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
Friday, November 30, 2007
It's too hot to sleep time is running away
Feel like my soul has turned into steel
I've still got the scars that the sun didn't heal
There's not even room enough to be anywhere
It's not dark yet, but it's getting there
Well my sense of humanity has gone down the drain
Behind every beautiful thing there's been some kind of pain
She wrote me a letter and she wrote it so kind
She put down in writing what was in her mind
I just don't see why I should even care
It's not dark yet, but it's getting there
Well, I've been to London and I've been to gay Paree
I've followed the river and I got to the sea
I've been down on the bottom of a world full of lies
I ain't looking for nothing in anyone's eyes
Sometimes my burden seems more than I can bear
It's not dark yet, but it's getting there
I was born here and I'll die here against my will
I know it looks like I'm moving, but I'm standing still
Every nerve in my body is so vacant and numb
I can't even remember what it was I came here to get away from
Don't even hear a murmur of a prayer
It's not dark yet, but it's getting there.
-- Bob Dylan, Not Dark Yet
This is probably my favorite Dylan song. It's not necessarily how I feel these days overall, but it's a feeling that is familiar to me, and so even when I'm not in that mood I can relate.
I've been mostly into the gruffer male voices as far as singers lately.. like Dylan (though he's got that nasal thing going that I don't really enjoy as much vocally, maybe because I'm jealous that he can be such an amazingly famous singer despite that and I couldn't imagine myself being that good of a writer or even a few people tolerating my singing) and Bill Mallonee. My other favorites right now are Alastair Moock, Jeffrey Focault, Malcom Holcombe and Jacob Zachary. The last of whom doesn't have the "I just smoked ten cigarettes" voice, but he's still in the current rotation a lot. The three in the middle I found through Paste, but it turns out we have lots of other sixth-degree type connections as well, especially Jeffrey and other musicians I enjoy.
Of course, all my all-time favorites are always in heavy rotation, and right now I'm working my way through the three-hundred-some-odd albums I copied into my computer before coming over here so that I could listen to them all while the CD's themselves went into storage rather than shipping them over. Shipping would've been silly. So about thirty or forty followed me anyway (the majority of which were from a miscommunication with the shippers), and I've picked a few more up during my East-Coast trip and since coming over here. I also figured out a bit after I got here that I could shuffle all my music and save it as a playlist, and then much later figured out that I could delete songs from the playlist as I listen to them (or move them to my desert-island playlist) so that I actually will make it through the full rotation within my years here. Then I've got a since-arrival playlist for everything that wasn't on that original one, though I may end up shuffling them on in as well.
The other thing I'm really loving right now is listening to Linford Detweiler's instrumental albums in my Kanguru MP3 player on my walks... especially since I use earbuds. It feels like the soundtrack of my life, with the wind blowing my hair back and the streets dark and empty (since it gets dark at 5pm here). Until the sand blows in my eyes. Then the piano just doesn't quite cut it as a soundtrack.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Apparently, rap has accepted the 80's and country-world love of line dancing. A couple of songs came on last night for which a ton-load of kids (Americans .. the Aussies were somewhere between intrigue and mockery) got up and started doing line dances. They were pretty impressive, really. I took a picture, but it came out really bad/muddled, so I won't waste bandwidth by posting it.
Speaking of pictures, maybe I'm getting more angelic. Every picture I'm in seems to have me coming out more glowey-white. Which is funny, because I think my skin is actually plenty tan enough yet considering I'm not getting outside... although now that I think about it, I was thinking that it was all tanning out evenly somehow (maybe the lights here are more UV than regular bulbs) but maybe I'm just getting more evently pale and it's my vision that's getting darker.
Tonight, I finished off the very last of my sweet potato(e) casserole, finally, and am still not done with the cranberry sauce. I inherited what I think must've been four or five cans of mixed-style suaces (whole-berry and smooth)... I've used some in blue-berry muffin mix, which came out fairly well, and I've been eating a lot. But I've still got something like half of what I brought home. That's what I get for liking cranberry sauce. I think I'll freeze some in serving-sized containers for later usage.
It's 2130 and I haven't even started on my chemistry homework for the night, which is bad since I was a little too distracted by Aussies and bands and social outings to do any homework the last two nights. So tomorrow will be mostly PJ's and studying, and Saturday will be mostly PJ's and studying as well except I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to get to a thrift store tomorrow, and then I'm going to go in to work for a little while before joining up with folks to watch the Army-Navy game. Go Navy, Beat Army! Hoorah!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
One guy tried to get a little fresh with me and I punched him in the gut. He thought he was just joking the way he does with all the Aussie girls. That'll learn 'im.
Anyway, it was an absolutely fabulous night. And, although it is still remarkably humid here, it has cooled enough so that I needed my pleather coat this evening, all buttoned up.... while on base, I kept having it on and off and on again for fairly short periods, because it wasn't cool enough to need it but too cool to be without. But once I got off base into some of the flatter areas without the building blocking the breeze so much, it got downright perfectly chilly, and it was such a nice feeling.
I know there's snow and ice in the North right now. Not so much here, but it was a really nice, happy median.
And now it's 11pm, WAY past my bedtime, and I'm going to go to sleep. Goodnight!
Monday, November 26, 2007
So perhaps because of that, I have gotten even more of a sugary-sweet southern accent, and people have been pointing it out. Most of my coworkers think I'm from the south. When I say I spent most of my childhood in South Florida, they think that explains it. Those of you who have ever even visited South Florida know it is not a Southern area. Even in Virginia or Jacksonville FL, I wasn't in areas in which the Southern accent was common or in which I picked it up. I probably got it some from pop culture and media, but mostly because I wanted to. For some sick reason, I enjoy the Southern accent, and I adopted it little by little, to the point where now I'm not sure I could speak without it for long. At the poker games recently, anyone new to me or the table has said that the more I drink, the more my native accent comes out .. which is funny on both the levels that I don't drink much and that it's not my native accent. I think I just get sillier as I relax more, and that's what does it.
I also think that I have gotten a stronger Yankee personality since I got here. I am losing some of my compassion or tolerance for people in ways only a Yankee can understand, so that I won't bother trying to put it into words here. Those who don't fully understand would get really upset about what Yankees are like, and that's not the reality... it's just that they're not so touchy-feely as some other areas. So now I say things like "crackhead" with a Southern accent, or hug people with more distance... the Southern stays in my tongue and my surface, the NorthEast is in my being.
Friday, November 23, 2007
I then bumped into some folks I didn't think were even still in the country, and went to lunch with them, where we met up with a bunch of Brits at a local place I probably would've never found otherwise. It was really delicious, and we ended up being there for something around six hours total, including moving upstairs to the loungier area where the Brits danced a lot and I wallflowered myself in a corner.
It was a really, really nice day. And tomorrow I am absolutely not going anywhere.. I would be nuts. I've got to read and clean and stuff ... except actually I might go back to the store to grab a couple of other sale items, but then I'm right home after..
So there you have it. Happy Black Friday to everyone else, and I hope you enjoyed!!
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Today I woke up in time to leisure my way through the morning and make my Sweet Potato Casserole, which turned out pretty well this year, though maybe not my best. Then I brought that along to my department's thanksgiving, at which I got the bigger half of the wishbone, found a good source for plant/garden materials here, and had some of the most delicious food ever. Apart from traditional Thanksgiving fare, we also had some really fancy, yummy spreads on both the starter and main tables. It was a really nice afternoon with the folks and helped us see eachother without all the rush and busy-ness.
Then I went to one of the girl's new houses, which was quite impressive. The main folks there were all at the department meeting (either as part of the dept or as guests) so much later on we had a dinner, all homecooked, of plenty more yummy food of the substitute-traditional fare (like chicken instad of turkey). And then I joined some other friends for a few rounds of poker and some pumkin pie.
Walking to my boss's house for dept dinner earlier, all the non-Americans I passed seemed curious about the dishes I was carrying and why I wasn't at work, but I figure most of them probably know about all the American holidays by now.
So I'm really excited about the next two days off and catching back up on chemistry, eating some of the leftovers I snuck away with (including made-from-scratch cheesecake!), hopefully actually making it to a thrift shop, and relaxing. For now, sleep!
I have a little video greeting which I sent out this morning, and I think I got the majority of you ... but if you didn't get it, please let me know and I can send it. I can't post it here, or send it to strangers or anything, but let me know if you'd like it and we'll see. ;)
I've gotta go make my Sweet Potato Cassarole for my department's dinner now, and I'm really excited. It was a long week at work (similar to the other long short week) but a really pleasant night last night, and some really pleasant plans for today and this weekend. I'm excited about this final stretch for the CFCampaign, the holiday planning committee, my chemistry class, finding out about my CLEP, and so many other big things hopefully happening within the next couple of weeks.
Oh! And I'm a certified Apprentice through the USMAP now, too! Yay!
Off to cook..
Happy, Happy Thanksgiving!
Monday, November 19, 2007
Today, we were signing a birthday card for a Chief in my department, and do you know what it was? Hillary Clinton on the cover sitting at a desk with a sign that said "President Hillary Clinton" and inside it said "See? Some things are scarier than turning another year older!"
Also, after my blue skies post, I was talking to my mother who was with her Lebanese co-worker, who started crying (with pride and/or memories) when she found out I'm stationed in the Middle East and I like it here and I'm openminded about the cultures ... I know things have been hard for Middle Easterners and Muslims living in many parts of the States or elsewhere in the world for a long time, and moreso after 9-11, so I can understand what she meant. At any rate, she asked me what I liked best about here, and I said the diversity, and I think the blue skies as well. The next day, I went outside to weather I couldn't quite determine, either a sandstorm or a really lot of fog... I think it was the latter. Later on that day it was blue skies but with massive, pretty complete cloud cover, but still not rain clouds. They cleared up by that night. All day long it smelled like wet soil, which is weird since there's not really any soil here.
So if I talk about good things, they change, and if I talk about not-so-good things, they come back up in another part of my life... maybe I should just blog even more until that flip-flops?
Meanwhile, the blogs of note today featured "The Life of a Female Marine" and it is a GREAT read. She writes like I would if I were as funny as I think I am. In fact, like I would if I were the writer I thought I could be. I don't know anything about who this is, but I imagine it would be a great read even if I weren't in myself, though I may be a little distorted perspectively. If you'd like much better writing about female life in the military (and really, it's similar to reading what I'm experiencing, so even if you want a better read about what my life is like right now), check that one out.
A problem that I have been told on more than one occasion that I have is a lack of needing help from others. Think of the scene in 28 Days where she has to wear the sign around her neck that says "Confront me if I don't ask for help" or something, and then she wants to do the whole harness thing on her own and ends up messing it up. So that's me, apparently. Because I am analytical, independent, confident, and not always feeling that asking for help will be (a) obliged, (b) obliged happily, or (c) good help .... because of these things, I am seen as one who feels like she can take on the whole world all by herself.
In reality, I want help an awful lot more than I ask for it, and I ask for it an awful lot more than people realize.
I am also smart, and it's hard for me to not come across like a know-it-all. I like knowing other smart folks (usually in the form of geeks) who can relate to the fact that knowing a lot is neither the same as knowing it all nor thinking you know it all.. most people who know a lot actually love to learn and really come alive when taking in new information rather than spitting out old facts. I like to help people, so I like to share knowledge, especially when it could answer a question they may have or help them do their job better, because somewhere inside I believe that people really do want to do a good job, even though I have seen so much evidence to the contrary by a large percentage of the general population and really should have come to a conclusion otherwise by now. However, I cannot lessen my hope in modern man's work ethic, so I just keep on trying to learn how to test the waters of someone maybe wanting help before I offer all the knowledge I can share. (That really long sentence was for you guys, zens, for the good old days.)
I am having a great time on my command's holiday season planning committee, because lots of the folks are very busy and don't have time to, say, type up notes from the meetings or make flyers and such... but I do. And I love to do it. And my notes are wordy for sure, but they cover everything. And I feel like I'm really involved. So I've got a couple of things lined up to get involved with after the holiday season so that I don't have withdrawl at that point.
But I'm running into the helping-too-much thing in my chemistry class, even. Part of our grade is based on discussion board posts in various areas of the board, and there are certain other things we were supposed to work our in different parts of the boards before posting to the one are or whatever... so I read my syllabus and I read the orientation and I read the Prof's announcements, so I did what they said... and also I answered some of my classmate's questions because that's what I do, that's who I am.. and then my Prof had a personal emergency of some sort and was gone for a hot minute, so I figured that would be especially helpful to him and them. And all discussion board posting died. No one else posted anymore.
I tried posting lighthearted things, especially things that showed them I wasn't like an assistant professor or a suck-up or something.
People like me are fated to always be declared brown-nosers and "JoeCool" jrs (where JoeCool means whatever the manager or CEO or teacher or person-in-charge's name may be) when we're just trying to help. And the really sad thing is how many people perceive it to be a superiority thing when most people like me (and including myself) do not see ourselves as better, but just want to help everyone become the best they can be.. because if I help you, you can help me...
But you know, maybe going through this in this class more right now than I am at work (since I am the SUPER junior person at work, I keep my mouth shut a heck of a lot more than I ever have before, but even so people are less threatened by me when I am in my Knowing mode) because it helps balance it out... when I was going through that a lot at work but not in my pre-cal class, it was really easy for me to put that attitude primarily on military people instead of balancing it to all people where it belongs.
Maybe I just need to have a personal journal more. But this is one of those issues I know some of you guys either can relate to or have seen in me and so I wanted to put it here... One day, I will have a nice, concise, interesting little blog.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
All I can say is that if Mrs. Clinton gets elected, I'm out. I really might have to just move overseas at that point. I would be very, very afraid for my future, and that's considering it will be nearly the end of my time in the military, so it isn't even her decisions in that area that would strike fear in me. I would be afraid for my friends and loved ones and my niece most of all, and I can't just bring everyone with me out of the States, so I just really hope she doesn't make it. Feminists, take note: a bad female in office as our first female president would set your cause back many decades. Wait for one worth voting for.
Anyway... I'm going to take this entirely out of context, but Kcaarin posted some great statements from Ron Paul on her site that I was reading tonight. This one made me chuckle a little though:
Working Americans like lower taxes. So do I.
It's good to have honesty in a candidate... but since you've been on taxpayer's dimes for a while, wouldn't it be good to say you actually are working for a living?
Friday, November 16, 2007
It was a big week. I kinda felt like I was coming into my own in some ways, and I learned a great deal about some aspects of the working world I hadn't previously gotten to witness or be a part of. The funny thing was that nothing special was happening, no big events or visitors, no important anything... since I'm never involved in those events or plans, I never directly feel the pressure when the deadline is approaching, but when one person in our building gets busy, we end up all getting busy. So anyway, nothing like that was going on this week at all, but it was still huge.
My own job was a lot busier, for one. Plus I'm on the holiday festivities planning group (like, what decorations are we allowed to put up? What do we want to provide our personnel so they don't feel extra lonely?) and on the CFC fundraising team.
Plus, one of my old drill instructors (we call them RDC's now) was swinging through between commands, so I got to have lunch with him and get all nostalgic about boot camp and the last --- very long --- three and a half years.
It was really good for me. It was an exhausting week, but very productive in my personal, educational, and professional lives. One of those weeks where I'm exhausted and energized at the very same time.
I really like this place. Maybe the constant blue skies have a part in that, and maybe the much wider diversity as well. When you walk around and most women are in abayas, but even among that crowd there is still such vast diversity... We call the US a melting pot, and I think that's true... but it's because many of the cultures are melting together. Here, there are still large communities keeping up their native cultures (whether we're talking about the local Muslims, the foreign Muslims, Hindus, Catholics, Filipinos, Indians, Pakistanis, Africans, Europeans, Americans, any races, any political beliefs, whatever the case may be) and everything is so peaceful. There are classes here, more extreme than any I'd seen in the States, but everyone accepts that and the folks considered to be in the higher classes tend to be very generous with those in the lower classes, moreso the more they show their ambitions. If the US is the melting pot, this is the cornucopia.
So, I've got to go work on my chemistry class.. hopefully hit some thrift stores today, and then a little gathering this evening...
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I'm still not quite sure where I want to go, but I may very well be pursing my BS here in Management (with minor(s) in Global Business and/or Communications) at one of the schools offering classes here and a great military distance learning program.
Anyway... if I don't pass this, there are plenty of other ways to get that credit, and I should still have my AA by spring. But I'd LOVE to be done as my Christmas present to myself.
Monday, November 12, 2007
The last question in this group was a young lady from Atlanta saying "I know your show is aired in the Middle East. What kind of commercials do they show there?"
For me, about a hundred commercials I've seen here (most in Arabic, and I'd say that most of them are to advertise what else is on this cable network or when, rather than for products... maybe thirty to forty percent are for products, on a high day. And then I've only seen a few different ones, and probably about as many British products as Middle Eastern...) started going through my head, but of course I knew he wasn't about to give a serious cultural lesson or even just an "oh, so that's it" moment...
Sure enough, it was a commercial for the "iRock", with lots of footage of people throwing rocks at eachother, through windows ('instant messaging') and .. well, mostly at eachother.
I think that I realized last night where my line is (and maybe the lines of most people, not in the same location but in how we place it or why it is there) as far as humor ... what is funny and what is mean or stupid.
I think the line is ignorance. The old saying "it's funny because it's true" isn't always the case .. sometimes it's funny because it's not true, like when you call a tall guy Shorty. But you have to KNOW it's not true for it to be funny. Likewise when it is funny because it's true, you have to KNOW it's true. And so when you know that something is not true and everyone else thinks it is, that's what can make it sad rather than humorous.
The Geico Caveman commericals work so well because we know there isn't just a race of Cavemen walking around today blending in with the business world except for their neanderthol hair and face structure. The Real Men of Genius commericals are hilarious because they are SO TRUE... there really are those people out there! Sometimes, we find ourselves listening to our OWN Genius reflected in the commercial (Mr. Really Loud Cell Phone Talker Guy is often that case for people, but some don't realize it.)
So, sitting here in the Middle East watching a girl from Atlanta ask Jay Leno about commercials in the Middle East, it was another surreal moment in watching American TV over here... but to see the iRock as their answer is just continuing the ignorance that a vast portion of America holds on to about what it's like over here. It wasn't so much offensive to me as just disappointing... I mean, why bother? Now, if they had said something about "I understand your show is aired in areas of high sectarian violence", could've seen some humor in it... the rock throwing is real footage, and the areas of violence are where it's more likely to be true. But blanketing the whole Middle East as a bunch of rock-throwing hate-mongerers was really sad to me.
My sense of humor can be very dry, pretty morbid, and is usually more in line with British comedy than American. I can see humor in a lot of jokes that would offend others. But it all comes back to the whole either true or not true thing, and what I don't find funny will be things that either myself, the teller, or the rest of the audience is ignorant about. It's the ignorance that is offensive, rather than the joke itself.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
SunNov 11 Sunny 91°/66°
MonNov 12 Sunny 90°/63°
TueNov 13 Sunny 88°/64°
WedNov 14 Mostly Sunny 88°/64°
ThuNov 15 Sunny 88°/64°
FriNov 16 Sunny 89°/63°
SatNov 17 Sunny 88°/63°
SunNov 18 Sunny 88°/63°
MonNov 19 Sunny 87°/63°
And roughly 83% humidity each day for the next several. And 0% precipitation.
I could go sunbathing on Thanksgiving.
I've actually seen clouds here recently. I noticed them last week, and I especially noticed how foreign they looked to me. Something in the sky, how strange! I think maybe there have been a couple of slightly-cloudy days since I got here before this week, but I don't recall noticing. This week, clouds.
Never a drop of rain, though. But they tell me that when it does rain (usually around January or so) I will be amazed at how much.
(data from http://www.weather.com/outlook/travel/businesstraveler/tenday/BAXX0001?from=36hr_topnav_business )
(I disclaim here that when I very first heard about the book, I really thought I had heard about a general book, not one very much focused on marraige, but it turns out that I was wrong -- which is the case more often than I think I let across.. Anyway, they've got other volumes now, I think, but I haven't looked at that title in a while... but having read the marraige one years ago, it may not always translate to general and especially workplace knowledge as much..)
So, first off, I love. I love people, I love animals, I love nature, I have a very high capacity for love. I love people I don't know, and I love people I know too well. I hurt when someone hurts, animal or plant or otherwise. I love THINGS and CONCEPTS and IDEAS sometimes more than the tangible. I love God. I love Jesus. I love the amazing world God has created for us.
Second, love can make me very uncomfortable... sometimes. I do not think that I receive love very well unless it is subtle and in certain specific ways (more on that in a moment). I can get very suspicious or very weirded-out... like I don't know WHY people would think so highly of me. That is why love I can receive comfortable has got to be subtle .. if you are aware of my faults, it won't be overblown, it won't be so blunt... and if you are not aware of my faults, you are not really loving ME. Now, subtle love is not any less strong... in fact, I think it can be stronger. It's like quiet moments with your deepest friends... you don't have to be saying things to eachother all the time about how great your friend is and how he or she really likes your shirt... you can just sit and be quiet, or share the most silly, mundane little things. I think there are merits to all types (it takes different strokes to make the world go around, after all) but for me, I do not easily handle many types.
Third, love is a very, very, very intense thing sometimes. A sunset will catch me off-guard and make my heart choke up. A child sleeping, or running, or laughing, can make me feel swollen all over in a good way. An old couple walking along hand-in-hand, with the marks of a long life all over their faces and intertwined hands, will stop time for me. A flower about to bloom, or a cat blinking sleepily, an old photograph, or a singing bird ... all of these can make my throat close a little and my lungs tighten. The idea of harmony, of selflessness, of potential, can make me dizzy. I can only handle so much intensity, and so I block out a significant amount of my sensory experiences each day, because I do have such a high capacity for love that I would probably love this world to death if I felt it all. This is another reason love can make me uncomfortable. Physically, it can be very uncomfortable to experience love. I think that sitting with my niece, watching a sunset, in a garden, petting a cat, talking about truth and beauty... I think this would be way too much for me to handle.
All of that in mind, this is how I relate to each of the love languages:
Gifts --- I love to give gifts, especially small little tokens like the paper cranes or straw-wrapper roses I make habitually. I love knowing somebody to the point where something I see in a store is either right for them or not, and the right things will just jump out and scream that person's name. I do not like receiving gifts, small little tokens or otherwise, except in very, very rare circumstances. Things I received in my childhood that I've hung onto are proof of those exceptions, as they still have high sentimental value. But these items are few and far between.
Words of Affirmation --- these tend to make me uncomfortable in both giving and receiving. I will THINK things regularly, but I will not say them often. I have a higher compulsion to tell a stranger something affirming than someone I know, perhaps because I know it's probably my only chance. I do not like receiving most words of affirmation. I need them sometimes, but I do not often like them ... but when I do need them, it'll be hours after someone said something that it'll finally process and I'll finally realize that I needed it and how much it meant.
Acts of Service --- this is a very particular one for me, in giving and receiving. In some ways, I feel like it's just an expected thing for everyone in the world to treat eachother with this general civility. I used to rely on rides to and from functions because of that underlying expectation, for example. Acts of Service can too easily become an "Oh, you shouldn't have. No, really!" kind-of experience, though. These, like gifts, are very hit-or-miss.. the thought should count, but it doesn't always, especially when the product is then an extra item you're expected to tote around or a well-intentioned mistake. Like the story of the youth group trying to weed the garden of a shut-in, but instead they pulled out her most valued seedlings. So, I like to offer acts that are non-obligatory... the moment I feel I am obligated, it loses its personal value. I am sure that I have received (and felt the love intended in) actions much more often than I'm aware, but I honestly cannot think of some good examples right now. I know that if a motive is to impress, to earn a favor, or to indenture me, this is no longer a real Act of Service, of course. And there's nothing wrong with Networking, but let's not confuse networking with love and/or giving.
Physical Touch --- One of the reasons that I need in-person friends in my life is that I do feel more connected to humanity in general when I can tap someone's shoulder to get their attention or touch an elbow when making a significant point. Physical touch, as I'm sure anyone can imagine, has GOT to be from people that one is comfortable with in order to be a love language... there's nothing like having a creepy guy brush against you in the subway to make your stomach turn. Or worse, that creepy co-worker standing right behind you at the company potluck, who grabs the spoon for the macaroni salad at the same time as you and your skin starts burning. On the contrary, some of my best memories during my high-school years were having a big group of friends piled up in the living room watching a movie, all strewn about like a disorganized heap of laundry, but we all loved eachother and loved being together.
Qaulity Time --- also a significant part of those high-school memories, Quality Time is probably my strongest love language. Like with Physical Touch, Time around a creepy person or someone you just really don't like isn't Quality. And even when it is with someone you love, time when you may be in the same room but aren't really together may not be Quality. My time is very precious to me, and very begrudgingly spent on things of little value or when I have been obligated. So when I actually WANT to spend time with someone, or doing something, or even thinking about a concept, it shows a real love more than in any other way. When people invite me to parties or just to hang out, I can't be that bad, so I feel an affection there. When it becomes a regular event, they either haven't learned better yet or they really do care. Or both. So I feel loved in spending time with people. I feel loved by animals when they come to me for some low-energy attention, and I feel loved by nature when it displays its splendor in my presence. I feel loved by God because God is always, always reminding me of His love in so many ways. He speaks to me in coincidences most of all, I believe, and in strange provisions with no logical explanation. He blesses me in trials, because I know He is with me through them, and in joys, because I know He is smiling at my happiness. The trials and the joys are orchestrated as part of His plan (so far beyond my knowledge) for my life, and the fact that He took time to plan these out shows His love for me. Being able to use my trials to comfort others and make their lives better is proof positive for me that it IS a plan, among many other proofs. Most of all, I feel the love of God the way that I feel the love of my closest friends when we're sitting together quietly or even the way I feel the love of my closest friends as I write these blog entries and I know that they are reading.
Now, these are the same love languages for me whether at home, with friends, at work, out around town, or whatever the case may be --- the only things that change are the norms for appropriate expression (like usually not hugging in a workplace) and the intensity with which that norm will express the connection. But I do still make the little tokens for my coworkers (which, I don't know, could possibly not be so appreciated by some of them) or want to take my five-minute-water-cooler-break with people I enjoy being around, of course. For someone whose language is Words of Affirmation, they may need regular affirming at work as well as at home in order to feel like they should bother waking up in the morning.
Also, Love Languages are not the same as motivational tools. For example, I *Do* require positive verbal affirmation in order to keep being motivated to do my job, but no amount of recognition will make me feel Loved. I think maybe this is why it is not a love language for me ... when someone says nice things all the time, I feel like they're trying to motivate me... and when it's in the context of a personal relationship (as opposed to professional), I wonder what the motivation is supposed to be FOR. This is also why I never quite fit in in the sugary-sweet South. People are so ready to pour syrup over everything that is you, and I am not capable of this. It just doesn't occur to me that people would want to hear that it's so nice to see them outside of the conversational nicities standard in American interaction. I am from Boston, I am a yankee, I am from the colder NorthEast, where people just DO care about eachother, without having to SAY it all the time. Except I spent enough time in the South to learn to say "Love ya!" and hug people more than my New England relatives are used to doing or hearing.
So the next time I forget to tell you that you're important to me, please know I love you all the same.
(5) comments http://www.fallible.com/index.php/fallible/comments/but_w/
Katy posted this recently, and it is mandatory reading. Go there now.
Friday, November 09, 2007
It was a very dramatic moment inside. I don't think anyone looking on would have been able to tell, but it was pretty huge. After being here for just over three months now, my thoughts about living over here are pretty good, and my thoughts about reenlistment have not changed, so I was somewhat glad for the extra year here, but it was a more concrete "you're so far away" kinda feeling. It also means that I'll be adding two months onto my current contract so that I can finish out the full second year and get all the benefits thereof. Two months, I can handle.
On Thursday, the new list of available opportunities (for the future) was up, so my LPO and I were looking .... since he won't be staying here an extra year and since he has a big family to think about, the decision is pretty tremendous for him. The same things are available to both of us (we're in the same rate and only one paygrade apart) except that he's eligible for more of them, since some of them are not open to females. Naples, Italy was on the list, but not a command I'd want to go to there, and everything I've heard about Naples is very command-specific... you're either at a good command and love your time there, or at a bad command and hate your time, which isn't always the case with other areas, even in my own experience.
And wouldn't you know it, Worcester Mass was on the list. 45 miles west of Boston, and with good connections for post-military employment.
I'm not certain that I WANT to live in the Boston area for any great length of time again, but there's nothing like having the military pay to move me there and pay me to live there (based on the actual expenses of living there, even) to help me decide. And then, after being in the area, I could've gotten residential rates for higher education at the excellent selection of MA institutions after getting out, and could've gotten great networking ops for future employment as well...
Of course, to take those orders, I probably would've had to reenlist anyway. And that would've made the decision a little more complicated.
If that had been on the list last month, I might've put in for it rather than accepted the second year here.... maybe not, but probably I would have.
I guess this is one of those "the Lord works in mysterious ways" things...
But, this past week, I did let one of my shipmates (who was trying to tell me to stay in and such) know that I can't take advice from a Yankees fan, since that displays a significant lapse in judgement.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Belay that last post!
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Happy Daylight Savings FallBack Day!
I am SO glad to live in a place without that, even though it does mean that the sun will still be up REALLY early and still go down REALLY early, but at least I don't have a week of quasi-jet-lag to tack onto the real stuff, and at least I didn't lose an hour of sleep last night before an extra-early day at work.
Haha, all you stinkers... though a few months from now you'll be laughing right back at me when you do get to sleep a extra hour.. maybe that will be when I'm home on leave for my Associate's Degree graduation.....
(2) comments The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks, which is SO hilarious to me.
Tonight, because of my textbook (more on that in a moment), I went back to the site ... it was still hilarious, of course. She mentioned that Moby had linked to her, so I was curious; I didn't even know Moby had a blog, though -- come to think of it -- he's exactly the type that would.. anyway, I went to see how he linked to her, and his next post was a link to this YouTube video, and it is mandatory for your health (laughter IS the best medicine!) that you check out. I don't think anyone could stay in a bad mood if they watched this... it may be the cure for depression.
Also, I found a new favorite word in her blog --- I'm sure I've heard it before, and I'm sure I've used it before, but it struck me tonight and I looked it up at dictionary.com:
My very favorite definition, and why it became a favorite word, is this one:
Psychiatry. a new word, often consisting of a combination of other words, that is understood only by the speaker: occurring most often in the speech of schizophrenics.
When identical twins (and sometimes fraternal twins) are babies, they sometimes exhibit a 'twin language', with which they seem to understand eachother but no one else can understand them. Perhaps all the schizophrenics are talking to eachother and the rest of us are just unaware.
After all, words like "Ginormous" have become an everyday part of American pop culture, to the point that about three years ago, my niece already thought it was a real word and did not recognize the word-parts from which it formed. It will likely be in the next ... wait, I take that back. It's already on dictionary.com, cited to Webster's New Millennium™ Dictionary of English.
Wow, this has become a really long post.
The textbook portion I mentioned earlier (and the whole purpose of getting online at the moment), I cannot copy or post images of due to copyright restrictions, but the text says this:
"But how about counting all the atoms in this sample of copper? It would be impossible, even if you were assisted by all the people who ever lived. Yet "counting" atoms is exactly what you do if you weigh the sample and express the result in moles."
-- Cracolice, Mark; Peters, Edward Introductory Chemistry, An Active Learning Approach, 3rd ed.; Thomson-Brooks/Cole: Belmont, CA, 2007. ISBN: 0-495-162-701
So... I know it was probably a bunch of chemists sitting around writing this book, but seriously, guys, do you need a refresher on what the word exactly means?
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Thirty-Five today. And many more!
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