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

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I may not have found an Ultimate Frisbee course here (not that I'm an avid player), but I did find a horseshoe game at the command picnic.. my partner and I won (he, of course, earning most of the pointage). I tied my hair in a knot right after the game was over.. not so wise to wait, but it worked, I guess.

(All of these pictures were taking by MC3 Clarke.)

The moral of the story in the last picture is Food Makes Me Happy.

The End.

(5) comments
Monday, October 29, 2007

More quirky things about my apartment:

The fridge is too cold. It froze my tomatoes and my milk.

The dryer is too cold. With only four cotton shirts in the dryer for 90 minutes, they came out nearly as damp as they went in. They probably would've air-dried faster.

The stove-top (which really is just a stove top, since the oven/stove itself is over on the other wall under the microwave and above the dishwasher) only has 6 settings on the burners, apart from off.

Along with the coffee pot, and the stovetop (between which I've always sufficed my need for hot water for tea and such in the past), the apartment came with a water-pot (the plug-in variety pitcher thingies) and a water cooler (the multi-gallon --- or litre -- jug variety like "talk around the water cooler" at work types), which has a hot setting, and spits out water more than adequate for tea or other such purposes. How much hot water do I really need, or rather, how many ways do I need to be able to heat water?

The dining table is really a bit bigger than can be comfortably handled by the space into which it's been placed. I've been thinking about ways to re-arrange the furniture to make it a little more functional, but I don't think that's going to happen.

The bathtub has a large-textured floor of the don't-slip-on-me raised dots variety, and yet is made of a material that seems to coat itself in the shampoo instead of letting it go down the drain, so that it's actually more slippery.

Those are the big quirks here, apart from the others I've mentioned previously.

I love my walks, and being close enough to lots of folks to have many ride options. I am almost maybe getting used to the daylight schedule. I feel very comfortable here in my apartment, and I mostly feel comfortable here in this country, at least as much as I ever did back home. I may know a lot less people here, but the people I do know I tend to see more regularly.

This is a good spot for me.

(2) comments
Sunday, October 28, 2007

Despite the heat and humidity (which were both plenty high enough today), and despite the fact that my workout regime hasn't been going so well (mostly because of those two factors) since before I got here....

We had our semiannual Physical Readiness Test today, and I got an Excellent High, which is at or just below what I was hoping for. If I had just done about 6 more sit-ups (I did 85), I would've had an Outstanding Low .... but regardless of how many sit-ups I actually did, I really wasn't so much thinking that I would do as well on the run this cycle as I had in the past. I was expecting to get about a 13min, maybe 1330, but instead I somehow wheezed out a 1230. So, much better score for that. Which at least makes up partly for the sit-ups. I maxed out on the pushups (47) and then stopped, as usual, because any more after the max is just using energy I could be using on the run.

My favorite part about the Test each year is eating a big fat, greasy, fried meal afterwards ... usually a nice breakfast with hashbrowns (or here, tater tots, which they apparently think means the same thing. It does not.), biscuits and gravy, and my coffee. I probably shouldn't have coffee on days I use my inhaler, but then I would really feel so much worse about the whole thing, if not as jittery for the rest of the day.

I was the first female running today to finish, by a good distance I think... but that's not saying a lot, since we have so many options for the cardio portion (run, swim, stationary bike, treadmill, eliptical, etc) and some of the faster females were monitering the run this time around.

So now, a well-earned good night's sleep.

(3) comments
Saturday, October 27, 2007

This week was the most insanely busy week yet out here, and probably busier even than any I ever had in Jax, though the hours weren't nearly as long. And what's really crazy is how many pending items remain!! But it was a good week, and hopefully sometime after work over the next couple of days, I'll be able to show you some pictures from at least one of the events.

Of course, the events that have received international media recognition (some more valid than others) have played a role in how busy this week was even for me, but the normal events that I hadn't always previously been any part of, along with getting ready for the girl I'm replacing to leave, were the bigger part.

Oh! There are pictures available already! So, here is a picture of me, asking the new CNO (Chief of Naval Operations) a question during his recent visit to our base. He and the MCPON (Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy) were both there, and it was really great getting to hear firsthand their plans for the Navy and their thoughts on its future.

(Picture taken by the Public Affairs Office staff)

And no, I did not get a coin from either of them...

Meanwhile, my Boston pride is joining forces with lots of other Sox/Pats/Celtics/etc fans out here, and all the folks who hate the New England teams are still talking to me despite that... so, Go Sox! Go Pats! Go Celtics!

Yay Boston!

I told people at the going-away party for the girl I'm replacing last night that they're all doing so well because they want me to come home to Boston. They years surrounding my coming into the Navy, they did similarly well (just not necessarily all in the same season) but the Navy just wouldn't station me there... well, now that they know it's going to be my choice again in a couple of years, they're going into overdrive to get my attention and make me proud.

I dunno, Boston... you're pretty cold sometimes, and people drive almost as crazy there as they do here... but keep it up, and you might just win me over!

(0) comments
Monday, October 22, 2007

I'm ok. Like most of us here, I was sleeping soundly off-base at the time and know less about anything than the American News Media ... of course, a lot of that is because of how much they want to know versus how I'd rather not have higher responsibility or higher accountability by gaining higher levels of knowledge.

The less I know about anything other than how to do the paperwork required by my daily job (which is publicly available information and absolutely not exciting anyway), the better.

Apart from the tragedy and loss of lives, which had a significant emotional impact on all of us just as it probably did you, today's events also made me feel a lot more isolated... by the time I was hearing there was any problem, most folks back home were already in bed and wouldn't be waking up until shortly before I finished my workday ... I'm far away from almost everyone I know and love, and it becomes much more clear when there's significant news but little significant overlap in waking hours in which to share it.

Mel must know this better, even, what with being even further now from everyone she grew up with and knew, I'm sure... and so many others who are so far from their loved ones. But I don't think I really felt the impact of the distance until today.

(4) comments
Sunday, October 21, 2007

After staying up wayyyy too late last night (I just couldn't be tired, but by midnight-thirty I finally went to bed anyway and it prolly took me half an hour to fall asleep) and waking up waaayyy too early this morning (330 or so, but I finally got out of bed around 430 after attempting to fall back asleep for an hour), I had myself some coffee and breakfast here with plenty of time to gather my thoughts and be extra-ready for work this morning... I got there and dressed and settled plenty of time before Indoc, gave a fabulous sum-it-up Indoc since all the folks there were seasoned returners, and then had a really wonderful day.

Everyone was SO warm and welcoming (which was interesting to me after the less-than warm reception when I first got here), and some folks had noticed I was gone who I wasn't sure even knew I existed, and since it was only a week, that's really somewhat impressive. And I felt really productive today, getting a lot of things done and racing through catching up on my e-mails, and I got about two-thirds of the action items done today, with a clear plan for the rest tomorrow. And to my supervisor's knowledge, there is nothing that anyone got upset at me for while I was away, which I think is where a lot of the feeling of dread was coming from ... some folks were upset that things hadn't been done months before I got here or that I hadn't read their minds or made other people who outrank me jump to and get the job done... so it was a hard position to be in and was making some things pretty stressful. But it wasn't really anything I hadn't been through at Jax, I just wasn't expecting it here. Guess it's really more of a part of the military in general than what I was told at Jax.

Anyway, it was a really great day. It was around noon that the jet lag hit, though, and by the close of business, I was getting ready to fall over. I made it home and passed out for about an hour on the couch and now I'm nice and awake to do my chemistry homework and maybe try to figure out the TV schedule.

I do have it good over here, and I'm aware of that. Every moment.

So, off to homework.

(1) comments
Saturday, October 20, 2007

So I'm back, and it took me a hot minute (literally) to get adjusted again to the heat-humidity combo, after the first big waft coming through the airport door.

The Dubai airport is one of the nicest but most disorganized airports I have ever heard of. The transfers desk was way understaffed, with too many folks whose English was minimal considering the population of their passengers, and who didn't seem to have even the basic understanding of general airport security that anyone who has travelled twice since 9-11 would know about .... after I got cut in line by a British gentleman scheduled for the same flight as myself, he got the last ticket for our flight before they closed it off over an hour ahead of departure, and so the woman told me just to go straight through security, "don't wait in line, just go through and run to gate" ... so after being let into the security line (because, um, you can't just skip that step, really .. and running through would be an especially good way to ensure I did NOT make the flight ... so maybe she was just trying to make sure I wouldn't be speaking with her again that evening as I sat under arrest or something) and rushing, with a few other passengers who had been told the same thing, to the gate, we got turned away because it was too late for them to transfer our luggage from the Delta flight to the Gulf Air flight. "Just go back up to the transfers desk and rebook for our next flight." Back again to transfers, which took some doing since we had to go backwards through security, and they said that not only is the later flight already overbooked, but that they couldn't even put us on the Chance List for another hour and a half, so just come back then. "Ok, what about the flight after that?" "Oh, this flight looks much better, but we can't rebook you for another hour, but come back then and it will be three hours before departure, so then it will still be wide open." (That was the translated version, since I can't remember how it actually came out.)


The nice part about it was it was very large, clean, nicely designed, lots of shopping and good restaurants, just like it actually were keeping up with the modern age... but to be a major commercial hub for the gulf region, it was quite surprising to me how poorly administered it was.

The great thing was that there was another woman in the same boat with me, so we quickly bonded over our shared frustration and need to get home, and then we spent the rest of our trip together right to exiting to wait for our rides. We had a lot in common, and her single son is about my age, so we kept chatting even though I know that kinda thing rarely if ever works out, and I'm really not looking right now anyway........ so it's good to have another new friend in this area, and it's good to be home, and other than the Dubai airport, my trip went really well. And it may have been enough frequent flyer miles to get me a good part of the way towards a free or cheap ticket down the road. And now it is SOOOO far past my bedtime, but of course I'm still sorta back on Eastern time, so we'll see how tomorrow goes....

(0) comments
Thursday, October 18, 2007

This blog is right up my alley! Thanks, Blogger, for putting it in the Blogs Of Note section. I was laughing out loud (and, in trying to keep myself quiet, was snorting a little) right here in the mighty fine Atlanta Airport USO ... all the Army guys here were probably wondering what was so funny, but none actually asked, so I didn't share... I know some of you guys will really enjoy it, though. The title alone is a jewel!

(1) comments


(0) comments

Lindsay's wedding was amazing! It was so beautiful, and she and Garren came up with some really fun and unique stuff for their reception that made it especially memorable.

The wedding and reception were held at West Manor outside of Lynchburg. This is a barn to the side of the property, and to the right in the background is Sharp Top Mountain, which is one of my favorite sites in the whole world. As you can see from this picture, it was a nice day for a white wedding! There was a nice breeze, but not enough to need a shawl or coat... just a slight little wisp to keep the sun from heating you too much. If there were any clouds, they were few and far between -- but there was a perfectly slight casting to the sky so that the sun wasn't too bright. THIS is where the Blue Ridge Mountains get their name from ... most of the time, they have that blue haze around them which makes them look like something right out of a storybook.

This is me with Lindsay, Kelly, and Christie (the bridesmaids) right before we really started getting ready. We were toasting to a beautiful day, a beautiful ceremony, a beautiful couple, and a beautiful life together. I had more fun with those three ladies throughout the weekend (Friday was our Lindsay day and then Sunday at the wedding, plus a bonus Kelly -- and Stephanie -- night on Tuesday at a venue that will probably be torn down before my next visit) than I could've imagined. My face hurt from smiling so much, my stomach hurt from laughing so much, and it was such a very nice time spent together.

This is one of the unique, fun things I'm talking about. This is their cake topper ... custom-made bobbleheads! When they get back from their honeymoon, I'll have to find out where they got that done .. I know they ordered it off the internet, so you can probably find a way to get your own if you want... I tried to post the video we took of the heads bobbling (Lindsay bobbles a lot more ... Garren just nods twice and then is still ... which might be a pretty accurate representation of them both anyway) but it just wasn't loading. I'll try again, though. It's so amusing!

Along with that, they replaced the clinking glasses tradition with two options:

Either your whole table had to stand up and sing a song together that had the word "Love" in it, or you had to hula hoop!

They wrote it out into this really cute rhyme spread along the tables, and it was a major hit ... our table sang "Love and Marraige" and lots of people Hula Hooped. Then, Chisty caught the bouquet and Jose caught the garter, so they were given their own special dance, and so Linds and Garren started hola hooping ... it was hilarious.

Apart from the wedding festivities, I also got to spend lots of time with Ash and his parents (who were so hospitable to me the entire time) and see many of the folks I didn't get to see last time, which was my main focus besides the wedding. And I got to go to a day of the Garlic Fest, sampling some wonderful Virginia wines and picking up some delicious gourmet foodages... and it was a fabulous trip.

(0) comments

Ok, I canx'ed (pronounce: Can-Exed; read: cancelled) the OTR/Rosie trip, to a little sadness, but when it all came down to it, I neither had the energy to work out the logistics, nor the desire to miss out on time with other folks in order to see the show, even though I haven't seen them since before I joined, or in OTR's case I think it might've been my last CStone. And I'm REALLY glad that I didn't try to fit it in, because I would've just been wore down (which is related to tore up) and wouldn't've had the chance to see Hillarie or Thor and Ang, and it would've been a silley reason really. Maybe they'll do a USO tour (somehow the not-enthusiastic-about-the-war theme I've picked up in the OTR communication makes me doubt that) or perhaps I'll see them in the future. I am curious about if Rosie did a USO tour, how many people over there would have already heard about her, and how many would come to enjoy her through the tour? For some reason, a lot of the USO tours and other MWR concerts put on at my base don't often get the turnout one would think they would.

I'm now back at the Atlanta airport, after a really great week that hit the spot entirely. It will be good to be home, though. It will feel especially good after my next flight, which is over 12 hours straight. Yikes!

I'm looking forward to being back in my apartment, sleeping in my (rock-hard) bed, cooking in my kitchen, and even walking to my office. This is my first leave trip during which I did not get any phone calls from work, which is the nice thing both about not having been there so long or being so involved in my job there just yet, and also being on an international trip so that it's not quite a free-ish call for them anyway.... plus the time change ... so it would be something a little more important than "do you know where the ___such-and-such-person___ file got put?" or "there's going to be a potluck three days after you get back," for them to call me.

I have this strange feeling, though, that there's something less-than-positive to come... but when I get that feeling, there's still nothing to do but brace myself and go about busines as usual before I find out why.

Anyway, I've got more than enough homework for my on-line class to fill the rest of my layover, plus I gotta eat at some point. But I think I'll still post some pictures.

(0) comments
Thursday, October 11, 2007

Beth (in response to your comment to my last post) and everyone else, too -- yah, I am SO excited... the fact that this is when I would've originally been on leave before my first travel over there had a big influence on getting approved, but I'm grateful regardless. I won't be leaving for Christmas, which is another part of all that... but if I had to (or got to) choose between the two, I would've chosen this trip anyway. I am REALLY hoping this trip being so short means I get to slide right back into the regular time zone ... I will say that it sure as heck does still feel like the wee hours to me right now rather than nearly 5pm. Especially after traveling for over 24 hours already and another 4-some-odd ahead of me.

My first real, independent international travel has gone well so far, though it was really pretty confusing for me at points. But I made it, praise the Lord, and I'm on my last layover and will be home in the Burg soon! Yay!!!

Burgers, please try to catch me on AIM or e-mail me if you wanna hook up... I don't have a Stateside phone number you can use at this point.

I may get Vonage or some other such service when I get back ... though I was never much of a phone person before, it's nice just to be able to hear a familiar voice sometimes. And some of my phone calls have been a little longer because of the whole "I'm in another country" thing, too...

So, I've got some stuff to do for my on-line course, but stay tuned, kiddos.

Oh, and Beth and Josh, guess what?!? I'm going to see OTR with Rosie Thomas while I'm home, too!! Yay!!!! Did/will you get to see them this tour?

I should probbaly check your blogs, of course, but answer me anyway....

(4) comments
Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I'm going to be home soon!!! I'm visiting the Burg for about a week for Linday's wedding and the Garlic Fest. I'm going to try to catch a couple moments with all the folks I didn't get to see last time, and maybe some more time with folks I didn't get much time with before.

I just don't know what I can do about having a phone while in town, but we'll see. (My phone here may have broken today, so that doesn't help either.)

I'm also really excited about my flights, going through great places.

I am SO fortunate I was able to get leave!!

(3) comments
Sunday, October 07, 2007

I'm in my new flat!!!

As I type this, I'm also in the midst of unpacking (not quite at the very exact same time) after the movers delivered the stuff. (I should've had them at least take it outta the boxes for me ... I don't know why I waived that benefit....)

This is the ceiling in the entranceway. There are mirrors EVERYWHERE here! This is also the laundry area... all the ceilings here have a raised center in some way, but this one is the strangest to me. Just a random cylindar cut into the top...

To go with the mirrors being everywhere, there are also picture-windows in the livingroom and both bedrooms. And there is more natural light here ... it's like there's no side of the building that the sun doesn't shine into directly. That's just nuts. So with the sunrise being around 530am and the sunset around 530pm, it's going to be interesting getting used to the natural-light schedule. I've already figured out I'm probably going to need those eye cover things to sleep well, but then I do have to get up pretty early anyway...

The places here are furnished if you want that, btw... so this is the kitchen/diningroom, with another mirror. The window in the reflection is the livingroom. The microwave is too high for me to reach, so I need a stool ... I've been standing on one of my dining chairs whenever I need to heat something up. There are some quirks here to be sure.

It's a really beautiful flat with lots of space ... and the floors are all tile (many of them marble-look) or wood-look... and I have a classroom ceiling in my bathroom. You know, the tiles with the grid-line holders... Oh! And the backdoor even has an Exit sign (they're green over here) with English and Arabic.

So, yay flat!

(4) 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