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
Monday, March 29, 2004
I give up on having a job that I like. I'm reminding myself constantly that in the Navy, I'll have a job I like, I'll have job security, and I'll have nothing to give up on.. however, for the time being, I give up.
The manager of the diner where I've been working the majority of the past two weeks (who, by the way, is having some severe stress-related health issues and thus has been absent during most of the shifts I've worked there) overheard me telling one of my customers (the retired chief petty officer) about how I'm going into the Navy, and then took it upon herself to tell our boss, and between the two of them, they decided that I need to not have any hours any more. On top of that, the folks at the other diner, the one I'd occasionally worked third-shifts at, had given the boss bad reports about my work habits, which royally pissed me off since the things they said (a) weren't true, and (b) were just being used to gloss over their own less-than-good work ethics and abilities. Case in point, one of the biggest things that they said is that I talk to customers too much .. yes, I'm talkative, but no I did NOT EVER let it get in the way of serving all of the customers in the diner, forget just the ones I may or may not have been talking with. And my chatting is why they were coming back, btw.. as one of my downtown coworkers said, we're a bar without the alcohol. Most of our customers come in alone and are lonely and want a listening ear. I don't air my dirty laundry or my issues with the diner or our boss, or anything else like that to them.. I keep it light conversation, or listen to them if they're bringing it to heavier subjects. And again, I'm still on top of my other job duties. So GRR! Freakin' GRR! So meanwhile, the biggest reason my boss told me about the cutback in hours was because of my going into the Navy, to which I responded that legally he is not allowed to cut back my hours for that reason, and the next day brought him a letter from my recruiters explaining the Uniform Code of Justice and how they cannot fire or cut back hours or otherwise make negative decisions relating to the job based on the Navy decision.
So, I give up.
And the computer I'm on is about to run out of time (I'm at a library), so I'm gonna go vent elsewhere.
Tuesday, March 23, 2004
March 23, 2004 --- Tuesday --- 2:04-3:17am
It has now been nearly two weeks since both my enlistment in the Navy and my first shift at the local diner. In these past two weeks, I've been doing a lot to make both of these factors, as well as my personal life, much more pleasant.
For the diner, I'm fortunate enough to now not be working third shift on occasion at the one uptown, and instead am working nearly-full-time at the one downtown, every day from 11-6. We have great regular customers, and I absolutely love the three other ladies that I work with each (or at least most) day(s). It's nice being part of a small group of people working together every day in a relatively small area, yet with enough other people coming and going, and with each of us working different enough schedules that we all have plenty of breaks from eachother as well. These are interesting women, too, each with very different (and sometimes very similar) stories, personalities, and opinions. So, I'm a part of things there, and working hard, and they're teaching me how to cook/prepare all of our various menu items this week so that when I'm closing with just the one other woman, she can take some breaks once in a while. We close at 6, and are usually out of there by 6:30, so I'll be closing pretty much every time I work, and am already starting to get that routine down. (My first closing shift was on Friday, and again today, Monday, so I'm still new at it.)
In my Navy life, I've been working out at least every three days, and usually every other day, since I enlisted. In fact, I worked out for about two hours Friday night between the double shifts at the diner downtown in the afternoon and then overnight uptown. I've been doing sit-ups, pushups (I'm up to being able to do between ten and fourteen REAL pushups most times. I can do a stinkload of sit-ups sometimes, and then not many at all others. Most of the time, I'm doing inclined push-ups and various abdominal strengthening exercises, but give the real things a go every now and then. Meanwhile, my friend Barbara taught me this other exercise when I mentioned wanting to get rid of my lower-belly pooch, where you lay on your back and alternately bend and straighten your legs, keeping as close to the ground as you can for extra impact. I'm doing those each time I work out, too, and have been adding in heel lifts, lunges, squats, and random other strength-building exercises more recently. And I run, a lot. Well, not a lot compared to half of what I did when I actually was a runner, but a fair amount, nonetheless.
Also in my Navy life, I'm daily prooving to myself what a dork I am. I decided that I will most likely want to try for the Recruit Division Commander while I'm in boot camp (or Recruit Training Camp), which is the Recruit who is there in training but is in charge of their platoon/division/etc under the various officers and petty officers that will be there. It would be a difficult job in some respects, including taking a bigger fall when an order wasn't carried out properly, and getting treated differently by my fellow recruits, especially in a mean or gossipy manner. However, both of these are things I'm used to enough to not be too concerned with, and the pros outweigh them, including a good piece in my Navy history when I'm up for advancements and whatnot. Now, this is sometihng that you are picked for, but I imagine it is also something that I can at least increase my chances of getting, which by default would also increase my chances of other meritorious advancements even if I am not selected for the RDC position. To this (or these) end(s), I've already memorized the Eleven General Orders of a Sentry, and am working on the various ranks and other information that will be helpful in boot camp and the rest of my time in the Navy. Even the physical training is partly towards the goal of not being Miserably Sore and whatnot at boot camp, and partly with the idea that a girl who can lead a crowd mentally but can't even do 20 pushups (or 30 or however many we'll need to do) is only going to be so respected and advanced so often. I'm really quite excited about my upcoming Navy life, and have decided that I WANT to put in time on ships so that I can see various ports during shore leave, and (as I was told by a retired Chief Petty Officer that is also a diner regular) if I'm on a small ship I'll have less to do besides studying and working towards a college degree and military advancement. I've really not been a terribly ambitious person in many ways, and even some of these new ambitions are not nearly enough to get me to sign up for some of the higher-up positions that have various reasons for not appealing to me. However, it's nice to have goals and to have goals that are actually focused on bettering myself in ways that most people can agree really would be bettering myself, instead of my modus-operendi of untraditional, hard-to-figure-out ambitions that most people don't agree with at all.
In my personal life, having a job I like and having long-term goals both have helped me a FANTASTIC amount in being less stressed-out, and more focused and satisfied. I've got the various friends that I can call when I'm wanting to hang out, and the various places I can go alone when none of them are available at the moment, and the various books, cleaning, and other objects or activities to keep me occupied when I am spending time at home. I'm working on getting the same ambition towards my Spiritual Life that I have with the Navy life, because I think it's really pathetic that I've already (in less than two weeks) memorized the Eleven General Orders of a Sentry, and yet it's been at least two years (I guess) since the last time I memorized a Bible verse, and my reading of the Bible at all is not nearly frequent enough the way that my reading of Navy literature has become very frequent. Now, part of this is that I'll be bringing a small Bible with me to boot camp and whenever we have personal time, that and writing letters to friends and family will be my only activities, I suppose. However, I also want to have plenty of time to build relationships there, so I don't really want to just assume that I'll have time to read the entire New Testament or something like that. I want to be reading now. And I will. Especially now that I'm voicing that desire (just to my computer for now, but to my blog as soon as I can get to a computer to post this).
In the midst of all this, I have been reexploring my relationships with my family members and my feelings about them. Of course, I love and adore my brothers and niece, and I love my other family members too, in a different way. I am disappointed that (as is usually the case but seemed to be getting better for a while) whenever my mother says "I'll call you tomorrow night", I can bet on not hearing from her for at least two or three weeks unless I call her again. I am disappointed that my grandfather, upon loaning me money when my car broke down in SC and moreso upon my return to VA and inability to pay him back as quickly as I had hoped to (though with this Navy joining, I'll be able to pay him back MUCH faster overall, just had to start late because of the lack of employment), has decided that his reaction to what he sees as my financial irresponsability should be to treat me like a bigfat sturpid turd, once again not acknowledging my birthday (last year, at least he realized by the end of February that he'd forgotten it .. this year, nothing whatsoever) and responding to my thorough update emails with one nasty line or a two-word statement. There is an extremely strong temptation in my life to either write him a letter explaining this crazy term called Unconditional Love and exactly how I feel about him and his current (and maybe even past) behavior, or to send him an email that just says "I'll be paying you back what I can as soon as I can, and will have finished within the next six months, max. Other than that, no more contact with you 'till you learn to love me and love yourself more." But the man is elderly and sick, and I can't get the picture of my last few visit with him out of my head. Janell is wonderful for him, and I think has the same strengths as my grandmother had of being able to remind him of his place when he makes particularly rude and nasty comments, but he's still the same man that I always had a love-hate relationship with since before I knew what hate was. So I don't know if writing him the letter or the email would help anything at all, and for the time-being am going to put it off. Perhaps I'll send something later. In the meantime, I had to once again (as so often before) give up on having a good relationship with him at the moment and give up on ever making him proud and give up on thinking that maybe now that he's a lot closer to the natural end of his life, maybe he'd start appriciating the people in it a little more. So, when I gave those things up again, I stopped crying about the way he treats me again. I'm still saddened to think of how sick he seemed during my FL trip over the holidays, but that's an entirely different (and not self-pitying at all) sadness than what I was feeling when I received those emails from him. Finally, I am disappointed that my father is still his constantly uncommunicative self, although we did have a fairly decent discussion when I called him to tell him that I was going into the Navy. However, much stronger than the disappointments are the love I have for each of these people, tested as it has been over the years. And even stronger than that is the love I have for my brothers and my niece, and the hope to spend time with them during my various leaves and such throughout the next five years.
Well. C'est la vie and all that, eh?
I will sleep well tonight, post workout and continually less stressed (especially because I have tomorrow off, which will give me time to clean this place up a little before Aleksandra, one of my best friends from FL who is currently living in DC, gets into town on Friday for the weekend. I'm so glad she's coming down to visit, and then Caren and Katy will apparently be here from Germany (where her husband is stationed with the Air Force) in April, and I'll get to see them a lot, too, and who knows what other exciting visits may lay on the near horizon). I don't think I'll likely make it up to MA before I go into the military, but I'm going to be talking with my Recruiter, who has been a friend of mine for over a year now, about the chances that a port near Boston would be someplace I'd find myself, or if that's something to plan on during one of my earlier leaves. Since my training school will be in MS in August and September, MA would be a fantastic break from that if possible.
Exciting times, as always, in the life of me.
Oh, and I'm working on some writing projects apart from reading through and gathering/editing old blog entries. I'm working on a short-story in the allegory genre cleverly disguised as a short-story in the confessional/true-life account genre, and I'm working on some various magazine-article type writings that may or may not actually get sent somewhere one of these months. And I'm gonna be keeping a journal during bootcamp and training and whatnot, and may explore the possabilities of getting that published (or partially published) if it's anything people would want to read.
Yes, and Aleks (when we were together for my birthday weekend just outside of DC) bought me, at my choosing, the Frederick Buechner book The Sacred Journey. That's been a great read so far, and I'm excited about the other books I have to be read either between now and RTC and/or afterwards, whenever I find myself in an environment in which I can centralize my material possessions and get to them sometimes. There's a lot still to be figured out, but also a lot that's plain as day.
So, when c'est la vie, yay for vie. Well, nomatter *what* such is life, yay for life anyway. And especially yay for coming through partilarly dark times to find that the darkness was hiding your own cleansing and the making ready of you for the world and the world for you, and yet that these things were going on all the time.
Saturday, March 13, 2004
I'm off to a St. Patrick's Day party now. More later.
Oh, got the job at the diner. More on that later, too.
Tuesday, March 09, 2004
Ok, well, at least *I* am in the Navy now, though surely only so many of ya'll are as well, if any.
I enlisted today, and I'll be a Personellman (PN) in the Navy Reserves, on Active Reserve Duty for the next five years, shipping out (to boot camp, soon followed by training, and then by details/assignments) on June 9th.
Thursday, March 04, 2004
Plenty of other similar happenings (except the interview side of it) with friends who have friends who are managers in such-and-such place, or with my own manageral friends, and still no job.
So, if I don't back out before then, I sign into the Navy on Tuesday. Well, if I don't back out, AND I pass my physical.
I think all that sadness I was feeling got it all outta my system, though, and have been feeling much, much better about it in general since that visit.
On that note, I'm off to the navy website to look at the jobs they have listed there just to see what I'd like to have in mind when enlisting.
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