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
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
The great news is that I am now living off-base. I found this fabulous apartment similar in concept to all the historic apartments in VA made from historic houses, but even better than anything I'd personally seen there.
It's 1700 square feet, all hardwood floors except one tiny hallway (maybe 4 square feet or so) which is carpeted and the kitchen and one bathroom are tiled. It's got a fireplace, a sunroom, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a large kitchen, lots of closet, counter, and cabinet space throughout. The ceilings are roughly ten feet high or so, with fans in several rooms and a chandellier in the living room. It's the first floor of the house, so there're front steps with a small front porch, and the best part is a big, fabulous garden area fully fenced in. It has two big trees in it (and the hooks for a hammock) and brick platforms and pathways. It had divided areas already, so I've started an herb garden, a veggie garden, some rose bushes, and am going to be planting wildflowers and lots of other beautiful flowers all over. The front has a garden area, too, which already had lots of very large aloe plants in it.
And it's all for only $850 per month plus electricity. That's right, water (and hot water at that) are included in the rent price, and there's no gas in this place, and it's FL so trash is included, so I'm looking at spending maybe $1000 per month total. If I get a roommate (which I'm working on), that'll be maybe $500 or $600 (depending on who or how much they technically rent) for me and the remainder for them and then I'll have all that extra as pocket/savings money.
I am SO excited. So, if you'd like my address, since I HAVE one now that's my very own, just email or call me. And if you'll be in the Jacksonville area, let me know.
I'm doing well in my petty officership, too. Plenty of people in my office and out of my regular contacts mentioned that they always thought of me as one anyway, and others have been very supportive about it. Officers in my command regularly come tell me they want to see me put in a commissioning packet to see about getting picked up for commissioning. That's very encouraging, too. So I'm working on said packet, including college applications (more of a process than it was last time in some ways, less in others) and that's going well so far. I took my SATs again since my old results had, for all intents and purposes, expired.. and got those results back already; somehow, I did BETTER than I'd done in high school! I didn't see that coming at all! Math was a lot lower, and interestingly enough it used to always be the highest section score on any test despite me not feeling like it was my strongest area. So this was the first time I did better in another section on a significant test. Anyway, that was really encouraging as well.
I'm on duty again today, and will be again in a couple of weeks. Then at the end of April, I should hopefully be able to visit Lynchburg (give me a yell if you're gonna be in town around the 23rd .. and get tickets for the Sedalia Center Celtic Fest, since that's the central reason for my visit being at that time!) and in May I may or may not be going either to New Orleans or Norfolk for a reserve-pay class since I'm being moved upstairs to the respay office. Either location would be fun and near friends.
That's the general update. Still not enough time to read other blogs or boards much, so I still miss ya'll and still can't catch up as much as I'd like to. But this is a start. Or a continuation, whatever.
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
Since I did end up getting the AAP candidacy from my "A" school, afterall, and have now been here at my command for over 4 months (the minimum time required for my CO to observe me and whether or not I ought to be acceleratedly advanced), I am now a third class petty officer. This means roughly $150 more per month as well as more responsibility and respect. I am no longer the lowest man on the totem pole at work, and in fact I am technically directly over one of my other personnel in my office. Not that I personally would have that change much of our working relationship (since she has been here for a year, she still knows a lot about the command or our way of doing things than do I) but it seems that I am being pruned for Naval Leadership of various forms, and thus it IS going to change our working relationship, because I am being taught to "excersize my crow", meaning use my authority, minimal as it may be.
I am still answering the phones as PNSN instead of PN3 as often as not, though today (being on duty and thus having abundantly more calls to answer) has been helping to switch the habit over. And I do walk with more pride now.
My only uniform to be ready for the change so far is my dress blue, which means that I've been wearing that (you know, the black one that looks like a flight attendant instead of the other black ones that look like something else I will not -- for fear of offense to others -- post here, or the blue ones called utilities that look like gas station attendants) this past weekend as well as today, and I guess I'll be wearing it tomorrow, too, since my utilities won't be ready 'till sometime tomorrow.
It's nice wearing my updated uniform with the new designation on it. I feel like Lady in that scene from Lady and the Tramp when she's trying to get Jaque to notice her new collar.
Along with my updated rank is a certain amount of updated permission to live off base if I can get some other paperwork in line. My command has already approved it, it's just that the barracks staff -- although the barracks is overfull and they have been having to turn people away since just after I got here -- have this caccoon of red tape around them that I'm having trouble breaking through. But I should be able to move into my own apartment off base and collect the housing allowance for it within the next two weeks, hopefully. And believe me, the housing allowance in my case is more than substantial to pay for any expenses I'll have.
So, good news for my life in the Navy. Some still in process, but much further along than it was a little while ago.
And I am doing quite well working independently, for the most part.
Oh, and the Swedish Chef figure puppet I got during my trip to South FL for Christmas/New Year's now sits on top of my computer, smiling at me in his silley, Swedish way. I LOVE the Swedish Chef.
Thank you for your (continued) prayers and friendships. I miss everyone.. everyone that I know is most likely reading this, everyone I used to get to communicate with on a more regular basis.
I am learning the value of handwritten letters and cards much more, since I am not spending as much time emailing and whatnot. I still procrastinate on writing and mailing them off myself, yes. But it's something tangible to keep and to put up in my barracks room when I receive them, and if I'm sending them it does feel wonderful to drop it in the mail.
And my tax return this year is something like double or triple what I've ever gotten back in years past. Probably closer to triple.
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