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, June 23, 2004
Week 2 pretty much down, and very little time to write. Today we had 8 hours of "holiday routine" to spend playing catchup, taking a longer shower, and writing letters. Except that I have more catchup to play than anyone else because of my position of yoeman for the division. On top of that, everyone is constantly asking me questions, even during my free time or when I'm about to go to sleep. "Yoeman, I'm sorry, but you're the only one who seems to know what's going on!"... Yes, ladies and gentlemen of my division, that's because I'm listening. So I've got limited time to begin with and more limits on the time I do have, and not as much sleep or time to eat as everyone else. But, the division (especially the ladies, since we spend more time together in the same compartment) is learning about how to help me and keep me caught up, at least a bit. So, this week has been really hard and really good at the same time. We had our PT-O test, the first (and purely evaluational) of three physical fitness tests we'll be having here at boot camp. It consists of pushups, sit-ups, and running a mile and a half. I couldn't do one real pushup and more than maybe 25 situps in a row when I enlisted in March. And until the test, they couldn't make us do any pushups or other physical punishments/training, so I hadn't gotten any stronger since before I left. And yet on the test, I did 31 pushups, 78 situps, and ran my 1.5m in 12:23 or less. So, very excited about that.
I also have absolutely secured my place as the leaderingest recruit in the division. Normally the yoeman is more quiet and just does his/her office work, apparently, but not so with me. I'm the one that when I start talking, everyone is quiet. They may not actually start doing what I say, but they're quiet. Which can't always be said when the senior chief or petty officers are speaking, although everyone is quickly getting out of that habit. Speaking of habits, since the only writing I do here is in RECRUIT HANDWRITING, I'm amazingly fast at losing my old handwriting, which is why this letter must be horendous. Not to mention my spelling. And as you (Beth) may have noticed, my numbers have all changed to recruit numbers, too. In more important news, I've gotten really good at folding my clothes nightly and making sure my rack (bed) is made well every time I get out of it (I NEVER made my bed at home, except maybe once a year some years of my adult life) and eating quickly. One of the hardest things for me to remember is not making eye contact when being spoken to, especially while standing at attention. And not saying sir or ma'am except to officers and civilians.
And of course, one of the hardest parts of bootcamp ever is taking a hit for someone else messing up.
So, we have about ten minutes left... Ok, had to clean up some stuff so they could "swab the deck" (they being my "shipmates"), so I've pretty much gotta close it up now.
The only 3 girls that received letters today were because they were prority mail, so I haven't received anything yet. If you do write me, which I would REALLY appreciate, just know it'll take a bit longer than normal to get to me, and that I may not always have time to reply. I think on future Sundays, I may just hole myself up in a corner and write for more of the time, but for now this one blog entry for this week will be enough. It has to be, because I have to go use the "head" now (bathroom), and then I'll probably have to work out a little for not finishing all my ironing. (I had to spend two hours at the Doc's today for a five minute discussion about a real nasty virus or food reaction I had last night that's fully gone now.)
Love & miss ya'll!
Your Dearest Patty
Additional info (from Beth):
-- Patty's Basic Training is scheduled to last approximately 9 weeks.
-- "Recruits are not allowed to receive food items in the mail while at Boot Camp due to sanitation concerns. ALL FOOD ITEMS RECEIVED WILL BE DISCARDED."
-- If you send a package, do not send bulky items as there is no storage space for them.
-- Any money should be sent by means of postal money order rather than personal check.
-- "All USPS mail delivery, even express and overnight, typically takes between 5 and 10 days."
-- "RTC does not have facilities for recruits to receive incoming phone calls."
Patty says she loves everyone and misses all terribly and will write again ASAP.
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
I arrived at bootcamp Tuesday night, after all kinds of processing and lots of hurry-up-and-waiting. Honestly, my first 3 days here were ABSOLUTELY miserable, to the point that I was literally praying to pass out or get a broken bone or something like that so that I could just go home on a medical discharge. The petty officers (like an army's sergeant) were calling this place Great Mistakes, and I was convinced they weren't kidding at all. But it's gotten incredibly better since then, and I'm actually really excited about my military life, probably moreso than before I left.
I was given the position (so far) of Division Yoeman, which means as long as I stay in this position, I've got some extra responsibilities and also that I get a lot more crap from the folks in charge if our division isn't all together and all right. It's been interesting, so far, trying to figure out what I'm supposed to be doing in the midst of significant communication gaps and mis-communications. But I'm getting the hang of things, I think, and I march really well now.
I started marching not swinging my arms at all, but when one petty officer saw me swinging them wrong and yet staying in step (because I was forcing them to swing) and laughed his arse off, I relaxed and do a good job now.
I'll be able to write every Sunday and will have more time during future Sundays (ours is short today because we're still processing) to write more, but it's almost time to go now.
So, the chow is actually really good here (the hashbrowns are some of the best I've ever had -- and hashbrowns are one of my favorite foods, as unhealthy as they are), and the girls are learning (slowly) how not to get snippy and petty with each other, and I'm not feeling faint every time I put the sweater on anymore.
I love and miss you all terribly, and would so much love to get some letters and pictures from y'all.
My address here, must be EXACTLY as I've written (and Beth's typed) is:
SR TRACEY, PATRICIA, J.
DIV 269 SHIP 14
RECRUIT TRAINING COMMAND
3301 INDIANA STREET
GREAT LAKES, IL 60088-3127
(The SR stands for Seaman Recruit, btw.)
Write more next week, I promise!
Wednesday, June 02, 2004
In one hundred percent seriousness, she said, "Because Daddy is already married to you!"
I'm in the midst of possibly the busiest week I have yet had in my life, especially in terms of how many DIFFERENT things are happening within it. Not just fifty hours of work and a couple of social events, but instead about fifty hours of different social events with the idea of saying goodbye, some driving time, and lots of work yet to do on my apartment.
I have this overwhelming feeling that when I'm pulling outta the parking lot, I'm going to have a huge sense of what I did not get done this week, or who I didn't spend time (or enough time) with, or what I didn't need to do. Last night, for example, it was Ash's birthday and I went with a bunch of the guys (yah, I was the only girl in the group, and I think one of two in the theater) to see The Day After Tomorrow, which royally surped. It had so much potential, but was so poorly done that it just sucked.
Meanwhile, in much, much, much brighter news.. (with a dark start, but get past that, I promise it's better!)
While I was at the Eddie From Ohio concert a week and a half ago, my car was hit by someone, at 11:30 that Saturday night, which just happened to be Prom Night for several schools, so the possabilities are huge as to what might've happened. At any rate, all I know is Sunday morning I came outta my house and saw my driver's-side taillight (my car was parked across the street) crunched in and thought my car hadn't been like that before (having just noticed that it had been keyed on Friday in my neighborhood, I wasn't exactly sure if this was new or just unacknowledged) 'till I saw the shards of taillight-plastic and whatnot all along the length of my car to proove it. and there were some different reports about it from the neighbors, but of course no note and no license number and nothing definitive. And the policeman that came that night (thanks to a kind neighbor calling the police about it since I wasn't home) got called away right before starting the report, and never came back.
So, I was frustrated because I didn't know how this would be dealt with and it's just sad to see your car damaged like that anyway. And finally, nearly a week later, I got my procrastinating-and-too-busy-to-figure-out-how-to-balance-priorities self on the phone and called my insurance company, Progressive. They said to go down to the office to get some pictures taken and stuff, and after they took about a bazillion pictures of my car from every angle, they ran some paperwork and then came out with a bigfat check for me.
The moral is that once again, my experience with Progressive has been very positive. (GMAC still never did pay me at all for my car wreck in July, but that's what they do, I suppose.) Yay Progressive! You're the bestest!
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