C'est La Vie
What a beautiful piece of heartache this has all turned out to be. Lord knows we've learned the hard way all about healthy apathy. And I use these words pretty loosely. There's so much more to life than words..
Things I love
Saturday, July 28, 2007
This is my breakfast in New York City ... went to Lenny's, had an H&H whole wheat begal, toasted, with cream cheese, and a moccachino. Mmmmmmm!
Sunset as I entered NYC on the train. What a nice route to take!
This is another one of those cloud moments, on the way back from Kansas a couple weeks ago now... I love clouds!
I was walking down the hallway on the second floor, to the stairs, and I stopped to buy myself something from the vending machine. I was wearing one of my floor-length hippie skirts and a flowey top, had my hair down (perhaps with a headband), my backpack over one shoulder, and my beverage in one hand. I just felt free, independent, and adult. It was that moment that I always remember as the moment of crossing over, realizing that I was on my own now and really could do anything I chose to do if I had the means (even creatives ones) of doing it. In other words, my age was no longer really stopping me, or my functionality. I was no longer a child.
This is how I felt walking down the streets of NYC yesterday from Penn Station to our hotel in Times Square. I really enjoyed it, I really felt free. It was much better to have the alone experience on my way to meet someone than just alone, so I am glad my cousin keeps putting me through these drills...
I bought a couple of clothing items in NY just so I could say "this is the shirt I bought in New York City", basically. And something for my niece, of course. I would've loved to get stuff for my brothers and everyone else, but there just really wasn't time for that on this trip.
My cousin Scott and I got together with my cousin Rob (who is also my Godfather) and his girlfriend Shavona. We four have such great times (and I know they three do and they two do and they with others do, but I like to think it's different when I'm there, and I like to think the difference is positive or nuetral at the very least), always giving my stomach a good belly-laugh workout.
I had lunch with a friend on the way to the train station on Thursday, which was really nice... and my time with my Uncle in Boston was fabulous, as always. So it's been a continuingly great trip. And now I'm at Caren and John's and have finally met their younger daughter and seen their older daughter much older than last time, and it's great seeing them after all these years.... plus talking military with one of the few people who both knew me before and has had recent military experience. Like me, John does not plan on staying in -- and actually, he's already done with his four years and more-or-less a civilian now. It's so nice talking with people who can really understand all that and not give me lines about why I should stay in, or agree with me that I may be done after my contract but spout off the wrong reasons for getting out....
And things may be coming together really well for the return trip, and I'm looking forward to seeing my father in South Florida (flying in for the half-week) and my twin brother if something doesn't stop him from coming to see me (and I can't imagine what would), and my mother will be back from Haiti, and there we go...
For now, time for bed.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
I am just bubbling over with excitement and with how great this trip has been so far.... and that's impressive since I am SO-not-a-bubbly person. But that's the only phrase that really works for this... I am bubbling over.
It has been amazing. It has been out-friggin-standing...
One of my main concerns was that I would be so whirl-windy on this trip that I wouldn't really get to just relax and enjoy my company and surroundings at various points. That has not been the case at all. There are people I would have liked to have spent more time with, yes, and there are people I didn't get to see at all, but I have gotten to see and spend time with SO many people (most of whom I hadn't seen in two to three-plus years) and it has been Quality Time. It has been great. I have relaxed a lot of the time, and I have enjoyed it all.
A main reason I wanted to drive this trip was so that I could spend a lot of Me time, just driving along and thinking a lot, processing things I haven't been able to process just yet. .. I've always had a connection with driving (as so many people do) and felt at home on the road. This trip has only increased that. Travel is in my blood, and it's stronger than ever now... which I suppose is really good timing.
I have picked up not only an Army deck of cards while I was in Kansas, but also a knot-tying instructional deck and a Navy ship recognition deck today at the USS CONSTITUTION gift shop. I have picked up several other decks over the last couple of months. Why so many decks of cards? Because with enough decks of cards, you can get lots of people involved in playing Nerts, of course!
And with such an exciting week ahead of me, I am just bubbling over.
So, a couple of pictures before I go to bed...
My brothers, and the one who looks less like me outright would be my twin:
Then we have my niece, playing Woockit, since she takes after me so much:
And, finally, this is the picture of Marblehead Harbor I've blogged about before, the one that is home to me. This picture is still the background on my computer and my phone, and is the magnet already on its way to my new command where it will be on or near my desk, just as it was in Jax.... the picture I gave Peter as an invite. I won't be seeing Marblehead on this trip, but it's not just there that is home to me.... and since I saw Portsmouth last night (which is very similar in many ways), I feel like I was there anyway. So, here is that picture:
Monday, July 23, 2007
I am, meanwhile, more than halfway through my trip, time-wise if not distance-wise. I have already been to Kansas and to Kansas City, which were both really wonderful. I got to spend time with Jana and her boyfriend, including seeing the new Transformers movie just for fun. I got to spend lots of time with Paul and Karleen, Beth and Josh, and Ava. I got to hold kittens and one of the cutest babies ever, and really enjoy some great time with them all, as well as relax a lot ...
I went back to pick up my eval afterwards, as well as my will and other important documents, and say my real goodbyes to all my coworkers at Jax.
I had my goodbye party at my bar and it was really nice, really low-key, and a good send-off for me.
I spend lots of time with friends and loved ones, and I FINALLY (with the help of some very previous friends) got completely moved out of my apartment... boy am I gonna miss that place.
Following all that, I went to my Grampa's house and spent the night there, including some really precious time with him just sitting and watching the news together. He's been on hospice for a while now, so the more time, the better. I'm really hoping to bring my niece up to see him in a week and a half if I can get better communication going and finally work it out.
Anyway, I ended up skipping Atlanta, which turned out to be a good thing anyway since most of the folks I know there were outta town. I went straight to Charlotte and then up here to the Burg, where I've been for the last week except for my side trip to DC. It has been such an amazing time, between long-time very close friends in Charlotte, and the great number of people I've been able to see in the Burg. I am so blessed to still be able to get in touch with this many people in town, and to be covered in so much prayer for the rest of my trip and my big trip... and I know that the in-person friends are just the start of that covering.
My poor little brain, though, has had so much trouble trying to match the memories of some of the boys I left three years ago with the current young men standing before me... the kids I babysat, families I spent time with, and jr. highers and their younger siblings have all grown up so much, and it's bizarre trying to piece together who is who now.... and update my "file" of who they used to be.. They change oh-so-much in that time frame, it's just incredible to come back.
I'm off to PA tomorrow, Boston the day after, and then New York City with my cousin a few days later .. he said it would be wrong for an American to go overseas without ever seeing NYC, and I couldn't be happier about my company there. I am really excited to finally see our Nation's capital... oh, I mean, to see such a historical area and the melting pot and social atmosphere it remains today.
Then I've got Caren and John's house (and Katy and Maire-- yay!) and the Falcon Ridge Folk Fest, and South Florida, and then I leave. It has been such a great trip already, with much fun to look forward to, and then I can sleep on the plane...
Maybe it'll help me adjust to the time change, anyway.
So, Blogger added image-capability for me and I didn't even notice. What an ingrate.
Anyway, this is the cloud I was talking about, as recorded by the crappy digital camera (which I think is now broken) Ed won while visiting in Feb/March. He gave it to me, which was nice, since he already had his own. It's come in handy a few times, but if I can't get it working again, that part may be not-so-helpful... I think the shutter is just stuck shut, but I don't know how much sense that makes in crappy-little-digital-cameras... should be a simple issue, though, if that's the case.
This would be Paul and Karleen (not in that order) in true Kansas style, ready to start of on their own road trip...
And, finally, Paul and Karleen (still not in that order) during a deep Kansas sunset in their backyard.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
It's like how I still refuse to learn enough about computers to understand the intricate how's... I like being amazed at the way that moving a mouse (especially a wireless one) appears on the screen and how the computer knows where you click and everything... I am like that with clouds, where I want to continue to be amazed by them, rather than learn all the tiny little bits of why they are how they are.
My other favorite part is people-watching. There were some rednecks on my plane, and a really cute little girl who knew that she could make anyone smile just by doing so herself, and some old folks... and our flight attendent only just graduated from training in May, but did a really wonderful job.
On which note, I can highly recommend Express Jet (which can be found at xjet.com if you're interested) .... very pleasant experience. This being my first time flying with them, I can't give the more reliable long-term review, but if this flight says anything about the company, I may have just become a loyal customer when flying between the cities they serve.
I am in Kansas City now, and have already stopped into Jana's workplace to make arrangements for when she gets off. I'm at a little place called O'Dowd's Little Dublin Irish Pub, which is a really nice spot. If you find yourself in KC, be sure to check it out. Jana and I will see the Transformers when she gets off, and then tomorrow I go out to see Karleen and Paul and the gang. Yay!
I'm a little overwhelmed trying to move out of my apartment, pack for overseas, and make my personal travel arrangements (my road trips and such) all at the same time... now that I'm done with my current command, that helps a little bit.. desk is all cleaned out and everything. But that's just more stuff that I have to sort through at home now, and not any more time to do it.
So, I should be around a little bit more over the next month than I have been lately, maybe...
Oh, and I'm going to wait on CLEP'ing the rest of my Associate's courses 'til I get to my new command... didn't make sense to spend my time locked away studying when I really needed to be packing/sorting and spending time ith friends. So that will be my first big goal when I get there.
I'm going to enjoy my chips and dip now (chips as in fries).. 'Til next time...
Hippie: (after hearing Max wants to avoid the draft)You still have options man.
"So how do i do normal
"It's been known for a train to jump its track. It's ok, so you'll know, most times they come back. It's ok to lose your life, when you finally see your birth. It's ok to say, "I love you," and figure sometimes it's gonna hurt.
"As a comedian, you have to start the show strong and you have end the show strong. Those are the two key elements. You can't be like pancakes, all exciting at first, but then by the end you're sick of 'em!"
"Hey, this is weird! I ordered one frozen yogurt and they gave me two. You don't happen to like frozen yogurt, do you?" "I love it!" "You're kidding! What a crazy random happenstance!"
"Only one more trip," said a gallant seaman,
"It was Flannery O'Connor who said that 'grace must wound before it heals.' Her words help me to separate what is most true about life from the things we want to be true. We want life to be painless. True grace is a hard sell because in order for the human heart to understand forgiveness and love, it must first experience darkness and isolation. A life lived under the rule of grace is a life of need which allows us to receive an appreciate the gift of the giver of grace. This is why we will always have the poor with us; this is why God will not allow us to ignore injustice; this is why we are called to a life we cannot handle alone, which can and will break us in the effort to live it -- because grace must wound before it heals."
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
I thought Christmas Day would never come. But it's here at last, so Mom and Dad, the waiting's finally done. And you gotta get up, you gotta get up, you gotta get up, it's Christmas morning.
O little town of Bethlehem,
Walk humbly, son
Strings of lights above the bed
"In a little while I'll feel better
"Please tell me once again that You love me. That You love me. Please tell me once again that I matter to You and You really care. Please tell me once again that You're with me, forever. It's not that I could ever doubt you, I just love the way it sounds. I just love the way it sounds."
"Every once in a while, a bannerzen posts."
"7:30. What kind of people have to be at work at 7:30?"
have you seen my love
Traveling is significant because it takes so much effort. Either you're going to some place you love, or you're leaving some place you love. Usually it's both.
I think I have Bond's ability to get into trouble but not his ability to get out of it. Someday I'll be in some foreign country with 5 thugs with automatic rifles pointed at me, and I'll just.... fart
"You had no alternative .. We must work in the world. The world is thus." --- "No .. Thus have we made the world."
The summer ends and we wonder where we are And there you go, my friends, with your boxes in your car And you both look so young And last night was hard, you said You packed up every room And then you cried and went to bed But today you closed the door and said "We have to get a move on. It's just that time of year when we push ourselves ahead, We push ourselves ahead."
Looking out the bedroom at this snowy TV.. ever since commencement, no one's asking 'bout me. But I bet before the night falls, I could catch the late bus.. take small provisions and this Beethoven bust. I could find work in the outskirts of the city, eat some fish on the way.. befriend an old dog for a roadside pal, find a nice couch to stay -- a pull-out sofa, if you please!"
Ooh! Get me away from here I'm dying
"The trouble with folks like Brownie is they hold their life in like a bakebean fart at a Baptist cookout and only let it slip out sideways a little at a time when they think there's nobody noticing. Now that's the last thing on earth the Almighty intended. He intended all the life a man's got inside him, he should live it out just as free and strong and natural as a bird."
"Life is a phantasmagoria .. It is a pell-mell of confused and tumultuous scenes. We try in vain to find a purpose - to bring an order, a unity to life. I suppose that is the appeal of art. Art is the blending of the real and the unreal, the conquering of nature. It is real enough for it to reflect life, but has the unity that life lacks."
"in time memories fade.
I've always had this feeling about Patty that she's complex and intriguing...I like Patty alot. She's got a good heart and tells terrible squirrel jokes.
"Try to remember that world-weariness isn't necessarily a bad thing. In the book of Mark, I think its Mark, Jesus looks at a blind man and sighs. Jesus sighed before even telling the man he would be healed. He sighed, and I'm not sure that there's a much more human expression of frustration than this. Faced with the horrid picture of a cursed earth and looking into the white eyes of a man blind from the day he was born, He sighed. The Creator of the universe in human form was sad "of the evils of this world," the world He created. Your Creator sighed for you in the same way before He healed you and made you His."
After the last secret's told
After the last bullet tears through flesh and bone
After the last child starves
And the last girl walks the boulevard
After the last year that's just too hard
There is love
-- Andrew Peterson, After the Last Tear Falls
"when you most need people, you don't need perfection - just to know someone gives a damn"
"My brother's always [telling me], 'You should be more mysterious--boys like that.' But I'm not good at that. It would just make me more uncomfortable."
"Loners want to kill you, but not for any particular reason, and they'd probably like you if they weren't being guided by the violent voices in their head."
"No one wants to oil a snake these days!"
Her mom: "We're all safe."
-- Jamie Bevill and her mother during Christmas-Decorating dinner, December 20, 2002
i'd throw out all my shoes
i'd set up cans for friends
to dump their shoes senseless shoes
a pioneer of callouses
lordy-be and bless my soul
i'd be a barefoot spaceman
the first you'd ever know"
"The best way to have God's will for your life is to have no will of your own!"
"Generations circle and each one atones. The sins of the father are seperate from my own. In Pilgrim's Progress, it's forgiveness that makes whole, and as time levels and consoles, I place the daisies in your bowl."
"For a moment he just stared at her. Then, with an urf-urf-urf of laughter, he turned back to the controls."
"It's on the internet.. so, then, it must be true."
"Be at least as interested in what people can become as you are in what they have been."
Blessed be the rock stars!"
Get up for the shower.. wash and scrub and scour every part as if a cleaner man could better bear the shame..
"She was eating gnarly amounts of calcium."
Homeless man to girl trying to give him money: "No, thanks, ma'am. I never work on Sundays."
"Wow! I never thought I'd need a radar-guided spatula!"
"Isn't it great that I articulate? Isn't it grand that you can understand? ... I can talk, I can talk, I can talk!"
I believe that people laugh at coincidence as a way of relegating it to the realm of the absurd and of therefore not having to take seriously the possibility that there is a lot more going on in our lives than we either know or care to know... I suspect that part of it, anyway, is that every once and so often we hear a whisper from the wings that goes something like this: "You've turned up in the right place at the right time. You're doing fine. Don't ever think that you've been forgotten.
When I lay these questions before God I get no answer. But a rather special sort of "No answer." It is not the locked door. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. As though He shook His head not in refusal but waiving the question. Like, "Peace, child; you don't understand."
CCM: You've spoken a lot more about crying than I ever thought you would.
"Youth is not a period of time. It is a state of mind, a result of the will, a quality of the imagination, a victory of courage over timidity, of the taste for adventure over the love of comfort. A man doesn't grow old because he has lived a certain number of years. A man grows old when he deserts his ideal. The years may wrinkle his skin, but deserting his ideal wrinkles his soul. Preoccuptaions, fears, doubts, and despair are the enemies which slowly bow us toward earth and turn us into dust before death. You will remain young as long as you are open to what is beautiful, good, and great; receptive to the messages of other men and women, of nature and of God. If one day you should become bitter, pessimistic, and gnawed by despair, may God have mercy on your old man's soul."
""Don't go matchmaking for me, Ilse," said Emily wit a faint smile... "I feel in my bones that I shall achieve old-maidenhood, which is an entirely different thing from having old-maidenhood thrust upon you."
"I wish Aunt Elizabeth would let me go to Shrewsbury, but I fear she never will. She feels she can't trust me out of her sight because my mother eloped. But she need not be afraid I will ever elope. I have made up my mind that I will never marry. I shall be wedded to my art"
"Tomorrow seems like a long ways away. But it will come, just like any other day... Deep inside, where the wounded creatures hide, I am afraid. Maybe I got lost somewhere along the way somehow. Please rescue me... Yea, though I walk through the valley of the dark shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For you are with me... Though I fear, though I am afraid, You are with me. Though I'm angry, tired, broken down and confused, You are with me. Though I sin like I've never sinned before, lose myself right out an open door, You are with me."
"The invisible people agreed about everything. Indeed most of their remarks were the sort it would not be easy to disagree with: "What I always say is, when a chap's hungry, he likes some victuals," or "Getting dark now; always does at night," or even "Ah, you've come over the water. Powerful wet stuff, ain't it?"" -- C. S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
"When People object... that if Jesus was God as well as Man, then He had an unfair advantage which deprives Him for them of all value, it seems to me as if a man struggling in the water should refuse a rope thrown to him by another who had one foot on the bank, saying, "Oh but you had an unfair advantage." It is because of His advantage that He can help."
"But, you know, as a Christian, one of the big questions you always ask yourself is, "So we believe in Jesus, we believe in the teachings of the church, but what does that look like when it's lived out?" Because surely, one of the things that Jesus said that I think we often overlook is, "The person who hears my words and does them is like the wise man who built his house on the rock." He didn't say "the person who hears my words and thinks about 'em" or "whoever hears my words and agrees with it." But he said, "Whoever hears it and does it."
"find that which gives you breath and grants you more to give
"I have packed all my belongings. I don't belong here anymore. This pair of sandles, one pack to carry, this old guitar and this tattered old Bible. And I know I won't be afraid. 'cause I know, I know Home is where You are."
"Open up your weepy eyes, everyone is dancing. Angels peer through sweet disguise, through a fire of cleansing.
"You may be bruised and torn and broken, but
"I don't deserve to speak, and they don't deserve
to hear it. It's makin' me believe that it's not
"Kickin' against these goads sure did cut up my
feet. Didn't your hands get bloody as you washed
"They say God blessed us with plenty. I say
you?re blessed with poverty. ?Cause you never
stop to wonder whether earth is just a little
better than the Land of the Free"
"Computers will know everything in the 21st
century. They'll be like me in the 20th