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, August 25, 2003

Oh, and the accident I saw on 40 during my last trip down to NC.. that looked about how my accident SHOULD have looked. With the one car turned to the side and crunched in and a bunch of other cars involved, between crunding in the one car's side or swerving to miss it and hitting someone else or all that. It was horrible .. to see, and to think about how that was so nearly the outcome of mine. God was differently gracious to me in that case, though.. which is to say that He has mercies beyond our understanding which I knew were at work in this accident, too.. but also that I can certainly understand the grace I received in my accident being such minimal damage comparatively.

One of those few cases where comparing myself or my experiences to otherwise is actually helpful in bringing me a perspective that is different from my norm. Usuall, the comparisons really don't do anything good for me, if anything at all. But this one brought a reality to a perspective that I had previously only thought of on a more abstract and hypothetical-but-completely-detached kind of level.

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This has been the most active period of my life in about a year, perhaps much longer. A week and a half ago, I went to the Marble Yard, which was my first time there in nearly two years due to it being closed because of a fire last year and the weather being so crazy this year. That Friday was as hot and humid as almost any day in South Florida ever was (despite that the Marble Yard is in central Virginia), and the face of the rock-pile is in direct sunlight. So the four of us that went were utterly dehydrated even though we had taken a great deal of water with us and had been drinking water all morning and the night before. We had brought various good-for-hiking snacks along, as well, which did make a huge difference, but only for short whiles. It was a great day altogether, though, and I somehow managed to sunburn my back pretty significantly even after getting a strong post-burn tan at Cornerstone Festival a month and a half previous. Not TOO significantly, though, because it turned into a tan quickly enough (I love how my skin does that) and got even browner today.. but that's another story. So, that Friday we were gonna hit the Watering Hole afterwards, but we passed it by and instead of turning around decided just to head home for showers and the most exhaustion-led rest ever. When I got home, in fact, I was too tired to take my shower just yet and instead slept on the floor (so as to not get my sweaty, dirty self all over the couch or bed) for about three hours before cleaning off and going out that evening. What a day.. I spent a week drinking water almost constantly and only began to feel a bit like normal hydration after that.

I did something that Saturday, but I can't quite seem to remember what. I think I went out to a movie with some friends at the dollar theater and then out with other friends until the wee hours, but I may have just stayed up here watching a movie or something. Oh, perhaps that was the night that I got sucked into some reruns of some old show or other (I really can't remember what) and just kept on 'till too early in the morning. At any rate, Sunday was of course church, and then I went to a friends' house to meet her new roommate and participate in said new roommate's screenplay reading. She wrote the screenplay about a semi-local legend who was said to have the ability to see spirits and such, and lived (I think) around the turn of the century. So it was a historical script, and the bunch of us that gathered each read for a few characters, and it was lots of fun and laughter and many interesting new facts. I had to duck out early, though (in the bad form that is entirely too usual for me these days) because I needed to leave for North Carolina. I made it to Raleigh by 6, just in time for the service of the church plant I'll be working with in the Chapel Hill area when I move down. I really enjoyed it, and a lot of things hit home during the sermon and the hymns (the current worship leader enjoys slower hymns, many of which I wasn't terribly familiar with despite my hymn-laden upbringing) that brought a good deal of perspective to my current life and my confused mind.

Monday down there was fairly uneventful in that lots-of-internal-processing-but-not-much-external-action kinda way. Then Tuesday I had my court date for the ticket I got in the accident I was in back in July. When I finally got to the courthouse, and eventually figured out that I was supposed to check in at the desk in the lobby, I was told that all I needed to do was bring proof that my insurance had handled anything I was responsible for and the DA would drop my case. Rock the snot on. So that was done in almost no time, and then I went by the place where my totalled car has been garaged since the accident, though they weren't sure where my car was at the time (they found it the next day) and so I didn't see it. I had sort-of been hoping to in order to more fully realize what all happened during the accident and force the memories so that I can deal with them appropriately (the memories of my other accident three years ago still come back sometimes.. mostly because I can't remember it all yet), but I suppose the pictures some friends took of the car before it was taken to the garage will have to do. That night, I went to the new-member meeting for the church plant, which was mostly the same crowd as the similar meeting I went to a few months ago while trying to decide about moving or not. On Wednesday, I spent some time with a fellow new-member (who is also the Pastor's wife) and her son, and a moment with her mother-in-law, who is Bengali-Indian in decent and was asking me about shaving my head since her hair is thinning and thus she's been thinking about shaving hers. I then met the Pastor for coffee and to talk about logistics of me moving here and a few other things, most of which I've blogged about in the near past (ie, the drama at my current church and my immediate health concerns). It was a great day altogether, and then I was driving back home to babysit starting at 5:30. I left with plenty of time to spare, but hit a huge traffic jam just outside town in a stretch where I didn't know my way well enough to find a different route. The ironic thing about it being that I nearly took the other way home, but then when I hit the junction with 40 I decided to take that route (which I'm slightly more familiar with, anyway) instead. And besides, 40 west of Durham is always clear and fast-moving. Except that then it took me over 40 minutes to drive three miles, on a sweltering hot day. So between that and getting behind a few slow-moving vehicles (and I do mean slow) during the one-lane parts of the drive, my cushion of time was gone along with a lot of the not-so-cushiony part. After a few failed attempts at calling the family (evil payphones and such), I finally got through to another family that was kind enough to call them for me. When I got there, the kids were as pleasant and charming as always, and I had a great time.

While I was gone, I got a call from Jyl (the woman whose house I'm living in) saying that she's been asked to stay for another two weeks and that she isn't sure if she wants to, but figured she'd check with me about whether I could stay here the additional time before she decided about staying out there. I told her that I can do either, as she so desires, and just to let me know what her decision is when she makes it. So, my move might end up being pushed slightly further back again, but either way I'll be quite happy. I also got a lot of other messages -- what's with the common human experiences of how you might not get calls at all for three days in a row if you're home the whole time, but then when you're gone or out a lot, you'll get at least 20? Well, maybe not 20, but a lot. At both of my current phone numbers.

Anyway.. Thursday was very uneventful, except that I turned in my rental car. I'd had the thing for almost a month, and the insurance company of the guy that hit me (it was a three-car accident for anyone that hasn't read that/those entry/ies) finally contacted the rental company, agreeing to pay up through the 20th. So I had to pay for one day (notice beforehand would've been nice.. I wouldn't be frustrated with it if it weren't for the way the company is handling .. er.. NOT handling things.) I still haven't heard anything from them about the rest of the settlement and if they're actually DOING things now.. but that was a good start. So, the moral if the story is don't use GMAC insurance. Or any of their companies, including Integon. Nomatter how high-risk you are. On a good note, the one person that's answered their 800-number -- when I've called it after not being able to reach the adjuster for weeks -- is Dean, and he's been incredibly helpful. He's the only one associated with that company that I've had any positive contact with, though. And I think that's just sad. I hope he gets raises. Lots and lots of raises. And perhaps a job with a better company. Because GMAC leaves a bad taste in my mouth (seriously.. while I was putting calling them on my to-do list AGAIN, I almost didn't put it because it makes me have reflux just thinking about them). They are a BAD insurance company. Meanwhile, my Progressive adjuster (who is actually in NC, because that's where the accident happened) has been more than above-and-beyond his call of goodness, and is STILL helping me even though Progressive's part in this whole mess has been over since the first week after my accident. He calls and initiates contact to help make sure that things are moving along, and to give me advice about how to handle this other company. His name is Nathan, and if you are a nice person and you have an accident in the Raleigh-Durham area of NC, I hope that you're fortunate enough to get hooked up with him. And I also hope that he gets lots of raises. Lots and lots of raises. Apart from Nathan, my experience with Progressive has been very positive, even though I had just switched to them about two weeks before the accident happened. The other accident that I had, three years ago, took place when I was with Progressive for my first car. They handled things immediately and well back then, too. I went with Geico when I first got Gilbert (my last car besides the rental), because they were less expensive for me at the time than anyone else. But after a year and a half, Progressive was MUCH less expensive again, and I'm glad that I was with them when I had the accident, though my experience with Geico was also very positive and I'm sure they would've handled things well, too. So, that's my spiel about insurance.

NOW we're getting to the best part about the summary of my last few weeks, and I know that what I've written so far is much too lengthy. However, there just isn't anything that I feel comfortable taking out, because it's all been things I wanted to blog about as they were happening and afterwards, and a lot of them will be referred to in future blog entries. So, sorry for the length. Thank you for reading anyway.

Friday night, after a very uneventful day, I went ROCK-CLIMBING with Krista and Dave. Rock the snot on, and pardon the cheap pun-if-you-will. (That is, it isn't really a pun. Just a redundant something-or-other.) We didn't even leave my place 'till about 8pm, and then I got home sometime around 11:30. So we used head-lamps and I borrowed his harness and her shoes, since they're into climbing (though this was only her fourth climb.. but she's getting into it very quickly and very well) and this was my first climb. We had a wonderful time, and it was nice getting to meet and chat with Dave and to spend more time with Krista. She's one of the neatest people I've had the pleasure of knowing, and one of the best friends that I have at this time -- both in the sense of closeness and in her qualities as a friend. She calls me about hanging out at least as often as I call her, etc.. So, I went rock-climbing and I managed to get all the way to the top and I managed to trust the rope much more than I wanted to (even when you know it's going to hold, it's SO hard to just lean back and sit in the rope. For a while. Then you get used to it quickly enough and get much more comfortable with the whole experience). And I wasn't even all that sore the next day, which is good because..

.. on Saturday, some friends and I helped paint an office where one of their mothers works, and then went to another friends' wedding. It was a GORGEOUS ceremony.. but boy, should I not be invited to weddings! Only maybe 50 people there, POSSIBLY 60 including the entire wedding party, photographer, priest, and musician.. but still perhaps just 50. And I'm sitting at a table with some of the folks that I know from the wednesday-night Bible study I've been going to (mostly for folks that are new or struggling Christians that don't tend to fit in at "normal" churches) and then the table across the way from us had the folks that I know from Tueday nights at the bar, and much of the rest of the crowd were older relatives of the couple. So my table is talking about rumors and how the husband in the married couple at the end forgot to put on his wedding ring that morning and starting a great rumor about them seperating. We were all having a blast talking about this, and I said something about how tragic it was, that I had really believed that if anyone could make it, they could.. and so if they couldn't, marraige must be evil. Except that I said that last part kinda loud. And everyone in the small room of people looked at me. And I realized that I was at a wedding, and that not everyone else in the room had the slightest stinkin' clue that I was joking and all. My face turned BRIGHT red. After all that, I got to babysit the same kids as on Wednesday, and they were their usual too-charming selves. It's a four-year-old girl and a six-year-old boy, and they've really worked their ways into my heart over the past year-plus of regularly sitting them. The girl had eaten about half of her dinner when she explained to me that she was WAY too full because she had had too much for breakfast, and her tummy was SO big. And then, before even turning back to the movie (did you know that there is a Land Before Time part SIX? What the snot?), she brought forth every ounce of cuteness she could, and said "can I have my donut now?" I busted out laughing, and I'm not sure she really understood why. But she seemed satisfied with the idea that snack time would be in about half an hour. Her parents enjoyed that story a lot when they came home.

So, that brings us to Sunday, and I went to church this morning (at the church my church planted across town a couple of years ago, to which I've been going for the past two months except for a few weeks when I went to the motherchurch) and was asked by my ride-giving friend to replace her in the children's study time today. I won the kids over right away by making paper airplanes, and by letting them guess my age (because when asked how I knew how to make paper airplanes, my response was that I used to be younger, too) which ranged rom 15 to 50 and then to 2. We settled on me being 2.

After church, I rode with a friend up to the River House, where we talked for a while since not one other soul was there, surprisingly enough. Yesterday, I had called about 20 people to invite them up, and this morning I told nearly everyone at church (and told them all to tell everyone else) to come up after church, and Bob (who has the boat with which we go skiing) was gonna tell the folks from the other church, and it seemed like there was going to be (or had potential to be) a pretty large crowd. So Emily and I sat there talking for a while, and then Bob got there right as Emily had to go, so he and I spent the day switching between who was driving and who was behind the boat. We also grabbed some of the neighbors for a few laps, but it was mostly just us, which is how it was a lot of times last summer. I alternated between skiing and kneeboarding, while he slalomed and then spent some time working on getting up on the kneeboard. Between me still being a rookie driver and also being a LOT less confident driving a boat because there's so much less control (and also because last time I drove, which was my first time behind the wheel of the boat in almost a year, I had a boat-full of people watching him ski and me drive, so that weighted to boat very differently.. also, there weren't nearly so many people on the river that day) .. so, between that and the fact that Bob is extremely tall and thin enough to be thin without being lanky, the kneeboard was not so much suited to his particular body type. He did get up a few times, but had been slaloming and working enough that there just wasn't so much energy to stay up on the baord for too long. I had a number of long runs, though, even turning around on it a few times (I couldn't quite master staying backwards for long, or rotating all the way around -- instead turned backwards and then back forwards.. I couldn't get my other hand on the handle when it was behind my back. Bob figures I just need to get more speed into my turns so that I can reach the handle before my arm extends itself) and going outside the wake a bunch. I half tried jumping the wake, but I knew I didn't really have the stomach strength for that. So, muscles that aren't used in most other activities got major workouts today, completely different leg groups between the skiing and kneeboarding. I hadn't been kneeboarding since my sophomore year in high school, and had never done anything too fancy back then, so this was a great experience. And time with Bob is always great. He and his wife Terry have been so wonderful to know over the past four-plus years, and their daughters are likewise a much-appriciated part of my life. Hopefully their older daughter, Ruth, will be able to spend some time with Bob and I on the river soon and we can exchange kneeboarding tips (she's also a beginner) and silley stories about her dad.

When I got home, I decided I'd watch a movie and just kinda relax for a while after my shower. Browsing the various videos I recently borrowed from a house-sitting client, I decided on The Patriot. I had seen the movie once when it was in theaters, and not since then.. my goodness did I forget most of that movie! So, as I sat there watching the evil military leader (as opposed to the several good military leaders in the movie) and all the dummyheads who followed his orders like stupid little lemmings who were willing to kill women and children and non-soldier men at the drop of his weaseley words, I cried. I cried when Benjamin's two older sons were killed at the evil man's hands, and when other good characters died. And I cried when I saw all the fighting. It was so nice to feel, to be crying at a movie (which I haven't done much in a long time), but it also made me realize how much I hate the way that human beings can be so unbelievably cruel to eachother. I despise fighting.. more so now than ever. Regardless of reasons and regardless of what's best in the long run or even right now.. I'm not saying that war is wrong, period. I'm just saying that I despise that it happens.. and that there are ever reasons for it.. and that people are such meaneyheads so often. I despise that there are indeed truly evil people that exist, and that their existance brings unpleasantness to so many others, whether those that fall victim to them or those that follow them blindly, unaware or uncaring about the evil inside of their leader.

I hate watching people hurt eachother. Whether it's the good guy beating up the bad guy, or fake fighting (though choreographed dueling and such can be impressive when there isn't any death or serious injury involved) or pro-wrestling (blah!) or war or kindergarten playgrounds or anything. I hate violence, whether more passive, verbal, physical, agressive, whatever. And I hate that sometimes I desire it. Not nearly so often as I used to, though.

I cry when I see violence now, most often. When there is nothing that I can do about it, I get so flustrated and I either cry or want to cry.

And then I think about how my brothers and I used to fight eachother, with fists and fingernails (me more with the latter, of course) and I cry. I can't believe that I did such horrid things.

Peter and John, I am sorry. I am more sorry than I could say. For the scars, for the words, for the apathy. I did not understand love, and I did not understand family, and I still have no excuse. I did understand violence and I did understand the futility of all our fighting, and I did know that I was really hurting you, and I am sorry.

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Sunday, August 10, 2003

Oh, yes.. and my friend Krista is going with me for my appointment on Wednesday, so I won't have the grr wait then. And then the nuerology appointment is in early September, and if I get there early enough I might not be waiting around too long.

And hopefully I'll get to hang out with Caren tomorrow. She leaves at the end of the week for Texas, and we haven't gotten to spend time together this month since I cut my mohawk off and thus since my car accident. So, that will be nice when we do hang out.

Yesterday (Friday) was "one of THOSE days".. the kind where things go unpleasantly. Today has been nice, though. Just sat around the house (left only to get the mail) and used his CD burner to make some long-awaited copies of bootlegs and such for other folks, used his record player to listen to my Wednesday Morning, 3am album by Simon and Garfunkle and some other albums I've had for a while and can't listen to since I don't have a record player. Plus his copy of Larry Norman's Something New Under the Son. That was fun. I played with Indie a bunch, watched a couple of movies, and relaxed a lot. Then jumped online for a little while.. getting online at night is something I miss tremendously.

I've now gotta go to sleep, because church is in just a few hours really. And tomorrow, I'll be picking up any mail that's come for me in a while from my old neighbors, hopefully including the package from Grassroots that I ordered on Friday a week ago with my housesitting money. Who knows what else tomorrow will bring.

Oh, speaking of Grassroots..

Katy Bowser's second CD, Longing, is on crazy sale there right now. For less than eight bucks, you can own your very own copy.

Seriously, this is one of my top 5 CDs ever. I own over 350 CDs now (much easier to count when they're all packed up for the move), about three-quarters of which I got for free or worked to earn, and most of the rest I got for less than $5 used or such. Katy's CDs, in particular Longing, are worth full price even to me. (Not that the ones I get aren't worth full price.. I just never have the money, so I'd rather work to earn it than go without. And hey, once in a while I actually end up helping people in the process.)

Longing, especially in the past couple of months, has been an incredible support to me. Her voice is beautiful and unique, the musicians that play and sing with her are very talented, and her lyrics weave incredible nets that help to lift me out of the dredge of my current life and back to a focus and perception that I should dwell in more often. In particular, the latter part of this CD includes All the Way Down Here, which is all about how long past where no one else, or sometimes even ourselves, can go, God is there .. healing us and working in us. And it also includes Beneath the Novacaine, with one of my favorite lines ever written (moreso in context) .. "I can't take going numb, I'd rather have the pain. Fire still burns you beneath the novacaine."

This CD, and on sale no less, is one that I really encourage everyone to own. So please, please do yourself a favor and at least check out the sound samples on Grassroot's site as well as Katy's. If you can, buy the CD. I recommend grassroots highly; if you choose to shop online, use them and you will have a great experience.

So, that is what is on my mind right now. Hopefully in a few minutes, there will be nothing on my mind, as I will be in the blissful world of sleep.

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(From my conversation with Sarah tonight):

Sometimes, I think that I should be afraid about this cat scan.

But the reality is, that even if the results are what would typically be called the worst.. I'm as prepared for it as I could possibly be .. and the other reality is that .. well, there are a lot of realities that make me not afraid. So I dunno if I am afraid somewhere and not letting that part out, or if I want to be afraid because that's normal and I want to be normal, or if I want to be afraid because that gets more attention..

being strong is lonely.

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Friday, August 08, 2003

Ok, so after much frustration over the past long, long time (maybe a year?) my archives are back. It was a simple, three-second change I found in the new blogger format and the corresponding new help pages. Yay for blogger!

They're still not fully right.. a few of them just don't show up. But I'll keep working at it. For now, sleep.

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The dizzy spells I mentioned in the last entry (and perhaps some others recently?) have been going on for two and a half years, by the way. They come in waves.. last week's, for example, lasted two solid days (sometimes it's more like a few hours per spell and several spells over a few days or a week, sometimes it's more continuous) and the last one before that had been a few weeks earlier. I don't think I've ever gone more than a month, or MAYBE a month and a half, without them in the past two and a half (maybe three) years.

As something of an update as well as a clarification, here's the status of trying to figure out what's causing them: We ruled out hypoglycemia and any of the common anemias when I took the glucose-tolerance-test (gtt) and CBC (a vitamin check, I guess) a few months ago. We ruled out vertigo and pretty much anything vertigo-related when taking the Mecclizine (sp?) during my last dizzy spell had no effect on it. I personally have ruled out anything food or dehydration related by observing my own dietary habits and even noting that Tuesday, I didn't eat much (again, I wasn't feeling well and had no appetite, but also just didn't make the time before my doctor's appointment that evening.. then I ate plenty when I got to house church afterwards) and didn't get dizzy. The doctor I saw on Tuesday, who happens to have also been the first one I saw back in March (they have a rotating schedule, since they're all volunteers at the free clinic), ordered the gtt and cbc back then. He agreed that it must not be food related. He also said that my eyes focus together very well (though I feel a remarkable amount of strain in them doing that, but that might be partially my eyesight getting worse) and I have no hearing loss, so it probably isn't anything on my brain .. however, he has ordered a CAT Scan and referred me to a nuerologist (which will both be paid for by the free clinic.. yay!) just in case. He's fairly stumped by it since it wasn't any of the obvious solutions, but will be checking into things.

In a strange form of irony or such, he made a comment as he was leaving about getting old and how I'm lucky to be young. I mentioned something in reply about having had all the middle-aged-obese-men problems since I was a tiny little teenage girl, so what difference does it really make? He didn't quite catch onto that one, though.

So, that is the update. My CAT Scan will be on Wednesday, VERY early in the morning. I'm not really nervous, and I think knowing that I'm incredibly Not-Claustaphobic helps, along with the fact that I just want to know WHAT is wrong, regardless of what it is and whether or not anything can be done about it. I am hoping to find a local friend to go with me, though, because the waits are always so boring. The hospital where I'll be getting it done will be just up the street from me, though, instead of the medical center across town where they usually do it. I'm glad for that much, at least.

Still nothing on the car insurance and such. My adjuster (with Progressive) called on Friday to tell me that *he* had received the crash report, so hopefully the other company would receive it any day. I called them on Tuesday to give them my new number, got the machine, and haven't heard back. I called again today, and got the machine again. If I don't hear anything tomorrow, I'll be calling the supervisor on Monday, since that worked really well last time I hadn't heard anything from them when I should've. I've still got the rental, though I'll need to call in tomorrow to extend it again.

I'm all moved into my new place. If you have my old number, I still have voice-mail there (which is the one that I can check from wherever I am, as opposed to my new place where I have to be home to get msgs) and will 'till someone moves in, and my msg also gives my new number. Only three folks (and the four-year-old son of one of them) showed up to help me on Saturday, so I gathered a bunch of folks (including three that drove pickup trucks, one Suburban, and a bunch of other manpower that took carloads over) on Sunday after church, and worked all day. Then I went back on Monday and Wednesday for the bit that was left and for the cleaning that still needed to be done. It's all over now, I've turned in my keys, I've paid my prorated rent amount -- or, rather, had my landlords subtract that from the amount they were paying me to housesit for the previous week while they were gone -- and I've been moving stuff around into appropriate storage locations and whatnot for the next two months at my new place. I've also been sitting on the porch watching the deer and the gophers-the-size-of-bobcats (or whatever animal it might be.. rodents of unusual size, almost) and the lots and lots and lots of butterflies. It's a very, very peaceful area, and a fantastic house. It will be a great two months, methinks. I'm living right next to a Lutheran church, which means I'll be able to go by and look up all the symbols that I grew up with (since I was raised Lutheran) that aren't commonly used in the churches I've been in since. I'm also living so much closer to a lot of friends and some exciting places, and I'm just really excited about this in general. One of those things where I almost wish I weren't moving to NC in two months (not to mention that a bunch of job offers have been pouring in, and my babysitting and housesitting/petsitting clients have been picking up muchly) except that I still really want to move and it's what I KNOW is right. If I stayed, I'd soon be wishing I hadn't.

This weekend, I'm petsitting for a new client and sorta old friend, who has a VERY hyper yappy-dog named Indie. Indie is currently asleep by my chair, but he sleeps on his side and with his eyes open, and it kinda freaks me out. He's got epilepsy, but Jim said he hasn't had a seizure in a long time, and he's on medication for it. So, I'm giving him his medication every day, and making myself be more energetic with him than I was with even the golden retriever (of my landlords) who I love dearly and who, being a golden, is all about energy and attention, too. This dog (I couldn't tell you what breed he is) is all about licking faces and doing tricks and playing catch and stuff. He's very smart and very well-trained, though, and I'm going to enjoy this weekend. Not to mention that Jim's got a record player, a CD Burner, and some other technological devices that I'm very much looking forward to using. Jyl, the woman in whose house I'm living for the next two months, has a very nice sewing machine that I'll be using to make my necktie-dress (which is already pinned), repair some other clothing, and maybe make more things if I can.

Oh, and Jyl isn't charging me rent (since I'm house-and-cat-sitting) and is paying the utility bills, and since I've still got food stamps for August, my only monthly-or-significant bill right now is car insurance. That's so stinkin' rad. So for two months, my expenses are gonna be less than $300, and that'll prolly include gas for whatever vehicle, plus food for september and anything else I might need in that time. Boy is that fantastic. So all the money I earn within the next two months can go towards moving expenses and whatnot. That's great. 'Cause it's gonna be an expensive enough move that I'll need it.

My faith in God providing in ways that are more understandable to me (not that they need to be) is stronger again. It was pretty rough back in the earlier part of this year, but I'm starting to see how even all that is coming together, and even all that (the drama at church, the extended unemployment, the not getting help from whence it could have been expected) was needed for the bigger and the better.

For now, I'm going to go watch a movie and then prolly sleep. Tomorrow, I'll be going back to my new place to put my food in the cabinets and put my two-months'-worth of clothes away, and then I think I'll be basically done with settling in. That may even mean that I won't have to go by at all on Saturday, unless I want to, so I can spend the day here listening to records and watching movies, or out with friends, or horseback riding, or who-knows-what. Yay!

(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