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

Thursday, August 29, 2002

I noticed some time ago that one of my gerbils, Bo, was sick. Her eyes were glazed-looking, her fur was matted down, and her breathing pattern was quick and not steady.

When I was leaving home on Friday evening, I got myself used to the idea that she might not be alive when I got back. That's the thing about sick gerbils.. there's often just absolutely nothing you can do for them. She was lying there, very still (but also quite alive), and breathing even more strangely. When I got back, though, she was alive and well, and continued that way throughout the past week.

Last night, I was just sitting down to dinner with my friend Serena, to whom I'd already explained that Bo was sick. She pointed out that both of my gerbils (Jeph being the other girl) had suddenly become playful, and I looked over to see Jeph digging and burrowing as gerbils often do, and Bo hopping and flinging herself around the cage in a very un-gerbily manner.

It did look funney.

And yet, I knew that it was probably the last thing she'd do, and that she must be in extroadinary pain.

Serena and I sat there, because there was nothing we could do, and watched her die.

After being absolutely certain that she wasn't breathing and there was no hope for pain-free revival, I brought Bo outside and buried her under the pine tree by my window.

I've buried well over 70 gerbils in my life (mostly babies that just didn't survive to adulthood, which is common enough) but I had never seen one die like this.

I'm glad that Bo isn't suffering anymore. But what a horrible way to go.

So Jeph is alone now, and seems to be adjusting well enough. I've been gone since early this morning, though, and won't be home 'till after 9 or 10 tonight, so I'm not certain that she's really ok with not having her sister around anymore. She had two other sisters (apart from Bo) in the cage with her throughout the entire past year while they were being kept by one of my jr. high families, and before that, there were always lots of other gerbils around.

I will probably get more gerbils at some point. They are really wonderful pets, and I can't imagine myself owning only one or especially no gerbil(s) throughout the next couple of years.

I did cry a little for Bo. I still haven't really cried the way I need to, but I will soon. I know this much.

I also know that I will never forget the way she was flinging herself around the cage, or the way those empty little eyes stared up into the shadowlands.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Still nothing new on the job front, though I'm trying to figure out if it'd be feasible for me to do a third-shift job a couple nights a week (on my non-school nights), sleep during the day, and then have the evenings to do jr. high stuff and whatnot. Of course, that would mean that on school nights, it'd be really difficult. But it's something I may give a try for the couple of months of this semester.

I have decided that I'm gonna make it work somehow, though, and not quit school this semester. I'm enjoying my on-campus classes too much. (I'm enjoying my off-campus class, too, but that wouldn't be effected by any work schedule or such).

I'm pursuing other forms of help and assistance, too. I've got a decent amount of babysitting jobs lined up right now, and I'll be getting even more throughout the next month. I've got food, and when my financial aid check comes in in late September, I'll be set for at least a couple of months even without any other form of income .. but then my income in the meanwhile will keep that going. It's just getting from now 'till then.

Yesterday, I had no appitite. So I woke up this morning feeling rather queasy for not having eaten enough within the past 24 hours. I think all I had was a potato and a teeny bit of refried beans. Oh, and some tea and a lot of water. And a soda, since I was feeling a little queasy yesterday, too. By now, though, I'm feeling really ok and I'm glad that I'm not sick with a virus or such, and I'm excited about getting to go to the movies with a friend tonight (I've been doing the hang-out-with-myself thing at the dollar theater on fitty-cen -- the t is invisible -- tuesdays a lot lately, but one of my friends that just got back from vacation is coming tonight) and prolly down to the coffeeshop. Tomorrow will be a whole lot of cleaning and a few errands and some reading and some phone calls, and then another friend comes over for dinner and to give me some stuff from when she was living alone, and then it's karaoke night at the coffeeshop. And then Thursday is classes and jr. high, and Friday is babysitting and hanging out, and Saturday is my open house. (If you're in the area and want more info, please email me.)

Classes, by the way, are so good. Did go to my computer graphics class today, and finished the assignment an hour before the scheduled class ending, but stuck around to help the girls that sit on either side of me who are not as familiar with computers (but are most certainly computer literate) and who have not had the training in excel that I had last semester, which is what we were using today. I'm really gonna enjoy that class. And today was the first real lecture session in Psychology, since Thursday was just an overview of the course, and I very much enjoyed it.

When I got to my Psych class this morning, there was much discussion in my seating area about which printed-out outline was the right one. See, our teacher keeps the outlines on her website so that we can print them out, because sometimes there will be things on those that aren't in the book but will be on the test. Some people had accidentally printed out the outline for chapter one of psych 201 instead of 200, and were despairing about that. This is understandable enough. But then the discussion went into how much people had read over the weekend. Now, for me, personally .. I put off the reading 'till last night, but darn tootin' did I get every bit of the assigned reading done. I mean, really, the secret to getting good grades in lower level courses is simply doing the reading and showing up to class. And most of the folks in this class (particularly the ones in the area in which I sit) hadn't even opened their book, had maybe glanced over the outline, and had no apparent desire to actually study.

Granted, I did have a few years between high school and college, and granted, I did always enjoy reading .. However, when the prof herself even says that all you really need to do to get a good grade is read and show up, and when that's an established fact from past college experiences, wouldn't it be wise to suck it up and do the reading even if you don't want to? And if you're too busy, drop a class or two now while you can still get a refund, rather than wasting time and money. I mean, once you get behind, it's so hard to catch up, and waiting too long to drop means that you've paid for the class, and sometimes even that you're stuck with the bad grade.

Ah, well. So long as they don't somehow try to pressure me into working my buns off for their grade (I'm not sure how they could do this, but a few of them had the impression they'd find a way.. "Way I see it, this is my group here and we're all gonna work together and get a good grade"..), I guess it's just their own thing to deal with. But I just can't imagine the apathy and such that leads someone to say, "All I have to do is read, but I'm not going to, and instead I'm going to expect that someone else will help me constantly so that I can pass an easy enough class." I'll admit that I have my significantly apathetic areas, but I try not to make that affect someone else or to make someone else work harder to make up for my own different priorities. And boy do I not waste my own time and money on something that I'm not willing to work for.

Which is why I'm gonna CLEP out of the academic classes as much as I can, such as Math, History, and Science.

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I was always convinced that there was just something wrong with me that prevented me from snapping. Didn't have the right amount of fat on my fingers (too little or too much, either way) or my bones weren't the right shape or who knows what. Either way, I went my whole life not being able to snap.

The Saturday before last, a friend was over and saw me pretending to snap and commenting on how I can't snap. She chuckled and had that "I'm amazed I have to tell you this!" look on her face when she told me that it's not up in your fingers where you make the noise, it's when your snapping finger (for most people, their middle finger) hits the heel of your hand.

Whole new worlds are opened to me now! I still can't make much noise with my right hand, but people can actually hear something on my left hand when they're looking my way and know I'm trying to snap. There is potential, and potential has always been enough for me.

I'm still practicing, which is great since I'll be somewhere completely random (such as here in the computer lab or driving down the street) and will remember that I have a fun, new, almost-skill to practice, and people look at me funney because they think I'm trying to get their attention or that I'm snapping REALLY off-rhythm in my car.

So my world is changed. I can snap now.

I think I need a button or a bumper sticker that says that.

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Kenny had told Lucas that I'd be babysitting him that evening. I hadn't seen Lucas in a few months, but he knew who I was from the church activities at which I'd babysat him, as well as the one time I babysat for their house church. So Lucas was comfortable with the fact that someone he knew would be babysitting him, and therefore was able to comfort his younger sister, Leah, as well, and set their parents' minds at ease about them not misbehaving at all.

When I got there, though, Lucas looked at me quizzically. He turned to his father and said, "That's not Patty Tracey." I laughed and said I've been Patty Tracey all my life. Lucas replied, again to his father, "That's not the Patty Tracey I know."

His father explained that I was the only Patty Tracey in the world (something that may confuse Lucas when he grows up and finds a handful of other Patty Tracey's in this nation's phonebooks.. actually, I've only ever seen two others, but I'm sure they're out there) and asked if Lucas remembered me from babysitting at church and house church.

"I know who Patty Tracey is," he calmly stated. "That's not Patty Tracey."

By now, I was heading towards an identity complex.. if I'm not Patty Tracey, who am I? But since I've been Patty Tracey more than five times as long as he's been Lucas, I figured I was still the more certain one.

When his mother asked why he was insisting I'm not who I am, he said -- in the manner children have of pointing out the obvious -- "That's not Patty Tracey! Patty Tracey has golden skin!"

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I saw "Kyle" at church on Sunday, and complimented him on his color. He explained to me that he still didn't even know what had happened.. And when I told him he had a seizure, he was quite surprised. (By the way, to clarify.. I have seen seizures before a couple of times, but never one in reaction to blood donation.. Kyle was simply dehydrated and such.) He's doing just fine, now, though.

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Thursday, August 22, 2002

My church was holding a blood drive, so I went down to help check people in. I, myself, haven't been able to donate blood in nearly two years now, because my iron levels have been too low, and no amount of eating green, leafy veggies seems to be pulling them up. I figure for the time being, 'till I can get all my symptoms and questions checked out and diagnosed, it's prolly best for me not to try to donate again anyway.

But I was there, attempting to help make things run smoothly.

And in walks one of my former jr. high students, who we'll call Kyle. He was in seventh grade when I started working with the jr. high group, and he'll be going into his junior year now. He's driving already, and he's active on the football and "wrastlin'" teams at his school.

Telling him about the first time I donated blood, when I was 17, I relayed the story of all the football players at my school -- and their coach, no less -- being in the bloodmobile at the same time as I was. And I was this itttty bittttty litttttle girl, and they were the HUGE football players, and I was just fine with the needle and the blood and the involvement of me, and these guys were whimpering and whining and crying like babies.

So I was teasing Kyle about how he's gonna cry, and not because it hurts, but just because the big guys always do.

Kyle went through with the entire donation .. nervous as all get out, but without crying or anything like that. He asked me when I was gonna give a pint ('cept that we kept saying pint like pin with a t, instead of pine-t), and I started to explain about how I get dizzy because my iron levels are too low, and I can't today. Suddenly, he looks me right in the eye and says, "Oh, now I'm getting light-headed."

Immediately (if I could snap, I would, even though that wouldn't be very effective online), he turns pale green and drops his head. My subconcious coping method was to assume he was joking at first .. but when the cup in his left hand fell because he was no longer holding it, I realized that he really had just fainted. So the nurses laid the chair back and put the foot end up in the air, at which point Kyle clenches his fists and starts shaking. He groaned a little, but didn't open his eyes and didn't respond to any of their questions. One of the male nurses said, "He's going into a seizure," and told me to go get him some more juice.

When I got to the juice table, I was already shaking visibly, I'm sure, and I turned around to check on Kyle. He shot straight up in the chair (significantly difficult considering that he had his feet in the air and was lying flat on his back) and let out some crazy scream. At this point, the other people there realized that something was wrong, and since most of these people knew him, it became quite a concern.

I was praying inside the entire time, but never thought to ask everyone else to pray with me.

When I brought the juice back over, Kyle was just coming to, and they were able to ask him a few questions to which he responded. So I sat there -- holding his cup so that he could drink from his straw and holding his hand so that I could be sure he was alive -- and kept myself from crying.

It was one of the worst moments of my life. This is a kid for whom I have a great deal of respect, and I think the best of him. And suddenly, he was a color that no human ever should be, and he had absolutely no control over anything happening in his body or externally, and I had never been that close to such a harsh reaction to blood donation before. I've seen people faint, but never a seizure. And normally, once someone says they're lightheaded, there's time to get that fixed before there's a danger.

I prayed the rest of the night in appriciation for his life. And I was shaken up the rest of the night, and still am. Oh, Kyle, this world needs more guys like you.

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First on-campus classes today. Or I should say class, since I'm going to be babysitting this afternoon and thus missing my computer graphics class. However, I did talk to my professor already, and I'm excited about how that class will be, since he seems like a very nice man. Not the prof listed in the schedule, whom I've already known for a year, but a different very nice man. So that should go well, and he's said I'm not missing anything too incredibly important today ("Well, they're ALL important, but if you're going to have to miss one class..") and I'll be making some much needed fundage instead.

Meanwhile, I did attend my first Psychology 200 class, which I'll have a headstart in as I did take psychology in high school as well. It should be really fun, though. Apart from the Orientation class, which met in the same room last year, this will be the largest class I've had here. Still and all, it's nothing like large universities with their couple-hundred-plus-student-lecture-halls. However, it is a bit crowded and will be different from other classes in that sense. Along with that, it will be different in the sense that we'll be having much more small-group interaction than I've had in any other class, and that this teacher is pregnant.

I like her a lot already. She'll be strict enough to keep the class under control, but seems very laid-back and fun as well. No making up tests or quizzes or handing in papers late for any reason whatsoever. Encouragement to have fun, encouragement to learn well, and the assurance that if you read the book and her notes (from her website), you'll get a good grade.

She's got one of those speaking voices that's just very pleasant. She's nowhere near monotone, and nothing about her voice is grating or strained. So it should be that much easier to stay awake and actively paying attention, which will also be quite more important in this class than it has been in others, apparently.

Also bumped into one of my teachers from the spring semester, and that was nice. Just a little "hey, how are ya, have a good summer?" conversation, but really good to see her.

Yesterday I got the call that I will NOT be approved for work-study this year, despite complete eligibility and the request on the behalf of the tutoring center for me to work there. Politics, folks.. everything is about politics. Please pray for me to find a good job. If I could even just work 8 hours a day on Monday and Wednesday (on which I have no classes), I'd be quite set. Please also pray for me to work through all my feelings towards the financial aid office and two of the particular staff members there, and to forgive them and repent of the negative feelings I've had towards them. While some of the feelings are just observations internalized, none of them are helpful to me or to them and therefore don't need to be around. I've been really struggling with that whole situation since my trouble with the office started in January, though, and it's not getting any easier as I go through all this this semester. So I'm thinking that the more space between me and that office, the better. At least I won't have to do anymore paperwork before the end of the spring semester, if then.

It's been one of those weeks.Please pray for me. I'm not asking that out of exhaustion or desperation, as I often am when I actually post this request on the blog .. I'm just asking that out of an awareness that I'm struggling, and that without your prayers, I quickly will veer towards the exhaustion and desperation that leads to many unwise decisions. Thank you for your prayers .. they are my lifeline.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2002

From this morning, around 8am:

Sometimes there is relief in waking in that it only was a dream, even when we must wake at hours we were never intended to know existed. It's an individual thing, which hours those are, but the signs are all the same -- dread as we set the alarm clock, disorientation and irritability when we do wake (ie, attempting to throw something at the alarm but hitting the far wall instead), grogginess that slows or limits functionality...

This is one of those mornings. The orientation session for my new job at the tutoring center starts in just under an hour, and I feel I need to be there a bit earlier than usual as the person with the third greatest number of hours.

8am is certainly, for me, one of the hours I should know exists only in the experience of others. It is a time untill which I've only stayed up perhaps 5 times in my life, and at which I've already woken up only a handful of times a year, and only in extreme necessity.

To add to that, I've been having extremely vivid dreams lately, seperable from reality only in that they usually involve a person or two that I haven't seen or that lives far away. When I wake during a dream, I am often so disoriented that I can barely function, and the dream tends to move to a certain area of my memory rather than processing through and being forgotten.

The dream I was having when I woke this morning was a particularly disturbing one, and when I had gotten ahold of my surroundings enough to realize this, I wished so badly to cry that it finally almost worked. It has been so long since I've cried. This dream primarily involved a confrontation with my twin brother (whose phone, in reality, has been cut off and thus with whom I've had no contact since my trip to CA in June), which was at its most painful -- and violent -- point when the alarm clock's beeping removed me from that sleeping world. I could not cry, though. I did fall to the grount, I did feel the emotions welling up inside me, I did allow the memory of that part of the dream to play over and over. No tears would come, no sweet relief. Oh, how I need to cry.


As I said, that was from this morning, right after I woke up.

I ended up being nearly half an hour late to my orientation, because I was so groggy and such that it took me forever to get ready, plus my lack of awareness of time (such as I often have on mornings like this) neglected to keep me on schedule for leaving by quarter'till.

Despite being nearly half an hour late, though, I didn't miss much at orientation. And that went well, and I'm excited about this job, except for the fact that I might not really have it. Instead of working for the tutoring center directly, I'm supposed to be the center's work-study student for this year, so that I can get 15 hours a week and they can afford to pay me. However, I put in the application for the work-study program well over three weeks ago, and haven't yet received any kind of response from the financial aid office, even though I've been in there several times and our tutoring center coordinator has talked with the woman in charge of the work-study programs a few times.

If I do in fact end up having more difficulty with the financial aid office this year, I'm really not sure what's going to happen to my remaining in school. I've been relying on this aid and this job, and I'm not sure that I can get another job where I can work with such flexibility. I am SICK of all this drama with the financial aid office. It's an aid office, not a hinderance office. These people are paid to help students be able to attend school without stressing about money all the time, and the people in the office here seem more focused on helping only students of certain racial backgrounds and/or perhaps not helping anyone at all.

I spent plenty of time blogging last year about my struggles with the office both before school started and once I started having trouble in my work-study job at the end of last year's fall semester. And then there were the struggles I've been having throughout this summer (and at the end of last semester) convincing them that I'm still independent and that I don't need all the same hassles again.

I don't want the same hassles. I don't want new hassles. I just want to go to school and make something of my life. Rather, I want to go to school and let God use that to make something of my life, if He so desires. And maybe this isn't what I'm supposed to be doing.

Darn tootin', it's so hard to know sometimes.

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From last night:

I've always been fairly comfortable with my own writings. I've also always been pretty excited about the chance to share it with others. Reading in front of a class, or handing a few scribbled pages to a close friend: it was all the same to me.

Microphones, on the other hand, frighten the snot out of me. I dispise them with a passion. I can take video cameras, and I can tolerate answering machines, but mircophones or most other voice recorders are near the top of my non-favorites list.

The coffeeshop I've been hanging out at has open mic nights on Sundays, and I've enjoyed hearing my new friends and some longer-time friends sharing their music or reading various poems. On Sunday the 11th, I actually got up the desire to share one of my own poems, even though it meant braving one of my most hated foes. I had been sitting with a group of friends, some of whom regularly read -- be it their own poetry or someone else's. Going with them over what they'd read that night, I decided to share with them some of the writings kept in my wallet/planner, and a couple told me I should read them.

For weeks now, I'd been considering the idea of sharing my writings -- or another's work that I enjoy -- from stage. However, I really do dispise microphones, and it took a lot of convincing (and my own once-I've-signed-up-I-won't-back-down stubbornness) to get me on stage. So I was the last participant that evening, and I allowed my friends to help me choose one of the three poems I was most willing to read that night. Due to some similar situations that one of those friends shared with me, I ended up deciding on one of the most personal poems I've ever written, which is well over a year old but still very expressive of my current experiences. I did have some significant nervousness working against me, but I did read all the same.

Last Sunday, I read two, and did a much better job reading. Not great, but better. I've become excited about sharing more poems there in the future. Perhaps someday I won't dispise microphones so much.

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Friday, August 16, 2002

I'm at one of the local libraries now, since the campus is closed today. When I first got on, the guy sitting at the computer next to this one looked over when I started typing an email, and even moved his chair over so that he could see how quickly the words were appearing on the screen. Ok, I know that I type quickly, and I know that to people that didn't have mothers with home computers that could type over 100 wpm, it's a really different experience to see or hear someone that can type almost that fast. However, there is still the concept of politeness and not reading someone's email just to see how quickly they can type it. I looked over to acknowledge that I knew he wasn't trying to be offensive, and he started laughing and using choice expletives to express his amazement. Oh, that's better.

He left, and two girls sat down at that computer. I was at this time checking my hotmail account and hoping that no one was basing their first impression of me on the list of spam emails I was deleting from my inbox and junk mailbox at that moment. The girls (probably in their early to mid twenties, and apparently skilled with computers but not seeming to be very well educated otherwise) started talking (loudly enough, mind you, especially since this IS a library) about the pictures they were looking at one what may have been a singles site or what may have been a little less kosher than that. "Oooh, he's fine! No, look at his face.. with the side profile, he's gorgeous, but in the front it's nasty." The girl at the keyboard was probably from this area, and I'd imagine the other girl was as well .. however, her accent sometimes sounded like various parts of Africa and sometimes like Brooklyn and sometimes like she could have been from almost any other area of this great world.

The guy at the computer on the other side of them finally requested that he not hear every bit of their conversation, at which point the ghetto pride in these girls jumped up and started biting everyone in the rear. "Oh no you just di'..'n'!" (If you've never heard the ebonics attitude version of didn't, you maybe can't undestand why I spelled it that way, intenetionally. It's worth hearing, though. I think any foreigner, any extra-terrestrial if such exist, would know EXACTLY what this person was saying from the attitude shown in the lack of enunciation as well as the head roll and the facial expressions.) "Don't snap at him, girl .. he should be mad because we're talkin' about how fine these guys are and he's not fine at all."

I nearly burst out laughing, as I would have if it weren't for the healthy fear for my life, when the girls started going off about how people don't have enough respect these days and such.

Hypocricy runs rampent in every part of our society, and I'd imagine others as well, because people are inherently selfish and self-focused. We refuse to realize things that we are doing that are inconsiderate to other people, but when a person jumps into our kingdom, our boundaries, and our personal space, we get rather upset and defensive, and we KNOW that a wrong has been done.

Lord, please help me to always be aware of the boundaries and needs of others, and not to be inconsiderate towards other people for any reason. Not to be walked all over, but not to take advantage of others, either.

On that note, readers, another venting. One of my sort-of friends from here in town, who I've known for the nearly all the time I've lived here, got involved last year in some new program that's sweeping the nation for easy money. Now, the program itself seems like enough of a scam for me to already not want to get involved. Then you look at the fact that sure, they pay their employees, and maybe they really do fulfill the service they offer. However, even if both those conditions are true, the whole premise of it is still taking advantage of people, preying on the fears that have arisen in the modern-American, never-accept-responsability society in which we live. This program is some sort of pre-paid legal services program, basically an insurance for legal issues. The sales-pitch is very much in line with an insurance program, even using the car, medical, life, and other insurance policies that many people have to justify the need for legal insurance.

Personally, I'm really sick of the way that America has turned to law suits to remind ourselves that we're alive. I'm sick of the way that we think of every slip or stumble as a chance to get rich. I'm sick of how every accident that happens at someone's home brings fear to them about insurance companies hassling them for money, and maybe even having significant financial difficulty or not being at peace when any guest is at their home.

Therefore, I dispise this pre-paid legal program with a passion, because it preys on all of these fears, and it adds to the excuse. "Well, since everyone's get law insurance these days anyway, I can go ahead and sue because then they'll at least get what they paid for." Not that that thought will often run through heads, but our subconcious ideas have an amazing part in our decisions, and I think that may be an idea deep in the subconcious trenches of many minds. I know it factors into other areas, like in a car accident. "It was my fault, really, or it was no one's fault, but I'm gonna insist that it was the other person's fault anyway because they have insurance to pay for it and that's better than me paying for it or having my own insurance rates go up."

Apart from how much I hate this program in general with a passion, it also just so happens that this sort-of friend only has contact with me regarding this program. He doesn't call to say hi. He doesn't email to see how I'm doing. He sends packets with tapes telling about the program and letters asking me to "help review this tape" and emails telling me about how the company's stock as gone up and such, and that's the only communication I have with him these days. His wife, who was once one of my roommates, and through whom I know this fellow, has no communication with me whatsoever, as is the case between her and most of the other old friends and roommates as well.

So it's very frustrating, because I feel like the only interest that he/they has/have in me is as a potential client and/or networking sales booster or something. The program has a pyramid scheme with salespeople, too, which means that a person can feasably make all their money just be convincing other people that they can make money as a salesperson. In other words, I could sign up, and then I could convince three people to sign up under me, let them do all the work, and I'll make a hefty living from that. Again, taking advantage of people.

So anyway, I can't feel used because there's nothing to use me for, but I certainly don't feel appriciated. I've told them so, too, but that hasn't stopped or changed our communication. I think the next step is to say "I want to hear about your personal lives, I want to keep in touch, but I don't want to hear another word about this program, ever." And if they continue, I guess I'd just have to cut off contact. That's a sad thought, but I guess it'd be better than having only enough contact to know that they're alive and not respecting my wishes.

It's all about respect and consideration. Nearly everything is. Every interaction we have with other people.

Ah, if only these were more common in our world.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2002

"You're caller number three, congratulations!"

I had won a free lunch for two at Ragazzi's, a chain restaurant in the home city of a semi-local radio station that broadcasts in my town as well. It's about an hour and a half from me, but it also just happens to be the town Sarah and her parents live in (when she's not at school, of course) and so that made it rather convenient for me to take her out to a nice lunch without either of us having to worry about finances, plus that we'd thus have a great excuse to finally get together again before she goes back to school. Her school's only another hour beyond her house, but it's significantly more difficult to hang out during the school year.

I drove up yesterday, since the lunch was good for any weekday of my choice, and that was the most convenient day for Sarah. We went to Ragazzi's, and told our server (I never did catch his name .. drat.. oh, it's on my reciept-- Paul) that I was a radio station winner, and what did that include? He said "Everything except alcohol," paused for a moment," And I can't serve that to you anyway." As he went on to list the specials, I thought, "Oh, I guess he thinks we're both underage. I can't imagine why else he'd not be able to serve that to us, because they still have drinks with lunch. Hmm." Not that I'd been planning on ordering alcohol, though I may have opted for a glass of wine if it was included, if only for the fact that it was included. All the same, Sarah and I had a good chuckle over that one later.

Our server, Paul (and yes, he looked like a Paul), did recommend that we check out the combo plates and such since it was all free, and was just absolutely sweet about the whole thing.

So Sarah and I sat at this table in a restaurant I likely wouldn't have ever ended up in otherwise, and I felt wealthy.

I ordered a Root 66 Root Beer with my meal, when I usually only just get water nomatter where I am or how much money I have. I love Root 66 or IBC, and don't get to have either very often.

We had Mussels Marinara as an apitizer -- Sarah's first time having muscles, my first in a while. Sarah had a linguini dish with shrimp, and I had a Taste of Italy combo plate that had classic lasagna, meat-filled something or other, and manicotti. It was really incredible. Then we had key lime pie and tiramasu for dessert, which was heavenly. I was stuffed as all get out, despite getting a box for about half my main dish, and I just felt so incredibly good.

Really, as I siad, I felt wealthy.

So, I highly recommend Ragazzi's. The food was incredible, the service was great, and they support good local radio stations.

Along with that, I highly recommend doing things that will make you feel wealthy without actually spending much money. It was extreme fortune (I would even say it was a blessing from God, quite divinely ordained in a manner quite obvious to me) that I won this prize, but anything that you can do to not feel the restraint of your budget for an afternoon will help immensely in how you feel about yourself and your activities.

I haven't blogged about the "dates with myself" in quite some time, but I know a number of those will be coming up this year. I've had a few smaller-scale versions of them recently, but in such a private home as I have now, I'll be able to have solitude times like I've never had before.

Yesterday, though, I felt wealthy.

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So, a bit more on the sleepover.

On the Thursday night that I moved into my apartment, which was August first, I was at jr. high youth group and the girls started talking about doing a sleepover. And I said, "Now that I've got my own really spaciousbigfatmassivelyhuge apartment, we'll be doing plenty of sleepovers throughout this next year." And they said, "We have to do one soon!"

We chatted about weekend possabilities, and then it struck me that the girls don't have school to be at the next day, and so they could do a weeknight sleepover just as easily. And so I said, "ok, not next week, but maybe the week after", 'cept that it turned out several of the girls had band camp or other such weekday activities that would limit their participation, if not eliminating it entirely. And so they said, "Why not this week?" To which I replied, "I'm still unpacking."

"We'll help you unpack!!! Pleeeeeaaassseee?!?!?"

Ok, having a bunch of jr. high girls help me unpack was out of the question, but so was resisting the begging in surround sound whinage that night. So we made plans for them to come over on Monday night and stay 'till Tuesday afternoon. The following day I made calls to all the girls that hadn't been there and talked to some of the moms of the girls that had. Thus, it was all set, and any backing out to be done would just not have been nice.

So on Monday night they began arriving around 7pm, and immediately began the very hyper conversations about anything and everything. Throughout the evening, we ordered a couple of pizzas, painted eachother's nails, watched Pearl Harbor (which I hadn't yet seen), and had a whole lot of conversations. I did double french braids for one of the girls, at which point all the others got in line to have them done as well, and so I did a total of 10 french braids (two of the girls fell asleep before their turns) within a two hour or so span. Wow.

In the morning, having not gotten much of any sleep, I was a little bit less jovial than usual. We survived, though, the girls and I did, and after seeing them all off, half-way straightening out my place a bit, and rounding up some of the items the girls had left behind, I managed to make it through the rest of the day in a much more pleasant mood. I'm quite looking forward to the next sleepover, although I think that some new boundaries and guidelines will be instituted for respecting eachother and my neighbors. My neighbors next door didn't hear anything at all, and my neighbors upstairs didn't complain .. I haven't had a chance to actually introduce myself to them just yet, though, so perhaps they didn't feel comfortable with that being our introduction.

In other news, I picked up my books for classes today, got my new license (with a new picture taken, even), and put in my forwarding order. I almost skipped the forwarding order, since Erin tells me when new mail comes, and since I doubt any new mail will be heading in that direction anyway .. but it's good to have it set up all the same. I made a bunch of needed phone calls before leaving home this morning, too, and have gotten partly caught up on my email accounts. So I'm feeling quite productive. I'll get home around 5ish today, at which time Danielle (a newer friend) is coming over for dinner, and then we'll go to Karaoke together later tonight. Hopefully I can connive one of the guys in the crew there to help me install my shelves for my clothing sometime before Saturday afternoon, so that I can do the last bit of major unpacking that needs to be done for me to feel at home. I did go through all my clothing (including the several bags full that I've recieved from other people cleaning out their closets) and sort out what's to be kept or given away or thrown out or such, and that's made a huge difference. I've now got a great number of new items to wear, along with having gotten rid of all the clothing I don't want, hung up all the clothing that should be, and folded most of the clothing I'm keeping. I found a few things I'd forgotten in the past year plus that I'd had, and some of the clothes found in the give-away bags from others have become new favorites.When I went to Sarah's yesterday, too, she and her mom gave me a number of other great articles of clothing that fit really well and will also be new favorites. So I'm quite excited about my wardrobe again, especially about the fact that I rarely pay for anything, and when I do, it's from thrift stores.

Oh, and another friend gave me a futon on a frame, another comfy living room chair, and a dining table with three chairs. So I've got a table in my kitchen now that looks really great and makes it feel that much less like a thrown-together temporary home. Plus I've got the futon sofa/bed in my room. I haven't slept on it yet, but it'll be nice both to have for guests and to have as an alternative when I'm sick of my bed -- I was always one of those kids that snuck out to sleep in the living room from time to time, a habit that I had to give up during my 10 months in CA and which annoyed my roommates when I continued it here. I've just always liked sleeping on various surfaces sometimes, and there's something particularly comfortable about sofas anyway. So I'm even more furnished now, and just really excited about my new home. It really has come to be home to me, much sooner than I anticipated.

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Thursday, August 08, 2002

I haven't been online since one week ago today. When I got on, my two primary email accounts were both full, and the others had a significant amount of Spam and occasional personal email in them. In my hotmail account, I deleted over 100 pieces of Spam from the junk mailbox, and over 100 more from my regular inbox, to find about 7 pieces of personal email and/or desired mailing lists left in the inbox. Really, I can do without the Spam. I promise. Especially since I'm checking my email in a library or computer lab where people are seeing these subject lines when they glance over at my screen. There is the possability that some other people sent me email that I wanted but that got bounced back due to the account being full .. if this was you, please re-send that email.

Meanwhile, I've made a great deal of progress on a lot of fronts. I've gotten somewhat unpacked (depending on how you define that) and have inherited a lot of free furniture, lamps, clothing, and food. Out of all of these, the food is probably the one that excites me most at the moment, but there is also a lot to love about the other items. I've got a very comfy chair, another comfy chair that folds out into a bed, and a few coffee tables and end tables on the way.

This is a VERY spacious apartment, by the way.

So, I've now not only got a place to sleep for myself, but I've also got a better-than-the-floor option for at least one guest. Though the jr. high girls that slept over Monday night (slept? ha! They were actually asleep from 6 to 10 am .. how in the world did they manage that?) found plenty to love about sleeping on the floor. But then, they're jr. high girls.

I'm really loving my new place, and it's looking and feeling more like home every moment. Tonight, I'll be getting the last of my remaining items from my old place, and the next week will bring about lots more work on getting my shelf system for my clothing set up and such.

I'm going to be having an official housewarming shindig on the thirty-first. That gives me a lot more motivation to get things put away neater and faster than I would otherwise likely do. I'm really excited about having people come over and see my new home, and hopefully having people keep coming over throughout the year. I am, after all, an extrovert -- despite all my sometimes very introverted tendencies.

Likewise, I've dealt with all the other issues that I've been blogging about recently. Overall, I've been in a pretty peaceful mindset this past week. I've been working for a couple from my church that have their own computer software development business, and I've been reading a lot.

Last night, I went down to the coffeehouse I've been spending time at recently, and from there went with some friends for a little while to the bar/club down the street. This is certainly not my type of place to hang out, but I also really needed to get outside my comfort zone for a while. They have dancing on Wednesday nights, and so my very-white self worked up the nerve to break out of my sit-and-watch norm and dance a little bit.

So, this is me, in relation to all of that: I can do a lot of crazy things (like wearing a headpiece or a skirt made out of neckties, or like singing silley songs while walking through Wal-mart, etc) that most people wouldn't do, and not be at all self-concious about what impression I'm giving people. And I love dancing when there are instructions and steps and when, so long as I can follow those steps (because I am good at following directions), I can dance well enough. I've done a bit of swing dancing, some salsa dancing, and a teeny bit of other group or line-style dances that don't require much creativity. When it's just a bunch of people (mostly strangers) dancing to techno and random music, though, there is a lot of freedom required, and that's just not so much me.

I have this extreme desire not to attract people that I don't want to attract, if that makes any sense. Having guys I don't know make comments to me that aren't entirely appropriate (usually having something to do with sex, of course) is a very uncomfortable thing for me. When I shaved my head two years ago, getting hit on by girls was that much more uncomfortable. And while I went with friends to this club, there were still a couple of times when that very uncomfortable feeling was brought back. And so that's why I do not have much freedom in dancing.. I don't like the fact that there is no way to easily communicate boundaries and say "no, I don't want any strangers -- or my friend for that matter, but they already know this -- to get up in my personal space." I don't have much personal space at all, especially with people I know.. However, I have a lot more when dancing, because it's something I'm not very familiar with, and because it's something that a lot of people make very .. oh, I can't think of any word. At any rate, it's one of those things where I am not often very comfortable.

Some of my friends and their friends took it upon themselves, though, to teach me how to dance (more or less) and to encourage me to let go a little bit of my somewhat conservative nature when it comes to dancing and just relax and move, rather than having to know actual steps and such. I'm sure that if it had been video'ed and I could see a tape of the whole process, I'd be horrified and would never want to show my face around these folks again. However, I did have some fun, and I did get out of my comfort zone, and I did leave that place without being too traumatized by the overall atmosphere.

I've got to go now, but I am still around and I still love emails and I'll be blogging more in just a bit.

God bless you all.

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Thursday, August 01, 2002

There was this brief moment of panic tonight as I realized that I really was going to be living on my own. The friends that had come to help me move the bulk of my belongings had left, and I was sitting on the floor in the middle of my very own apartment.

I thought, "I am so not ready for this. I need to find something else!"

But I started unpacking my kitchen stuff (dishes, ceaning supplies, etc) and within a few minutes, I was completely ok, and even excited.

Looking at the one room full of boxes and disassembled furniture, and then walking into the spacious but empty rooms that make up the rest of the apartment, I thought that there was just nowhere to begin unpacking all my worldly goods for the millionth time. But somewhere, there just was a beginning. The kitchen supplies started it for me tonight, and then coming across a few of the more simple decorations that were easily put in their new place helped to further settle my mind.

When I was suitably done with enough for the night, I grabbed a packet of Ramen noodles from my car and got my first cup of water from my new sink. Hearing the phone, MY phone ring, knowing that whoever was calling could only be calling for me (barring wrong numbers), was a huge and beautiful moment.

"This", I said to the air and the angels, "is my home. Mine. No one else has authority over this place or these belongings. It is my kingdom."

It will be a while before my kingdom really feels like home, but it will seem like it took no time when that moment becomes a constant, when that feeling becomes a reality.

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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