C'est La Vie

What a beautiful piece of heartache this has all turned out to be. Lord knows we've learned the hard way all about healthy apathy. And I use these words pretty loosely. There's so much more to life than words..
I really think I'll be ok. They've taken their toll these latter days.
-- Over the Rhine, Latter Days


2001.04 2001.05 2001.06 2001.07 2001.08 2001.09 2001.10 2001.11 2001.12 2002.01 2002.02 2002.03 2002.04 2002.05 2002.06 2002.07 2002.08 2002.09 2002.10 2002.11 2002.12 2003.01 2003.02 2003.04 2003.05 2003.06 2003.07 2003.08 2003.09 2003.10 2003.11 2003.12 2004.01 2004.02 2004.03 2004.04 2004.05 2004.06 2004.07 2004.08 2004.09 2004.10 2004.11 2004.12 2005.01 2005.02 2005.03 2005.04 2005.05 2005.07 2005.10 2005.11 2006.02 2006.03 2006.04 2006.05 2006.07 2006.08 2006.09 2006.10 2006.11 2006.12 2007.01 2007.02 2007.03 2007.04 2007.05 2007.06 2007.07 2007.08 2007.09 2007.10 2007.11 2007.12 2008.01 2008.02 2008.03 2008.04 2008.05 2008.06 2008.07 2008.08 2008.09 2008.10 2008.11 2008.12 2009.01 2009.02 2009.03 2009.05 2009.07

This page is powered by Blogger, the easy way to update your web site.

Contact Me

by email
change to proper format: pattyt81 at hotmail dot com
(I hate Spam)

By mail
(contact me for my new address)

Other Weblogs I enjoy
(In no particular order)

Katy Raymond


Recommended Readings

A Grief Observed

Wishful Thinking
Frederick Buechner

Divine Conspiracy
Dallas Willard (may never finish)

Rich Mullins: An Arrow Pointing to Heaven
James Bryan Smith

Recommended Listening
(from my collection)

The Hymnal, Arkadelphia
Randall Goodgame

Land of the Living
Eric Peters

Laryngitis, Longing
Katy Bowser

Walk [EP], Carried Along, Clear to Venus, Love and Thunder, and live bootlegs
Andrew Peterson

In the Company of Angels
Caedmon's Call

Delusions of Grandeur
Fleming and John

The entire CD catalog
Eddie From Ohio

Bootlegs including Eddie From Ohio, Rich Mullins, David Wilcox, and Andrew Peterson

Things I love
(AKA: Ways to win my heart)
Music, gift certificates, ice cream, music, chocolate, meatballs, music, books, knowledge, music, good movies, music, animals, art supplies, music, cotton candy, fajitas, music, safety, music....

Things I wish I owned and could listen to or read
found at Relevantmagazine.com,
and at pastemusic.com, too

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The question this week is:

How can you expect me to be proud to wear these uniforms if you won't let me wear anything else for three months?!?

(Still not allowed to wear civilian clothes outside my mod, and STILL no cell phone. I'm gonna be making some mad-hen phone calls today about the latter. GRRfriggin'GRR!)

(0) comments
Sunday, August 29, 2004

Today, I went to church, where I was sorta recruited for the protestant service choir. Not that they said I could sing well, just that they have only a few people in it and they don't really care so much about singing well anyway, and I know almost all the songs they ever do. The choir robes are really hot, but it was nice to be up there with my roommate and the other choir members, even though sometimes we were rather unclear on what we were supposed to be singing when. I was also volunteered to help count the money for both services, collect the offering at the protestant service, and lead the responsive reading portion of that service.

When I was maybe 11 or so, my family switched from the Lutheran church we'd been going to since we'd moved to FL to this tiny little Lutheran church filled mostly with Carribean Islanders in Fort Lauderdale.. and by filled I mean there were about 20 of them and 7 or so others, including the 5 of us in my family.

One of the first things I noticed is that the choir was both loud and off-key. Very much both.

This choir reminds me of that one. Except for the loud part. And there're those with very nice voices in the choir, mind you.. but the few of us that aren't so graced, even if we sing quietly, still break up the beauty. And we're not supposed to sing quietly anyway. And then there's that some of the ones with great voices still don't know the songs too well, so that's a whole nother factor.

So, after the church service and my assumed responsibilities therein, I went to the galley for some grubbage, and then came here. I'd gone to breakfast before church, too, and back to my mod since I had a while before breakfast and church. On my way back to my mod, I was walking up a very muddy hill, and thinking about how much I miss walking around barefoot, and especially going to church that way. How much I miss wearing headpieces, and holding children. (When I got to church, the Catholic service was just letting out, and all these couples had little tiny babies or toddlers among them, and I wished I could've held one of them.)

While I was still adamently against myself and the Navy sharing one life, I was in the recruiting office talking to Murray about any leads he may have for jobs in that town. Dean, the other recruiter, and Murray were trying to convince me to join the Navy, and one of the reasons I gave them against it was that I'd have to give up who I really was. My clothes, my way of life, etc..

Dean, in typical recruiter style, assured me that I wouldn't. I'd only have to wear my uniform 8 hours a day after getting out of bootcamp (and we'll go ahead and leave these two weeks here in which I've had to be in uniform anytime I'm outside my mod as part of the boot camp experience) and then I'd be able to wear my own clothes. But what I knew inside then and didn't voice was that I still wouldn't be barefoot, I still wouldn't likely be wearing my headpieces, I'd still have restrictions on what I could wear.. which (considering how modest I am) is hard to make me care about.. it's rare I feel restricted in my clothing choices, since you don't have to tell me to cover up decently and all. But here, there are restrictions indeed, and I feel them. And in the fleet, if I'm on a base there will still be restrictions, along with those 8 hours a day of uniforms.. some of which, by the way, are really not comfortable. I'm really hoping that wherever I work, I don't have to wear my working blues in the cooler months, because they button all the way up to the top button, and freakin' choke me to death.

And I may not technically have to give up who I really am beyond how I prefer to dress, but the Navy, and the population within it, is different. So very different. It's like the people here, in the civilian world, would have made up maybe four or five of twenty or forty possible social groups. You've got the men that are macho and the men that are players and the men that are drunkards.. the females that are preppy and the females that're macho and the females that're likely to jump into bed with more than one guy a month, or even a week. I had plenty of friends or acquantances in each of these catagories in my civilian life, but there were OTHER people then. There were more to choose from, more people to spend time with, more people to get close to. Here, there're only so many others. At least that I've been able to find yet.

In my indoc class, we had a day when we were talking about sexual harrassment, AIDS, and life choices.. The instructor asked who in the class was a virgin, obviously expecting no one to raise their hands. (We had maybe 25 or so people in that class.) I raised my hand, and it was quite apparent everyone in that class was surprised. Likewise at bootcamp, when most people in my division knew I'm a virgin, and that I was the only one I know of there that outright admitted it. I'm sure I wasn't the only one there, but no one else was about to step up and be in that crowd. Not that I heard of, anyway. Now, again, in my civilian life outside of my church crowd, the percentages are nearly the same. But again, I HAD a church crowd, I had other friends (non-Christians or Christians alike) that had morals more similar to mine in this and some other areas in which I differ from the mass Navy thought process.

I'm feeling the homesickness, the desire to be at my old church, to be around the people that knew me so much better because I WAS me then.. I'm feeling all of it strongly these days. Which isn't to say I'm alone here or not having any fun. In my usual style, I met and got to know a number of people quickly, and have been entertaining myself (along or with friends) quite well, thankyouverymuch. I just miss my old life, too. Especially knowing that I'll have about two weeks there when I get outta here, and then will be off again, and I don't know where to.

I was looking at concert dates in my emails today, out of habit, and suddenly realized that I could look from now 'till about October 7th (my expected graduation date) in MS, and for mid-Octoberish back home (the dates are far from certain just yet), and then had no idea where I'd be. The concert dates more than anything else helped kick it into my reality that I don't know even that near of the future just yet.

These two weeks have been very interesting, very eventful, but I'll just mention a couple of things here.

Wednesday morning, 5am, I officially PT'd for the first time since I got here, and we had a good-length run after the regular workout of pushups, arm circles and jumping jacks (etc). Lots of pushups, btw, because anytime someone in the group I was in (the holding company, since I was waiting for the personellman class to start up) messed up the count for jumping jacks (ie, after finishing the number 25 jumping jack, put their hands up starting another jumping jack when we were supposed to stop), we had to do 25 more pushups. That happened twice. Anyway, so we're running, and I start really having trouble breathing. I run through it and finish the run, calming down a lot during my shower. But by that evening, it was really painful to breathe remotely deeply, and the shallow breaths I could take painlessly weren't cutting it. So then I'd breathe deeply, and it would hurt and keep hurting for a while, with this vicious chest-pain type thing. So I gave in and went to medical Thursday morning, and it still hurt. They put me on four medications (I swear they get paid every time they prescribe something to us), including zithromax and something I can't pronounce or spell, that's supposed to break up congestion. They diagnosed it as something else I can't pronounce, but basically similar to bronchitis and a very severe case of Recruit Crud, as it's known in bootcamp. By Friday mid-morning (I'd taken the first two zithromax that day as directed), my chest had stopped hurting and I was breathing better. I can still feel all the congestion in my sinuses, and my voice STILL hasn't entirely returned from the last time losing it at bootcamp, but I'm really glad to be breathing almost normally again and that it was nothing particularly serious. And ... now I know how the medical system here works, which is helpful.

Also on Wednesday, the Personellman who will be in my class and I started our typing week, which means our real class will start this upcoming Wednesday. In order to be qualified to start class, you have to perform to a certain level on the five-minute typing tests. For non-petty-officers, that means typing 25 wpm with less than five errors on at least three of the tests. You just keep typing and testing 'till you qualify. We had to do at least four before she'd qualify anyone, and my four results were something like this (where the top number is the wpm after some adjustment for errors, and the bottom is number of uncorrected errors): 75/0, 79/3, 83/0, 85/1. Yes, I qualified.

Friday, we had a command picnic to raise money for the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation fund on this base. MWR funds were cut a while back, so now commands, ships, etc have to raise money to support that organization in providing sailors productive and entertaining things to do with their time. It's an MWR computer I'm on right now, for example. So they'll be doing a junior Navy ball for the students here in November, which is what most of the money we gathered up Friday will go towards. If you paid five bucks, you got to wear civilian clothes (even if, like me, you're still in phase 1 which means no civilian clothes for your first two weeks here) to the picnic, which I was very grateful for. It was SO nice to be wearing a pair of cords and a tank top and actually be outside with other people dressed normally. It actually looked like your typical high school or maybe college function in a lot of ways, but I guess that makes sense, as that really is the largest age group for training commands. My fellow Personellman-that-have-qualified and I helped set up since we had nothing better to do while waiting for the class to start, and we had a lot of fun doing so. The picnic, too, was a great time, in my humble opinion. But then, I wasn't as bothered by the heat and humidity (what with having spent most of my life in Florida and all) as many of my shipmates were. And right as the picnic was starting, one of the highest-ranking PN students brought me a package from mail call, which was from Jim and included my cell phone charger (STILL haven't gotten my cell phone.. grr! argh! Murray, what the snot did you do with it?!?), three CD's (two of mine and one he got for me), and a few sets of photos. So then I had the photos I'd taken just before leaving for boot camp, which was exciting and several of them came out very well, and I also had the photos of my hair from before I shaved my head the first time when I was 19, and some from when I had a mohawk for a few days, and when I was bald for a few weeks. I got to show those off to some of the people I've come to know here, which was very, very fun.

I still can't put my hair into a neat bun as is acceptable in uniform, but I can almost do two french braids (the hair behind my ears still doesn't want to tuck into the braids) and it's plenty curly enough to wear down without it going below the bottom of the back of my collar. Hopefully, by the time it gets long enough to be a problem that way, I'll be able to pull it into a bun or some such.

Yesterday (Saturday), I spent the day getting a few more clearance-priced civvies (civilian clothes) and groceries, and then cleaning and reorganizing my tac (the room I share with my roommate) and my belongings within it. I feel much more at home and prepared for class now, but there's still some more cleaning to be done today, along with the paperwork for joining the choir, and I want to actually finish up the letters to people I'd started before leaving boot camp, and maybe write a couple of others. To that end, I'm off now.

(0) comments

I didn't blog either of my times here last week? hermm...

There's no copy of Notebook or even wordpad on these computers (which are set up very high-security-ly so that one cannot d/l anything onto them and one cannot access the c: drive at all, etc) and thus I cannot save my blogs to wordpad to make sure I don't lose any. *le sigh*. And the online radio station I'm listening to (pastemusic.com's live365 station) is being crackheaded right at this moment. But yah, I've had a bit more time on these computers than my blog reflects.. have gotten to email a couple of people, though I'm by no means caught up entirely, and still haven't gotten to look at anyone else's blogs and all.

I may appear on aim (via aim express) every now and then, so if you've got my screenname on there, keep an eye out for me and say hi. Just know that I can't do any of the fancy stuff real copies of aim can do (like see pictures) and that sometimes windows get lost. I'm not ignoring anyone, though.. never do. Oh, and I had a couple of issues with it the one time I signed on from here, so if you see my name pop up and then either go away or not go away but I don't respond, again, I'm not ignoring you or anyone.. it's just that the security on these computers makes aim express a wee bit quirky and I've had to sign off and try to get back on another way. But hopefully I won't have that problem again.

Ok.. now for my real entry...

(0) comments
Sunday, August 15, 2004

Hello, Mississippi. Meridian, to be specific. I'm at the base/"A" School here in Meridian, where I'll soon enough be starting my training to be a Personellman. Soon enough meaning I got in about 3am on Friday night/Saturday morning (after a delayed flight from Atlanta -- where our layover was -- to Meridian) and will start indoc tomorrow (Monday) which will last four or five days, and then hopefully I'll be able to class up and get on with training. Arriving here was only slightly less hectic than arriving at bootcamp (except they didn't INTEND to keep you up all night, and there wasn't anyone yelling at you like they did there) but it's been great since. I unpacked all my stuff, did a little shopping at the Navy Exchange and the Commisary to get me through for at least a couple of weeks, and learned a lot about what life here will be like these next two monthsish. It'll be two more weeks (maybe a bit more) before I can wear civilian clothes again -- and staying in uniform also means adhering to all the uniform regulations, like only two barettes/hair clips and they have to match your hair color, or no colored nailpolish, etc.. but that's just two weeks, and then I'll be able to do anything I'd want to do (and that means what I'd want to do.. people with different desires may still feel more restricted) within a 150 mile radius of the base so long as I'm back on base and in my mod by 10pm. Then after another two weeks, I don't have to worry about the time restrictions on weekends, so long as I'm in my mod by sunday night at 7pm or whatever. So, that's all good to know.

The rooms are indeed set up kinda like dorm rooms at a not-great college. Really, since you're only here for two months and many of you are coming straight from boot camp, it doesn't have to be that nice to feel great. So you've got two or three people to a room (SO much better than 86!), and four rooms to a mod. The roommates share a bathroom and a regular-sized fridge (I was picturing dorm sized when they said fridge, but no, it's a real one), and the modmates all share one common living room-type area (or lounge, really.. which I think is what it's actually called) which comes complete with some comfy sofas and chairs, and a TV and vcr. Fabulous.

I'll be standing watch every so often here, along with some other possible duties, and I can vote myself as unlikely to achieve honor graduate here since that's based on getting the highest scores on all academic tests, outstandings on all inspections, and at least goods on all fitness tests. The latter two may not be much of a problem, I hope, but if I'm a fraction of as busy here as I was at bootcamp, the academic tests will be a struggle for me like they were there. But then, I won't be missing any classes here as I had to there, and I'll have a heckuva lot more time to study.. so maybe I have a shot at at least getting good scores if not the highest.

I've already dropped off my dress whites to be dry cleaned, which is an experience I'd only had once (with my bridesmaid/formal dress) back home, but will be doing often enough here. I'll be ironing all my utilities tonight, and finishing the last of my unpacking, and hopefully making arrangements to get my cell phone to me asap.

Life here will be entirely better than at boot camp.. and once I get outta here, things should be pretty darn tootin' sweet.

(0) comments
Tuesday, August 10, 2004

FRIDAY, JULY 30, 2004. 2324

BY THIS TIME ONE WEEK FROM NOW (oops, "recruit writing" [all caps] has become such a habit, I almost forget how to write in normal/civilian writing!), I will be in my rack after my pass-in-review and first day of liberty. Today, as with nearly every Friday here, there was a pass-in-review (aka graduation) taking place, and when we saw all the graduates in their dress whites marching along, and sailors riding with their parents away from here and all, we got very excited. Some folks even started to cry! One week, just one. And then, assuming everyone behaves, we have a nice, mostly open week during which we'll have a lot more fun.

If I had it all to do over, would I be yoeman again? Well, not that I had any say in the matter anyway, but... Goodness, it's been hard. One of those situations in which part of me thrives, and a lot of me is overwhelmed, and if I weigh the pros and cons, the answer is a resounding NEGATIVE. And at the same time, who else could do it? And would I be happy not doing this job? Probably no one and probably not. I'm glad I get the advancement out of it...if I had come in as an E-3 afterall, I'd've done this job with no obvious benefit to myself except for being sure my paperwork is done correctly. I dunno, it's just too much sometimes, and yet nearly perfect for me aside from that.

I'm also frustrated at the same biggest pet peeve as in the civilian world: hypocricy. The same people who cross themselves before meals are the ones who lose their tempers quickly or have no confidence but plenty of opinions and overreact to most situations, crying or arguing or whatever. One, specifically, upon finding out I'm a virgin, told me (and I quote) "I would shoot myself now!" She has since blamed all my stress on such frustration and made several further comments to that effect. What's more, since she happens to be a leader in our division (and especially now that she's getting cool again), some others have joined in with her. Grr. Argh. Meanshile, in related news, the same shipmates who sing gospel music and talk loudly about going to gospel service and whatnot will (within literally 1 minute) also sing songs about sex (with very graphic lyrics) or what have you, and dance in suggestive ways all the time. Grr, argh again.

In other, not-so-related news (aka moving right along) on Tuesday, I'll be meeting with Captain Moran, the Commanding Officer of Recruit Training Command. Perhaps while or before Beth even gets to post this letter. That is, not just me, but all the award winners and honor recruits. It's for the outbriefing that will help to make this a better place.

My eyelids are closing themselves, so I'm off for now.

SATURDAY, JULY 31, 2004. 2342

With 15 minutes left in July, I feel like it's the new year or something. Insanity! I can't believe it's almost August already, I mean, will be before I finish this letter maybe, or at least before I fall asleep, and yet I haven't experienced summer at all except the being really hot sometimes part. No waterskiing, no picnics or cookouts since I left, no horseback riding, no walks in the park, no... summer. Just a lot of marching and plenty of indoor workouts. I've missed a lot of the PT times due to health and having too much work to do, so only one of the ones I went to was outdoors.

Today, speaking of athletic events indoors, we had Captain's Cup, which is kinda like a field day or such, with a whole bunch of competative, Navy-and/or-physical-fitness-type events. For example, pull-ups and sit-ups, as well as stretcher and firefighting equipment relays.

When they were picking people for the 1.5 mile relay (12 laps around this track, one lap per person, thus 12 people per team, evenly split between genders for integrated divisions), they needed a 6th female and no one was stepping up, so my chipmates started saying my name and I agreed that I'd try it so long as they didn't hate me if we lost because of me. It was so much fun! I haven't done a relay in ages, and the 200 meter (apparently what one lap on this track is) was never my event on the track team. I could compete (and barely that) at the 400 or win often enough on 800-5k (with 2 miles being my best even back then) but never the 200. But the guy in front of me and 2 or 3 before him secured our lead, and I maintained it somehow, mostly because the closest person to me was prolly exerting herself so much trying to close the gap that she died before her 200 was up. But I did what I do in a distance run, and pulled something out of me on my finishing straightaway and took off even faster, giving the next male about the same lead I got and it was kept or widened for most of our runners. When we won, we won by a fair amount.

5 more days 'till graduation, and happy August everyone!

SUNDAY, AUGUST 1, 2004. 1120

Another week, less than one more to go before pass-in-review, and this is my last holiday routine here, since next week is liberty weekend and then we'll be gone by the following Saturday.


Gonna go shine my boots, shower, eat, and get back to military life, in that order I think.

Love ya'll!
Patty--I hardly recognize my name anymore--it's either yoeman or SR Tracey.

(0) comments
Sunday, August 08, 2004

Josh, Beth, and Karleen were off visiting his brother and sister-in-law in Virginia and seeing nature there, as well as going to our mutual friends' wedding. Yay Alex and Kelly! Congrats, you two! So, my letter from this past Sunday isn't posted yet, but here I am at their house enjoying my Liberty weekend. My mother and Mary surprised me at graduation on Friday, and they were here 'till yesterday (Saturday) evening, so I got to spend some good time with them as well as these three friends. We went out for lunch on Friday after pass-in-review, and then us yung'uns went to the mall because it was nearby and we didn't have much time, and then they left and Mom and Mary took me out to the Rainforest Cafe for dinner. Yesterday, we went to the Lincoln Park Zoo, which was my request because I hadn't been to a zoo since I was maybe 11. I saw some fabulous things there, and we had a great time. And we got to see some of the sections where Return To Me was filmed, though the zoo didn't put any emphasis on that themselves. We then visited Navy Pier, which has a great USO, and a marvelous Stained Glass exhibit. Then Mom and Mary left from there (to fly home), and Beth, Josh, and Karleen came back with me to the base, where we got to enjoy ourselves in a relaxed atmosphere. This morning, I went with them to church, and we came back to their place and I slept for like four hours or something, sprawled out in Civilian clothes, enjoying a comfortable couch and not-entirely-sterile-all-tile-almost-all-metal-and-everyone's-dressed-the-same atmosphere. We watched the See Spot Rock DVD (they'd been watching a Guster one while I was asleep) and are listening to Over the Rhine now, at my request, and we've had good food and they broke out their newish espresso machine, and it's so nice here. Only about an hour 'till we'll have to leave to get me back to the base in time, but it's been a really nice visit.

I certainly don't have the same appetite I did as a civilian, prolly because of having to eat so quickly and a lot of the foods in the galley just not appealing to me.. they weren't bad at all, just only so much I was motivated enough to spend my time and energy eating, since both were very limited. I lived off a mixture of blue Powerade and Pineapple Juice (they had pineapple juice, of all things, in the galley!) and chocolate milk for one meal a day when we didn't have PT or a promised ITE session to follow. And I've mentioned the hashbrowns several times, and peanut butter with bananas or pb&j sammiches, and green peppers.. have I mentioned those? They have slices of green peppers there most days, and I actually eat them raw (with no dressing, either).. which is funney, since I used to absolutely despise them as a kid and even pick them off pizza and all. Now here I am, eating 'em up with most of my meals. Some of my division kids told me I was really weird for it, too. ;)

A lot of my division introduced me to their parents, and it was funney because it was the way I'd imagine it would've went if I had had a chance to introduce them to my RDC's.. they talked about what I did in the division, and I talked about how much they helped out and whatnot, and I felt like the summer camp counselor (because boot camp graduation felt like summer camp graduation) or the teacher or the RDC, instead of a fellow recruit. But really, that's kinda how it was all along.. from when the males first got there and they thought I WAS some level of RDC or something because I'd already been running the forming-division for almost a week before they got there, and I was they only female recruit they were allowed to talk to (because I was the yoeman and we had to interact) and I was teaching them all the basic stuff we'd been taught before they got there, and I was in the office fairly often and all.. so they didn't know that I was really just a recruit like them, and that's never entirely changed.

There's still been a lot of talk of favoritism and double standards amongst some of the lesser esteemed members of the division, but the ones that'll be in the fleet longer and that have the character that'll get them advanced sooner have already come to understand some of the subtletees of how things work in the adult world, whether military or civilian. Of course, I myself got to see some of the frustrating political side of things in regards to the Awards Board, with kids who had horrid military bearing and limited ethical convictions getting awards that spoke very highly of them, and with the awards being stated at the ceremony in a way that made it sound like they were chosen in a way to indicate they actually EARNED the awards, and throughout their entire bootcamp experience, when in reality the selections were made a month in advance, and based on one high-pressure interview with the awards board and maybe a couple of strings pulled. But I've been around long enough to have seen such politics in action before, and don't reckon the awards themselves will mean a whole lot when certain of the winners get out into the fleet and mess up really bad or such. Some of them, mind you, were fabulous and I fully support them winning. I was really proud to stand up front with those ones during the ceremony.

And then there's communication, which is severely lacking in most areas of this world, military and civilian alike, and which I'd love to increase. That was the one thing I mentioned at the debriefing with Captain Moran and other high-ups in the bootcamp chain of command that all the award winners and honor-recruits from non-award winning divisions got to attend. The debriefing at which I was told by a Commander who worked with Admiral Patricia Tracey that I share her name and to look up her bio when I got back on the internet.. and then by the galley boss who worked for her as her personal chef when he was in the military that several of the folks at the debriefing were commenting that along with her name, I also shared much of her military bearing. That made me really proud. So, I will be looking up her bio and learning more about her soon. It's funney, because right now there is one Patricia Tracey at each end of the rank/rate spectrum (if you count me as a Seaman Recruit, since I don't officially get the title of Seaman 'till I leave for A School, 'cause we're all Seaman Recruits at bootcamp, regardless of our pay grade). I do wonder if she'd've heard somehow.

So, I'm off to eat some dinner before returning to the base, and spend more time with my friends here. Love and blessings!

Patty -- the bootcamp graduate!

(0) comments
Monday, August 02, 2004

SUNDAY, JULY 25, 2004. 0856

Dearest blog readers:

Interesting beyond words on so many levels. Very eventful, and completely insane. We have had a more dramatic week in these two divisions than anyone could've seen coming. If "Reality TV" made a series on bootcamp, they wouldn't have to stage anything.

This week brought one girl getting up in my face threatening to "pop me," and it brought a whole new level of running the division. We had half of each division in their racks this week, due to getting wisdom teeth pulled out, and the other half had all kinds of separate appointments and make-up-classes to get to, and it's my job to get them there. We had 2 shipmates (one from each division & gender) moved to other divisions and facing further consequences based on certain allegations that may be impossible to prove either way. And, I went down to dental for a mandatory appointment, which I was not happy about; so I had a very long talk with a Captain there about my last experiences and lingering effects, and the result so far is that the best dentists there did my last procedure and also that I started a new medication to try to bring back the feeling in my lip/chin where it's been numb since getting my tooth pulled. So the new medication has steroids in it, so that's a really strange feeling. Plus the things zap the snot outta me, just in case I wasn't tired enough because of being up latest and earliest. (I am literally falling asleep writing this, which is why it looks so bad.)

I am looking forward so much to graduation in 12 days, more than ever now that it's so close. I'll be really proud when I'm standing there, but I'll probably fall asleep halfway through the ceremony anyway.

I have been getting letters and pictures from a few people, which have been holding me together. Thank you. And I'll be seeing Josh & Beth (and maybe Karleen and maybe Gordon?) at graduation and getting off-base for Liberty weekend, so I'm really excited about that. I may just see if the girls wanna hit a day spa one day of that weekend, because my muscles are so shot.

Anyway, that's the news from near Lake Michigan, where all the recruits are subhuman, the petty-officers are all kind, and all the officers salute smartly.

Next Sunday is my last here before graduation.

I went to the "protestant liturgical" service this morning and actually really enjoyed it. And wrote down the words to 2 of my favorite hymns: Come Thou Fount and On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand.

"When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging Grace. In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil. On Christ the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand."

May the Grace and love of Christ be with you all,

(0) comments

Hippie: (after hearing Max wants to avoid the draft)You still have options man.
Max: Yeah, jail or Canada and they both suck. I mean I could never come home, so what is it, it's a choice of a 6x4 cell or an endless wasteland of frozen tundra.
Hippie: Montreal is cool.
Max:Man, they speak French there.
Groupie: So learn French. Learn French or die.
-- Across the Universe

"So how do i do normal
The smile i fake the permanent way
Cue cards and fix it kits
Can't you tell - I'm not myself
-- Frou Frou, Hear Me Out

"It's been known for a train to jump its track. It's ok, so you'll know, most times they come back. It's ok to lose your life, when you finally see your birth. It's ok to say, "I love you," and figure sometimes it's gonna hurt.
Don't forget to bring kindness, don't forget to say thanks. Don't forgot to spend your love, no it will break the bank. Don't forget to bring some empathy, for the saints and the sinners. Don't forget to bring encouragement. Yeah, we're all just beginners."
-- Bill Mallonee, Bank

"As a comedian, you have to start the show strong and you have end the show strong. Those are the two key elements. You can't be like pancakes, all exciting at first, but then by the end you're sick of 'em!"
-- (The late) Mitch Hedburg

"Hey, this is weird! I ordered one frozen yogurt and they gave me two. You don't happen to like frozen yogurt, do you?" "I love it!" "You're kidding! What a crazy random happenstance!"
-- Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

"Only one more trip," said a gallant seaman,
As he kissed his weeping wife,
Only one more bag of the golden treasure
And 'twill last us all through life.
Then I'll spend my days in my cosy cottage
And enjoy the rest I've earned;
But alas! poor man! For he sail'd commander
Of the ship that never returned.
Did she never return? She never returned,
Her fate, it is yet unlearned,
Though for years and years there were fond ones watching
Yet the ship she never returned.
--The Ship that Never Returned, Henry Clay Work

"It was Flannery O'Connor who said that 'grace must wound before it heals.' Her words help me to separate what is most true about life from the things we want to be true. We want life to be painless. True grace is a hard sell because in order for the human heart to understand forgiveness and love, it must first experience darkness and isolation. A life lived under the rule of grace is a life of need which allows us to receive an appreciate the gift of the giver of grace. This is why we will always have the poor with us; this is why God will not allow us to ignore injustice; this is why we are called to a life we cannot handle alone, which can and will break us in the effort to live it -- because grace must wound before it heals."
-- Justin McRoberts

Regarding 2007:
"the year has gone quick, but most of the days haven't"

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days o' auld lang syne

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stoup !
And surely I’ll be mine !
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
and pou’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin’ auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin’ auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !
And gies a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right gude-willie-waught,
for auld lang syne.
--Robert Burns, "Auld Lang Syne"

I thought Christmas Day would never come. But it's here at last, so Mom and Dad, the waiting's finally done. And you gotta get up, you gotta get up, you gotta get up, it's Christmas morning.

Did my sister get a baby doll? Did my brother get his bike? Did I get that red wagon, the kind that makes you fly? Oh, I hope there'll be peace on Earth, and I know there's goodwill towards men, on account o' that baby born in Bethlehem.
--Rich Mullins, You Gotta Get Up (Christmas Song)

O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie,
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.

O Holy Child of Bethlehem,
Descend to us we pray,
Cast out our sin, and enter in,
Be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels,
The great glad tidings tell,
O come to us, abide with us,
Our Lord Emmanuel.
--L.H.Redner, "O Little Town of Bethlehem"

Walk humbly, son
Walk humbly, now
And cherish every step
For a life well spent
On this earth we're lent
Will be marked by the void you have left

May you conquer (not curse) challenges
May you hold back the dark like a dam
May you lead your life with lion's roar
May you leave it like a lamb

Don't await rewards for your good deeds
A reward won't make them good
Don't await judgment of any foes
They'll receive just what they should

When you find the axis of this world
Don't tread too far inside
Run away as far as you think you can
Be well and enjoy the ride

Walk humbly, son
And store your pride
When you need strength later on
For your life's work will be judged if earth
Is saddened when you have gone

Walk humbly, son
Walk humbly, how
And forget not where you are from
May you go further than those before
And provide for those to come

Will you walk humbly, Son?
--Eddie From Ohio, Walk Humbly, Son

Strings of lights above the bed
Curtains drawn and a glass of red
All I ever get for Christmas is blue

Saxaphone on the radio
Recorded 40 years ago
All I ever get for Christmas is blue

When you play my song
Play it slowly
play it like I'm sad and lonely....

Weatherman says it's miserable
But the snow is so beautiful
All I ever get for Christmas is blue

It would take a miracle
To get me out to a shopping mall
All I really want for Christmas is you
--Over the Rhine, from Snow Angels

"In a little while I'll feel better
Gonna travel around the world
Gonna see it all

Gonna go to Paris, maybe Rome
But I'll feel better miles away from home,
Gotta figure some things out

So sell all my things, I'm not coming home
There's nothing there to keep me there
Just heartache and panic and worries and things that'll bring me down
My head feels much clearer being here

In a little while I'll feel better
Gonna spill my heart to every stranger in every town
I'll visit castles in Ireland, have some fella play the violin and play a song for me

So sell all my things, I'm not coming home
There's nothing there to keep me there
Just heartache and panic and worries and things that'll bring me down
My head feels much clearer being here
--Rosie Thomas, Sell All My Things, from Only With Laughter Can You Win

"Please tell me once again that You love me. That You love me. Please tell me once again that I matter to You and You really care. Please tell me once again that You're with me, forever. It's not that I could ever doubt you, I just love the way it sounds. I just love the way it sounds."
--This Train, I think it's from a song on Emperor's New Band.

"Every once in a while, a bannerzen posts."
--Me, during the 2002 Boredeys at Cornerstone Festival

"7:30. What kind of people have to be at work at 7:30?"
--Mr. Holland's Opus

have you seen my love
is he far away
have you seen the one for me
whose face lights up my day
i won't let one boy steal a kiss
or call me his instead i'll wait
for his voice to call out to mine
and carry these daydreams away
have you seen my love
is he far away
have you seen the one for me
who won't let me get away
please tell him that i'm
waiting for him praying for him
night and day for now i'll be a
lonely girl just longing for his sweet embrace
--Rosie Thomas, Have You Seen My Love, from When We Were Small

Traveling is significant because it takes so much effort. Either you're going to some place you love, or you're leaving some place you love. Usually it's both.
--Friend of a friend of a friend

I think I have Bond's ability to get into trouble but not his ability to get out of it. Someday I'll be in some foreign country with 5 thugs with automatic rifles pointed at me, and I'll just.... fart
--Peter, my twin brother, while we were talking about bicycle accidents.

"You had no alternative .. We must work in the world. The world is thus." --- "No .. Thus have we made the world."
-- The Mission (a movie)

The summer ends and we wonder where we are And there you go, my friends, with your boxes in your car And you both look so young And last night was hard, you said You packed up every room And then you cried and went to bed But today you closed the door and said "We have to get a move on. It's just that time of year when we push ourselves ahead, We push ourselves ahead."
And it was cloudy in the morning And it rained as you drove away And the same things looked different It's the end of the summer It's the end of the summer, When you move to another place
--Dar Williams, End of the Summer

Looking out the bedroom at this snowy TV.. ever since commencement, no one's asking 'bout me. But I bet before the night falls, I could catch the late bus.. take small provisions and this Beethoven bust. I could find work in the outskirts of the city, eat some fish on the way.. befriend an old dog for a roadside pal, find a nice couch to stay -- a pull-out sofa, if you please!"
--Eddie From Ohio, Fifth of July.

Ooh! Get me away from here I'm dying
Play me a song to set me free
Nobody writes them like they used to
So it may as well be me
Here on my own now after hours
Here on my own now on a bus
Think of it this way
You could either be successful or be us --belle and sebastian, Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying

"The trouble with folks like Brownie is they hold their life in like a bakebean fart at a Baptist cookout and only let it slip out sideways a little at a time when they think there's nobody noticing. Now that's the last thing on earth the Almighty intended. He intended all the life a man's got inside him, he should live it out just as free and strong and natural as a bird."
--Leo Bebb in Frederick Buechner's "Treasure Hunt"

"Life is a phantasmagoria .. It is a pell-mell of confused and tumultuous scenes. We try in vain to find a purpose - to bring an order, a unity to life. I suppose that is the appeal of art. Art is the blending of the real and the unreal, the conquering of nature. It is real enough for it to reflect life, but has the unity that life lacks."
--D., in a recent email.

"in time memories fade.
senses numb.
one forgets how it feels to have loved completely."
--Pedro the Lion, The Longest Winter

I've always had this feeling about Patty that she's complex and intriguing...I like Patty alot. She's got a good heart and tells terrible squirrel jokes.
--Julie, from her blog on 4/8, after a large group of friends from all over gathered at my house for the weekend.

"Try to remember that world-weariness isn't necessarily a bad thing. In the book of Mark, I think its Mark, Jesus looks at a blind man and sighs. Jesus sighed before even telling the man he would be healed. He sighed, and I'm not sure that there's a much more human expression of frustration than this. Faced with the horrid picture of a cursed earth and looking into the white eyes of a man blind from the day he was born, He sighed. The Creator of the universe in human form was sad "of the evils of this world," the world He created. Your Creator sighed for you in the same way before He healed you and made you His."
-- Jesse, in response to my Weltschmerz blog entry

"After the last tear falls
After the last secret's told
After the last bullet tears through flesh and bone
After the last child starves
And the last girl walks the boulevard
After the last year that's just too hard
There is love

-- Andrew Peterson, After the Last Tear Falls

"when you most need people, you don't need perfection - just to know someone gives a damn"
--Jamie, during a recent IM conversation

How will you answer when, years from now, your child asks you: 'Mom or Dad, what did you do to combat the evil of squirrel hazing?'"
--From Dave Barry's Blog

"My brother's always [telling me], 'You should be more mysterious--boys like that.' But I'm not good at that. It would just make me more uncomfortable."
--Rosie Thomas, in an interview with Kathleen Wilson

"Loners want to kill you, but not for any particular reason, and they'd probably like you if they weren't being guided by the violent voices in their head."
--The non-box result from a random quiz I took today. (No, I frankly can't recommend this quiz site, but if you're really bored and you're not seeking to remain pure, go right ahead..)

"No one wants to oil a snake these days!"
-- Emmett Otter, Emmett Otter's Jug Band Christmas (Found under the Specials section of the TV section of the Henson website.)

Jamie: "I am one of the greatest criminal masterminds in the world."
Her mom: "We're all safe."

-- Jamie Bevill and her mother during Christmas-Decorating dinner, December 20, 2002

"and if i were a jetson
i'd throw out all my shoes
i'd set up cans for friends
to dump their shoes senseless shoes
a pioneer of callouses
lordy-be and bless my soul
i'd be a barefoot spaceman
the first you'd ever know"
-- Eddie From Ohio, If I were a Flinstone

"The best way to have God's will for your life is to have no will of your own!"
-- Charlene Potterbaum, Thanks Lord, I Needed That!

"Generations circle and each one atones. The sins of the father are seperate from my own. In Pilgrim's Progress, it's forgiveness that makes whole, and as time levels and consoles, I place the daisies in your bowl."
--Jan Krist, Daisies in Your Bowl

"For a moment he just stared at her. Then, with an urf-urf-urf of laughter, he turned back to the controls."
"They made good time, despite the lingering tenderness of Mara's ankle and the distractions inherent in a faceful of itch."
-- Timothy Zahn, Star Wars: Heir to the Empire

"It's on the internet.. so, then, it must be true."
-- Five Iron Frenzy, The Untimely Death of Brad

"Be at least as interested in what people can become as you are in what they have been."
-- Steve Griffin

Blessed be the rock stars!"
--Justin Dillon Stevens

Get up for the shower.. wash and scrub and scour every part as if a cleaner man could better bear the shame..
--The Waiting, Look At Me

"She was eating gnarly amounts of calcium."
--Samuel Hernandez

Homeless man to girl trying to give him money: "No, thanks, ma'am. I never work on Sundays."
-- Amilie, the movie.

"Wow! I never thought I'd need a radar-guided spatula!"
-- Larryboy, Larryboy and the Angry Eyebrows

"Isn't it great that I articulate? Isn't it grand that you can understand? ... I can talk, I can talk, I can talk!"
-- Wilbur, Charlotte's Web (the movie)

I believe that people laugh at coincidence as a way of relegating it to the realm of the absurd and of therefore not having to take seriously the possibility that there is a lot more going on in our lives than we either know or care to know... I suspect that part of it, anyway, is that every once and so often we hear a whisper from the wings that goes something like this: "You've turned up in the right place at the right time. You're doing fine. Don't ever think that you've been forgotten.
(and in another entry)
When we close our eyes to the deep needs of other people whether they live on the streets or under our own roof -- and when we close our eyes to our own deep need to reach out to them -- we can never be fully at home anywhere.
(and in another entry)
Maybe at the heart of all our travelling is the dream of someday, somehow, getting Home.
(and in another entry)
The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet. -- Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking: A Seeker's ABC

When I lay these questions before God I get no answer. But a rather special sort of "No answer." It is not the locked door. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. As though He shook His head not in refusal but waiving the question. Like, "Peace, child; you don't understand."
-- C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

CCM: You've spoken a lot more about crying than I ever thought you would.
JK: Oh, I've cried a lot. Truthfully, I've cried a lot more this past year than I've probably cried in five years.
CCM: Why?
JK: It's fun to feel.
-- An Interview with Jennifer Knapp in the January Issue of CCM Magazine

"Youth is not a period of time. It is a state of mind, a result of the will, a quality of the imagination, a victory of courage over timidity, of the taste for adventure over the love of comfort. A man doesn't grow old because he has lived a certain number of years. A man grows old when he deserts his ideal. The years may wrinkle his skin, but deserting his ideal wrinkles his soul. Preoccuptaions, fears, doubts, and despair are the enemies which slowly bow us toward earth and turn us into dust before death. You will remain young as long as you are open to what is beautiful, good, and great; receptive to the messages of other men and women, of nature and of God. If one day you should become bitter, pessimistic, and gnawed by despair, may God have mercy on your old man's soul."
-- General Douglas MacArthur

""Don't go matchmaking for me, Ilse," said Emily wit a faint smile... "I feel in my bones that I shall achieve old-maidenhood, which is an entirely different thing from having old-maidenhood thrust upon you."
-- Emily, from the Emily books by L. M. Montgomery

"I wish Aunt Elizabeth would let me go to Shrewsbury, but I fear she never will. She feels she can't trust me out of her sight because my mother eloped. But she need not be afraid I will ever elope. I have made up my mind that I will never marry. I shall be wedded to my art"
-- Emily, from the Emily books by L. M. Montgomery

"Tomorrow seems like a long ways away. But it will come, just like any other day... Deep inside, where the wounded creatures hide, I am afraid. Maybe I got lost somewhere along the way somehow. Please rescue me... Yea, though I walk through the valley of the dark shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For you are with me... Though I fear, though I am afraid, You are with me. Though I'm angry, tired, broken down and confused, You are with me. Though I sin like I've never sinned before, lose myself right out an open door, You are with me."
-- Waterdeep, You Are With Me

"The invisible people agreed about everything. Indeed most of their remarks were the sort it would not be easy to disagree with: "What I always say is, when a chap's hungry, he likes some victuals," or "Getting dark now; always does at night," or even "Ah, you've come over the water. Powerful wet stuff, ain't it?"" -- C. S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

"When People object... that if Jesus was God as well as Man, then He had an unfair advantage which deprives Him for them of all value, it seems to me as if a man struggling in the water should refuse a rope thrown to him by another who had one foot on the bank, saying, "Oh but you had an unfair advantage." It is because of His advantage that He can help."
-- C. S. Lewis

"But, you know, as a Christian, one of the big questions you always ask yourself is, "So we believe in Jesus, we believe in the teachings of the church, but what does that look like when it's lived out?" Because surely, one of the things that Jesus said that I think we often overlook is, "The person who hears my words and does them is like the wise man who built his house on the rock." He didn't say "the person who hears my words and thinks about 'em" or "whoever hears my words and agrees with it." But he said, "Whoever hears it and does it."
-- Rich Mullins, during a radio interview, as quoted in An Arrow Pointing to Heaven

"find that which gives you breath and grants you more to give
because life ends not in death but with what dies inside while we live"
--Christopher Williams, Breathe

"I have packed all my belongings. I don't belong here anymore. This pair of sandles, one pack to carry, this old guitar and this tattered old Bible. And I know I won't be afraid. 'cause I know, I know Home is where You are."
--Dog Named David, Heavenly Rain

"Open up your weepy eyes, everyone is dancing. Angels peer through sweet disguise, through a fire of cleansing.
--My Brother's Mother, Finest Hour

"Long hair, no hair; Everybody, everywhere: Breathe Deep, breathe deep the Breath of God!"
-- Lost Dogs, Breathe Deep

"You may be bruised and torn and broken, but you're Mine!"
-- Asiam, Relentless Love

"I don't deserve to speak, and they don't deserve to hear it. It's makin' me believe that it's not about me."
-- Justin McRoberts, The Story Stands Alone

"Kickin' against these goads sure did cut up my feet. Didn't your hands get bloody as you washed them clean?"
-- Caedmon's Call, Here I am Again

"They say God blessed us with plenty. I say you?re blessed with poverty. ?Cause you never stop to wonder whether earth is just a little better than the Land of the Free"
-- Andrew Peterson, Land of the Free

"Computers will know everything in the 21st century. They'll be like me in the 20th century."
-- Crabby Road