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

Monday, September 30, 2002

I just lost an entire entry. Drat! foiled agian.

I'm babysitting Emily today, and will again on Wednesday. She's a bit sick, so I can't go more than three feet from her without her crying, and most of the time she wants to be sitting on my lap or carried whenever I get up. It's nice, really, to have a baby need more nurturing than usual.

Right now, though, she's content playing with the stove playset (I've never seen one for babies this young before) her parents are borrowing from another church family. While I was typing up the other entry, she was dancing to the sound of my typing.

This week seemed like it was going to be one of the worst weeks I've had in a while, but it turned out to be one of the best weeks ever. That's what the last entry was about, but I won't be able to retype it now, so I'll just leave it at this for the time being.

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Thursday, September 26, 2002

Only three toddlers in babysitting today, because a few mommies didn't come and the two small babies went to sit in on the Bible study. As the three toddlers and I sat down to our animal-cracker-snack, I pulled a cracker out of my cup and said, "This is a kitty! Meaow!" The three children (Gracie, Eva, and Timmy) joined in making all kinds of cat noises and helping the kitty walk around the table. We went through the animals as we pulled them out of our cups, mostly getting kitties, cows, tigers, and sheep. When most of us were all done with our snacks, Timmy (who is the oldest of these children) pulled one last cracker from his cup.

Excitedly he exclaimed, "It a camel!" Rolling with the activity, I asked him what noise a camel makes.

Poor Timmy got one of the most confused expressions on his face that I've ever seen. "I don't know," he said, and I could tell it had never occured to him before that it mattered.

It's interesting to me which animals we teach our children the noises of, and how rarely they ask about the others. We don't often say, "The giraffe says," and then stick out our tongues. Or, "The rabbit says," and then wiggle our noses. When things don't make verbal noises, we just don't acknowledge there's any possability either way.

Timmy now knows that these animals are mostly silent (I think camels do make some kind of groaning noise, but I can't imitate it and I'm not certain it's a normal thing for them anyway), but I'll remember that confused look for a very long time.

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Last night was one of those nights. I felt good about my shift at work, but it was exhausting and I was hurting for energy by the end. The sad part about that is it was only five hours, and most of my shifts will be 6 or so. Hopefully, though, with the added lunch break, I'll be ok.

One of the things that was, perhaps, a factor in my exhaustion: I was straightening up some items in the health and beauty area when a couple came over to look at contact solutions. I noticed that the man didn't have shoes on. I then took a few minutes to debate internally whether I needed to go let someone know, to tell him directly that he needed to have shoes on, or just to leave it. That was very much one of those gray areas, where any of the above were right, and none was clearly more right than another. I mean, if someone walked in with a gun or something, I'd know exactly what to do without hesitation. (Run, flee, remove myself quickly. But tell a manager first.) And if someone walked in with raggedy shoes or something, I'd also know to just let them be. But this was something that is against store and federal policy, and where I'm too new to feel comfortable saying something myself, and where I also know the freedom of being barefoot and how much I'd love to go barefoot more places. So I eventually decided on telling a manager and letting them decide what to do, and they got security to escort him out (which is exactly what policy says they should have done) and I spent a bit of time feeling trapped after that. I mean, it was one of those situations where one person puts another person in a "tight spot" and no answer is wrong but no answer is really right, or at least comfortable. At any rate, I did leave it at that, and went on about my work.

From there, I went down to the coffeeshop, since Wednesday is Karaoke night and most of the gang usually shows. I hadn't been planning on going down because of a very uncomfortable incident that happened there last Wednesday, but I figured it'd be a good way to unwind and feel connected and all that.

But I reckon I figured wrong. Recently, I've been feeling even more disconnected down there than I was my very first time walking through the door. I know so many people there, but don't hang out with any of them outside the coffeeshop except on rare occasions (which is mostly my fault, since I lost the love for initiating hangouts a long time ago), and haven't been having any real conversations (and I don't mean deep or "meaningful".. I just mean more than a few words exchanged) in quite some time. I think maybe when I was new, I was a novel thing, I was a new person to get to know, and maybe someone with some potential for friendship. But I can't help feeling like now that they know me, they've realized I don't have that kind of potential, or maybe they're just all looking for different types. I'm aware of my faults, mind you. Not hyperaware, just aware. I understand what they are and I'm taking measures to weed them out bit by bit. In the meantime, though, I'm a meaneyhead and I don't really fit in, and these both have been true nearly all my life, so that I feel like I'm just trudging through tar or something trying to get out.

The point being that I was down there, and I was sitting with folks I know, and I felt like I shouldn't have been there. As each person left, one by one, without saying goodbye, that feeling became heightened. It's not that I want people to go eons out of their way to say goodbye to me. It's just that when I'm standing less than 10 feet away and it's still not worth saying goodbye, I feel like I'm either so mean you don't want to talk to me, or that for some other reason you just don't care. Beyond that, there's the possability this will be the last time we'll ever see eachother, and not saying goodbye means no closure. And people walking right by me and not so much as looking my way feels that much worse. That happened several times. Every time I turned my head, I'd ask someone if somebody else was still here, and they'd say "no, he left a long time ago" or such, and I'd be like "wow, this is a growing trend."

I did run into an old friend last night, though, which was great. Haven't seen this Mike in about a year or more, and it was really pleasant to find a familiar face that actually did want to talk to me. There was one of the other coffeehouse regulars there that has been friendly through all this, too, and I don't want to neglect recognition for that. I can't tell you how much I appriciated having him, this whole past time period since I started feeling so disconnected, be one of the ones that doesn't make me feel outcast or unwanted. Not that the others are intentionally doing so, but I need people to intentionally want me, rather than just tolerate or such. All the same, Robert was a great help to my emotions last night, and one of the three or four people that I know that when they're also at the coffeeshop, I'll be welcome. Out of those three or four, though, he was one of two there last night. Likewise, someone else I thought was in that crowd was one of the ones that was really ignoring me last night, in a very intentional way, which of course hurts much more than the other folks I have no other expectations of.

So I went home and cried a great deal. It was immensely good to be able to cry like that, though. I'm pretty sure I've hinted in a few past entries about how I've been so numb for ages now, and that's blocking my ability to deal with feelings appropriately and has been making me very out-of-sorts. Crying that much was, I think, a first step in becoming less numb.

I started writing, too, which is another great sign for the unnumbing process. I've only been writing about one or two subjects this past year, and most of those were pretty empty, from my mind instead of my soul. These were for real, including the use of one line I wrote down some time ago and was never open or free enough to complete.

I fell asleep, somewhat more reliant on the love of my Saviour than I've known how to be in a long time, and slept mostly peacefully, despite one strange dream I can still remember. Actually, it's not the dream I can remember, it's my reaction to the dream when I halfway woke up.. my "No, that wasn't what was supposed to happen.. it should have been either this or this.. let's try that again," and then I fell back asleep. I can remember what the options were, but I don't remember the dream beyond that, or even what DID happen in the dream instead of the other two options.

I woke up this morning (and I wrote down this song.. oh, wait, that's not original..) to hear my bedroom phone ringing, which was odd since the ringer on that phone is normally always off. I'd also turned off the ringer on my kitchen phone so I wouldn't wake up before my alarm went off. However, my alarm never went off, and the wake-up-call-of-sorts came 15 minutes before I was supposed to be at my babysitting job. Not the best way to start this new day out, but at least I did get a little extra sleep, and the babysitting time brought lots of fun and laughter, so that was a very good thing.

I realized many years ago, prolly about 6 months after getting out of depression, that I did spend over 9 years in depression in my childhood and teenage years, and that it would always be a struggle for me to stay out and remain more balanced. I don't know that I ever realized how much of a struggle it could become.

Last night, and even various parts of today so far, I was really tempted to just stop everything remotely considered social, with the two exceptions of my jr. high group and one particular online area of friends. (Some would call them the bannerpeople. We know better.)

See, I know that my jr. high group is important, and I know that I have a place there even if I often doubt I'm not doing more harm than good. Likewise, I know that among the bannerzens, I'm certainly a part of the group and I'm loved and love others. Everywhere and everyone else (and I mean everywhere and everyone.. including blogging, email, the coffeehouse, my old roommates, everywhere and everyone) is too in-question in my mind right now.

This most recent struggle with depression is probably not over, but it's at least a lot farther from the edge than it was before my cry last night. The thing is that when I'm struggling with depression, I can't tell what's really going on and what's just my warped perspective. Most things are a bit of both, but a great deal of things are completely real .. and so when I blame it on my perspective and then the wave of depression finally outsts itself and I find that the reality is still the same, it can be dizzying.

So I try to look objectively, but that usually means looking at things that don't necessarily speak for themselves. For example, since my time online has grown so sporadic, my email box has still remained remarkably empty from folks from one of the msg boards I used to regular. I haven't been on there but a handful of times in the past month, and this whole summer has been a lot more absent from there than the past year, but none of them have, to my knowledge, tried to keep in touch to see how I'm doing or let me know what's up in their lives. This (here's the theme to this entry) makes me feel very outside the group.

And seeing as how every group I've ever been a part of is like that, and all the close friends I've ever had are pretty much not in my life right now (Sarah's hangin' in there, but this semester has brought on a great deal of busy-ness for her), I can't tell whether it's ME or just life, and either answer is still no fun.

I don't know. I think I'll go down on Sunday, and I'll prolly read one or two of the things I wrote last night, but I likely won't be down for the next week after that, at least 'till the following Sunday. It's just more painful to be somewhere alone than to be home with my thoughts.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Ok, the follow-up update.

I had orientation yesterday and cashier training (and the start of being an actual cashier) today. Or, as one of the women from my church called it, "Target Practice." :)

I'm going to like my job. Yes, it's yet another job where I won't be meeting my potential in the business world, but I will be able to hopefully meet my potential for being a good employee and for brightening other people's days.

To celebrate, I bought myself a new ring on Saturday. The only rings I've bought within the past .. well, the only rings I've ever bought, have been less than $1 each, as far as I can recall. I think maybe when I was a young teen I bought myself some shell rings in FL, but they still would be under $5. This one was only $25 for a sterling silver poison ring with an amethyst and with the box being big enough for some index-photo-print pictures to be held inside, like a locket. A friend of mine once used some of the photo-print pictures in a collage, and since then I've been finding lots of other creative uses for them, the first of which was my original locket necklace with a picture of my cat, Ecky, inside. The pictures are tiny and so other people can only see them so well, but I know every detail of them (they're pictures I took, for one thing, and they're of people I dearly love. On top is my twin brother and my older brother and his wife, and behind those pictures there are pictures of my grandparents, my mother, and my father and I from my most recent visit. And this really cool flower from Erin's place), and it's more the point of having them with me.

One of my jr. highers called my new ring a snuff box and told me that I could use it to smuggle drugs INTO Columbia. Ah, kids these days. ;)

I'm going to go home and take a nap now, and have dinner, and then go to the two different gatherings of friends. Now that I have a job, I'm finally able to appriciate more the fact that I only have on-campus classes two days a week. I'm quite looking forward to having tomorrow free 'till I need to be at work at 5, and the same story for Friday. Which means I can get a lot done around my house. I got a bunch done in my living room yesterday, including re-arranging furniture and hanging pictures, and reorganizing my bookshelves in a much better way. It's feeling more and more like home every moment. And I'm already at the point where I don't really think too much on my drive home, and then I get to whatever point in the drive and go, "how in the world did I get here? I don't remember actually turning at all!"

Of course, my home is not here on earth, but this is a decent substitute in the meantime.

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I did post an entry on Friday, which was a general update, but it apparently didn't go through. Since I did also, fortunately, post the same entry elsewhere, I'm going to copy and paste that now, and then do a follow-up post.

So, the biggest news is that I finally got a new job. I'm going to be a Target "team member" (yay for the red and khaki) starting Monday. I went to get a drug test done today, which is the first time I've ever gotten a drug test, so far as I remember. Glad I didn't eat substantial amounts of poppyseeds this morning, since I completely forgot about the drug test factor when preparing for my interview today. At any rate, I'll be getting more than 20 hours a week there, and surely will get extra when most of the other college kids are on vacation. If I get just 20 hours a week, I'll have more than enough to pay my bills, such as they are now. That's really exciting.

Meanwhile, one of my jr. highers informed me last night that I'll be the subject of a major creative writing project she's doing. "We were told to do it on someone that has memorable characteristics, and I figure that you shaved your head and you don't wear shoes and all, so I'd do it on you."

I suggested that Thor, whose name is Thor, might be even more memorable than me for that reason alone. She said she didn't know him well enough and that she's already decided to do her paper on me. All my attempts at humor just bomb.

My car inspection was due at the end of last month and I still haven't had it inspected because I didn't have the money to get my muffler fixed 'till a week ago when I got my Pell Grant refund check. (The Pell Grant refunds -- that is, the money left over from my federally funded Pell Grant after my tuition and books are paid, which is mailed to me and which I do not have to repay -- have been what have kept me alive most of the past year, btw.) Now I have the money to get that done, to get my car inspected so I won't be so at risk for tickets, and to get glasses. Boy do I need glasses.

So, everything is exciting now. And once I have a job and a schedule to keep, I'll be able to budget my time much better and that should mean being able to catch up in my online world.

Thanks for your prayers and friendship. Amen.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2002

It's interesting how blogger used to be one of the first things I did when I got online each time, and now I end up with a few online sittings between blog entries. Hmm.

I think that stress has influenced my life in a number of ways, and this lack of blogging is a bigfat part of that. But the stress is moving back towards its lower stages now, methinks, which means I'll be less out-of-character any day now. What I mean by that is that I've been doing very uncharacteristic things, like leaving lights on or forgetting to lock my car downtown. I've been forgetting about appointments written in my planner, too, including this morning's date with my students' See You at the Pole rallys. I'd committed to joining some of my girls (and some of the boys that go to the same school) at one particular school, and at some point yesterday completely forgot that that was today. So I stayed with a friend last night, also neglecting to check my voice mail, which would have thus reminded me about today as the home-schooled girl I was gonna take called and left a msg about it, and slept right on through See You at the Pole (which would make this the first time since 5th grade that I didn't participate, if I recall correctly). So, I look forward to the moment when my stress levels are back down and I'm back to my normal, turning-lights-off-and-keeping-my-word self again.

Meanwhile, when I first started blogging, I got quite into it and let everyone I knew know about my blog. Then, at the revelation from a friend, my excitement dwindled slightly. See, the original purpose of my blog in my own mind was to post everything in a central location instead of having to post the same thing a few times on different msg boards, and instead of having to tell the same story (or same defenses, excuses, whatever) over and over to various online friends and relations. When my friend told me that reading my blog made him feel like we were keeping in touch and thus he didn't actually keep me updated on his own life, because he simply forgot we weren't having conversations, I realized one of the biggest negative impacts that blogging would have on my life.

Recently, I came across another.

I've been hesitant to write about this, and I'm sure I don't have to explain why. I mean, writing about what people do when they read your blog to people that read your blog is kinda a strange thing, eh?

But I've also decided that I can't not express to the rest of you what's on my mind, and that I can't not do myself the favor of getting it out in the way most necessary to my well-being.

So, here's the thing. Another idea behind blogging is to be known, to allow others inside your head (depending on the format and content of your blog, of course) and to meet new people that read about all the shenanigans you may post about.

About a month ago, I had a long-time local friend -- who now lives in another state and reads my blog -- tell me that she's upset about some certain aspects of my current life, and in that conversation she used the phrase, "you're not like anyone I've ever known."

When I first met Sally (fake name, of course), I had just moved here to town and she was friends with the girls I was moving in with. My very first day here, Sally brought me to her place for lunch, and we hit it off. Over the next couple of years, we became very good friends, and shared a lot of trials together. I have more memories with Sally than prolly anyone else here in town, despite that she wasn't an actual roommate (though she was an "honorary roommate", as we called it, since it seemed like she did live in the big house) and that she's been out-of-state (except for a few small visits) for the past year plus.

Over the past three and a half years since we met, Sally and I have, of course, butted heads on a few issues and have both realized that we're not exactly like eachother. Indeed, I've never thought that I was much like anyone anyone's ever known.

But it seems to me that her reading of my blog has made this difference that much more apparent, and perhaps has enhanced it to the point where it almost seems like too wide a gap. I don't think I'm different in a way that demands constant judgement or inquiry. I think that I think differently, I assume differently, and I behave differently, but also that some of these differences might actually be a GOOD thing.

In my sociology class, we're talking about (brace yourselves, you'd never see this one coming) socialization right now. The movie Nell was used as an example, and the class discussion (it's an online class, so discussions are posted on the Blackboard system) brought up questions about conformity and how socialized is socialized, etc.

I think that I am a socialized person as much as I really want to be, but I also hold tight to certain ways of thinking that I particularly appriciate and even think should be found more in society. Most of these ways are the same ideas for which my roommates used to call me a commune-ist (not to be confused with a political party, a commune-ist is one that would be more at home in a commune environment than in a house with 6 other girls that don't really like sharing and don't really like agreeing), but some of them are just plain different.

When I read the Rich Mullins biography, I saw myself a lot in those descriptions. If you haven't read it yet, you may wanna skip this paragraph 'till you do read it. If you have, I saw myself particularly in the story about him calling some folks he'd met in FL to use their shower, and then he left right afterwards, and they were surprised because they figured he'd stick around and talk. To them, it was more of a social outing, to him it was just a shower. I don't see things in the way our society generally does. I don't know a lot of the protocol for when you're expected to do what and how and with whom. I saw myself in all the other related stories of Rich just not fitting in in the sense that he simply thought differently. I didn't teach myself to think like this, I just do.

So anyway, having this person that has known me for three and a half years and maybe knows me better than any local friend (I'd say my online friends have always known the real me better, and add to that the fact that several of you have known me for 5 or more years, as opposed to three and a half max for anyone up here) react to me as if she's meeting a whole new person while reading my blog has made me realize that maybe I'm not as much myself in person as I always thought I was. Or maybe I am and people just use their own stereotypes to remember and forget what fits with how they think I should be? Either way, it was a strange experience.

And at the very same time, I've had a few experiences where I think maybe I don't fit in at the coffeehouse as much as I thought I did. Not that I thought I was "like" the other folks there (I've already mentioned that I know I'm not really normal, and also that many of the foundational beliefs, including Christianity, vary greatly within the group down there) but simply that they're all friends and I thought I was, too, and I think I still am in a way. But there's the fact that I'm one of the few girls in the group, and one of the only ones that hangs out to the wee hours, and there's the fact that I'm one of the only Christians, and the fact that I'm all about not having too many conversations go the way of the buffalo.. er.. I mean, revolve around not-so-g-rated subjects. So I always just figured "different strokes for different folks" and all that, but there were enough different comments made over the weekend that I'm not so sure I'm really as much a part of the crew down there as I thought I was anymore.

But again, once I'm less stressed (which will be soon, because I think I have a job .. should know by Friday .. and because even if I don't, I'm financially stable for the next two months now thanks to my Pell Grant refund check coming last week, and I think finances were the primary source of stress lately) I should be able to figure out exactly what's going on with who I am and where I belong and all that.

Then again, it's the eternal struggle, isn't it? Finding a place to belong, finding people we fit in with, not feeling outside when we're still seperated from God? Perhaps I just need to get again to the point where I'm not worried about having groups of friends that really know me, but instead seeking to develop my walk with God further and truly know Him and continue to long for the day when I'll be with Him and will no longer be lonely.

"And if I weep, let it be as a man who is longing for his Home." -- Rich Mullins, If I Stand.

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Thursday, September 12, 2002

It has been severely long since I've written.

I didn't end up making it to the conference. Sarah's friend, who was going with us, ended up having to cancel, and so Sarah started rethinking her own desire to go and decided it might be best not to, and when she called me about it, I agreed that there were enough babysitting and fun opportunities around town that I was giving up to go, that if I didn't go, it wouldn't be all that bad.

I know that I missed an incredible conference, but I still am glad I ended up staying home, because it really was a VERY good thing I was here.

I have to be getting off to class now, but thanks for sticking with me. I did update my blogs I enjoy section to the left, though I haven't gotten to go through and check on the other blogs to see if they're still around. But the two new blogs I added are quite entertaining.

In fact, I sat here reading good portions of each for the past half hour. I haven't taken time to read any blogs, any message boards, or any other non-email and aim contact within the past few weeks. It was really nice, though, to neglect all what-feel-like-obligations and just read other blogs for a while. There's something hugely different between that and reading emails or talking on aim, and the fact that I wasn't doing other things I felt like I "should" be doing (like checking my second and third email accounts, which I normally do immediately after checking my first) just added to the difference and the niceness.

So I really do need to go to class, but hope to write more later.

My temperature has been fluctuating unbelievably the past two days, and I'm currently as sick as I ever get .. I don't get sick often, and when I do it's rarely noticible to anyone else, but I'm pretty close to knocked out right now. I'm only here because I've already missed two classes and don't want to use my final (or maybe there's one more after that) this early in the semester. I may even actually skip jr. high tonight to go home and rest (and if I do go to jr. high, I'll be going home right afterwards, but that's what I usually do on thursdays anyway), which I haven't done at all in the past two or three years. Please pray for my health and recovery. Thank you. Amen.

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Tuesday, September 03, 2002

It seems that something else has been changed in the computer lab so that aim express isn't working for me anymore, at least not today. So if you don't see me on there for a while, that's why.

Well, that and the fact that I'll be gone this weekend, at the Indelible Grace conference in Nashville. I'm driving up to Sarah's college town tomorrow to stay with her tomorrow night, and then we and her roommate from last year will be leaving on Thursday morning for Nashville and returning Sunday, when I'll stay there again and come back here on Monday.

I've been getting an inordinate amount of Spam lately, making me consider taking my email address down from this page, and/or setting it up so that the spiders and such can't as easily email me directly from the link. In fact, I think that's what I'll do.

I had quite the weekend. On Saturday, my housewarming party was a lot of fun. About 20 people came, and so various friends got to meet various other friends. That evening, just as the party was wrapping up, my mother called.

She was in North Carolina with her partner, Mary, and some of Mary's friends. She (and Mary) wanted to get together since they were so close, and I invited them to come see my new place. And so on Sunday, we went out for lunch and then back to my apartment where I got to see the pictures from her/their trip to Korea this summer with an English teaching program, and we got to talk some. She treated at lunch, and also gave me some more mula as she was leaving (so that I can get my car fixed), which was incredibly helpful and appriciated.

Yesterday, I went to a cookout at noon hosted by the woman who mentors me. Her children, who are both in my jr. high youth group, have recently gotten gerbils of their own, so I went up to help them figure out everything they need to know about these gerbils. Emily's gerbils, Oden (all black) and Lars (gray and white) -- named after Thor's brothers -- are both rather well behaved gerbils already. Oden seems to be naturally tame, and sat on my shoulders for a good-long while without so much as trying to jump off.

From there, I went to help Cameron (one of the boys from a family I regularly babysit for, and whose brother, Cody, is currently in my jr. high group) learn how to tame his new pet mouse. 'Tis the season for new pets, apparently.

After that, I went to a party with some folks from the coffeeshop, where we made burgers and chicken and fish and had beans, potato(e) salad, and rice with broccoli. They set up some drums and sound equipment, too, and had a little jam session that turned acoustic later in the evening. Mostly, it was just a whole lot of sitting around in the backyard, in the kitchen and/or livingroom, and on the porch, talking and sitting and sleeping. It was a very nice party, though, and I hope other similar social events happen in the future. Some of us then retired to the nearby house of one friend to watch a movie and escape the last bit of the jam session. When I was driving back with the two folks that had ridden with me (one's car was blocked in and the other only had two seats), I dropped them off and went through the looped-alley sort-of area to turn around, and a very sharp curb exploded my front left tire.

So, instead of getting my muffler fixed just yet, I got a new tire put on today. I still need to get more general maintenance stuff done, hopefully when I get a new muffler, but I also really would like to make sure that this car will stick around long enough to be worth getting the muffler fixed. In the meantime, I just have to hope I don't get a ticket for not getting a new inspection. I understand the point of these inspections, really, but I also highly suspect that a lot of it is a bonus way for the great state of Virginia to make more money on things residents don't really need.

Oh well, if I really disagreed, I'd just move to another state. I'm just hoping that some of this commonwealth becomes more common.

So, that was my weekend. I've got a great deal to do before the conference, and a great deal to do afterwards.

Again, please pray for me. Thank you.

(0) comments

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