C'est La Vie
What a beautiful piece of heartache this has all turned out to be. Lord knows we've learned the hard way all about healthy apathy. And I use these words pretty loosely. There's so much more to life than words..
Things I love
Thursday, September 18, 2003
Most everything is closing down early in case Hurricane Isabel makes it this far inland. And perhaps she will.
Having been through Hurricane Andrew in FL, I haven't paid too much attention to this hurricane once it went below catagory four, except to pray for the folks on the coastlines and nearby areas. I was told last night, by a friend of mine who had gone grocery shopping yesterday, that all the milk, water, and bread are gone from store shelves. What the snot are you gonna do with milk in an emergency? IF this hurricane does hit us strongly, and the electricity goes out, your milk will spoil pretty quickly. And those ten loaves of bread will only last a few days. Water, I understand, though there's quite the abundance coming from your tap. I'm tempted to go in to buy ice cream and tell the cashier that it's for the hurricane..
Meanwhile, about the doctor: I went to the free clinic yesterday to ask about getting an endoscopy done to check on my ulcer and hernia, neither of which has been checked since I was 16. I also wanted to find out about some of the past test results, because the nurse practitioner had mentioned something about one thyroid result being very slightly low, but not enough to cause these dizzy spells and such. There was a nurse practitioner student who is assisting the clinic's regular NP, and she was excellent. (The NP is, as well.) It's nice having really high-quality folks working at the free clinic. At any rate, they referred me to the Gastrointerologist, who (like most of their specialists) goes there once a month. His day for this month was today, and he had a full load of patients. However, one patient cancelled around 4pm yesterday, so I got the 8:30 slot. Yay!
He did agree that an upper endoscopy would be the best thing for me, just to check out what all is going on and watch for long-term and/or future complications, especially from the reflux. So, I'll be scheduled for that within the next few weeks, and Social Services will pay for it through their State and Local Hospitalization Assistance program, and I'm just so very glad about all of this! Yay!
AND, I did not get a parking ticket even though I was in my two-hour spot for just over two hours while filling out all the paperwork and such.
So, great day so far. I don't know if my babysitting job will be cancelled or not, but I'm gonna swing by since I'll be paid for Sunday and Tuesday even if it was cancelled. Either way, after that I'll be going home and taking a nap, and if the storm looks like it really is gonna be bad, I'll be inviting some of my nearby friends over so we can wait out the storm together, especially since the house where I'm staying has LOTS of room, lots of food, lots of beds, a finished basement, and several closets. So I think that it'd be a much safer place for them to be, just in case.
Monday, September 15, 2003
The doe then began walking as if not entirely certain of where she wanted to go: in circles as often as not, but generally heading in my direction. She was back on the grass by this point, and would pause at length every now and then to stare at me and decide whether she wanted to continue checking me out or run off to safety with her group. Each time, though, she decided on inching closer and closer to me, if not in a pattern distinguishable as such.
Finally, she was about ten feet away, in the grass near the curb right across the street from me. I was sitting there, as still as I could, just watching. She inched right up to the curb. Other than the crickets, there were no other sounds that I could hear. But then this doe started stomping the ground, whether in an alert to other deer in the area or a query to me. I did not respond in any way, of course, because I knew if I moved at all she'd run off. However, I did have this fearful vision of some buck running out of the woods behind me to stomp my skull in and protect his clan. Fortunately, no such occurance. She gave up on whatever her stomping was for, and started pretending that she was walking away, except that she still kept turning around to look at me and then started coming closer again.
Suddenly, off to my right and a ways from where I'd originally seen the deer, there was this sound like the mix between a catfight and a nose being blown ineffectively.. something between a hiss, a hollar, and a choking noise.
I decided maybe it was a catfight, with the sound altered by distance or fog or who-knows-what. But then, the doe hadn't flinched, and I figured the sound would've sent her running. She started at me several moments longer. Then she did a left-face, standing in profile once more with her head towards the sound, stretched out her comically-thick neck.. and repeated it. After another few moments, she walked casually away, rejoined her deer friend (who had made the first sound), and they went off to frolic in the woods or backyards out of my sight.
I waited a while in case they'd come back to be certain of what I was, but no such luck or bad-luck, as the case may be. So I took my walk and watched the moon and got all the dogs in the neighborhood barking at me just by walking by their houses. It was a great walk, and I'd LOVE to start out every midnight walk with some deer time.
Wednesday, September 10, 2003
It was sorta piggybacking on the realizations that I posted Saturday night, but still a very seperate issue. I had realized those things, and then I thought about the ways that I have been filled with despair, really, since the winter/spring of this year. After making it through being relatively homeless, and through several past times of not having the money to pay the necessary bills, I had figured I had this trust thing down. But this winter and spring shook me harder than any time ever has, even though the unemployed time was less and the landlords were more understanding and I was on food stamps to provide for my meals. I worked and was not paid, I was advanced money I could not pay back and then his company didn't have the business for me to work to repay it. (Thus, I'm STILL working on repaying the loan I got for rent back in March.) I approached family members, friends, and my church about help. Some responded (either with gifts or with ways to earn money), and most did not. I turned in rent in March on time, and every other month from February through June was late. I did not pay my utilities at all, and had my phone shut off once for it. My winter electric bills ended up being paid for by the emergency-fuel-assistance program, and my phone bill eventually got paid little by little so that it is now only about a hundred dollars. My car insurance was paid, though late and creatively sometimes, but it was paid because it absolutely had to be. Those were my only regular bills.
The inability to pay them, especially as a result of my own hard work, was a shattering experience for me.
And knowing that other than my twin brother, my family could not or would not help shattered even more. And then figuring out that my government would not help me because I did not have a baby, and my church would not help me because I had needed too much help with my car in the past .. all of these things broke me more than anything else ever has before. To add to all that, there was the closing of one of my favorite social hangouts, the uprooting of my place at my church, the coming and going of both my tutoring and data entry jobs, and the complete upheaval of anything that had become consistant or steady to me, whether on a temporary or long-term basis.
And I despaired.
I finally caved in to disbelief in God's provision. I still believed in Him and in love, but not in the aspect of love that means He really does know my needs and really will provide and wants me to have blessings beyond what I can imagine.
(I even prayed "the prayer of Jabez", though not with a full heart because I know that that movement is rediculous and misguided. But I prayed it all the same, because I have heard some interesting testimonies. Guess what? Things got worse.. my territory was not expanded, just the gulf between my present state and fulfilled needs.)
And on Saturday, I was faced with the way that I had despaired. I thought about the way that my needs were met, if after a wait that felt so long .. and the way that me needs have ALWAYS been met, somehow. I thought about how God blessed my landlords beyond their imagining, so that I didn't have to worry so much about the fact that they were not getting my rent money on time. I thought about the wonderful and generous people that have helped me (again, whether through gifts or with ways to earn money) and how much I focused on those that didn't help instead of those that did.
And on Saturday, I repented. Or I should say I started the repentance process. Repenting doesn't just mean saying your sorry, it means changing the way that you think so that you are not in the same situation again. It means "being transformed by the renewing of your mind". And so this is a process, and it will be a very long one.
It also means a lot of work in trying to continue reconciling certain situations and in changing how I think about others.
I slacked of on my attempts to reconcile things at my church. Things got so awkward and it was easier just to go to the other church and when I was at my church to spend time with and seek out the people with whom I have good connections and not really try to reconcile the hurting ones.
So, I am picking that back up. Goodness, it is so frightening to think about going in to reopen this whole situation again.
No more despair, though. I am learning to trust God fully again, to be open to His love. I am learning to love people even when they are not trustworthy.
The Choir has a song called "If You're Listening", which has one of my favorite and most thought-provoking lines ever:
Grace is a gift even more refined than magic dust.
Mercy a quality more divine than trust.
My middle name, Jeanne, means merciful. I hope to live up to that someday.
These cold times have visited me a few times in the past few years, but I guess I had come to associate them with the post-dizzy-spell-anxiety-attacks that the doctor and I figured I must be having. I did not remember having them as a seperate entity from the dizzy spells (though I certainly have and once the one hit on Monday night I remembered plenty of similar episodes), so it was a little weird having it happen out of the blue like that. I've had a couple of quasi-dizzy-spells so far this week as well, but nothing too major. So, I'm going to tell the doctor about the sudden drop in body heat and see what she says, but other than that I've pretty much given up on finding the cause of all this for now. In the meanwhile, I'm going to ask again for an endoscopy and say that if they'd be so kind as to provide that, I'll be outta their hair .. but that I do feel it's essential for me to really check on my ulcer and hernia (even as expensive as those procedures are) if I'm to have some peace of mind or else know what I'm up against.
Tomorrow, I'll be visiting the free clinic's dentist and picking up my refilled prescriptions, hopefully.
And I did get that job at the place-everyone-works-at-some-point here in town. Sorta. Training doesn't start 'till the end of the months, so I'll basically be trained and then put in my notice.. unless of course I don't find a place to live and job in NC soon enough, in which case I'll have a job here to hold me over.
They're sending me a whopping $41 for my car (salvage value), and offered $300 for medical. They're still refusing to pay the storage costs for my car, despite the fact that they told me to keep the car there so that they could do their investigation.
The woman didn't outright insult me or such today, but I'm certain she would have if I had not been so cold and distant. She doesn't know how much better off she was when we last talked and I was crying during the conversation.
I told her today that if she were in a car accident, she would like to be treated better. She said, "yes, but I work here, and so I know how things are".. and I thought "yes, and you work there, so you know how to get around things and get your money.. and you would likely find ways to get a lot more than you actually deserved, because you are an expert at screwing people over." And then I said "right. Well, I'm just wishing that the person that hit me was with Progressive or another decent company, pretty much anyone other than ya'll, really." She told me this was the best she could do, that it was other people's faults, etc..
The sad thing about it is that if she had, right after the accident or even shortly after they had received the crash report to verify my testimony since their client NEVER called (and they received that three and a half weeks after the accident).. if she had offered me to pay for the one week of rental I'd had by that point and the three and a half weeks of storage for my car and a meager $2000 above that to cover car and medical, I would've been extremely happy with the whole experience. Even $1,500 I prolly would've taken. And now, if they had paid for the rental (which they did, mostly) and the storage (two months' worth, due to their stalling) and a meager $2,000 total for car and medical above that, I would've been satisfied enough.
Instead, they're offering a total of $341 for car and medical, no storage, and what they did pay of the rental.. no pay for missed work, nothing else other than what they think they can get away with. As good as I am at coming across bargains, even I couldn't've found either a car OR a doctor's visit for $341. Forget both. One doctor's visit (because I don't have insurance) without even the MRI or other diagnostic tests would've been at least that much. And my first two cars were each $500, which was quite the bargain. $341 is rediculous.
So now I've got to pull in the Legal Aid Society and the insurance commissioner and anything else I can. I wish that this company could just be shut down. The one good person working there (that I came across.. I want to believe there's more than one good person working there, but I'm having a hard time convincing myself of that) should be given a great job in another company that isn't out for blood, and everyone else should be retrained or given hearts or something, because that company should not be allowed to exist.
Regardless of how desperate you get for car insurance, don't go to GMAC. Please don't support this company in their desire to screw over anyone they can.
GMAC insurance sucks.
Sunday, September 07, 2003
When I moved into that apartment, though, I never did go running. Not once. I took a few late-night walks to look at the stars and get re-centered (and occasionally get some time to myself when I had houseguests and needed to be alone), but even those weren't more than a mile each way, prolly a mile total.
Today, I got all the piles of junk that had accumulated in my month here so far put away into proper places, and then decided it was time to run. It was around 3pm, which makes this my first daytime run in who-knows-how-long.. prolly senior year of high school. Yes, certainly then. And I didn't do a great deal of running then, despite that I was trying to rejoin the cross-country world. Trying, apparently, not being the operative word. So anyway, it was 3pm, and I went out for a run. I watched my odometer on the way home the other night and knew that it is slightly under a mile from here to the nearest college campus, so that seemed like a good goal to me. I ran there, then walked around to see if some of the students I know there were about and then checked on some friends that live right across the street.. it seems, though, that this was a busy Saturday for everyone but me. So I didn't see anyone that I knew, which may be for the best anyway. And I stretched a bunch during my walking-break, and then I ran home. So, somewhere between one and a half to two miles total, and a lot of stretching before, between, and after. Good times. When I got home, after stretching a bunch more, I swept my kitchen and the screened-in-porch, and it amazed me how much I loved seeing them so clean and then coming home to them being so clean tonight. Fantastic. It felt great to be accomplishing something, plus that it kept me up and moving between the run and the shower and then the relaxation, so that I didn't sit down too soon and thus send my body into shock or overload or such. Yay.
I am going to keep running every two to three days, hopefully. And tomorrow, the church I've been going to most often over the past two months is having their baptism at the river house, so I'll be going to that. It'll be nice to spend more casual time with the folks from this church, and to be there when some folks get baptised.. and if some of us end up swimming (I know the boats won't be there for skiing and such), it'll be great. Might be too cold for that, though. It went from being either rainy-and-hot or really-stinkin'-hot (and literally, since no amount of deoderant seemed to be helping this town.. it got sweated off too soon on those really hot days) to cold-as-all-get-out. Perhaps no swimming tomorrow. Either way, it'll be fun. And then the house church I babysit for is restarting, which means several of my most favoritest kids all gathered into one place. Fantastic, again. I'm so looking forward to my last month of babysitting for this house church, though it'll be all the sadder to leave it right after settling back into it. On a similar note, my former landlady's pilates class is finally starting back up, which means seeing Gracie and Charlotte three times a week (twice for the class and once at house church) again, like in the good old days. So, very excited about that as well.
I may try doing some non-running exercise on my off-days, but I'm not sure if I'm that ambitious just yet. I think the running for a while will get me back into shape enough to start being interested in other things that will balance it out more. So, I've just gotta stick with it through the move this time.
Oh, and on Monday I'm going down to a local everyone-in-town-has-to-work-here-at-least-once place because they have a VERY high turnover and there's no way I'd survive there more than a month even if I wasn't moving, so I won't feel so bad about working there for my short time left in town and then ducking out. If they've got an opening right now, it'll make me a LOT less financially stressed and will help my move a great deal. It'll also make me incredibly busy and I won't have all the time to sort things through as I was hoping during this housesitting gig, but perhaps that will just make me value what time I do have even more and spend it more wisely.
So that's life in this neck of the woods..
Saturday, September 06, 2003
One, that I have GOT to be more intentional about interacting with folks that are good for me, as it were.. folks that share more of my beliefs than many of my friends do and therefore and help me to stick to them instead of getting weak and giving in on a number of points. And folks that encourage me, make me feel better about life, helping me to feel but not to overreact or to dwell on negativity. Folks that are the years-past examples of what I want to be, adults who have lived the kind of life I hope to live.
A couple of years ago, I got sick of always having to be the one to initiate contact.. of calling and not hearing back 'till the person finally answered on the fifth call in a month and we might get together. I felt insecure in those friendships, because (a) I felt that if they really wanted to be around me, they would call back .. and (b) I felt that they were finally hanging out as either a way to get me off their backs so I wouldn't call so much, or out of pity or such. I promise, it isn't a low-confidence thing. When my social relationships are going well and I can feel secure in friendships (that doesn't take much, really.. just a fairly equal amount of initiating hangout times and some proof that they've actually listened during our conversations, instead of asking me how school is going when I haven't been in school for a year), I don't have thoughts like these. But then I'm calling lots of people from lots of different spheres and I don't hear back from any of them for two or three weeks, of course I start feeling lonely and hurt. I start thinking that maybe these folks don't really consider me the friend they call me, because if they meant it when they called me a friend, they would call me to hang out.
I am realizing again, though, that the kinds of people I tend to become friends with (with certain notable exceptions, like Krista, who calls me quite often to go out and be active) are often the types that do not initiate hanging out, or are not the group's planners who gather everyone together. That is (although difficult at times) part of my place in my social circles .. the one that brings people together, even if just myself and another.
So, if I want to have good role models and encouraging friends in my life, I need to be the one to bring them into my life.
I'm sure that it will be frustrating for a while yet, but hopefully will get better in NC when I will have a fresh start with folks.
The other important realization I made today is that my levels of financial stress strongly and profoundly impact my decisions in all areas of my life. When I am feeling secure financially, I am stronger in many ways that have nothing to do with money. And when I am not sure how my bank account will survive this round, or how I'm going to pay the few bills I have, I start to make decisions based on illogical factors, or to give in on convictions I've long held. So, when I was told that I was making unwise financial decisions, that was less-than-accurate. My financial decisions (at the time and consistantly) were as wise as they could be given the circumstances .. when one cannot get a job nomatter how hard one tries, and when that one does not have any savings or other income to decide anything about, there are only so many wise or unwise decisions such a person can make. However, it is the circumstances and their leading financial stress that did indeed contribute to me then making unwise decisions in non-financial realms.
(Side note: the exact same people that talked to me about making unwise financial decisions are the very same people that discouraged me from moving out of this area.. which I found incredibly frustrating at the time, because if fincances were to be my focus and my bank account to be a primary concern, than I needed to live in a place that has some jobs to offer. Indeed, the only major unwise financial decision I've made in my adult life was staying here so long even after realizing what the job market was like. And that was simply because I had priorities other than becoming rich.. it took this past year of too-much-stress-over-too-little-money to convince me that even getting by was not going to happen here and I thus needed to go somewhere else, whether or not I will have any more desire at earning massive amounts there. So, why are these people not putting their money where their mouths are, if you will.. ? Why are they the same ones telling me I should stay even though I am never going to kind the kind of income I need to survive, much less what they would respect?? Grr. Argh.)
And although I believe that my financial stress over the past four years was largely out of my own control, I also know that having figured out its impact on the other areas of my life will be a great and humongous help to changing and growing stronger even when my bottom line is lacking.
Two important realizations in hand, so that my move will continue to be an attempt not to run away from my problems, but instead to improve myself and thus my quality of life, which will in-turn improve me further.
Thursday, September 04, 2003
But then, AOL is evil incarnate, and tries so hard to make things easy that they make everything really difficult AND send out fitty bazillion CDs and ads all the time. I think maybe if they spent less money annoying people, they could start using money to improve their product.
Bertolli (sp?), a pasta and perhaps more Italian foods company, makes this remarkably good Pesto sauce. Actually, two .. they've got original basil AND sun-dried tomato(e). And this makes me happy. I found it hidden between a few types of their pasta at Wal-Mart a while back, and the little jar (for maybe four or five bucks at the most) has lasted me a LONG time. Sarah got to have some when she came down at the end of July, too, and I'm sure she could back up the yuminess review. This stuff is really good, even compared to some of the home-made pesto sauces I've had. So, if you just can't make pesto yourself (though I will try one of these days, since I've got some really nice basil plants growing right now), this is the stuff to sub. Wonderful goodness.
Some might even call it Heavenly Partiness.
Why does Snoop Dogg carry an umbrella?
Fo' the Drizzle
In fact, I had been preparing (as it were) for similar findings for about the past year or two. It's been quite a while since I've been healthy, and I've long been on an any-day-now status mentally for a chronic diagnosis.
Indeed, I was so prepared for "the worst" that I was almost completely unprepared for what the actual results were: completely normal.
Many folks have been asking me over the past month, and especially on Tuesday, what the results were .. and I appriciate that greatly, because it's always nice to know that people are involved in my life. However, it's difficult that the inevitable reaction of every person is how fantastic it is that the results were normal. To be quite honest, I have had a hugely mixed reaction to those findings.
Don't get me wrong, I AM glad (or part of me is) that it isn't some huge tumor or such and that, as far a we know, I'm still not limited to one year left of living on this planet. I'm not a big fan of suffering or pain, although my pain tolerance is extremely high and I have dealt with my limited past suffering well enough, in my humble opinion.
But the complication comes when this means that I still don't know what's wrong, that I have to go on with all these mysterious symptoms (particularly the dizzy spells) coming and going as they please with no known cause nor relief. Similarly, I feel just plain worn-out, and have felt that way for longer than anyone besides me has known .. though some heard vague references to such feelings in the earlier days. There was a certain extent to which knowing I only had to be strong -- only had to fight the weariness -- for another year was a really beautiful thought.
I mean, I know where I'm going when I die.. and goodness, to be there sooner rather than later sure sounds like a great deal, even if that would mean suffering a little more intensely for a while.
Not that I overlooked how it would impact those that care about me. I hated to idea of telling people (though I do hope that whenever I die, it is after some chance of saying goodbye and maybe getting to do some of the things that might not be so wise as a person that theoretically could live to her 90s). Likewise, I wrestled much with what a known-last-year would be like, with how I would tell people (especially my brothers), and with what a limited legacy I'd be leaving behind. What, in fact, have I really accomplished so far in my life? I'm not looking (or even hoping) for anything "great" in answer to that question.. I don't wish I had found the cure for AIDs or held an esteemed political office. And I know that there have been some very rich relationships in my world, and maybe I have helped a soul or two to bide this earlthy life. But I was struggling with how little I really have accomplished, how few lives I've really enriched.. and particularly with how much smaller and fewer my accomplishments (and relationships) have been over the past year.
I really think I let my walls get the better of me.
I think that my ambition has gone out the door while the weariness seeped in.
So, when the health department staffer was taking down my health history (since the free clinic and the health department work together on the specialists, I had to go there to see him and therefore give my medical history again) and flipped to the back of my chart to see my CAT scan results, I was a bit shocked upon being told they came back normal.
I was ready to be told almost anything other than that.
It's settling in, though, and I'm getting more excited (excited being a very relative term amidst the exhaustion) about my move to NC and my new life there. I'm looking forward to hopefully getting into a steady exercise routine, and having a much better chance at gainful employment which will allow me less financial worry and more financial freedom with which to enjoy this life. If it's going to continue, it must get better. And I'm more ready for my part in making it better now.
I will still be ready to go home any day, with the accompanying desire for time to say goodbye. But I will live better, being more motivated to think of the long-term.
So yes, it is good (in its own way) that the results came back normal. However, that still leaves so many questions.. so very many questions..
Al is my brand-spankin'-new-to-me Volvo, circa 1985. Dark true blue, with black leather interior and heatable, fully adjustable driver's seat, he's a beauty to look at and a pleasure to own. The steering wheel is larger than me, and the windows are automatic. His radio doesn't work, his tape player is extremely fickle, and his sunroof still needs a quick repair (which will be done for free whenever I can bring him back to the dealership), but he's mine! He's a four-speed with a fifth-speed button for overdrive and the typical Volvo pull-up-this-layer-of-the-stick-to-put-me-in-reverse design. Very spacious, in the cab and in trunk, and the middle of the back seat even folds down for when I'm transporting skis. (Not that I have any skis to transport, but maybe it'll work for my bedframe if I need it to when I move.)
I have so much enjoyed having a car again, especially my beautiful Al, and have been showing him off to folks everywhere I go. There have been a lot of humorous reactions and descriptions-offered, but everyone has been celebrating with me that I finally have a new car to replace Gilbert.
And for only one thousand buckaroos, no less.
In somewhat related news, STILL no progress with the grr insurance company of the guy that hit me during my wreck. The garage where my car is being stored said that they haven't had any contact with that company about my car, ever, though I'm not sure the garage is terribly organized either. I did call the manager at GMAC (the grr insurance company) today to inform him that not only are they still dealing with things in an extremely untimely manner (I mean, it's been almost two stinkin' months now), but also that his employee was very rude to me on the phone last Wednesday and that if this is not dealt with satisfactorily soon, I will be calling the insurance commissioner and doing anything else I can to make sure reperations are made. I'm not too optimistic that this will get anything done, really, but perhaps they'd rather settle out than deal with other consequences. It's just so frustrating that so many of the things they're saying they're not gonna pay for are where they're at because of this company, especially the storage fees at the garage, which I can guarantee I am NOT gonna be paying. It's rediculous how this whole thing has been handled.
So, that is that.
In other news, I had a wonderful trip to DC this past weekend. I went to the Christopher Williams concert at Jammin' Java in Vienna, and then down to Barbara and Bernard's house south of Fairfax. Barbara, in the short time I've had the pleasure of knowing her, has become very much like a mother to me, as well as a great friend. We had some wonderful conversations and other quality time. I slept 14 hours straight (with exception of about one minute when Bernard knocked on the door to see if I was still alive) on Thursday night/Friday, which is amazing considering how I normally wake up at least once or twice during the night and don't tend to sleep more than nine or ten hours before I become at least somewhat concious and then either decide to get up or roll over and go back to sleep. I also got to attend the party for the volunteers at the Potomac Celtic Fest on Saturday, which included reuniting with some of my fellow volunteers from that weekend in June. Barbara and Bernard are in Iona, one of the several great bands at the Celtic Fest this past summer. (This is the American band Iona, the original of that name apparently, and they are dedicated to traditional Celtic and Celtic-influenced music and educating the masses about such, while the Irish Iona is more Celtic-Rock-ish and not so much with the workshops or dance lessons. I enjoy both thoroughly, myself.)
I look forward to hopefully visiting the area once more before I move, since it'll be about five hours from Chapel Hill (maybe more), so I won't likely be up there much at all after this month.
There are some other great events coming up soon, so it may be a goodly-hectic month before my move. This weekend, I'll be seeing some friends of mine in The OddCouple here in town, and doing lots of hanging out and showing off my new car. The weekend after, Andrew Peterson will be at West Lynchburg Baptist Church in Lynchburg, VA. If you could possibly make it, it's sure to be a fantastically vunderbar show.
My hair is now about an inch long, all over. I think I'm gonna clip it somehow or other so that it's not even as it grows out this time, but that may wait 'till it's a little longer. It's still at the stage of not having to do the slightest thing to it at any given point, and the fuzzy stage at which it was too long to look good without anything done (like spiking or gelled-down) but too short to do anything was very short and not as disliked by myself this time around. Other folks, in fact, really liked that stage even more than the very clipped look. But not me. So, it should be at the great length for short do's (annie lennox spikes or preppy curly-with-barrettes) by the time I'm job-hunting and making first impressions in NC.
And that's the news for now. Goodnight.
Hippie: (after hearing Max wants to avoid the draft)You still have options man.
"So how do i do normal
"It's been known for a train to jump its track. It's ok, so you'll know, most times they come back. It's ok to lose your life, when you finally see your birth. It's ok to say, "I love you," and figure sometimes it's gonna hurt.
"As a comedian, you have to start the show strong and you have end the show strong. Those are the two key elements. You can't be like pancakes, all exciting at first, but then by the end you're sick of 'em!"
"Hey, this is weird! I ordered one frozen yogurt and they gave me two. You don't happen to like frozen yogurt, do you?" "I love it!" "You're kidding! What a crazy random happenstance!"
"Only one more trip," said a gallant seaman,
"It was Flannery O'Connor who said that 'grace must wound before it heals.' Her words help me to separate what is most true about life from the things we want to be true. We want life to be painless. True grace is a hard sell because in order for the human heart to understand forgiveness and love, it must first experience darkness and isolation. A life lived under the rule of grace is a life of need which allows us to receive an appreciate the gift of the giver of grace. This is why we will always have the poor with us; this is why God will not allow us to ignore injustice; this is why we are called to a life we cannot handle alone, which can and will break us in the effort to live it -- because grace must wound before it heals."
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
I thought Christmas Day would never come. But it's here at last, so Mom and Dad, the waiting's finally done. And you gotta get up, you gotta get up, you gotta get up, it's Christmas morning.
O little town of Bethlehem,
Walk humbly, son
Strings of lights above the bed
"In a little while I'll feel better
"Please tell me once again that You love me. That You love me. Please tell me once again that I matter to You and You really care. Please tell me once again that You're with me, forever. It's not that I could ever doubt you, I just love the way it sounds. I just love the way it sounds."
"Every once in a while, a bannerzen posts."
"7:30. What kind of people have to be at work at 7:30?"
have you seen my love
Traveling is significant because it takes so much effort. Either you're going to some place you love, or you're leaving some place you love. Usually it's both.
I think I have Bond's ability to get into trouble but not his ability to get out of it. Someday I'll be in some foreign country with 5 thugs with automatic rifles pointed at me, and I'll just.... fart
"You had no alternative .. We must work in the world. The world is thus." --- "No .. Thus have we made the world."
The summer ends and we wonder where we are And there you go, my friends, with your boxes in your car And you both look so young And last night was hard, you said You packed up every room And then you cried and went to bed But today you closed the door and said "We have to get a move on. It's just that time of year when we push ourselves ahead, We push ourselves ahead."
Looking out the bedroom at this snowy TV.. ever since commencement, no one's asking 'bout me. But I bet before the night falls, I could catch the late bus.. take small provisions and this Beethoven bust. I could find work in the outskirts of the city, eat some fish on the way.. befriend an old dog for a roadside pal, find a nice couch to stay -- a pull-out sofa, if you please!"
Ooh! Get me away from here I'm dying
"The trouble with folks like Brownie is they hold their life in like a bakebean fart at a Baptist cookout and only let it slip out sideways a little at a time when they think there's nobody noticing. Now that's the last thing on earth the Almighty intended. He intended all the life a man's got inside him, he should live it out just as free and strong and natural as a bird."
"Life is a phantasmagoria .. It is a pell-mell of confused and tumultuous scenes. We try in vain to find a purpose - to bring an order, a unity to life. I suppose that is the appeal of art. Art is the blending of the real and the unreal, the conquering of nature. It is real enough for it to reflect life, but has the unity that life lacks."
"in time memories fade.
I've always had this feeling about Patty that she's complex and intriguing...I like Patty alot. She's got a good heart and tells terrible squirrel jokes.
"Try to remember that world-weariness isn't necessarily a bad thing. In the book of Mark, I think its Mark, Jesus looks at a blind man and sighs. Jesus sighed before even telling the man he would be healed. He sighed, and I'm not sure that there's a much more human expression of frustration than this. Faced with the horrid picture of a cursed earth and looking into the white eyes of a man blind from the day he was born, He sighed. The Creator of the universe in human form was sad "of the evils of this world," the world He created. Your Creator sighed for you in the same way before He healed you and made you His."
After the last secret's told
After the last bullet tears through flesh and bone
After the last child starves
And the last girl walks the boulevard
After the last year that's just too hard
There is love
-- Andrew Peterson, After the Last Tear Falls
"when you most need people, you don't need perfection - just to know someone gives a damn"
"My brother's always [telling me], 'You should be more mysterious--boys like that.' But I'm not good at that. It would just make me more uncomfortable."
"Loners want to kill you, but not for any particular reason, and they'd probably like you if they weren't being guided by the violent voices in their head."
"No one wants to oil a snake these days!"
Her mom: "We're all safe."
-- Jamie Bevill and her mother during Christmas-Decorating dinner, December 20, 2002
i'd throw out all my shoes
i'd set up cans for friends
to dump their shoes senseless shoes
a pioneer of callouses
lordy-be and bless my soul
i'd be a barefoot spaceman
the first you'd ever know"
"The best way to have God's will for your life is to have no will of your own!"
"Generations circle and each one atones. The sins of the father are seperate from my own. In Pilgrim's Progress, it's forgiveness that makes whole, and as time levels and consoles, I place the daisies in your bowl."
"For a moment he just stared at her. Then, with an urf-urf-urf of laughter, he turned back to the controls."
"It's on the internet.. so, then, it must be true."
"Be at least as interested in what people can become as you are in what they have been."
Blessed be the rock stars!"
Get up for the shower.. wash and scrub and scour every part as if a cleaner man could better bear the shame..
"She was eating gnarly amounts of calcium."
Homeless man to girl trying to give him money: "No, thanks, ma'am. I never work on Sundays."
"Wow! I never thought I'd need a radar-guided spatula!"
"Isn't it great that I articulate? Isn't it grand that you can understand? ... I can talk, I can talk, I can talk!"
I believe that people laugh at coincidence as a way of relegating it to the realm of the absurd and of therefore not having to take seriously the possibility that there is a lot more going on in our lives than we either know or care to know... I suspect that part of it, anyway, is that every once and so often we hear a whisper from the wings that goes something like this: "You've turned up in the right place at the right time. You're doing fine. Don't ever think that you've been forgotten.
When I lay these questions before God I get no answer. But a rather special sort of "No answer." It is not the locked door. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. As though He shook His head not in refusal but waiving the question. Like, "Peace, child; you don't understand."
CCM: You've spoken a lot more about crying than I ever thought you would.
"Youth is not a period of time. It is a state of mind, a result of the will, a quality of the imagination, a victory of courage over timidity, of the taste for adventure over the love of comfort. A man doesn't grow old because he has lived a certain number of years. A man grows old when he deserts his ideal. The years may wrinkle his skin, but deserting his ideal wrinkles his soul. Preoccuptaions, fears, doubts, and despair are the enemies which slowly bow us toward earth and turn us into dust before death. You will remain young as long as you are open to what is beautiful, good, and great; receptive to the messages of other men and women, of nature and of God. If one day you should become bitter, pessimistic, and gnawed by despair, may God have mercy on your old man's soul."
""Don't go matchmaking for me, Ilse," said Emily wit a faint smile... "I feel in my bones that I shall achieve old-maidenhood, which is an entirely different thing from having old-maidenhood thrust upon you."
"I wish Aunt Elizabeth would let me go to Shrewsbury, but I fear she never will. She feels she can't trust me out of her sight because my mother eloped. But she need not be afraid I will ever elope. I have made up my mind that I will never marry. I shall be wedded to my art"
"Tomorrow seems like a long ways away. But it will come, just like any other day... Deep inside, where the wounded creatures hide, I am afraid. Maybe I got lost somewhere along the way somehow. Please rescue me... Yea, though I walk through the valley of the dark shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For you are with me... Though I fear, though I am afraid, You are with me. Though I'm angry, tired, broken down and confused, You are with me. Though I sin like I've never sinned before, lose myself right out an open door, You are with me."
"The invisible people agreed about everything. Indeed most of their remarks were the sort it would not be easy to disagree with: "What I always say is, when a chap's hungry, he likes some victuals," or "Getting dark now; always does at night," or even "Ah, you've come over the water. Powerful wet stuff, ain't it?"" -- C. S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
"When People object... that if Jesus was God as well as Man, then He had an unfair advantage which deprives Him for them of all value, it seems to me as if a man struggling in the water should refuse a rope thrown to him by another who had one foot on the bank, saying, "Oh but you had an unfair advantage." It is because of His advantage that He can help."
"But, you know, as a Christian, one of the big questions you always ask yourself is, "So we believe in Jesus, we believe in the teachings of the church, but what does that look like when it's lived out?" Because surely, one of the things that Jesus said that I think we often overlook is, "The person who hears my words and does them is like the wise man who built his house on the rock." He didn't say "the person who hears my words and thinks about 'em" or "whoever hears my words and agrees with it." But he said, "Whoever hears it and does it."
"find that which gives you breath and grants you more to give
"I have packed all my belongings. I don't belong here anymore. This pair of sandles, one pack to carry, this old guitar and this tattered old Bible. And I know I won't be afraid. 'cause I know, I know Home is where You are."
"Open up your weepy eyes, everyone is dancing. Angels peer through sweet disguise, through a fire of cleansing.
"You may be bruised and torn and broken, but
"I don't deserve to speak, and they don't deserve
to hear it. It's makin' me believe that it's not
"Kickin' against these goads sure did cut up my
feet. Didn't your hands get bloody as you washed
"They say God blessed us with plenty. I say
you?re blessed with poverty. ?Cause you never
stop to wonder whether earth is just a little
better than the Land of the Free"
"Computers will know everything in the 21st
century. They'll be like me in the 20th