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

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

My class this semester is gonna be out-friggin-standing. I'm really excited!

Even if I still need to figure out about what I'm gonna do to record House....

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Why I like used cars better than new cars, reasons 73-77:

73 -- Used cars are tried-and-true ... just like older computer OSes or software, I don't want to be the one to find all the glitches for the company.

74 -- Used cars are, of course, usually less expensive. Sometimes the price difference is insufficient enough that the new car is a much better value, but sometimes it's not.

75 -- Getting stuck in the mud or having a vehicle covered in upwards of five layers of dust at Cornerstone Music Festival (should I ever make it back to Cornerstone Mustic Festival) is amusing in a used car.

76 -- With an old and beat-up enough used car, the worry about having it broken into or stolen is significantly less.

77 -- Used cars have stories to tell and feel all homey and broken in.

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I mentioned in my last blog that my car had some issues on Monday. Which of course wasn't the first time, nor the last.

Friday found me leaving my house early enough to stop by the commissary to restock the coffee mess. Except that I got just under halfway there and my car decided to die. First the radio started blinking out --- which being in the middle of Jacksonville, I didn't figure was just a signal problem, so I figured maybe the radio station was having trouble. But then my car started not wanting to move so much, crying and carrying on and asking me to give it a piggyback to the next parking lot.

So I pulled off to the side of the road, shut my car off, took a few deep breaths, and worked on figuring out what to do from there. Of course, I had no idea. So I tried to restart my car, thinking maybe he'd taken a few deep breaths as well and was ready to try again. (I told him first that he's just a little too heavy now to give piggybacks to, but that I was very proud of him for eating all his veggies and proteins.) He didn't want to start. I promised him ice cream. He still didn't want to start.

I sure as heck can climb a mountain for some really good ice cream, but even a whole container of Starbucks Java Chip wasn't enough for Al, jr on Friday morning. I figured as hot as it was outside, it would be extra tempting. Alas.

So after getting a jump and having the battery die again immediately after pulling onto the road (so much so that my hazard lights wouldn't even work) and having a few random strangers help me push my car out of the major intersection in which it was stuck.... after all that, I hailed a cab (this isn't New York, folks, and there aren't cabs everywhere that you can just hail.. but I was in uniform and she was kind enough to help me out) and made it to class literally just in time, with a few seconds left. I guess I'd made it clear enough throughout the week how much I wanted to be there and how much I wanted to take with me from the class that they knew I wasn't just skating into being late.

Anyway, Friday after class I was car shopping. And then getting a new altanator for my car. And then car shopping on Saturday. Sunday I rested but did some internet research. Monday (yesterday) I went shopping again after work. Today I started my class, so I haven't done anything more, but at work today everyone had plenty of advice for me. Tomorrow I'll be super-continuing because I would really like to have a functional car for this weekend so I can go visit Gramps.

It looks like I'm most likely going to get a Corrolla. NEW. Yes, folks, I'm going to spend a significant amount of money to have a reliable vehicle which my coworkers and friends will probably not be able to make fun of. How nuts. But that's the next post.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I'm in a leadership class this week, that in the civilian world would equate to a low-level management course. It focuses on the abilities needed to make decisions, delegate appropriately, and counsel responsibily in a work center with up to maybe 15 subordinates or so. It is the level of leadership before which one becomes a Leading Petty Officer, if one so becomes, and at which one has the authority to get into the nitty-gritty of the day-to-day but is still part of the nitty-gritty himself.

This is what I needed. All the leave in the world (and with as many good results and events as my two trips this month have had) could not have made me more ready to go back to my command than this class has. My leave gave me a much needed break, and it helped me get out of the office and rest instead of working overtime (we don't get paid for overtime, btw) and drowning in paperwork. However, it also made me miss the freedoms involved in civilian life and enjoy the relaxation enough to not look forward to restarting my workaholic image.

However, this leadership class is shorter (except there's a good amoung of reading and planning each night) than my average workday, so I'm out of the office and on a different base even, but am still wearing my uniform every day, still in a military environment and going by my hard-earned rank and last name. I'm speaking the jargon to people who actually understand it, and I'm learning the Navy style of leadership and the details of the methods that are used within the military for rewards and discipline that I had never learned as a civilian.

It's making me excited about the potential that *I* have as an individual to go back and make my working environment better, and to face whatever new command I may find myself at next as a competent leader and greater assett.

This, again, is what I needed. So very badly. I am enjoying this class so much and I'm excited about the Navy again. We're just over halfway through and already it has done wonders on the significant burnout I've been experiencing.

All that after a very embarassing first day when my car had issues on the way there and I was fortunately able to get into the class after it started.

We've got a room full of great shipmates supporting eachother, though, and we're having a wonderful time learning together and helping eachother with the GINORMOUS body of experiences we all bring to the table.

And we've got great facilitators leading the class and asking great questions instead of some classroom styles that result in routine nods and glazed-over eyes. This class is active and exciting and all of our faces light up at least a few times a day.

Boy, am I glad to be there!!

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Can I be a civilian again? And while I'm at it, can I be independently wealthy-enough to not need to work and yet be able to travel and enjoy sushi and ice cream all I want?

'Cause if that were the case, then on nights like tonight where I don't want to work the next day, I could just .. not.

The end.

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Lindsay and Garren and I have had quite the week-ish. We went to dinner Saturday, church, lunch, and the movies on Sunday, an otherwise just chilled around my house until Monday mid-day when we left for Orlando. We met up with my mother, Mary, and the Sloaners (one of the more common nicknames for my niece) at the timeshare in the Disney Resorts area and went out to dinner at the Rainforest Cafe that evening. My niece has gotten even more friendly than ever, not hesitating to start up conversations with everyone (especially her peers) with whom she comes into contact. At five-and-a-half years old, she's got an impressive vocabulary and an incredible ability to think for herself. Of course, this translates into a rather stubborn child who sometimes comes across as quite rude, just as it did for me at her age .... and sometimes still does.

She told me about a year ago that while she uses all of her brain, I'm not as smart as her, because I don't use all of my brain. I reminded her of that during this trip, and she said it was still true. .. .... Nice.

The thing is that she doesn't realize that she isn't all-knowing just yet, and she doesn't realize how incorrect and even hurtful things she says can be. She gets offended when people laugh "with" her at the cute things she says when she's in her matter-of-fact mode and not saying them to be cute. Especially me and my grown-up friends. She (as I did at her age) sees herself as our peer and doesn't realize that she's not a grown-up. Of course, the fact that every stranger who ever meets her tells her how smart she is may have something to do with this....

Anyway, it's always an adventure being around her, seeing what her inexperience and wise-beyond-her-years brain will come up with next.

She made one of the workers at Sea World on Tuesday think that I was using her to hit on him when she asked him "can me and my Aunt work here when we grow up?"

At the timeshare, she had a Snow White playset with little figurines of the characters. She pulled out one of the Dwarfs and said "This is Sleepy." Either Garren or myself asked her if she could name all seven of them.

"No," she said. "They already have names!"

Lindsay was so impressed with the innocence and unusual thinking in that response that she's told everyone since about it, and still laughs when anything reminds her of it.

Sloane has also apparently made it her goal in life to tell every female to whom she's introduced that said female is beautiful. That's the first thing she said directly to Lindsay, and she told a few of the animal trainers performing in the shows at Sea World the same thing.

Anyway.. our trip has included Sea World, Pleasure Island, Joe's Crab Shack, Steak and Shake, and a few shopping excursions. Tomorrow, we'll be going to Blizzard Beach, and then I'll drive back to Jacksonville to get ready for working this weekend. (By tomorrow, I mean later today, since it's currently the weeeeee hours of the morning.)

We're staying with her Aunt outside of Orlando, who has this incredible McMansion with a heated pool and a hot tub, a huge HD-TV, an all these nice, relaxing features all over ... plus really yummy homecooked meals. So two of our evenings here have been just swimming and relaxing in the pool, using the pool floats like frogs use branches sometimes when they hold on with their front legs and their back legs just dangle off. I also did a few laps underwater tonight, which made me feel better that my lungs are still capable of it.

It's been an interesting week and it feels like eons since I left Boston, yet I've got about 15 more hours until the one-week mark after my flight out.

I've got two days at work this weekend and then a full week of the leadership class in which I'm enrolled for next week. So I'll only really be in the office for the hecticness of drill weekend and won't have too much time to rehash my trips with my coworkers, plus that they'll be filling me in on what all I missed. But it should be fine, and then I'll be back to the full work schedule when I get done with the class. And at the very end of the month, I'll also be starting an evening college class in Human Resources/Management type stuff every Tuesday (which means I'll have to get my VCR back to picking up Fox so I can record House .. why did they move it to earlier?!?) and I'm excited about that. It'll be a full semester, but should be very good.

I'm off to sleep now, later than I planned, and looking forward to what promises to be a great day of fun and sun tomorrow, and hanging out in the evening with my friend Pat as our last chance before she leaves for NY and eventually the Phillipines.

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Sunday, August 13, 2006

After crying my way through last Sunday and most of Monday, I didn't have much left for my time in Boston, except a little bit during the wake and the pre-funeral visit at the funeral home, and the Funeral Mass (my Aunt and her family being Catholic).

Plus, I was so distracted by catching up with the surviving family and finding such easy connections still existing between my Uncle and my Cousins and myself. I had a great time meeting my cousin Rob's girlfriend and jumping right into a close friendship with her. I enjoyed my time reconnecting with my father and seeing him for a longer period of time than I had since I was 16.

It all didn't really hit me until the plane rides home, and especially while I was waiting for my ride at the airport when I changed the cell phone listing from "Auntie Jo N Bob" (that was the longest that would fit) to "Uncle Bob".

It took me about five months to delete Breon's number out of my phone when he passed away almost two years ago... maybe part of that is that pressing delete is a little more permanent and difficult than just editing the name. But either way, this time I knew that it wouldn't help me to put it off at all so I changed it there at the airport and cried.

It was very late when I got home and I went straight to bed. I was poor company to my friend who gave me the ride, though, I'm sure.. and have been sad most of the day today even though Lindsay and her boyfriend are here now from the Burg and we're going to Orlando this week. (We've been planning this trip for two months now, so the timing ended up being good in that it will help me cope with everything and move on with good memories of life, but the timing was, of course, not planned with that need in mind.)

It's all settled in now, though, I think.

And I think I'm still going to try to go there for Thanksgiving, and hopefully bring my brothers and maybe also my niece up there with me. And I think I'm going to request to be stationed in that area next. I'd always considered it home through all the years and all the places I lived, but it was always a sentimental consideration, and didn't have any backing in how I would enjoy the place as an adult. On a practical level, it's very different there for grown-ups than for 6 years olds. This visit, though, helped secure in me how much I really want to get there next.. I requested to go up there last time, but was in the "show her who's boss" phase of my Navy placement, and got sent here instead. So this time around I should have at least a little more luck getting what I ask for.

It's so nice to have my family there, to be reconnected with them in a way that I don't think will be able to stay away from for so long again. Forget so long... it won't be easy to keep away for more than a year or two max anymore. I don't know how I did it before.

Praise the Lord for renewed relationships, for family and extended family, for learning new things about who I am.


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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Top two funney things people said during my trip that would make sense here... (in other words, situations for which you didn't have to be there):

I have a twenty year-old non-blood cousin named Ashley .. that is, she's the cousin of my cousins, the daughter of my Uncle's brother.

We were sitting at the reception, and I was in my uniform for the Funeral Mass and the reception, and so there was lots of conversing about military life and my future plans throughout the day. Ashley, it seems, is very similar in some of the more surfacey thoughts to how I was before I came in... horrified by the early start on the day (which isn't even THAT early, though it's still not my preference at all), against having to wear a uniform every day (we went over the earring regulations, too, which always surprises people how restrictive they are), and having to move so often to wherever the Navy so desires to send you, and to do whatever job the Navy so desires to assign you.

I had gone over what it was like going from arrival night at bootcamp through the next three months in uniform or Navy-issues items, including sleeping in Physical Training gear (the big Navy teeshirt and the really ugly and uncomfortable running shorts), and how even now since I wear my various uniforms at least forty hours a week and sometimes more, my civilian clothes wardrobe is much larger than it needs to be...

So a little while later, we're sitting at a different table with a similar crowd, and her father comes up behind her and teasingly asks if I had convinced her to join. She turns to him and asks in horror, "Dad, did you know they're not even allowed to wear CLOTHES?!"

As we all laughed and I said that we most certainly did have to wear clothes, jut not the clothes we would necessarily choose all of the time, she half-rolled her eyes and corrects herself:

"Well, you know what I mean.. they're not allowed to wear skivvies."

Although she re-corrected herself to "civvies" right afterwards, we were all turning red with laughter and she decided it may be good to not talk for a bit...


The day before that, we were in the reception line at the wake, my Uncle and my Cousins and my father and I.. and my cousins and I were talking in a little group at the end of the line, and this little elderly woman (whom I assume was a friend of my Aunt's, but I never quite caught the connection) was speaking with my Uncle and then came over to us... she expressed her condolences to the boys and then indicated me and asked if I was Scott's wife.

We all laughed some and they introduced me and we had some more conversation, and then she walked away.

Cousin Scott also walked away at this point to say hi to someone, and Cousin Rob (who is also my Godfather) and his girlfriend and also my father were standing nearby still when I said to my Uncle that the little woman had asked if I was Scott's wife.

My Uncle's response?

"Not yet."

As the rest of us were laughing at that, my Uncle says "well, I guess there is a bit of an age difference."

My Cousin Rob and I both said "and, also, there's the whole Cousin thing..."

We're all laughing a good amount and my Uncle just gives up (he didn't quite get what was really being said just yet) and walked away, and so I said I know I lived in Virginia and I say ya'll, but goodness... my dad says "he wants grandkids, but I didn't think he wanted them THAT badly" and I reply that I'm sure he'd prefer grandkids with all their limbs.

So that became the joke for the rest of the trip..

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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Two and a half weeks ago, I called my Auntie Jo in Boston to see about coming up for Thanksgiving.

She said it just really made her day (she said it quite a few times) that I would be able to come up, that she'd finally see me for the first time in 15 years.

I was so, so, so excited about going up there for Thanksgiving.

She had been in the hospital, but when I spoke to her, she'd already been in the rehab part for a few days and would be home by Saturday. She sounded good, better than I remembered her ever sounding .. her voice wasn't as raspy as usual. We talked about who was whose Godparents (Auntie Jo and Uncle Bob were my older brother's Godparents, then their sons was Godfather to my twin brother and me) and we talked about some family news up there and my military career and some other chitchat. I started not being able to understand her too well at the end because the connection was crackly the whole time but getting worse at the end, and I decided that it was getting too frustrating saying "what?" so much and having her straining to repeat herself. So I listened as best I could and eventually it was time for her to go, and so we said goodbye and I went on being very, very excited about my plans to visit.

Today, at about 0842, while I was sitting at my desk in my Working White uniform and settling in after my morning cup of coffee and my attempts to hit the ground running from the 0730 start of the workday.... I saw a new e-mail in my inbox from my mother (which was an e-mail from my father which she forwarded to me) with the subject line of Aunt Mary Jo.

Auntie Jo passed away yesterday. I guess sometime before going home from rehab, she took a turn for the worse and didn't recover. Her husband and sons were with her, and I know she's done suffering now.

But I burst out crying when I read that, and disappeared into one of the unmanned offices and it took a while before I was cried-out. It was made very clear to me that I could go home for the day, but I didn't want to because what would I do at home? The funeral plans were going to be made during the day, so I would just go home and cry a lot more and then sleep and then cry... and I was fixin' to have all evening and my two off-days to do that. So I decided it would be better to be there and give my mind a chance to focus on other things as a break in between, and be able to grieve more thoroughly not worrying about work had or had not been done.

It hurts so bad. I was so excited about finally seeing her. Once, when I was planning on driving up there from VA, she said that since she hadn't seen me in so long, she just kept picturing a ten year old driving a car. She said even though she could hear my voice all grown up and she'd gotten several pictures and letters from me over the years, she just still thought of me as the little girl she last saw.

I looked forward to being with her as a grown-up, having grown-up conversations. Having my Aunt there in person with me in real life, face-to-face, to bestow all the womanly wisdom on me that she'd been storing up all her life. She was always this really special woman to me, wise and peaceful and ... unbeatable.

When my cousin told me she was in the hospital, I said that I could come up anytime, immediately, if needed. He said she was in the rehab section and doing better and I shouldn't need to rush. I kinda wish I had called a week earlier when she was still bad off so that I would have rushed up there just in time for her to be recovering... Maybe.

I don't have many family members, and I'm losing so many of them.... I really think she was, in an odd way, maybe the one I felt closest to even with our infrequent contact. It was like, even though she still pictured me as ten, we could always pick up as if we were never out of touch. And even though all the trips I tried to plan never worked out, I always knew that I COULD go, that I was always very welcome and that I was a real part of their family.

I wish I had gone there instead of DC in April.. or that I had made it work out before. I mean, I'm not beating myself up as if I just neglected to make the right decision, I just wish I could have not let 15 years and every moment of my opportunity to see her slip away.

She's been sick for so long, and I've known for so long that I couldn't take that time for granted, I couldn't assume she'd be there in a few months to see when it was more convenient... but something else was always happening or whatever the case was. And when I put in a request to go up last year, that one got disapproved. The one chance I really made myself to see her and an outside force stopped it.

Maybe God was protecting me from remembering her other than healthy and strong and peaceful.

I'm leaving on Tuesday for her funeral, Lord willing, and I am so grateful to hopefully be able to go. At work today, I was thinking that I wouldn't go, because I didn't want that to be the way I saw my cousins and uncle for the first time in so long... I figured that I could say goodbye and get my closure at her gravesite just as well as at her funeral. But the truth is that I couldn't get the same closure, and I want to hear what everyone has to say about her, and I want to be there with my uncle and my cousins and even my father during this time. Sure, I haven't seen them in fifteen years, but like my Aunt, I always felt more connected to them than I could explain.

I was so excited about going to Boston, finally, when I was making my plans for Thanksgiving... this was not how or why I wanted to be going. But I'm glad to have the chance, and grateful to be able to say goodbye.

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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