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, June 26, 2002this linkand changing the year or month to whichever you want. The one that will come up is for October of last year.. make sure that if you're using a single-digit month, it's written with two digits (ie 06) and that if you want to read an archive from this year, don't forget to change the 2001 to 2002.
Soon, as I said, the problem will hopefully be fixed.
Between babysitting and interacting with friends lately, I've heard a lot of comments in the line of "I don't do this because this would happen" and the this that would happen is just not a very good reason. For example, one of my former jr. highers and I were talking, and I found out that he doesn't do drugs, because if he did, he'd be in trouble with his parents.
Now, that's all well and good for the time being, so long as being in trouble with your parents matters at all. However, this jr. higher will eventually be 18 and/or otherwise living on his own, and his parents will no longer be any determining factor in this decision.
I said "That's just not a very good reason." Which isn't to say that he SHOULD do drugs before getting out of his parents' house..
So I was talking to him about how there are reasons he'd get in trouble with his parents, and there are other reasons he might want to consider before he decides that the parental trouble is the only reason he has for not starting to do drugs.
I don't know that I made any progress with him, even just in the sense of causing him to think a little more. But I sure did do a lot more thinking myself.
It all goes back to the entry I wrote forever ago about love-motivated discipline.
Having recently re-found an email from a friend on that subject (which is what motivated me to go back and find the entry, which is what motivated me to blog on this very subject today), I realize there are many things that I ought to clarify about my thoughts expressed in that entry.
First, my friend mentioned that it is a Utopian view, and I agree almost completely. However, I really do also believe that one person can make a huge difference, and that lots of people can make lots of difference, and also that it is more our society, rather than our nature, that pushes us so completely far away from the Utopian society in which love-motivated discipline would work. I do believe that we're all sinners and that we're all ruled by flesh until we decide that we want to be ruled by Christ, and that even after that decision it's still a constant struggle. However, I also believe that once we have submitted our lives to Christ, we can become the loving creatures for whom love-motivated discipline would work.
Secondly, I'd like to clarify that the term love-motivated discipline does not imply that the discipline itself is motivated by love, and that other forms of discipline are motivated by something else. Rather, it means that the result and the motivation for the actions is love. In love-motivated discipline, the reason for behaving well is love, while in punishment-motivated discipline, the reason for behaving is avoiding punishment.
There are surely other things that ought to be mentioned, clarified, or expounded upon, but that will do for now.
Tuesday, June 25, 2002
We had a diving board at the deep end of the pool, too.
I could dive from the board into the pool, swim underwater from the deep end to the shallow, back to the deep end, back to the shallow, and about half way again before needing to come up for air. Quite the feat, if I do say so myself.
Mind you, this was a standard-size home pool, I'd guess something like 12 or 15 feet long at least, probably closer to 20.
Since my mid-teens, when the pool lost its novelty, I haven't been swimming but so often, and I certainly haven't been swimming underwater nearly so much. One of the things that somehow enabled me to swim better underwater back then was that I would swim along the bottom, which somehow allowed me to swim faster and added motivation to my journey. Also, I could always open my eyes under water, and so I could see my progress and my goal.
When swimming in lakes, it's significantly harder to swim along the bottom, as well as to note your goal or your progress. Thus, my underwater lake-swimming has been less impressive than my childhood pool times.
At the Baptism on Sunday, though, just as I did last year, I swam from the diving-splash-down point to the wall on the opposite side under water. It was probably something like 30 feet or so. I felt so young again, and so much more healthy.
After almost everyone was gone, two families and myself remained, and we were having diving contests.. not the kind you see on the Olympics, but the kind meant to amuse children all over the world. Our two "judges" would sit on the side and tell us how to dive (ie, most feminine, most masculine, biggest splash, etc) and then score us in their very unbiased ways. If I weren't already feeling young again from swimming under water the whole way, this certainly would have taken years off my impression of myself. It didn't last all that long afterwards, but it was so nice to be free and childlike again. Freedom is a wonderful thing, and it's misunderstood in our civilization.
Before all that, though, was the death-water-polo game, and I spent a lot of time yesterday realizing how much treading water for two hours (and perhaps also all the diving) works on your stomach muscles. Having a hiatal hernia, I can't do very much to exercise my belly area, even if I weren't the lazy slacker that never exercises such as I am. Most things that put any kind of strain on my stomach (like the canoe trip a week and a half ago) can be extremely painful if I'm not careful. However, I didn't feel any kind of hernia-related pain at all on Sunday, yet could feel my post-workout muscles on Monday being glad to have been used again.
I may just have to tread a lot more water this summer.
Indeed, much too soon. So another hour of troubleshooting, and I'm gonna pass out from hunger. But first, a teensy bit more about the pool party part of the annual Baptism.
Monday, June 24, 2002last year's entry about last year's event, and it was pretty much the same story this time. 'Cept that the two men mentioned in last year's post rethought the idea of being on the other team from me in water polo, and we also had a much closer game this year.
Treading water for two hours, getting slimey from all the chemicals in the pool, being half-drowned and half-drowning my competitors.. it's all part of good Christian fellowship at my church's annual baptism/picnic/pool party. :)
(If for any reason the link above didn't work for you, go to the July, 2001 archive page and scroll down to the July 16th entry.)
I'm still having a bit of trouble in other areas, but it will all be worked out.
Sunday, June 23, 2002
I've got the network connection at school, but I just don't have so much time there, not to mention not being able to have food or water at the computer there and the lack of comfort and homeyness.
Here, there's a cable modem, and I've had my late-night-hours that I love with online time, and I've had my ice cream and my tuna sammiches and my water bottles and all to keep me happy. Just the way it was when I had a computer at home, 'cept that this is a bazillion times faster and the computer doesn't crash when I multi-task at higher levels.
I feel like the guy in that commercial. Not that I've reached the end, but just that I've reached the end of my internet to-do list. I can only check my various email accounts and the couple of message boards I frequent so often before I start feeling aimless.
Of course, I could always read the other blogs I enjoy, which I'm about to go do now, and then head to bed. I so rarely have time to read them that I tend to forget about them when I'm sitting there thinking of anything else I wanna do while I'm online.
Even knowing I've got that to do, though, and looking quite very forward to it, I still feel like I've finished the internet. I've been online since I was 13. The new gadgets and gizmos just don't excite me so much, and I'm even pretty over the initial excitement of finding out that weblogs exist. I do enjoy novelty, and the internet (and my interactions on it) have basically been moved entirely over to the realm of the few constants or familiarities I have throughout all the changes in my life. I love that about the online world, but when I don't have enough new stuff going on in my life, the familiar become a little less interesting.
But I can just "start again .. now."
I was in Cassie's room, half-awake, and it just broke my heart. I'm honestly glad that I was able to be here with them this week, because I know there are plenty of worse options. But boy did I hurt for Cameron right at that moment and wish that children and good parents never had to be seperated.
Saturday, June 22, 2002
We'd gotten a total of 37 tickets when we went to the counter the first time to examine our options. The girl behind the counter came over to see if we were ready to get anything, and Cassie got all shy and reached out for my hand with a look on her face that said she was most certainly not talking to anyone but me at that moment.
The girl behind the counter said "No, your mom's not gonna talk to me! You're gonna talk to me! You don't have to be shy, this is a FUN place, and we're here to have FUN!"
I couldn't quite tell if Cassie caught it, but the girl talked just long enough to make her forget if she did. We had our matching french braids, and of course the majority of adult women there WERE the mothers of the children they were with. I had braided my hair in the morning, and when we got there Cassie was quite sure she wanted to have a french braid in, too, which I did while Cameron was getting his skates on.
Cody has taken to calling me Patricia, mostly because his younger siblings already took over the other nickname he had for me (Pita). So, once he started using my full name, not only did Cassie also start calling me Patricia, but she also asks me at least once an hour why my name is Patricia. All day at the skating place, Cassie kept saying "Patricia", once in a while reverting back to "Pita". I wonder what onlookers thought about this whole thing.
All in all, it was a fun day, though I was completely wiped when we finally got home. I took a nap for an hour or so, waking to hear Cassie running around the house asking where I was, even though I'd told her I was going to her room for a nap.
Just over 12 hours left of this job. Once again I'm looking forward to my return to normal life, but I do love being here with these kids, too, for the most part. :)
Friday, June 21, 2002
So I hugged her, talked to her, hugged her some more. And brought the cat over to lie down with her, which was a nice reminder of familiarity and love for her. Then some movie preview on TV distracted her, and she was done crying. Instead, she was suddenly laughing and talking again, and then all ready to snuggle down for the night.
What a precious child Cassie is. As are Cameron, Cody, and Corey. I'm glad she's getting to the point she can be without her parents for a few days and still eat (that was our major problem last time) and I know it'll be really good for her by the time she's going on sleepovers and to overnight camps and such.
I feel so helpless when a child is crying for their parents and there's nothing I can do but hold them and wait 'till it passes. One of our jr. highers got homesick at camp last weekend and his parents came to pick him up. There were other factors involved, like the fact that he didn't sleep at all (I wasn't clear on whether it was homesickness, hyperness, or what keeping him awake) the first two night, and the exhaustion we all experienced after Saturday's canoe trip. But all day Sunday, he just laid on the couch knocked out and silently crying alternately, 'till his parents got there. He rejoined us for our movie trip on Monday, which was nice. Of course, Cassie's parents can't just come pick her up.
So, she's sleeping peacefully now. A precious little child in the glow of the TV screen, cuddled up with her favorite teddy bear.
Today, when we were driving to get Cody from day camp, we had the windows down in the car. Cassie was sitting on the passenger side in the back seat, and those windows only roll down about 3/4 of the way. She put her little face to the window as much as she could, holding onto the door handle (not the one you open it with) and letting the wind blow her hair back, and it was so precious I wished I had a camera with me right then. It's an image I'll treasure for as long as I can remember it, though.
One and a half days left. I'll be glad to return to normalcy, but this month has really been great in its own ways. All two nights that I've slept in my own bed at home, along with the many other adventures I've been on.
You know, there's something about seven-year-old-boys that just makes everything so cut and dried. Apparently, 18 doesn't make you an adult, and whatever age it is (I guess 20?) that does launch you into adulthood also comes with a spouse and a ring and a house and such attached.
Ah, for the possible simplicity of a child's world.
Not that I'm upset that I'm not married yet. Just that I think about my friends in their mid and late 30s, and plenty that I know older (even generations older) that've never been married. Are they still not adults? According to Cameron, apparently not.
I'm having a great time babysitting so far. Cody's been good company in his nearly-silent way, Cassie's been all snuggly as I love with the kids I babysit, Cameron's only made a few silley comments like that.
Last night, we were in the middle of a game of monopoly when something happened (I forget precisely what) that upset Cameron a great deal.
"Holy #^@$!!!", he screamed.
I looked up at him. "What did you say?"
"Cody, what are the punishments in your family for using profanity?"
"I dunno. I guess no TV."
"Ok, Cameron, no TV for the rest of the night."
"But I didn't know what it meant!!"
"Well, you shouldn't use words if you don't know what they mean, anyway. And you DID know that that was a very bad word when you said it."
Cameron cried himself to sleep last night. The great thing is, though, that he didn't even try turning his TV on at all. He knew (from past experiences of me babysitting these kids) that his punishment was going to be stuck to. I think his parents are a lot more consistant than mine ever were, too, which certainly helps me with discipline when I'm here.
But these kids have become so used to their TV's going that they get terrified if the cartoons aren't on to lull them to sleep. Now, when I was a kid, and sometimes to this very day .. I always enjoyed having music playing as I was falling asleep. It calmed and focused any thoughts in my head so that I wouldn't start thinking wildly. It provided a bit of noise to cover over the creepier noises of the house settling and such. But when, for any reason at all, the radio had to be off (which was usually either because I was away from the house or because there was a hurricane warning and all power was off that could be .. and once the good radio station in town had the antennae blown and my tape player had broken and it was before I'd gotten my own CD player) I still slept soundly in the very same manner. I wonder how these kids will do when they spend the night at other houses or when they go off to camp and such. Cody does just fine in almost any situation, which is pretty common of the nearly-silent types.
One of my other jr. highers and I had another interesting conversation. We'll just assume it was a guy and call him Bill.
I was talking to Bill online last night and asked what he'd done over the weekend. "You'll be disappointed," he told me.
"I went on a date."
Oh, the horror of it all. Bill is in 6th grade, and happened to be present during a few conversations I had in the vehicles during camp with the girls about the dating world, especially about not needing boyfriends 'till they're out of college and most especially (and much more seriously) about not french kissing guys when they're stinkin' sixth graders.
So I replied to Bill that that doesn't disappoint me. First off, even if it did, his focus should be on the Audience of One, which is God. His focus should not be on whether or not I, as a human being, am disappointed. It should only matter what God would say about that. See, the point being that if he focuses on what I'd say, than there might come a time when I'd say the wrong thing (imagine that!) and then his focus would mislead him. Like when my roommates and I came up to odds about why I was leaving my job before I started school. They were all quite upset with me for it (as were most people I talked to about it) and one even yelled a number of very harsh words at me in the middle of work one day. But the point was that I knew every moment that as I stood before my God, He would tell me, "Well done, thou good and faithful servent." I cannot say that about even half the things I do, at this point in my life.. mostly He'd just say "Well, you didn't mess it up, but you sure are a slacker!" .. but in this case, I knew that I was standing before Him in all His glory, and I was not ashamed of my actions in the least. That's because I was focusing on the Audience of One, on only what God would think about the situation, and not on what kind opinions my roommates were expressing.
Secondly, even if it did disappoint me at all, it wouldn't be him as a person. It would be actions. This is what I tried to get across to the girl that was involved in the truth or dare game that led to the kissing.. and to the other girls riding with me. And to Bill. But apparently, as I found out in my conversation with Bill, what came across (perhaps because I somehow didn't express this clearly or perhaps because that's all they normally hear from people these days) was that I was saying don't let anyone pressure you and don't do anything 'till you feel ready. Well, those are true statements.. but more important is that I love them nomatter what, and it is actions and not people that disappoint me, and that it isn't about if they feel ready (feelings can be so very, very, very deceptive) but rather if they could stand before God and know they're ready for whatever they're doing. The biggest point (and reason for any disappointment I do find in their actions) is simply that I do not want these kids to have regrets, such as I do. I do not want them to sit back in their twenties going "you know, life could have been so much better.." I do not want them to look back on these years and wish they hadn't done this or they had done this. I want them to have life, and have it abundantly. That doesn't include anything at all that they'll regret, and my disappointment is simply in knowing that they'll look back and wish.
Thirdly, my chatter about not needing to date 'till you're out of college is half-serious. I was in jr. high myself once, and I remember what it's like to want to date. Boy do I. All my major regrets from physical "affection" stem back to sixth grade, in fact. So while it's hard for me to take seriously a sixth grader saying he went on a date (since it generally requires the help of some adult giving them a ride, etc) I also know that there are plenty of ways to do things you'll regret under these circumstances. I know from experience. And the truth is, they're not little children. They're much older than they're often taken for in society today. They need pure love, and they need to realize that the kind of love they're encouraged to get in our world is not worth the pain it results in. They need to be shown how to interact with eachother and adults and everyone else in a way that is glorifying to God and gracious to humans. We can't keep looking at a sixth grader that says she has a boyfriend or he has a girlfriend and think "Oh, that's so cute" as if they're in kindergarten. It may not mean the same thing that it'll mean when they're adults, but it does certainly mean something. The fact that a jr. higher can tell me "I went on a date, but we didn't do anything" is so frightening in some ways, so pride-worthy (that is, I'm proud of that jr. higher) in others, and so very REAL overall, that I don't know how we can possibly ignore the fact that there was ever a possability they might have.
Lest we forget, folks. Lest we forget.
Tuesday, June 18, 2002
Four girls, and all the excess luggage that accompanies them (not to mention my own belongings, the jr. high group's first aid kit, and my car emergency kit), packed into my car around 5:15 Friday evening. We were heading to jr. high camp about an hour and a half away, but first we needed to make a little stop at Blockbuster to pick up a couple of movies for late-night entertainment. (The bulk of the group would be in nice cabins by the lake, but the main lodge did have a tv and vcr, and movies are great group activities.)
So we got the videos and headed off towards camp, but on our way back past the church, I suddenly started hearing a rather lot of loud cars on the road. And then I realized that it wasn't a lot of loud cars, it was my one loud car. "What in the world is making that noise?!?" I thought, pulling into a vacant parking lot across the street.
Getting out and looking towards the back of my side, where I'd heard the noise, I figured out quickly what was making that noise..
My muffler was sitting on the ground, the back end still attached to my car, the pipe connecting it towards the front looking like it'd been sawed right through. Apparently, they can just rust that way.
Fortunately, someone named Brad (an older man, and likely a mechanic) saw us there after the two older girls had gone off to find a phone to call the rest of the group. He went up to the local hardware store and got some supplies, and came back to ghetto rig my car. "It's a great temporary fix. Won't pass inspection, but it'll allow you to drive just fine. It'll be REAL loud, though."
I can handle loud. I can handle temporary. I just couldn't've handled not having a car again.
So, Brad, wherever you are, thank you. Again and again and again.
I left my car at the church over the weekend (driving kids around in a car that there's any reasonable doubt about is never my idea of fun) and drove it home on Monday when we returned from camp. So far, Brad's predictions have been right on.. no problems with it 'cept the noise and the occasional entrance of fumes. Since I don't have A/C in my car, though, and thus have to drive with the windows open anyway, the fume thing isn't a huge deal either.
I made it living in Virginia for over three years with the relative assurance that I don't have to turn into a hick to live here. Indeed, I know plenty of people that've lived here their whole loves that haven't an ounce of hick in them.
Right now, a wire hanger is holding my muffler and tailpipe to my car. I have turned hick.
Camp, though, was great. We took the group canoeing on Saturday, which wasn't the best day for it from a canoeing perspective. The water levels were so low that we were walking the canoes over rocks nearly the whole time, and it ended up being a very long 7 mile trip instead of the nice little course it should've been. By the end, everyone was sore, tired, and covered in injuries. Two canoes even got brought out of the water -- one carried a mom who had gotten motion sickness, and the other was being paddled by two smaller boys that simply didn't have the strength to make it the whole way. None of us really did. We took some swimming and food breaks at a couple of places, which helped a great deal. So canoe-wise, it wasn't a great trip. But example-wise, it was wonderful being able to use that as an illustration of the choices ahead in the lives of these precious children. Drawing out the imagery, we talked about how we leaders have all been over some pretty rough, rocky areas. We've already scratched up our feet in plenty of places we'd rather not have gone if we'd known there was a choice. But because we've been there, we can point out to the kids some small paths of deep water they can go through.
Apart from the canoeing and the dinner trip, most of the rest of our time was spent hanging out on the campgrounds. When the girls and I got back to our cabin to see our bedrooms weakly strung with a few sheets of toilet paper, and the words "got ya" written on the bathroom mirror in lipstick, my reaction made the girls think that I was some nazi leader that wouldn't let them do any pranks at all. I tried to explain to them that it wasn't that I didn't have any sense of humor, and it wasn't that the prank itself was bad or wrong or anything else.. it was simply that of the maybe 5 total rules that we have at camp, two of the biggest are not going in opposite-gender-cabins without a counselor with you, and not EVER going in the other peoples' bedrooms. I told the girls that this prank had broken both of the rules, and *that* was the problem. It didn't sink into their heads, though, so they went right on thinking I was a meaneyhead, and I figured it'd be better to leave them thinking that anyway.
The following night, after their day-long plotting of how to get the guys back and how to sneak out past me at night and all, I brought up the issue over a game of Catch Phrase in the cabin. I could see looks of nervousness.. "Oh, no! how did she find out about our plans? We'll never be able to do this now!" So when we plotted and schemed and eventually worked out our plan to go TP the guys' vehicle (that is, the one that the guys that TP'ed us were riding in and that that cabin's counselor was driving) and leave lipstick messages on the windows, the girls were jumping up and down with excitement that I really was the cool person they thought I wasn't. And the next morning brought plenty of very dirty looks and comments from various guys, including the ones that weren't in any way involved in this.
The prank war will continue, surely, but I'm hoping that the kids now understand the guidelines -- no bodily harm, no lasting damage, no attempting something you can't pull off or you haven't thought through.. come on, at least put some effort into it.
So that was the weekend. After much sleeping-off-the-exhaustion, my arms no longer hurt so badly from the canoe trip, and my head no longer hurts so badly from the high-pitched-squeeling. I love working with the jr. high. And I'm feeling better than I have in a long while about the jr. high leadership team and my place in it.
Friday, June 14, 2002
The issue of alcohol/drinking/etc has come up in my recent blog entries a lot more. The reason being that when you go from a small, basically rural and yet somehow suburban town with no urban places nearby, smack-dab in the middle of the Bible belt .. to this booming city where even the more moral people have less-conservative standards than the average person back home.. issues that are taken for granted at home scream for attention. Drinking is one of the bigger issues here at home, and one of the less-issue-worthy topics out in the Bay Area. That is, not many people there think twice about whether or not it's ok to have a drink when you go out. Here, bands have been banned from coming back to town, and students-of-age can get kicked outta school for one drink often enough, and it's a HUGE issue with lots of fanning of the flames.
So, I do not drink excessively and I am extremely concious of the fact that alcoholism runs up my family lines as high as anyone can recall. However, I have seen enough drinking-in-moderation over the past few years (finally.. didn't see much of it before) that it's not as tense of an issue in my mind.
Hopefully, that will help some people rest easier. And perhaps others to understand a bit more. I know there are those, though, that would really rather I don't drink at all, and I respect that opinion.. it just doesn't happen to be mine at the moment. Please, though, if you ever hear of me drinking excessively or anything, do hold me accountable. In all that I do, please hold me accountable. My goal is not my own pleasure, or to rebel, or anything else.. my goal in life is to glorify God, and the fallen human that I am needs plenty of accountability to work towards that goal.
For those of you that were praying for me at various points of the trip: Thank you very, very much.
Although my flight from Oakland to Atlanta had great availability within even two hours of the flight, it filled up quickly so that my seat was one of the last on the flight. Great thing, though, is that there was an extra seat between myself and the other person in my row, and so it was much easier to sleep during the flight without being concerned about actually *gasp* coming into contact with someone else.
My flight home had a grand total of 7 passengers this time, one up from the commute the other way around.
I did get to see the sunrise as we were descending into Atlanta, and then watch it more after stretching myself out in front of the windows at the gate for my next flight. It was so completely beautiful, especially when I could see it in between layers of clouds on the way down.
Oh, and nearly no security checks this time around.. no magic wands (I was wearing the same outfit as my going-out flights, but they didn't set the sensors off this time) and no bag searches. That was really something I was, and am, grateful for.
So again, thanks for prayers and thoughts and well-wishes about my trip. I had a wonderful time, and I may have to do it again before too long.
Wednesday, June 12, 2002
I have had the most wonderful trip out, despite not seeing Peter. I'm so glad that I came, although I'm still quite saddened in that one aspect. "Bummed", as seems to be the word to use in these parts.. I haven't told one person (from my father to Sam to the other staff at Sam's church to old friends from when I lived out here) about not getting to see him without "bummer" or "bummed" or such being in the response.
This is a wonderful place, and I hope to be able to visit again in the not-entirely-distant future. Who knows, I may even end up living in the area someday. For now, though, I'm quite happy with where I'm living and I'll be living there for at least the next year, with no reason to believe it won't be more than that, too.
It'll be a long process working out all my thoughts about Peter and about how much I wanted to see him and how it feels not having gotten to. A very long process. But I'm used to long processes of that sort, I suppose.
Meanwhile, I'm gonna go finish off the hamburger I started as lunch today. Yum.
Sunday, June 09, 2002
I cannot tell you, in any words or facial expressions or anything, how incredibly sad I am about that. So I'm really, really hoping that either he'll be willing to come out to Virginia sometime soon, or that we can both arrange to be at our older brother's house at the same time, or something. I cannot do another three-year stint of not seeing him, which is how long it was (nearly) before when we were together at my Gramma's memorial service. It's been over a year since then already.
I miss my brothers. I really, really do.
Way I figure it, I can certainly live with or without any alcoholic beverages.. haven't really changed my life at all. In fact, no one has ever been able to tell whether or not I've had anything even if I can feel any difference, and I don't put any effort at all into hiding the fact, or as Sam calls it, "keeping your posture." So, some taste interesting, but I don't really see any particular purpose one way or another. Most people that are cool with alcohol in moderation (and I certainly respect the view that it's not, as there are good reasons .. and I was quite convinced of that for a long time and will always remain convinced that it's not ok not in moderation) are of the opinion (whether used as a justification or just as a passing comment) that it helps conversational valves open. I know for me, I don't need any help opening my conversational valves. And like I said, no one notices any differences at all.
When people DO notice a difference is when I get dizzy as all get out as I do sometimes, and that's something that I have no control over. And something that I'm hoping we'll get to the roots of and fix it real quick when I get back to Virginia. Yay for free clinics, even if they are very scary places.
The livingroom has been my domain for the past several nights, and normally the mornings consist of the other people living in the house running around, getting ready, and rushing out the door while I lay on my folded-up futon in my sleeping bag (of course, the futon, the sleeping bag, and the pillow aren't *mine*, exactly.. they're each someone's from that household) and wake up naturally sometime around 9:30. At home, I would not normally have woken up naturally at that hour, usually instead sleeping 'till closer to 11. But with the time change, and with not staying up quite as late California time as I do back home eastern time, I'm in no way upset to get up that early.
But this morning, it was still dark out when Sam's silhouette stood against the tiny bit of pre-dawn light seeping in through the windows.
By the time we were both ready and in the car (and yes, I normally do get up less than 20 minutes before I have to leave, unless I'm actually taking a morning shower that day, in which case I'm still out the door remarkably soon considering that I'm a girl and I've got long hair again and all), the sun was peeping up over the hills. Brown hills. so there's this golden sun with deep orange light framing brown hills, and it made for one of the more beautiful pictures I know I can't capture with my camera.
In the meantime, you can see some of the pictures from Sam's digital camera, more to be added as he gets them ready and then when I eventually get my film developed.
This is still a mighty early morning, though, and I'm barely comprehending a darn tootin' thing I type.
So after much deliberation and a few phone calls, Sam and I decided to come back here to his place and I'm gonna call the other folks out there and figure out if there really is any point at this point (which there so very much is so long as some of the hang out times work out, like with Ron and Linette, and with Sheena, and with other folks I care about very much as well) to making the trek out tomorrow to try again. We'll see what happens with that. The bottom line is that I'm really frustrated that there's such a huge possability that I came all the way out to California with the primary purpose of seeing my twin brother (and with other bonus side-trips, like here in the Bay area) and I might go back home without having seen him at all.
Even with that possability in mind, though, I've had a really vunderbar trip and I've enjoyed myself greatly. And it's still VERY much worth it, of course.
I just hope that I do get to see him. After all, he's my twin brother.
This is what some mid-fifties woman with hot-pink nails says to me in the bathroom when Sam and I stopped to figure out our next move. Right. Only in the land of fruits and nuts am I having some lesbian corner me in the bathroom to retie her shorts.
"Oh, and then could you tuck in the ends so that it doesn't make my tummy bulge more? My tummy bulges enough as it is."
"I know that feeling," I responded, in my blunt and unconcerned way. I think she was hoping for a, "Your tummy doesn't bulge, lady.. you look great." There comes a time in every more-or-less nice person's life, however, when she must realize that she ought not be overly concerned about saying something nice that would then convince the person cornering her that she doesn't mind so much. I did mind, daggummit, and I will not retie your little bitty shorts!
Thursday, June 06, 2002
Tonight, I can't remember what else I wanted to do while online.
I'm tempted to say "Well, if I can't remember, it's not really important."
But I know that that's just a silley cliche thing we tell ourselves to comfort ourselves for being silleyheads.
The fact is, whenever I tell myself that, I go home and promptly remember something very important that I wanted to do while online, or something that I really ought to have told someone else had I not forgotten. And then I kick myself because I know that I really am a dorkhead for forgetting things so often. Not that I'm kicking myself or not accepting myself or anything like that, but just that I wish I didn't forget everything so much, and when I do I've realized that telling myself it wasn't important really serves no purpose but to devalidate my own standards of importance.
I've been out to play pool the past two nights, I've watched a bunch of movies (including finally seeing Episode II in the theater.. a VERY different theater than we have at home), I've spent time here in the studio and at the guys' house, and I've met a few people. Very nice time.
Tomorrow, Sam and I are gonna go hang out in San Francisco and he's gonna show me all the coolest places to be and eat and such. On Saturday, we'll drive to Sacramento where I'll meet up with my twin brother, Peter, and Sam will go home eventually. And then I'll hang out with Peter and do something with my father and hopefully catch up with some other friends I had when I lived out that way and also meet up with some other online friends in the area and such.
Quite excited about all that.
On Monday or Tuesday, most likely, I'll return to San Fran and on Wednesday night I'll be flying back to VA via the red-eye. So, those are my plans. With that out of the way, any other posting I do should be more on the lines of actual activities.
On Tuesday, I came here to the studio to hang out with Saki. We went out to see if he could find a DVD player that would play all the similar formats as well, a search in which we were unsuccessful. But at one of the stores we went to, the sales assistant kept saying "Try the DVD-minus-R first." Every single time, "minus-R". And at the other store, it was "dash-R'. Why can't people just say DVD-R? The dash is just there for the writing, and I'd never heard it called a minus before outside of math equations.
So after all that amusement, I hung out at the house yesterday, mostly reading Princess Bride and whatnot. I took a stinkin' long shower, too, which is one of the things I love most when I'm home alone with nothing to do.
I've also been improving slightly during our pool sessions.. the thing that's nice about being absolutely horrible at something is that when you improve at all, it's huge. So I actually managed to hit two balls in in a row (compared to the one total that I'd sunk the night before) without scratching, and when I hit the third one in, I was pleased to hear Sam and Saki making comments about what a roll I was on and where all that came from and such. And then after that, not one more ball in. But I did beat Sam (we were playing cutthroat) myself, rather than just being in second by default since Saki got all Sam's balls in or even winning overall because Saki got all Sam's balls in and Sam got most of Saki's balls in and so on my very last ball, Saki scratched right after putting it in and therefore I won. It was great to actually win because of something I did.
Meanwhile, a more controversial issue among the circles I sometimes people: I do drink in moderation, so I'll put that right out on the table. And so far this year, I've had a grand total of four drinks in public (and maybe another four sips of anything alcoholic at home from my roommate's cabinet) and have yet to be carded. At the pool hall we've been going to, I don't reckon that's much of a surprise -- the bartender the first night was young, nice, but still not the type to enforce many rules .. the bartender last night was drunk outta her gourd -- but the other two times, at regular restaurants where drinking is not their main source of income, it was a bit more surpising. In VA, where ABC laws are being strictly enforced and there's a whole lot of crack-downage happening, I doubt that a pool hall such as this one would stay in business long. But California still wins in my book, what with having a smoking ban on public places, which means that I can play pool and breathe at the very same time.
Meanwhile, it's really fun to be back on the lower end of the time zones, where I'm behind everyone in my country (respectfully excepting Alaska and Hawaii, of course) instead of in the lead. I hadn't realized how much my sense of time has gotten thrown off, though, untill I started thinking about the fact that I was getting in from playing pool at the same time as a lot of my townfolk were getting up to go to work. And I was getting up to come here (around 9:30 my time) when many of my townfolk were going back to work after their lunchbreaks. And I'm eating lunch when many others are getting ready for dinner. And so it goes.
I think being on the east coast works out for my online life (when I have a computer at home) a little better in the sense that it means I'm online late at night in my time zone, with other late people, but also that there are plenty of not-so-late people from the earlier time zones on at the same moment. Here on the west coast, late really is late and it only gets later the further east you think, and so there weren't any of my easterner-than-here friends on when I got on before pool last night.
Ah, the interestingness of it all.
Tuesday, June 04, 2002
I'm with one of my friends, Saki, at his job right now, where he's got a high-speed internet connection. Very nice.
Sam (a closer friend and Saki's roommate) took me out to eat last night, where we had a really wonderful time despite bad service. I had fajitas with an enchilada, 'cept that I didn't eat the enchilada yet. Just most of the fajitas. It was pretty late eastern-time at that point, and although I regularly eat dinner after 9 or 10pm when I'm at home, I also hadn't gotten much sleep the past few nights and had woken up early that morning, so I was too tired to eat much.
Before all that, though, there was my flight.
So I woke up nice and early Monday morning and got to the airport over an hour before my flight. Should have been more than plenty of time. I got in line outside to check my bags, and they said they couldn't help me there and to go to the kiosk. I waited in line there for a long while before finally finding out they couldn't help me there, either.. by the time I got into the right line, it was already 8 and my flight was scheduled for 8:35.
I got to the counter at 8:45, very frustrated and very much regretting the fact that I hadn't gotten the number where another friend (Nate) would be staying in the Bay Area so that I could let him know what happened since he was planning to meet me at the aiport.
Well, I got on the next Bay Area flight, flying into San Fran instead of Oakland. And I fell asleep in the lobby there after arranging for Sam to come pick me up, since I couldn't get ahold of Nate. When I woke up, I had one of my earphones hanging down and my hand was completely asleep (I had my head on my arms) and I was pretty stiff and, best of all, I had this big line of drool dripping down the side of my face.
Just in case it wasn't embarassing enough to have everyone in the aiport able to see this sight, I thought I'd share that with you all.
So meanwhile, I'm here and enjoying it muchly, and amused by how I'd never wake up before 9 or 10 naturally back home, but since it's three hours later here, I woke up around 8 this morning. That gave me some extra time to read The Princess Bride and to eat some yogurt before riding with Saki here to his studio. And it's all mellow and relaxed here, just as I'd hoped it would be.
That's just life out in Central California.
Monday, June 03, 2002
"For the safety of yourself and the five other passengers.."
I had a very smooth, easy flight down. Grand whopping total of 6 people (other than the captains and the one steward) on board.
Our steward is from Peru, and he took a particular liking to my stuffed aminal (a monkey named Victor) that I had with me on the plane. His name is Julio (pronounced HOO-lee-o, for those less-educated in Hispanic pronunciation ways) and he was really quite nice.
Towards the end of the flight, he was asking us all if we wanted some more snacks and such (what with having about 20 or more people less than the plane was minimally stocked for.. and I reckon it probably had snacks and drinks for closer to 50 people or so, just in case..) and he was asking the woman in front of me something that sounded, to me, like, "do you want a bottle of wine to take home?"
When she accepted (after having him repeat it three times .. little planes are LOUD planes, and most of us had had the ear-popping experience that makes it a bit more difficult to hear things), I watched in wonder to see if he really was gonna give her a bottle of wine. I didn't think our tiny little plane (with a flight not even two hours long, no less) even had any wine on board.
Julio reached up into a cabinet and pulled out a bottle of water. Oh, right. That makes much more sense.
When the plane landed, I fetched my baggage and went out to wait for my friends Renee and Darin (the couple whom I've been friends with for many, many years, and whom I blogged about during my spring break trip, during which I stayed with them a bunch) to pick me up so I could stay here overnight. While waiting, there was a family about 5 feet away from me that was given a ticket for "not actively loading in a loading-only zone".
While I'm on the family's side in that it was a truly rediculous thing not only that they got a ticket in this particular circumstance (the wife had gone back inside to fetch the other belongings including car seats, while the husband was staying with the otherwise-packed van and the two very young chilluns that were sitting inside), the whole end of the exchange still amused me in some sad sort of way.
The husband, who had expressed a great deal of frustration verbally towards one of the other police officers, kept yelling at the ticketing officer, "This is UN.. Believable." Over and over. Like making "un" a seperate word made the whole statement more powerful. And like saying it over and over made it more believable, or perhaps less so, whichever the goal might have been.
I don't know that I tend to repeat phrases in frustration very often. Perhaps I do. I know it's a very common thing in our society. But it amuses me none the less.
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