the movie theater guy nervous and he kept messing up the sale. Poor guy.
At any rate, I got my tickets and will be the hero of my jr. high, and only had to stand in line two hours before the sales counter opened.
So at 7:10 tonite, you know where I'll be!
Thursday, December 13, 2001
A cold and grey winter has (finally) settled over my town. It's been wet constantly (yet not snowy) for the past three or four days now, and doesn't look like it'll clear up too soon.
Rainy days always put me in a funk. Rainy days when I find out somewhat bad news on top of having had a very awkward night before just add to that.
So, here I sit. In a funk.
Tuesday, December 11, 2001
I hate it when that happens.
(0) comments http://explodingdog.com/ .. boy, this thing is fun, addicting, cute, and even genius! (the cynical side of me wants to add the disclaimer that I'm not sure it's entirely clean just yet, but I haven't seen anything to give me reason to believe it's not.)
It's been drizzling rain all day, and most of yesterday. Cold, light drops of water. At one point today, though, while running an errand for my boss, I realized that the rain was a little more light and a little more cold. Indeed, it was more slushy than rainy. Almost snow.
Maybe tomorrow there'll be some snow to dance in.
It waited right 'till I didn't have to take the city bus to school anymore. It kept nice and dry and warm 'till yesterday, and has yet to start snowing. And by the time I'm starting the spring semester, I should have a car and thus won't have to take the city bus in the snow then, either!
But I do love snow. I just don't want to stand in it for ten minutes without being able to play.
So I went to my final and finished the 55-question test in half an hour because we had had a cheat sheet -- er.. study guide -- that covered most of the questions, and I read quickly.
As of this moment, I am on an almost-a-month-long break from school. The excitement is filling up my soul with much joy!
I'm almost certain I'll have straight A's, but I may get a B in First Aid 'cause the earlier tests were a bit hard and confusing. My teacher was wonderful, though, and made class somewhat of a joy to be in. The fact that we didn't have any homework other than reading the text was quite the bonus.
As if finishing my very first semester of college with a better GPA than I had for any one report card ever, things are really pretty good right now. God is blessing me in ways that -- even the darkest parts inside me must admit -- are marvelous. Things are on the up and up in ways they haven't been for at least a couple of years now. All in all, I'm very excited to see what the next couple of months, and maybe even couple of years will bring.
As for the next couple of days -- tomorrow I'm going to see the Andrew Peterson Christmas Tour again, this time in NC. This will be my second time this year, and I can't tell you how pleased I am at getting to make up for missing it last year.
And tomorrow is one week away from the release to theaters of the first installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Ah, the word waiting doesn't even begin to describe it.
I really hope that each of you is recieving, and recognizing, the joys of life as much as I am. I'm sure I'm still not aware of at least half of them, but the ones I have noticed are almost more than I can handle anyway.
Here's to life! Here's to joy! Here's to God!
Monday, December 10, 2001
Normally, when one goes to my church, one could be wearing anything from a three-piece suit to jeans with holes in them and a teeshirt.
Last night, though, the entire group of people attending were wearing much more formal attire. I, for one, was wearing the bridesmaid dress from Caren's wedding and an antique shawl Heather gave me for Christmas two years ago. Very nice combination, and to add to that I actually wore make-up! (Something I don't do often.)
There was Christmas music and a little set of swing-dancing-worthy-songs to which most of the high school group and some other members of the congregation did indeed dance.
There were a number of funny comments thrown in.
And there was food and conversation. Lots of both.
A local place catered the banquet for us and our own members did the decorating, which turned out beautifully. I sat with a group of folks I don't really get to talk to all that often, at least not in a sitting down and talking kinda way.
All in all, a lovely night.
Very, very nice.
Maybe, just maybe, I can get one soon.
That would excite me greatly.
Friday, December 07, 2001
I crack me up.
As we veered left at a fork in the road, the mountains jumped out in front of us, singing Praise to our Father in brilliant hues of blue. The sky, somewhere in transition from too-warm-and-sunny-for-December to cold-and-stormy, used its pale pink and dark grey shades to enhance the beauty of the mountains. Indeed, the most hidden and far-off mountains shone clearly, starkly even, against the morning sky.
The "natural blue haze for which the Blue Ridge Mountains get their name" was very, very blue and not at all hazy this morning. Each little line of each mountain was sharp and clear, as if someone had taken an X-acto Knife (t) and cut them out from a sheet of rice paper.(And one must cut carefully with an X-acto Knife to cut rice paper without jagged edges and tears, mind you.)
I'm not sure how nice a hike would have been on a day like this, but the view from down here is more amazing than I've seen in a long time.
I've loved the "Behold the Power of Cheese" commercials since they first came out a few years ago. They're well done, hilarious, and often unexpected.
For those that haven't seen the series, or at least the one particular commercial I'm going to make much reference to in this blog entry, there is a commercial where a small redhead girl (probably about 5 or 6 years old, maybe 7) is padding down the hallway in her PJ's on what we realize is Christmas morning. She looks into her living room and her eyes widen as she turns back to call her Mommy and Daddy. "Come quick!" she says. Her parents, sleepy and desheveled in appearance, walk down the hallway before her. As they turn to look into the living room, their eyes also widen.
The father says, "whoa. Those must've been *some* cookies you left Santa," as they pan across the living room to show a large and well decorated tree surrounded by gifts the likes of which even Bill Gates wouldn't give as Christmas presents. A sports car sits right in front of the tree in the middle of what must be a very large living room. Other gifts, including living animals, attract our attention and make us wish that we were that mother, father, or child.
Then the camera switches back to a headshot of the girl as she shakes her head and says "I didn't leave him cookies."
She pauses for just the right amount of time, and then smiles widely and nods. "I left him cheeeeeese."
At this point, the commercial logo pops up as a deep voice says, "Behold the Power of Cheese."
The first time I saw this commercial I 'bout rolled off the couch in my laughter.
Apparently, though, there are those that are convinced that leaving cheese on a plate in the living room Christmas eve will bring one all the things his heart desires.
The local cultural paper placed a note in recent issues telling kids to write letters to santa and send them to the paper. The paper would then print them in an upcoming issue. That upcoming issue came out on Wednesday and I picked up a copy today on my way to work. Since I didn't have anything to do at work, I read through some of the letters. There were the usual questions and comments, like "Is it cold up there?" and "gimme, gimme, gimme!" But I was highly amused when I noticed a pattern in many children confiding to Santa that they were going to leave him Cheese this year. Some, not quite sure that the old ways are truly done away with, even said they'd leave him both cookies AND cheese. Nothing like a glass of milk to wash down a snack and a dessert, eh? At any rate, many of these children are quite convinced that their gift of cheese (with the promise that they've been good this year) will allow all the gifts they could possibly want to pile up under their trees for much delight on Christmas morning.
Behold the Power of Materialism.
There are many problems that I have, of course, with the entire focus of "Stuff" on Christmas, and the reigning belief that children should be taught to be good in order to get Play Station 2s and Nintendo Cubes and Pokemon card sets right near the end of the year.
Overall, though, I'm really quite amused at how the commercial brainchildren of whatever company it is that makes this series has now translated itself over to one of the most sacred areas of human communication -- children's letters to Santa.
So once more:
Behold the Power of Advertising.
Wednesday, December 05, 2001
Today, it's a beautiful, breezy 64 plus degrees outside.
I'm not complaining. I love this temperature. I think it's just about perfect. However, it's also December, almost mid-December. What's the deal?
Not that I want to walk to the bus stop in snow, or even the deep chilliness we had on Monday. But I'm wondering if it will start snowing or being chilly *after* my school year is done and I don't have to take the city bus as often.
Others are wondering, too.
When it does come, though, I wager it's gonna come down hard.
Perhaps we'll have a white Christmas. I got one last year and the year before, which were nice presents for the FL (and CA) girl I've been since I was 6. I'd love to have one again if I'm gonna be in the area. Hick, I'd love to have one wherever I'm gonna be.
In the meantime, though...
I went to a Christmas concert on Saturday -- one that I've been looking forward to for at least two years. Andrew Peterson toured with Silars Bald last year for a Christmas tour with original songs, and I was all set to go to the concert in Baltimore, had a ride and everything. But then the car I was going to be riding in broke down at the last moment and we couldn't track down another, or someone else from our area that was going, in time. So I missed it.
This year, it was not nearly so far away, and I got to spend much of the day at the church where the concert was being held. The church wasn't yet decorated for Christmas, either, and the first part of the concert were the regular radio hits by Andy and a few songs by Silars. It wasn't 'till after intermission and then about two songs into their set that I really "got into the Christmas mood", or at least realized that Christmas Day is not far away.
And that means my birthday isn't far away, either. Indeed, December first marked the two month (or 62 day) countdown to my birthday.
Not to mention that by this time next week I will have completed all my final exams already, and therefore will have already completed my first semester of college. Hopefully, with straight A's, might I add. (It's possible in first aid I'll get a B .. but that would still be one of the higher grades in the class. ;) )
There's a lot going on these days, folks.
And to think that I will hopefully get to see my niece (for the second time since her birth almost a year ago) and some old friends and relatives in FL towards the end of this month!
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