C'est La Vie
What a beautiful piece of heartache this has all turned out to be. Lord knows we've learned the hard way all about healthy apathy. And I use these words pretty loosely. There's so much more to life than words..
Things I love
Wednesday, January 14, 2004
I have, though, listened to most of the tapes I checked out, and I called the library this morning (after their automatic notification service called to tell me I have overdue items) and they were kind enough to renew them for another week so that I will have a minimal fee when I do check them back in.
Meanwhile, my car is, perhaps, supposed to be ready today. I will be ecstatic if it is, and will prolly explode from the inside myself if it isn't. The mechanic, though, has been a complete pain-in-the-rear about good business practice and not overcharging me for something he didn't even START trying to get done on time. He went off about how he's already working for slave's wages (ha! I'd love to see any good old boy try to survive on a piece of bread and plenty of whippings for a long day's work..) and how he hasn't worked on a volvo "in a coon's age", and all this other junk. You know what? I'm SO not American in most of my business-ideals (like not being a capitalist as far as individual preferences go), but I will hold to the American ideals of good-service, like you do your job and you do it well and if you don't, you're the one that suffers for it. You don't charge a customer all kinds of money to make up for YOUR mistakes. If you made the mistake, you pay for it so that you will learn from it. GRR!
It's not like just because I can speak English, I'm stinkin' rich or something. Good grief, just give me a break.
So, you tell me.. if you take your car in to get it fixed and they have a full day to check it out, after which they say, "We can have it ready in three days, and it'll run you $900," and although you balk at the price, you've gotta get it done to get home, so you arrange things to make that happen.. and then they don't even work on it 'till the sixth day they have it, and when they do finally start, they come across some things that need to be fixed that they didn't happen to catch before and it'll be another $250 dollars or so. Seriously, if this were my first mechanic back home (from whom I got my first car), since I trust him completely, I'd have barely even flinched at any of that, and would've paid the extra just so he didn't have to, if there was any way I could. But these folks down here have been entirely nasty to deal with, have been dishonest, and I just don't feel very motivated to pay up when they go against good business practice. So what would you do?
Oy. This whole thing has just been so incredibly frustrating, and I just want to be home. It's been three and a half weeks now since I've seen my apartment or slept in my bed. Although the travel plans originally were gonna be pretty hectic, I would've at least been home between the trip to FL and the wedding trip, and would've gotten to sleep in my bed and unpack from the first trip in time to MAYBE give the plants I've brought home a chance at survival.
I want to be home, back in my regular routine, within a few minutes instead of several hours of my local friends. I am so glad for the people I've seen on this trip, but it has worn me out and I couldn't take seeing any more faces or visiting with any more long-distance-friends without a few days' reprieve at home. *le sigh*
Tuesday, January 13, 2004
Don't get a Volvo.
And if you do, and it breaks down several hours from home and even further from whatever family you may have, don't take it to someone that says they can fix it and aren't backed up, unless you have some significant reason to believe this is true.
Hopefully, Albert Aslan Epinicious Sloane will be done tomorrow morning and will make the drive home, at which point I will attempt to trade him for a nice, reliable, less-expensive-when-it-breaks (because, since I only get fairly old cars that I don't have to technically finance, it WILL break) vehicle such as a Honda. Maybe another Chevy. Or another Mitsubishi. Perhaps even a Toyota. I'd even take a Mazda, since I've heard fairly good things about them, though I'd want to be sure I wouldn't have another episode like this..
Anything, really. Just something that won't have a transmission that explodes from the inside, and be expensive out the wazoo to fix when it does.
And yes, I'll be having a chat with the guy who sold me this lemon, and talking about why, exactly, it wasn't really fixed during the month and a half he had it in the shop after the first month I'd owned it. I mean, really.. transmissions don't just break.. I've only had the car back for a month and a half now! Oy! Oy Chadesh, even!
Wednesday, January 07, 2004
I got to Atlanta and stopped to have dinner with Renee, and realized during that that I was incredibly tired and still not too optimistic about my car, and that maybe I shouldn't push the drive back for that night. I called my babysitting client, and she hadn't gotten the word yet about then the woman-she's-subbing-for's maternity leave would start, so I had another day to drive back.
And so I started out Tuesday morning, which was a beautiful day for driving. And I got just over the border of SC and decided it was a good time to stop for gas.. and at the top of the ramp, I heard some not-good-noise, and as I turned into the gas station (right next to the ramp) I heard something drop, and I made it up to the gas pump and jumped out and looked under my car.. sure enough, there was the front end of my exhaust system on the ground because the manifold had detached.
Some very helpful people ghetto-rigged it up with a coat hanger so I could get to the muffler shop down the street, and he reattached it and fixed some other, related problems for twenty bucks. So, by this point, between the gas (which I filled up before I went to the muffler shop) and the repair, I have no cash left on me.
I get back on the road, and make it about half an hour or so before there was a big popping noise and white smoke started blowing from my car. Not a good sign, says the me that went through a head-gasket breakage a year ago on my other car. I pull over to the side of the road, and see dark liquid pouring from under my car. The white smoke, I could see, was from where the liquid was leaking onto the exhaust pipe and burning there.
The leaking liquid was a dark red/purpleish color, and my coolant was green, so this was the automatic transmission fluid (I drive a stickshift, btw) pouring out. Fortunately, though, I was right near Greenville, where David, Lisa, and Clay live, and so once I got my car taken care of (that is, towed and left at a nearby transmission shop), I was taken care of by them.
So, here I am, waiting to hear about this car that is somewhere between a blessing and the bain of my existance. The shop is gonna get it done as quick as they can, though, since I've gotta be back in VA today if possible (I'm supposed to fly out from there tomorrow morning for Mel and Darrin's wedding) and that's about a 6 hour drive.. but the good news is that if I end up not making it back tonight, I can, theoretically, switch where I fly out of and into (I'm using one of Renee's buddy passes, so it's that much easier and cheaper) and still make it to the wedding. Hopefully.
By Saturday night (while driving from Andrew's to Meg's), I was at that point of road-weariness where I just wanted to be home and in my own unpacked-apartment and my own bed and all. My return voyage, though, (including WI detour) may end up taking over a week to complete. Oy!
But, here's to God's provision in it happening in the best possible way, and here's to the hope that it is a simple problem and will be fixed soon, and here's to settling down for a while once I get back from the wedding.
Friday, January 02, 2004
I leave tomorrow, having lunch with Gramps and Jan, and then driving to Marianna (in Northern FL, barely in the panhandle, I think) to hang with some friends there, then to Pensacola on Saturday and home by Monday. Few days of babysitting and catching up with friends there, then off to WI for the wedding of Mel and Darrin, which is very exciting .. I can't believe that's only one week from tomorrow. All kinds of other craziness, and my birthday is officially only one month away.
So, certainly well past time to sleep now .. hopefully blog at some point when I'm back in VA .. right, just like I've blogged frequently so much over the past few months.
Sleep is great. 'Nite.
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