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

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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

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Ah, so young grasshopper.. it turns out you do not have tension headaches. No, no, child.. those are migraines.


It kicked in a few hours ago and within half an hour, got so bad I was nauseous. But since it turns out my mother's partner has the same kind of migraines (they start in the same place and all) I found out it's not just tension headaches as I've thought for years they were.

As I told her, the strange thing about having a high pain tolerance is that I felt like my headaches were never nearly so bad as what people describe migraines to be like.. well, not never. Just rarely. So anyway, I never thought it could be a migraine.. just a really bad headache. But no, this is definately a migraine. That happens a lot, though, in the high-pain-tolerance world. I guess I just need to start thinking that whatever I'm feeling is prolly three to ten times worse for the average joe.. and then maybe I'll figure out how it compares with descriptions of things.

Meanwhile, the news is terribly depressing and catching bits of it here at my mother's house reminds me why I don't have TVs or at least cable.

This weekend, I was given a TV from my grandfather and Jan and a VCR/DVD player from my mother and Mary as early Christmas gifts, so I'll be able to watch some of the movies I've picked up in my barracks, which is great. That'll keep me a lot more distracted than books and my CD/record player do, although I love those as well and will keep making good use of them. Now I've just gotta figure out if I'm gonna keep the TV, etc in the closet and the CD/record player more accessible or vice-versa. I think I'll keep it the way I have it, because the latter requires much more interesting hooking up and has less secured parts (like the record needle) that don't need to be moved so often. Plus, I listen to music ALL The time while I'll prolly only be watching movies/tapes about two or three times a week.

I think I'm gonna go visit my old high school in uniform tomorrow, so I'll hopefully be alllowed to visit some of my old teachers. That is, my freshman year high school, and two of my favorite teachers from there. There aren't as many at my sophomore year school that I'd be so excited about seeing again, my junior year school is in CA, and I wasn't at my senior year school for very long, and one of my favorite teachers from there moved away the year after I left. And then there's the middle school and elementary schools I went to, which included a number of great teachers, but who knows who's still around. I caught up with the most important one during my visit last year, so I think tomorrow's visit should be a good roundup of reconnecting with some of my favorite teachers. (My English teacher's last name was Tempest.. how fabulous is that?!?)

Hopefully I'll see my brother and niece tomorrow morning, and perhaps meet up with Mom and Mary for lunch or something, and maybe be able to catch Aleks at work since I haven't managed to meet up with her elsewhens this weekend. Then it'll be back to Jax and to military life.. I'm sure I'll need to iron a uniform for work tomorrow. I can't believe it's been almost a week gone, and over a week already since I wore the working uniform (utilities.. used to be dungarees). Ah, well, honeymoon's over I guess. But I'm excited about seeing some of my coworkers again and catching up on their time-off news and all. I really quite like where I work. And then I'll be able to see my new church friends, too, most of whom I haven't seen in quite a while with all the travelling and working. So that'll be very, very good.

Here's to watching terrible cable movies with relatives and to walking around crazy commercialized-overload mall/plaza things with old friends. And here's to December. And December in FL, which never really gets cold.

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Yesterday was one of those very strange days. We'll start backwards.

Right before bed, I was on AIM and found out that Stephen has been married for a week. Congrats, Stephen-who-does-not-read-my-blog! (Ah, sometimes it is refreshing knowing who does NOT read it, especially when you bite your tongue more often knowing who does).. So, Stephen and I were pretty good friends a while back, but haven't talked more than two or three times a year for the past two, I think. It was a pleasant surprise to catch him on AIM for about three seconds, which was just long enough for him to delightedly share about his recent marriage. And that really does make me happy, that he's excited about it. One week down, the rest of their lives to go. I don't know her or anything about her, but I'm sure they know that if they work hard at their marriage, it might actually work.. where if they expect it to be natural, it probably won't. So, congrats to him.

Now, what's with how nearly all of the people that I knew from that group are married or engaged now? Nearly all the ones I knew better, anyway. *le sigh*. This includes all the guys I used to joke with about running off and eloping just to ___fill in the blank___ -- these days, that blank is usually something about getting the military benefits that come (or increase) with marriage. Back then, it'd be things like getting his relatives to stop asking him about it (although we recognized the inevitable harassment about having kids which would follow) or getting me out of my job or something like that. And, you know, you just can't joke about eloping with a married guy.

Before that, I was looking at the website for the church I used to go to when I lived down here, and it looks like they have some hefty voids in their ministry potential, which I was disappointed about. The church was so different when I was around.. And I think maybe it's good for the members now, but they have absolutely nothing to offer someone, say, my age and not in college at which I could really feel like I belonged. *le sigh*. So I ended up skipping church this morning, because when I'm in a town where I once knew a bazillion people and I go to a church, I'm going to be hoping to see people I know there and will be disappointed if I don't, and it really kinda ruins the whole church experience for me. If I'm in a strange town by myself, I can go to whatever church and be focused on worshipping God and on communing with my brothers and sisters in Christ, but to go to one in the town and be hoping to commune with brothers and sisters I'd met before.. well, I have just not gotten over that stumbling block to communion yet.

Earlier, I was spending the day with John and Sloane. John is my two-years-older brother, who is looking good these days and has some amazing talents. His daughter, Sloane, will be 4 on December 15th, which means she's already a grown-up girl and can do anything by herself. Until she can't and then you must help her right that very instant. Oh, and she is absolutely NOT cute. She is beautiful. In fact, she's so not cute that whenever she does those incredibly cute things kids have a way of doing (and honestly, she does them more than any other kid I've ever met) you can't laugh or smile at how cute she is, and you can't tell her she's cute, so you just stifle it. Sometimes it honestly makes my heart hurt trying to stifle it so much, although I think the root of it is just that it's overwhelmingly cute. In spite of how everyone else caters to her being Not Cute, I still call her cute all the time. And I'm certain that at some point, she'll know that that's just what Aunt Patty does and she'll let me call her cute without saying anything, and then no one else will be able to call her cute. Just like I'm one of the only people still allowed to call her Sloaney-balogna, which I can't NOT call her. It comes out when I mean to just say Sloane.

She responds pretty well to me, though I'm not sure that would last if I was around her more often. But she gets excited about anything I do and wants to be just like me, the poor kid. Yesterday I had dressed her in a white little-girl tee complete with ruffles on the short-sleeved cuffs, and a jumper that I don't think was designed to match but they went perfectly together. So when John's neighbor told her how nice her outfit was, she said, "Thank you," and then she whispered excitedly, "My Aunt Patty put it on me!"

So I've been the one getting her to sleep the past few nights, which is the most precious moment in any day. She has these perfectly chubby arms, which she wraps tight around my neck, and adorably chubby cheeks, which she presses flesh against mine, and then she'll tuck her little feet under my knees and you know she's really asleep when you hear this tiny snore and her arms aren't so tight.

My first night here, while I was out having my grown-up wind-down time after putting her to sleep, she went and took over the bed. And since I didn't want to wake her up (she wakes up easily and then doesn't fall back asleep forever), I just took my little slice of the outside and hoped for the best. She kicked and pushed all night long, so that I spent my eight hours just trying not to fall off, which was quite reminiscent of last New Year's, when she and I were together as well. These last two nights have been more successful, one in which I got her very much asleep on one half of the bed, and snuck back in before she could take the whole thing over. And then last night she was staying with her daddy in her special big girl bed there, while I was staying here at mom's with no kicking and pushing to keep me awake.

We had gone to the library earlier in the day yesterday, and I found a couple of teens-or-so books on St. Francis of Assissi, which I've been reading as I can since. Good stuff. I couldn't name my son Francis someday, but I do hope that his life has other significant impacts. Really, it already did.. I just needed some reminders recently.

In the Navy, every conversation about advancing or about if I were to go officer, every conversation about nearly anything, is about money. "It's more money," people will say when you talk about why to do this or not. And while it's very nice having a steady income, it's just not to me to thus think about how I could own a nice condo (if I were gonna be in the area long enough), have a jet ski and a ski boat for my off-days, maybe have a yacht if I really do go officer, at least two vehicles in my driveway plus maybe a bike (as in motorcycle) if I wanted, etc.. It's just not me. I am still driving cars made when I was in elementary school, and wearing clothes I've either had forever, or that were hand-me-downs, or that I got at thrift stores more recently (or on clearance if in a real store). I have no plans to change any of those things about myself, though in the future I will have more money to invest into a nicer car that will have been checked out more thoroughly. The Ru is doing me justice, though, as far as I can tell. It's been such a pleasant change from the Volvo.

I'm glad to have seen these books about St. Francis so that I can keep the money-hungriness in perspective and be glad for my steady income and my ability to make ends meet finally, but also to not want everything that I could have. Especially now that I'm starting to pursue building my credit.. If I let the greed lay hold, I'd have some very bad credit built up in no time.

Back to the story at hand, yesterday I was woken up at some point by my Sloaners playing near the bed with some sort of game she had that involved little cardboard squares. When she saw me open my eyes (you absolutely cannot sneak such things past this one!) she grabbed the squares and a little smiley-face bag, and said she was the mailman, and this was her mailbag, and these were the letters. And as she laid them out in color order (it was five squares each in four colors), she explained to me that these yellow ones were my notes and they said that, "Oh, no! Your daddy was swallowed by a whale!"

Taking her hands off her face from the shock, she laid out some green ones. "These are mine, and My Daddy's Been Swallowed, too!"

Such was the fate also of Mary's daddy and Miwi's daddy.

After a fair amount of talking about this and what it must be like, right down to throwing in some teeth and such, she suddenly flipped over one of my letters and said..

"Oh. I guess he died. Oh, no. That is so very sad."

Her little brow furled and her eyes drooped and the child looked every bit like a miniature professional mourner.

"And look, my daddy died, too. That is so sad."

I gave her a kiss then, because I couldn't keep squelching the overwhelming conflict inside, of the part of me that wanted to play along with her and the other that wanted to laugh forever, the part that was mystified by this small child, and the part that wanted to call an agent right then to tell him she's the next big star.

"Ok, we're done pretending. Except for now ALL of these letters are for MY friend Alexandra, not YOUR friend Aleksandra, but MY friend Alexandra, I have to go take her the mail to tell her that her daddy got swallowed by a whale!"

I wish you could see her. She's so incredible.

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Thursday, November 25, 2004

My niece said a million cute things throughout the day here, and I really wanted to post some of them tonight, but of course I'm drawing a blank now.

I'm down in South FL at my mother's for the weekend, after a grueling 6-plus hours-of-heavy-traffic drive last night, in which I witnessed at least three accidents (one right in front of me that was really bad and I had to go off the road completely to avoid it), in a drive that should be maybe four-and-a-half to five hours long. Apart from the accidents, there were some really meaneyhead drivers on the road, too, including one pickup truck that rode my tail as soon as he got on the highway, considering that everyone was already going about twenty over the limit and there was nowhere I could go and nothing I could do to get out of his way.. so I tapped my brakes to signal him to back off, and instead he turned on his brights and left them on for at least half a mile, probably more than a mile. And then the jerkhead got off at the next exit! I was so frustrated. But I made it here safely (somehow) and don't have to drive but so far again 'till Monday.

We had Thanksgiving dinner here today, my mother and her partner and some of their friends, and then my older brother and niece came over after John got off work this evening. He has to work tomorrow, too, so he left around 9 or so and there were some adventures trying to get Sloane asleep. I think she is now, though. We're crashing together tonight, she and I, so I really hope that she sleeps well and doesn't kick me off the bed as many times this year as she did last. She's going to be four in December and apparently that means that she already IS grown up, but not a grown-up adult, just a grown-up girl.

I'm about to pass out here, and we've gotta go visit Gramps and Gramma Jan tomorrow with the Sloaners, so I'd better get going. Need to iron my uniform for the showing-off session then, too. And stuff.


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Monday, November 22, 2004

I'm so looking forward to when I live off base. I mean, it's one thing to live in a gated community and feel a little more secure.. It's another thing entirely when every time you're going home you've gotta show a military ID and have your car's barcode sticker scanned in order to get past men with combat gear on and guns in hand.

I can't cook for myself, and nomatter where I am in my room, I can look around and see my entire living area.

Every time I leave, I have to have all the cabinets/closets locked and everything hidden away. When I lived with a bazillion other girls, that was my pet peeve -- feeling like I didn't really LIVE in a place.

They don't pay me enough to live on base. In fact, I don't *get paid* to live on base..

And yes, I have a room and I'm glad for that. And if the galley food wasn't disgusting and wouldn't make me sick, I'd have three squares a day paid for, too. As it is, I'm paying for all my own food out of my pocket without the Navy's sustenance allowance. So I'm glad for how joining the Navy has provided for me, but I'm just really frustrated because I thought that after getting through bootcamp and training school, I'd finally be an adult and be able to live in my own place and make my own decisions and when I was off work, to not be in the Navy, you know? But here I am, Navy all the time because I've always gotta go home to the base and always have to show my ID to get through the gate and always have to see guns and camo and combat helmets and such just to go HOME. It isn't home at all.

As ghetto as my old apartment was, I loved how personalized I had it, and how I had set it up just perfect for me, with little detailed touches everywhere that made it mine.

I'm not even allowed to have more than two pictures on the walls (I don't even have any now because I can't resign to staying here more than another month) or much of my stuff out (i've got a couple of books, my lone sailor statue, a folding picture-frame-set, and a tiny little ceramic turtle on my nightstand. And on the room's little table, I've got my photo-collage and my stained-glass turtle lamp. My windowsill houses one of my cacti -- while the rest of my plants are at a friend's house -- and other than that, most everything is locked up or hidden away) whenever I'm gone. I sleep on top of my made-bed's comforter so that that will always look neat, and each morning I ball up my sheet and little blanket and throw those into my closet. And since I don't have a vaccuum, I go around and pick up little flecks of stuff off the floor constantly.

And I STILL get hits on my inspections!

I want to be able to sleep in on my days off without having some staff member (after I specifically asked them not to, like "today is my day off, please don't wake me up" in a note or "I'm off every Monday this month, please come by after noon" in person) come by between 7 and 8:30 every morning to see if I'm keeping the room clean enough for some hypothetical future roommate.

That future roommate can dust her own furniture when she moves in just like I did, daggonit!



When I got home tonight and saw that all the dusting I'd done this week didn't matter, because they'd STILL given me a hit on that, AND another hit on having soap-scum on the shower walls.. all my hatred of living in the barracks came full-force to mind. It didn't help that, since I'm off tomorrow, I had wanted to go out and do SOMETHING tonight, whatever just to get out and experience a little more of this town, but it turns out I just don't have enough single/active friends (or their phone numbers) to find something to pull me away. I've spent several days off just reading so far, and that's all well-and-good sometimes. But I've been to a grand whopping maybe 5 places outside of the base as far as restaurants or entertainment spots. The movies here are just too big and overwhelming for me to go to alone (as I often did back home at the dollar theater) and I don't know where else I can go by myself and still be safe to curb the loneliness and need to get out of my room that I'm feeling right now. This place is prooving to be harder to transition into than anywhere I've moved in the past, or at least it seems that way to me.

But I'll get through this time, I know. I enjoy most of the people I work with and the church I've been going to is full of a lot of very friendly people.

And yes, I was lonely plenty often back home where I knew a million people and was a regular at several local hang-outs. I know that it isn't just about that. But right now, I miss home and friends. And I feel so much more alone here than I imagined I would.


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Wednesday, November 17, 2004

When I first got here, I was checking out the tour dates for various beloved musicians and groups to see if I could see any of them here soon .. for one thing, suddenly being in a larger city again, I figured it should have a more active music scene without having to drive two or three hours as I did from the Burg. Also, the desire to see familiar faces from my pre-Navy days, even those familiar to me only from the stage, was really quite strong. In my travels, I found that Eddie From Ohio was to perform at a music festival outside Dade City (near Tampa, about three hours from here) this past weekend. So I arranged a trip for myself, and got to see them a bit more in the not-"on"-for-the-fans mode, which was very fun. Meanwhile, through them I met some of the members of other bands performing there, as well, and just walking around (as often happens at music festivals, especially in the broadly-folkish-genre) got to meet a number of other attendees.

I was barefoot the ENTIRE weekend, except for Sunday evening when I went with a new friend to Applebee's and of course had to wear shoes for that. Consequently (although this would have happened had I been wearing my sandles, too), nearly the entire surface of my legs from my knees to the soles of my feet are covered in bites from both mosquitoes and fire ants. For those who have no experienced fire ant bites, be grateful. There are few things worse in this world, as far as insect or other such pest bites. Fleas are NOTHING compared with fire ants. Mosquitoes are just a slight nuisance. Fire ant bites burn like the dickens, and there are bazillions of them, and you can't prevent them (through any product or method I know of anyway, besides not living in FL). They're rediculous. So, while mosquito bites don't normally itch me too badly, these combined with the fire ant bites are crazy-itchy because the f-a bites set of the m bites, especially in the middle of the night when my subconcious mind can't stop me from scratching.

However, there is a remarkable freedom in being in such a situation that I can get so bitten up, since the uniforms (especially if I was in battle dress with the trousers tucked in and the long-sleeves buttoned tight and all) don't really allow for such things, and one can only get so outdoors on the base. More importantly, I was almost three hours from the nearest Navy base as far as I know (though there was an Air Force base not far from there), and I didn't have any public-allowed uniform items anywhere in my car (just my working uniform, which can only be worn on base or for certain stops on the way home from work if one is fortunate enough to live off-base), and although I was talking with EFO and the musicians and attendees about what my experiences have been in the Navy several times throughout the weekend, it was a great break from that life, perhaps moreso than being home on leave was somehow.

(Sorry, that was a horribly written paragraph.)

It was nice to be able to stop at a random thriftstore on the highway during my drive home, too. I found a number of great things there, and yet kept my purchases to less than $30, even knowing it was payday.

That night, I went over the church I've been going to since I got here to check out the Young Life meeting they host. The couple that's in charge of YL for this particular area is really great, and I had a fantastic lunch with Alice (the wife of this couple) last week, really starting a great friendship off well, I think. So it was nice to see them again and to see what a real YL meeting is like, since I've been hearing about it for years and have been wanting to get involved since I heard about it, but it never worked out while I was in VA. And now I will most likely become a leader within the next couple of months, since I very much enjoyed the meeting and those first conversations I had with a lot of the students there. Since I could still pass for a high schooler (especially in the right outfit, or anytime I'm around several of them), and yet am plenty older and experienced in the post-high-school life.. well, the most important part really is that I can relate to a lot of the unique struggles some of the kids are dealing with, as far as the particularly soap-opera-like backgrounds. And then we have a leader who was raised in a "proper" household and it took a YL camp experience for her to realize she didn't really know the gospel of Christ. I'm excited to see how working with YL will enhance my own spiritual life and convictions, especially to balance out the Navy influences.

It's nearly 11:35 (or 2345) now, and I've gotta be at PT at 7:30.. since I took I rather extended nap today, I allowed myself to stay here longer, but I'd really better get back to the barracks and in my rack now.

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I've been quite lax in posting since I got here, between trying to get settled in and not getting online outside of work for very long or very often. And also, because there are some things I didn't entirely know how to address here.

About two weeks ago, I went to medical again about that whole breathing problem thing. I'd had a bit of trouble again when I got here (not much while I was home, but (a) I wasn't doing very much to get my heart rate up there, and (2) it was significantly cooler and less humid there, which may be the bigger factor perhaps). And then that Thursday morning, we had command-wide PT and I didn't make it through without gasping for air and sitting out the rest of the session. Which is not a good impression on my first time PTing with the command.

So, I went to medical, and I had a civilian doctor contractor see me, which was excellent. And he did another Sporometer (or however that's spelled), and wasn't as happy with the results as the doctor in MS had been. Nor as complacent about the abnormal EKG results I had there.

Currently, the diagnosis is Reactive Airway Disease, which is an asthma-like condition (sometimes leading to regular asthma, too, according to my doctor) and in my case apparently my airways are reacting mostly to humidity and also to most forms of exercise. Which makes Navy life, and that in FL, particularly difficult. However, comma, He prescribed me an inhaler and I've been using it since, and sometimes it seems to help. He doesn't want to put me on the cartosteroid (again, sp?) inhalers just yet, since use of such things in females can lead to more physical difficulty later in life, including potentially increased risk of osteoperosis. Way I figure it, though, if it would make it more likely that I survive these years comfortably, it may be worth the risk.

Depending on how I do at command PT tomorrow, we may be pursuing a different diagnosis. This weekend, since I was outdoors almost the entire time, I used my inhaler twice a day or more and it mostly helped. Sunday mid-afternoon I had a pretty bad attack that the inhaler just didn't work for, of the mild-appearing-to-an-outsider variety, but I leaned against a guy friend at the concert there and tried to match his breathing. That helped a lot, and it eventually cleared up.

And I'm still tired all the time. I think I sleep well enough when I do sleep, which is every night for about 8 or 9 hours and then every day after work for another hour or two or sometimes more.. but I never feel refreshed. May be the breathing thing, though.

Those are some of the things I wasn't really sure how to approach here. Despite the heavy percentage of health-related blogs, I don't actually LIKE blogging about it, mostly because it's all so unknown, and in my blog history has perhaps been a little hypocondriac-sounding. It's just frustrating when you don't know what's wrong or how to make it better. As so many people experience with much, much worse symptoms than mine.

Ah, well. On to bigger and better things.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Here's a look at this crazy town I'm living in.. (not entirely unlike my last crazy town, actually, except the size and the weather.. it's like Lynchburg was just an extremely small version of Jacksonville or something.) Got this from my coworkers this morning during a discussion about whether FL is a Southern or Yankee state. Us Yankees hold out strongly for that viewpoint, though my I've-been-living-in-VA-for-a-while-and-consider-it-home-except-for-the-political-or-tax-side-of-things self has some pull to that side as well. But not for FL. FL is NOT a Southern state!

Tourist Guide for Jacksonville

1. You must learn to say the city name correctly. It is usually referred to as "JAX."

2. Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. Jacksonville has its own version of traffic rules....the truck with the loudest exhaust goes next at a 4-way stop. The truck with the biggest tires goes after that.
(Note: Blue haired ladies driving anything have right of way anytime.)

3. To find anything in Jax it is required that you know where the "Regency Square" is... it's the Alpha and Omega. The beginning and the end.

4. The morning rush hour is from 5:00 to 10:00. The evening rush hour is from 3:00 to 7:00. Friday's rush hour starts Thursday morning.

5. If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will be rear-ended, cussed out and possibly shot.

6. Did you know that East Rd. meets West Rd. on Beach Blvd, but they run North and South.

7. You must know that "Normandy Boulevard", "State Road 228", "Cecil Field Road", "Maxville Road", and "Post Street" are the same road. Ft. Caroline, McCormick, Girvin are also the same road.

8. On the southeast side of town, "Hartley Road," "Shad Road," and "Hood Road," are the same road, too. Hartley Road is the western part of the road, and Shad Road is the eastern part of the road. Now don't be confused about this "Hood Road." This is the West-East part that is in between Hartley and Shad, not the North-South part that starts out as "Old Kings Road South", changes into "Hood Road South," and ends at Losco Road.

9. Construction is a permanent fixture in Jax. The barrels are moved around in the middle of the night to make the next days driving a bit more exciting.

10. Watch very carefully for road hazards such as deer, skunks, dogs, barrels, cones, cows, horses, pot holes, cats, pieces of other cars, opossum, truck tires, raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, and crows or vultures feeding on any of these items.

11. If someone actually has their turn signal on, wave them to the shoulder immediately to let them know it has been "accidentally activated."

12. The minimum acceptable speed on "J Turner Butler Blvd" is 75 mph. Anything less is considered downright sissy. This is Florida's version of NASCAR. On Atlantic which is 45 MPH, anyone not doing at least 65 will be pulled over and ticketed by the Sheriff’s department (as they are likely to be the one behind you trying to get past for their shift change).

13. Never honk at anyone. Ever. Seriously.

14. If you are in the left lane, and only going 70 in a 55 zone ... you are considered a road hazard, and will be "flipped off" accordingly.

15. Ground clearance of at least 12 inches is recommended for city driving.

16. If it's 100 degrees, Thanksgiving must be next weekend.

17. If it's 20 degrees and sleeting/snowing, it is time for the Gator Bowl at Alltel Stadium.

(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