C'est La Vie

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


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

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

Contact Me

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

By mail
(contact me for my new address)

Other Weblogs I enjoy
(In no particular order)

Katy Raymond


Recommended Readings

A Grief Observed

Wishful Thinking
Frederick Buechner

Divine Conspiracy
Dallas Willard (may never finish)

Rich Mullins: An Arrow Pointing to Heaven
James Bryan Smith

Recommended Listening
(from my collection)

The Hymnal, Arkadelphia
Randall Goodgame

Land of the Living
Eric Peters

Laryngitis, Longing
Katy Bowser

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

In the Company of Angels
Caedmon's Call

Delusions of Grandeur
Fleming and John

The entire CD catalog
Eddie From Ohio

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

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

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

Friday, March 31, 2006

Don't forget to Spring Forward this Sunday.

(0) comments

Maybe it's not that so many people in my life are prone to the psychological concept of Transference..

Perhaps it is because of my human-mirror attribute that they see in me things they don't want to see in themselves, nomatter how untrue some of the things are in me.

We're all familiar with the concept that we hate in others often what we most hate about ourselves. Transference is taking something that you don't want to be true about yourself and putting that onto someone else.. so that if you, deep down inside, are feeling like you don't want to have to work for a living (for a wild example), you may decide that a person close to you is lazy and refuses to work enough. Because your rational mind knows that you should work, you should perhaps even want to work .. but that deep-rooted desire is there and manifests itself by appearing to be true about someone else.

The thing is that when it is textbook transference, it will often look crazy to the people who know the other person, and will most especially seem crazy to the person him or herself upon whom the idea is being transferred.. because that person is certainly aware that the attribute is not true of him or her.


So there is that. And then there are my own legitimate faults, and there are my faults that are getting blown out of proportion. And then there are the attributes I have that may not always be flaws, but are certainly less-common and may be a bit hard for some people (including myself at times) to deal with.


I don't think switching jobs would help. I thought about that. (By jobs right now I mean what I'm actually doing day-to-day.)

I don't know that switching departments would help. I'm not even sure switching commands would necessarily help at this point.


I was reading through some things tonight, including the retirement speech given at the Retirement Ceremony (aka Fleet Reserve Transfer Ceremony) for Vice Admiral Patricia Tracey. It made me want-to-want to stay in. That is, I really wished I desired to stay in. Probably I wished I desired to try for Commissioning again. But you know what? I want to have the kind of impact on others that she had, as commemorated in that speech. But the military is not WHERE or HOW I want to have that impact.. not now, anyway.


During my trip to DC, I plan to visit the Arlington National Cemetery among other sights/places. I may even try to pop into the Pentagon for a brief look-see. I am leaving myself open, through this trip, to one last chance to change my mind about this whole military thing. If this doesn't do it, I don't think anything will. If I come back from this trip and do not start on a Commissioning package right away, anyone concerned can rest assured that it will not happen.

I don't think it will happen.

But then, who am I to know God's Will before He good and well tells me?

(0) comments
Monday, March 27, 2006

I've been to the various services at this new-to-me church a few times now, and am getting to know some of the people there a little better. On Thursday, I went out with some of the college kids after the Thursday Night service, and it was really an enjoyable time. They were such a fun group and we had great conversations. It was refreshing.

I went to the Sunday morning service today, after having another sick-day yesterday. I was really weak and cold from being ill and not eating yesterday, but I borrowed a sweater from one of the guys and drank some hot coffee and eventually warmed up plenty. The sermon was all about faith and Jesus' promises about leaving His spirit with us so that we can do things even greater than He did while on earth -- that anything we ask in His name, He will grant us to bring glory to the Father.

It was about being amazed by what we would consider the small things (especially in the form of provision) as well as expecting great big things to happen.

At the end, they always have the alter area open for people to go up and pray and be prayed for. I almost went up there to get prayer for whatever keeps causing these sick-days to happen, but just wasn't feeling it in my heart -- I wasn't feeling the desire to go up there.

I did, though, stick around to take advantage of a free class they were hosting in the afternoon to teach some of the basics of sound-board operation. I have, for a very long time now, wanted to learn to do sound, and figured this was an excellent chance and maybe once I learn I can help this church, which is what the class was intended for. However, I'm working next weekend and thus won't be able to attend the second and apparently more applicable class.

So I don't know.. I'm still probably going to try some other churches, especially a couple of the ones within walking distance. I need to clean my place more, too, so that (a) I can actually invite potential roommates by to see it on short notice, and (b) so that I can be more hospitable with all these new folks and my not-as-new friends from the Starlite.

Still working on my plans for DC -- looks like I should be able to catch a number of friends, including at least a couple from the Burg who might be able to make the trek up. I'm so looking forward to a week of just relaxing a lot and enjoying a little revisit to my old life. I think mostly it will help me put into perspective all of the changes I've been experiencing over the last almost-two-years.

(0) comments
Wednesday, March 22, 2006

So today, seven days after the evaluations for E-5s were due, we finally got ours back. On my one and only other eval since I've been in, I got a very high mark and great comments on it and overall it was fairly consistant with my work and with how others saw me.

Today, 9 months later, my eval marks were average in all but two catagories, and my total score was just above average (and the eval scale from what I've seen is very much like the GPA scale overall.. where an "average" mark really means below average because in this day and age, everyone is supposed to get straight A's ... and moreso in some ways since a person's marks reflect on their superiors, kind of like if teachers got graded on their students' GPAs.)

Out of the other E-5s at my command, my marks were significantly below average.

Seeing as how I didn't have a mid-term counseling to let me know that I had done so much worse, I'm having a hard time figuring out how people are still going to me to ask all kinds of questions, how I got in the 99th percentile on my advancement exam and went from E-2 to E-5 in 18 months, how I get people telling me so much that I'm really squared away and doing a great job... and yet get marked below others who are not sought after as much, and more than that get marked barely above doing decently, doing the bottom line.

The one that boggled my mind the most was the comment that said "Impeccable military bearing" and "Outstanding on her fall Physical Fitness Assessment" (which was the only one since my last eval .. ) and then in the military bearing catagory (which includes physical fitness) I got an average mark.

What part of Impeccable and Outstanding mean average?

I mean, I know not everyone in the military has majored in English...

So, umm, I've got 3.29 years left in and then, perhaps, I can work somewhere where things line up just a little more accurately and where maybe I'd be a little more appreciated.. because you know what, guys? I really love the fact that you got me flowers and cake and ice cream and a balloon on my birthday.. I can't tell you how much I love that. But that's kinda like a guy cheating on his wife and giving her roses on Valentine's day or a necklace on Christmas..

(0) comments
Monday, March 20, 2006

I've been doing a whole lot of letting go . .

(0) comments
Monday, March 13, 2006

So my first two calls to the mechanic today basically sounded like there was no hope at all for my poor little car and that it was probably going to never be driven again from where I parked it.

But my third call, as I drove the rental along I-4 through Orlando, was the conclusion: basically, come pick up your car and drive it like normal and watch the oil carefully and that will buy you at least a little bit of time.

So that's ok for now. Not good, but at least I've got a bit to find something instead of feeling like I need to accept whatever comes along because of a time crunch.

Meanwhile, I can't imagine what my Gramps' wife is going through right now. She lost her husband the same time I lost my grandmother, and she got involved with my grandfather a while afterwards, and they got married and they really love eachother in a way that perhaps doesn't exist in my generation so much.. And he's been failing for a while now and is certainly much worse this visit than even when I was there just a month ago.

I got this overwhelming feeling when I was hugging him goodbye that that may very well be one of the last times I would get to do so. Perhaps the very last. He's been saying that for a while now, but this was almost tangible.

As we were saying goodbye, she and I, she was doing her usual encouraging me to come back down as soon as possible since we haven't known for a long time that there would be very many chances.. And so as she said that, she looked at him and said that she was planning on ten more years for herself and he'd better be there with her through them all.

I looked at him and I knew that, as much as he loved her, ten more years of struggling to breath and to walk and to stay awake for more than a few hours at a time, ten more years of having no appetite and having no activities he enjoyed.. that must seem unbearable. But there she is, facing the loss of her second husband in five years, after a first marraige that was (if I recall correctly) over 55 years in the making.

She didn't bargain on this. Neither did he. I think that although I am really torn up about it, I am more ready to let him go than I was my grandmother, mostly because of how much time we've gotten to spend together in the past few years. But I can't imagine being in Jan's shoes.. I can't imagine what she's going through.

This is going to be subject-whiplash in a way, but it's the other thing that was really on my mind tonight during my drive home.

I was at that place for like a week where I was really ok with being very, very single again. Where I was even thinking that maybe God had brought me back to where I could be single forever .. I mentioned that a little bit here.

And I still am in a way. But at the same time, tonight I really wanted to be coming home to someone, to just grab a guy off one of my sofas to go take a walk and just BE with me.

I don't want a friggin' rock star.. I used to think that mentality was kinda cute in a pat-them-on-the-head type of way, but I'm growing to the point where I don't even want to be around them for the same reasons I don't want to be around a lot of the guys at my bar when they're single and lonely. Or at least lonely.

I don't want some guy who will pretend to listen and pretend to care just to get in my pants.. I've always hated that and hate it even more now.

I just had this overwhelming desire to have a guy that I could take walks with and go on weekend trips with and just BE with.

And then I realized that all of the things that I wanted I could find in Christ in a less-tangible way. And I had a really nice walk "alone" tonight, just listening and thinking and singing a little bit.

I had really wanted to escape when I left my grandfather's house, just to make a detour on my way home to go to a place where I wasn't in the Navy and I wasn't driving a rental because my car just broke down, and where I hadn't just left the home of my ailing grandfather. I used to be able to escape by going to dollar movies, but something about paying six and a half bucks minimum makes it less of an escape.. (Why doesn't Jax have a dollar theater?) And so I wanted to just go to some town I've never been to and see a quasi-potential-friend who had quasi-invited me there and just hang out for an evening and get back in town in time to get to work on time tomorrow.

Perhaps it was divine intervention. With this particular person, this was the third experience that was most likely just that very thing.

I ended up driving straight home instead and working out lots of things in my head on the way and then taking my walk and feeling a great deal more composed all in all.

So that was my day and those are the things on my mind.

And I'm wondering how my loved ones in the Ill/MO area made out. And I'm praying for them.

And I'm planning my trip to DC and hoping that comes together well.

And I'm still looking for some Rosie Thomas tour dates.

(0) comments
Sunday, March 12, 2006

"Mamma said there'd be days like this,
there'd be days like this, mamma said
(mamma said, mamma said)
Mamma said there'd be days like this,
there'd be days like this my mamma said."

After a very nice but mostly unproductive day yesterday, I ended up at the Starlite (or the Lite for short) as I am wont to do, and actually closed the place down, which I haven't done in a while. So I was asleep by maybe 2:30 or so and woke up just after 7 this morning just because my body is adjusting in some ways to my work schedule. My mind still doesn't wake up until at least 10 or two cups of coffee into the day (whichever is first, maybe), but my body can't seem to sleep in past 7 anymore without at least an "I'm-late-for-work!"-panic and an "Oh,-it's-an-off-day"-roll-over.

Anyway, I wasn't planning to wake until after 9, but I decided that an early start couldn't hurt me and it would give me time to finally water my garden (which I've been putting off since Thursday) before hitting the road. After deciding that I was running too late to try out the new church before going to my Gramps', I was all excited that I was going to get moving by ten-thirty and make it here earlier than I have in a while. So I went to the gas station to check my tire pressure and fluid levels...

I just got my oil changed two weeks ago or so, and knew that my power steering was running low because the Ru has been a little persnickity on his turns and parking.. but I've checked my oil twice since the change and the levels were just fine, and I did have power steering fluid, just not a great deal, and I've driven vehicles without power steering before -- now that I've got muscles, it should be that much easier, right?

But today when I checked my oil, it was completely out. Then I noticed in the rear-left corner of the hood-wall and engine innards: a bunch of weird dark brown lines, like someone had taken tarrish paint and flung it off a paint brush inside my hood.

Then I noticed that it was wet, whatever it was, and was EVERYWHERE in that section. Large glops of it and big drips of it along with the little paint-brush flung looking lines up near the top.

It looked like gloopy oil, but I couldn't figure out where it was coming from and I couldn't see anything that caused alarm -- the boot on my CV Axle was just fine, so it wasn't the joint grease on that. (Forgive me if I get the terms wrong, I can see the part in my mind, I just don't actually know what these things are called)..

It hit me hard, though -- I knew my muffler and at least one section of my exhaust pipe needed to be replaced, and I knew that the place I took it to for that also said my catalytic converter was what caused all the rattling and also needed to be replaced. I know that my clutch cable has been needing to be replaced for a while, because people just keep putting spacers on it to stretch it out, and the silley guy who replaced my clutch when I first got to Jax didn't replace the cable while he was in there.

And I've already gotten my CVAxle, clutch, brakes and tires replaced. So I really didn't want something completely unexpected to be wrong with my car. But the worst part was the day -- I wasn't just heading to my Gramps' just to see him and Gramma Jan or just for the fun of it -- nope. Friday is Gramps' birthday, and last Wednesday was (my older brother) John's birthday. So we were all going to meet here (Gramps and Gramma Jan, John, Peter, Sloane, Mom and Mary, and myself) to celebrate both birthdays. The one task I actually accomplished yesterday was their present shopping.

So, despite the fact that it was now almost 11 and I had really not wanted to show up late on my first Sunday at this new church (figuring maybe I would've missed all the worship music and that was one of the things I had been particularly interested in seeing there) .. despite that, I went on down there because it was the only place I could think of to go. And after the serviceI found Terri, the woman I mentioned from last Wednesday. To make a long story short, her husband was able to take me to get some oil to bandaid my car with for the moment so we could get it to a good repair shop (the one Terri and her family use), and then take me to the airport to get a rental car.

In the meantime, I managed to spill coffee on both of my shirts -- the one I was wearing and the one I had packed for tomorrow.

"Well this day's been crazy, but everything's happened on schedule.. from the mmphhmpphpmph to the coffee I spilled on my shirt." -- Derek Webb

(I think that line is from the rain and the mud..??)

I got on the road, in my brand-new Nissan Sentra rental car, around 2:30pm.

And then, because of Bike Week in Daytona, I decided to take the scenic route down instead of my normal path through Daytona and Orlando. Except that it was a beautiful Sunday and EVERYONE was driving. Slowly, at that. And every light turned red when they saw me coming. (To match my fingernails, perhaps?)

I joined my grandfather and family for dinner at our usual place around 7:30.

There is NO WAY it should ever take five hours from Jacksonville to Lake Placid in non-Thanksgiving traffic. And because this peppy little Sentra drives a whole lot different than my Albert, I kept finding myself going much faster than I thought I was -- on the way home, assuming less traffic and less lights, I'll be using the car's cruise control. (Albert's doesn't work, but I'm used to how he drives.)

Anyway -- after that, it was all pleasant .. my niece was especially bubbly this evening and especially happy to see me for some reason. My twin brother was wearing the Blue Angels shirt I got him for our birthday -- mom and Mary say they made him wear it "or else" .. which makes me feel like when hypothetical old Aunt Edna makes little Jimmy a really ugly, itchy sweater for Christmas and poor little Jimmy has to wear it every time he sees her until he "accidentally" rips a big hole in the elbow or (if he's not so clever) outgrows it past squeezing-into-one-last-time.

I'm staying here tonight and then will head back tomorrow with the time being flexible based on what's up with my car. It is nice to know that I'm in this peaceful, relaxing place and tomorrow I'll be able to sit on the patio in the zero-gravity chair (hopefully there'll be a breeze .. Gramps weighs even less than I do these days and keeps the house super-duper hot and still wears jackets) and look out over the lake and read my book and maybe even journal. (Yup, all the stuff I don't put here.)

Hopefully my little Al, jr has some minor problem (apart from the others mentioned) and will be ready to go in no time. Otherwise, I'm going to be seriously out of luck trying to manage my life in Jacksonville without a car. But hey, at least I'm not in school this semester and everything I do outside of work is in walking distance....

(0) comments
Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I went back to the church I mentioned last week and it was a good service again and the dude there wasn't a problem at all (even when I was sitting right next to him because I was talking to my friend Terri who knows him ... we said hi to eachother, but that was all) and I managed to not develop any crushes on any of the guys there, even the ones from London (which is very helpful since I've given up guys at least for Lent and maybe that commitment I had a few years ago is coming back) and I'll certainly be going back next week. I don't know that I've found a new church -- this one really is a little too charismatic overall for me (no offense to my more charismatic friends, but ya'll already know that's just not me) and I.. yah.

But even if this isn't my new church home, it's a darn good place to start, and I'm really glad I've gone. It makes me feel good that I'm finally back at a place where I'm not only leaving my house either for work or my bars. And it makes me feel good to SEE community, and to be a part of it as much as I will allow myself, and to see the same faces every week knowing that the one bond between us isn't the Navy or needing a place to hang out .. it is a love for Christ and a willingness to accept His grace. It is wanting to know God, wanting to serve Him. That concept is so foreign to the military, and I've started to adapt some of the Navy's thoughts .. the idea that each raise is at least a bigger paycheck, that staying in 'till retirement is benifical monitarily and therefore worth it.

I was talking to Terri tonight, whose husband is retired from the Navy. I mentioned to her that I just wasn't happy there.

She said "You know, after what I went through, losing my daughter... money doesn't make me happy. I could be in a ramshackle hut for all that it mattered. It really puts it in perspective, and it just doesn't matter."

I just doesn't matter. Not that much. Not enough for me to be unhappy, to be so burnt out. Not enough for me to lose time with people that I love in order to provide for them comfortably.

I talked with her about how I sometimes I think about the good things that I could do if I made more -- about some of the good things I'm doing now just having a steady income. But also about all of the good things I used to do that I can't anymore because I'm so burnt out .. about the parts of ME and not just my wallet that I used to be able to give to people. When I lived in Lynchburg and had no money, there were people who knew that I would give away every penny I had if I really felt like it would help, but they also saw how I gave of myself and any possessions that I had. And now that I don't give of my time, I don't give of my money as much either .. I'm too busy trying to use it to fill voids, and writing checks or setting up allotments to charities just seems so empty. It doesn't feel like I'm actually doing anything.

The money isn't worth it.

So my supervisor's supervisor's supervisor (that is, the LT Commander that is basically three levels above me in my chain of command) came in today and asked me about my officer's package and when I needed to set up interviews and stuff.

He was one of the most encouraging people my first time around, always asking for updates. It is perhaps mostly because of him that I actually put in a commissioning package.

I told him today, more bluntly than I had before, that I don't believe I'm going to reapply. That I had not yet decided to reapply. His response was "didn't you decide that last year when you put the package in?" I agreed that yes, last year I did want to get selected and I did want to pursue that path, but since then I'd seen a lot more of the Navy and (more significantly) a lot more of myself.

I started to say that I just don't know that I'd be happier on that side, but he got called away abou when I got through "hap".

I may be hearing more about it over the next couple of days. I may not. If I were them, I would've given up hope on me a while ago .. I'm a stubborn little stinker.

I've developed this permanent furrow in my brow that I hope will go away during my leave in April.

Of course, Rosie Thomas is playing at Jammin' Java on Friday the 14th right when I'll be back here and done with leave. And I can't find a tour date listing for her. Grr.

Ah, well.

The furrow will fade, the muscles will relax a little. I will take things more lightly, and people will take me more lightly.

Maybe by the time I'm 40 I'll be free again.

(0) comments
Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Am I even speaking English anymore? Looking back at my recent (and not terribly recent) blog entries, I'm realizing that they have these weird statements and that while I was typing them I must have skipped over a few sentences in my mind so that what ended up being posted just doesn't make sense.

Sorry about that. I think it's been a little like that for me in my verbal communication, too.

Before I moved to VA, I was spending one of my last days in FL with Elise, and she jumped on her computer to check her e-mail right quick, and I laid down on her bed to relax a little while she was doing that. We were still talking though, but then I mostly fell asleep and so I started responding out loud with things that I was half-dreaming, too. So she figured out that I was mostly asleep and stopped talking and I drifted off the rest of the way and of course felt terrible when I woke up, because that was quality time with her I could have had and instead I fell asleep. I sort of related to the disciples when Jesus was praying the garden, but on an obviously much less dramatic level.

So anyway, my posts kinda look like that day with Elise .. like part of my brain is asleep or maybe just elsewhere. Hmm.

If I still really wanted to be a writer, I'd need to get over that, eh?

I think I still do want to be a writer. I think now, while I have financial security and a more certain timeframe for how long that lasts, would be a good time to work on building those skills and also getting some connections. Just imagine, in three and a half years when I'm getting out, I could maybe already have a regular writing job. That would be rad.

Since everyone keeps asking me what I would do if I got out, I should just start saying that to get them to hush up. I mean, I've got three and a half years before I get out, and no matter how much they try to make it sound like I'm not going to be able to find a job on the outside, I seriously only joined to build my resume and have some financial security for a while.

I have plenty of options when I get out, though I do want to be well on the way to them while I've still got a steady paycheck.

So that's that.

(0) comments

K, so if everyone in the Navy gets trained on gas masks at boot camp, and if everyone in the Navy can be issued one .. in other words, if *I* know how to use a gas mask and *I* had to get all kinds of training on it, and *I* can be issued one anytime -- wouldn't the friggin' Counter-Terrorist Unit all have them at every desk? And wouldn't their Situation Room of all places be fully stocked with gas masks and maybe even suits?

What the snot?!

(For those of you who don't watch the show "24", now you know why I don't anymore either.)

(0) comments
Thursday, March 02, 2006

That song below is a Pedro the Lion song (as credited) that I absolutely love and that hits me in a deep place every time I hear it because it is where I am.

And Justin McRoberts opened his portion of the Ash Wednesday service last night with his version of that song.

And it hit me how much it really is where I am. And how it is why I have not gone to many church services of various sorts over the past few months, honestly.

In my ballroom dancing class last semester, there was a woman named Carol who talked to me sometimes about Christianity. She invited me to church once when she came over for practice, and I declined.. part of it, honestly, was because I didn't really feel as connected on a deep level to her as I think she did to me .. the bigger part, though, as I told her upright: "I just need to take a break for a while, which is completely rare for me. I cannot handle Church right now. I need to need it, and I don't right now -- I'm too needed. I need to be without it for a while until I cannot exist without it again."

She said she didn't understand and invited me again. I declined again and have mostly declined ever since until one of the most incredible Christians I have ever known (from work, no less), invited me to the church he goes to a couple of weeks ago.

I went to their Wednesday night service that week and got emotionally assaulted by this guy there that bordered on the psycho-charismatic type who talked about how God had put us in eachother's life -- within the first hour and a half he knew me, btw. For all he knows, I really am an axe-murderer.. but because he felt some ounce of attraction to me, apparently God was telling him directly (and not me, mind you) that he and I would be together.


So the next week I was intending fully to go but was genuinely ill that entire day and ended up coming home and getting in my PJ's and resting all night. The next Wednesday was last night and was Justin's concert and so I did not go again.

Next Wednesday, I will go to their service again and will stay far away from that guy and make my opinion on that matter very, very clear. And hopefully when I come home there will not be a pile of fecus on my door as there was that first Wednesday, coincidentally I can only hope.

So now I am going to go to bed and hopefully refresh for what will be a very long day (as usual now) tomorrow.. but boy is it fun to have this laptop, to have a computer at home again! It's funney for me to be learning about this stuff when I wasn't before . . . but this just makes it more apparent how many years it has really been since I last had primary control of a computer (maybe '97 for reals and '02 of a ghetto version) and how much of a gap has come into play since.

And I'm still adjusting to typing on this keyboard, too.

"I still want to trust you...."

(0) comments

"I could hear the church bells ringing
they pealed aloud your praise
the member's faces were smiling
with their hands outstretched to shake
it's true they did not move me
my heart was hard and tired
their perfect fire annoyed me
i could not find you anywhere
could someone please tell me the story
of sinners ransomed from the fall
i still have never seen you, and some days . . .
i don't love you at all

the devoted were wearing bracelets
to remind them why they came
some concrete motivation
when the abstract could not do the same
but if all that's left is duty, i'm falling on my sword
at least then, i would not serve an unseen distant lord

could someone please tell me story
of sinners ransomed from the fall
i still have never seen you, and somedays
i don't love you at all
if this only a test
i hope that i'm passing, 'cause i'm losing steam
but i still want to trust you

peace be still (x3)"

Secret of the Easy Yoke by Pedro the Lion

(0) comments
Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Boy is it tough at work these days. A good tough in a way, but just tough overall.

I went from being the lowest ranking person in my office and one of the lowest in the building/command to suddenly being the third-highest in my office and still fairly low around the building/command.

I am suddenly supposed to go from being not allowed to tell anyone to do anything, including even asking unless somehow I perceive correctly that they are in the mood to be asked very respectfully -- to being the one who has to somehow convince almost everyone in my office that they want to do the things we have to do, and that they need to do them correctly. I go from being completely out of the loop to now when I'm supposed to initiate, track, and close the loop. I go from being trained to training everyone.

In a good tough way, I said above, because I can hope that it will make me an unbeatable supervisor whether I stay in or finish out my current contract and depart. It can, I hope, reflect well on me for the remainder of my military career, whether that is 3 and a half years or 18 and a half.

It sure is tough, though. I never did quite get caught up from drowning and being overwhelmed in the fall. I'm just not cut out for this type of pay office -- but then, is anyone? There's a part of me that wants to take it as a compliment that they apparently think that I can handle all of this -- and then the bigger part of me that says "what the snot are you thinking?!? Can you stop thinking so highly of me for a moment so that I can get some ME time and some of the benefits I'm supposed to get from the military?" Not that they're stopping me in the slightest -- overall, they're trying to encourage me as much as possible. Unfortunately, that's just.. well, difficult to do for someone like me.

Anyway, there is great news: I got a laptop! And it's got WiFi and I live in a neighborhood with coffeeshops and such out the wazoo so that I can connect a lot more conveniently. Yay!!!

Before you get too excited, though, keep in mind this isn't an instant "hey, I can get online all the time now" kinda thing. I still get sick of computers after using them at work all day, though it is nice to be able to use them for Me stuff instead of work, too. And I still have a lot going on in my life (in a completely nothing-to-be-envious-of kinda way) and stuff. But I do intend to blog much more often prolly.

And no, I have no intention of getting on MySpace. In fact, I plan to continue avoiding it overall just as much as I ever have -- like the stinkin' plague. However, I will be able to catch a couple of local event update sites that I've been sadly missing over the past few months since I heard of them.

Meanwhile, I'm off to a Justin McRoberts concert tonight once I finish my laundry at least mostly, and then tomorrow it's back to the grinder and I hopefully will make it through the day just fine.

Please pray for me. Really, I keep feeling like such a turdhead -- everything else in my personal, Jacksonville life is fine enough right now, but work really blows me away every day because every night I forget why it's so draining and I try to figure out what part of my attitude is making it worse and I can't remember why I get so exhausted... And then I go to work the next day with a great attitude in the morning and thing after thing happens and I feel like I've been run over every single workday since maybe September 8th or so.

Like I said, though, things are decent outside of work -- I still completely love my place and I've been putting in lots of time in the garden (and boy are my arms tired!) and I love my local friends and my local hangouts and I miss my Lynchburgers and my various other friends (which would be all of you, unless of course some local friends or shipmates have stumbled across this site -- I don't advertise it locally) and I really hope to be able to visit DC in early April, by the way.

Barbara, Bernard, Tracy, Beth and Ron, et al: Hope to see you then!

Everyone else -- soon. I need to start a regular rotation of travel and visiting various groups.

Hey, how crazy would it be of me to drop a leave chit for Cornerstone Festival, Illinois this year? And who would be there? Let me know in whatever contact format you have for me -- if enough dearly beloveds will be there, I might just get crazy enough to try to make it work.

Love ya'll!

(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