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
Friday, October 29, 2004
But I got my stamp just on time, and retired to the room they originally assigned me at the on-base-quarters. The girl already in the room was a friggin loon, though, and I ended up (fortunately) being moved into my own-for-now room about two days later.
Meanwhile, on Sunday I went to church with some friends of mine from home who were in town visiting her sister/brother-in-law/nephews-almost-my-age and then to the house they were closing on that day, then to the sister's house for lunch, a nap, quality time, and dinner. On Monday, I attempted to check into my new command (the Reserve Center) on base, but it's closed on Monday, so I went back Tuesday morning. They're in the process of merging with the other reserve component on base, so they said I should go THERE to check in, except that they were closed on Tuesday, too, since this past weekend had been a drill weekend for the Reservists. Thus, I essentially had Tuesday off, too. Monday I had found a storage space and returned my trailer to U-Haul after unpacking it, and Tuesday I made some more progress in bringing things into my new solo room that I'd need handy, along with spending maybe an hour on the gun-range learning to shoot since there would be a qualifying day for the 9mm pistol weapons ribbon on Wednesday. I improved a lot on Tuesday, but not quite enough, and on Wednesday I improved even more, but still didn't qualify. I'm going out to the range on Monday with a more experienced sailor who will teach me about breathing techniques and aiming more than I've yet been able to learn. Yup, that's ME, firing a gun and actually doing pretty well. Oh my goodness, how little-Peaceful-Patty has changed.
Those will be the first ribbons I earn beyond my Wartime Service ribbon, if I earn them soon. That would be exciting.
Wednesday, I actually got checked into my new command for reals, but the Captain of this command wants to meet with every new check-in as the first step in that process, and he didn't have an appointment available 'til Thursday morning. So Wednesday afternoon (after meeting many of the people who will be working in the building with me), I registered and titled my new '91 Subaru in the state of FL as a Virginia resident, since I still have that license. I will probably switch over to FL residency as well, soon, but that wasn't something I really had the time for just yet.
Thursday, I met with the Skipper (or Commanding Officer, or Captain), who is a very nice gentleman. And he advised continuing my college career, including taking some courses at the community college up the street from here. He also mentioned that the marina here on base has sailing lessons, which is fabulous.
And then I got a lot of the check-in process done, and learned a lot more about my way around the building and the base.
Today we had a half-day because there's an air-show on base this weekend (featuring the Blue Angels among others), so I only got a bit more done. But I think I'm really going to enjoy working in this particular office in this particular building on this particular base.
Tonight, I'm going to a halloween party. Tomorrow, perhaps sea-dooing with the local family I met through my friends back home. And then Sunday is church and some events they're having, and then perhaps another halloween outing. So it looks like a good weekend and a great start to my time stationed here.
Saturday, October 23, 2004
So, here goes a safe trip and a new life! And here's to packratting a lot less (though still too much) and getting rid of a great deal that I wasn't willing to before.
To those I didn't get to see or see much while in town: I am really sorry. There are so many people I didn't see at all, and hope to return soonish to see everyone in a little more relaxed state of mind.
In the meantime, call me if you find yourself in Jacksonville. ;)
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
So I DID get to go to the Garlic Festival, and had a wonderful time there with the friends I go with every year. Sceauncia came all the way to Raleigh to pick me up and we had a nice couple-of-hours' drive home to catch up and shoot the breeze and oh-my-goodness-it's-a-conversation-IN-PERSON-with-someone-I've-known-more-than-a-few-weeks!
Of course, I had a couple of those with my mother and Mary and with Beth, Josh, and Kaly and with Jim when he came to MS, but here I was almost on home turf (and then, finally, there) and in her familiar Kia and on roads I drive all the time, and I'm directing her around (since she didn't make the Burg-to-Raleigh trip too often previously), and it was just fabulous.
Sunday, I went to River's Edge, the church I'd been going to since mostly leaving Grace. Only two people there (including Sceauncia) knew I was gonna be there, so it was fun to be a ghost-from-the-past, as it were, and to see most of the people that had become so close to me there. Tonight, I'll be going to the RE small group I used to go to, and maybe some of the people I missed on Sunday will be there. And on Sunday, I also got to hold a baby for the first time since before I left for bootcamp.. goodness, a HUGE baby! Owen and Grant (twin bouncing baby boys) are about two months old now, and their mommy was Ginormous when I left. They are both large, but Grant was about 14 lbs and much larger than the over-4-month-old baby girl that Alyssa and Joel had right before I left. (I forget exactly how to spell her name, but it's pronounced Kiera.. a name I love.) Grant fell asleep shortly after I stole him from one of the Mike's there, and although he was amazingly big and heavy, it was so wonderful and peaceful holding this tiny-fingered being in my arms. And a lot more peaceful once I sat down so that not all his weight was on my arms.
And then Monday I picked up the Suburu I'm borrowing from Sceaunce's Mike, since my Volvo's plate decals have somehow expired while I've been gone, and the taillight is still broken from that hit-and-run. The Suburu is a wagon and has been really fun and exciting to drive, since either I or it seems to be a magnet for near-collisions.. one very nice car almost pulling out of its driveway into me while I was on my way outta Mike's neighborhood, and another SUV-type fortunately missing when the traffic at a stoplight was backed up to the curve and there's no indicator of a red-light-ahead (that's one of the most dangerous intersections in town for that reason.. I'd forgotten that in my absence). Anyway, it's been nice driving by myself and being independent and being home. Everything's so familiar here. Although I did say a very thorough goodbye to the town as an entity before I left, if not to some of the people in it. I don't feel attached to this town anymore, despite feeling more at home than ever at River's Edge on Sunday.
So, I'm ready for Jacksonville. I'm glad that the government will take care of my move for me, so I've only just got a certain amount of work to do on my apartment during my stay, and then it'll all be packed up and moved for me.
Whether I keep my Volvo (which, if I do, I'll definitely be registering in FL where they're not commonwealthies) or get a different car, and whether I get a different car here or there if I decide not to keep the Volvo.. both of those remain to be decided. And whether I'll be able to live off-base or have to live in barracks or what has yet to be found out. But most other things are either decided or the natural flow by this point, so I'm really ready to have my life there.
And during my time home, I also need to do some work in the Recruiting station so that I can get less of my leave actually charged against my leave account. I'm glad they made that program up, 'cause it'll make it possible to have more leave later on.
So, I'm off to do that now.
Thursday, October 07, 2004
Very bad call.
And then I tried to apologize, and even wrote them a letter of apology to reiterate that it was sincere, and got ripped another new one for that, because everything in it either came out wrong or was perceived wrong, and so my intentions were completely torn to shreds. But the one of the three involved whose opinion mattered most to me on any personal level did understand what I meant, did forgive me and did give me advice about my next couple of moves so that I don't still have so many questions about what's coming next or what's happening now. And I think the other two, somewhere inside, did understand as well. Just wanted to make sure that I never repeat that mistake.
And believe me, I won't.
And I'll be out of here soon enough...
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
Then again, one of the people who didn't do her job well enough here is a civilian, but 99% of such people are Navy, and all the Civilian (former military in most cases) instructors are very organized and hard working.
I'm stuck here, and no one knows how long. They just didn't feel like processing my paperwork, so myself and several of my classmates will be taking the extended tour of Meridian, joining the over 300 shipmates to have had significantly extended stays due to no fault of their own over the past two months.
I can understand the people on legal or medical hold, the people who simply can't be transferred out of here for something that they did or that happened to them, unfortunate as that may be.
But for those of us who have NO REASON to be here, why the snot are we being kept in this wretched place?!?
I hate it here. I absolutely hate it here. This command is unbelievably disorganized, and this town has little good to offer the visiting trainee.
And no matter what I do to be persistant and move things along, it doesn't seem to help.
I did finally get my orders: To Jacksonville, FL. The one state I specifically requested NOT to be stationed in. I'm more ok with that now, though, what with my grandfather not being too well these days (I'd be about two to four hours from him) and my niece and others only 6 or 7 hours south of me. But of course, on par with the rest of my experiences with the Navy so far, they send me to the one state I requested not to be in. Less than an hour North and I'd've been in GA. It may be the very extreme North of FL, but it's still FL, and I never wanted to live there again.
And we graduate tomorrow. I qualified for the Accelerated Advancement Program (AAP), along with one other person in my class that wasn't already a Petty Officer. AAP means that within the next 4 to 10 months, as long as my next command approves it, I'll be advanced to a Petty Officer Third Class without having to take the advancement exam and compete for a small percentage of slots available to be advanced. Two people in my class qualified, and my class (being 24 people strong) is allowed two and only two AAP students. Yet, those in charge of my program at this training command haven't seen fit yet to tell us if we'll actually get it.. since qualifying isn't the only factor in that decision. And if they don't tell us today, they probably will not have enough time to process the paperwork so that it'll be done.. and if that's not done before graduation at 0800 tomorrow, it will no longer be valid.
They just don't feel like doing their work. Or they're being given too much work to do. Either way, it all comes back to the Navy in general being too disorganized and not strong enough in communication or work ethic.
Honor, Courage, Commitment. . . The Navy Core Values that were laced into every lesson plan at bootcamp, that we say every time we PT or IT or talk about Navy Life and behaving ourselves.
I don't see much of it in these parts.
I don't feel as much of it inside me anymore.
I'd be so much better if I could just get home, get moved out of my apartment finally, see my friends and say a more legitimate "I know-where-I'll-be-for-at-least-the-next-two-years,-even-if-not-the-address-where-I'll-be-living" goodbye to them, and get settled into some routine again.
But I'm here, still.. and will be for who-knows-how-long.
I hate this place.
I'm going to go have a talk with my Chief and see if she can't make a few stern phone calls to speed up the process. I don't feel a lot of hope about that or about leaving within this month, really.. but it's something to do. Besides eating lots of ice cream and crying, both of which I already did since 1130 when I found out I wasn't leaving tomorrow for certain.
Oy friggin Chadesh.
Friday, October 01, 2004
Along with the quote, "If we get punished even more for another dumb kid going out and doing something stupid again, I'm gonna go postal."
If I had meant it, I'd've gone postal a long time ago.
Not only have we, indeed, had several new policies or events put into action because of dumb kids (both in my specific class/school, and base-wide), but I also will not, it appears, be leaving on October 7th.
I so wanted to be home the weekend of the garlic festival. I can TASTE the garlic chicken meal I usually have there, and the cheeseballs/dips/dessert balls from this one stand that are just incredible; the wine from some of the best vineyards in VA (including some that are only sold at this festival each year), and some other country-made or hard-to-find treats from our beautiful Appalachian region.
But I'll be here, instead.
I still haven't gotten any orders. There was an opening (not set to start for another 6 or 9 months, but I figured maybe I could get a head start) in Nashville, TN at their Reserve Center, but it's already got someone penciled in and they couldn't send me there so early anyway. There were other billets, which have already been filled by the most jacked up of my classmates. All the fleeters (anyone that's been in the fleet, which is outside of bootcamp and training schools), as their fleeter priviledge, got their orders several weeks ago and have all gotten their hard copies (the official paperwork saying it's really happening, how, and when) since. So of the booters (those of us that came straight from bootcamp), there are eight of us that still don't have our orders less than a week before graduation. Of the eight, three of us are in the TAR/FTS program.
"There simply aren't any open billets. We simply don't have anywhere to send you."
In this "overmanned" Navy, when there are such threats of impending downsizing (and worse if *shudder* Kerry is elected) and of merging all the rates (jobs) together, it just doesn't make sense that they still have the recruiting quotas and pressure they have when they can't even give real jobs to those of us they already hired.
And why are such wretched examples of fleeters (such as certain classmates or schoolmates of mine) allowed to stay in when they don't do their jobs well and they're even worse social influences?
And why is the class coming up behind us so full of really bad booters AND fleeters? Why are people able to get through bootcamp so easily, that they can come out as jacked up as these kids? I had the same frustration in my division, watching fellow recruits mess around all the time, knowing they'll end up killing someone (or accidentally killing themselves) someday because they can't settle down or ever take anything seriously. Ever. And there was always the promised statement from the RDC's that the fleet would take care of them, they'd be out of the Navy within a couple of years. But why are they allowed to stay in 'til then? And looking at my classmates, I don't think the fleet really DOES take care of them, anyway.
I mean, seriously, when our tax money is going to pay these people's checks, why are they allowed to be so jacked up?
Again, in a civilian company, this would never fly.
I'm really disappointed about not getting to go home for that weekend. Even if I were to surprisingly get orders on Monday morning (they won't even be talking to the detailer 'til Monday afternoon, but let's ignore that fact for now), it would take long enough to do all the paperwork that I still wouldn't be out of here for a while.
And Holding Company (where people go either between indoc and starting their real classes or after they finish their class and 'til they leave) is over 150 sailors right now. 150!!
One of my classmates, who has become a very good friend, is also without her orders so far and the two of us will likely be joining Holding Company together.
The fact such a thing has to exist is silley enough in and of itself, but the fact that it's this large is rediculous.
So, hoorah no billets.. Hoorah Holding Company. Hoorah I'm on a new medication now (after another visit to medical yesterday morning and then an ambulance ride there in the afternoon) and may it's helping, because I didn't have any significant trouble breathing today apart from my now-normal being winded after climbing the stairs.
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