C'est La Vie

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


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

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Contact Me

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

By mail
(contact me for my new address)

Other Weblogs I enjoy
(In no particular order)

Katy Raymond


Recommended Readings

A Grief Observed

Wishful Thinking
Frederick Buechner

Divine Conspiracy
Dallas Willard (may never finish)

Rich Mullins: An Arrow Pointing to Heaven
James Bryan Smith

Recommended Listening
(from my collection)

The Hymnal, Arkadelphia
Randall Goodgame

Land of the Living
Eric Peters

Laryngitis, Longing
Katy Bowser

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

In the Company of Angels
Caedmon's Call

Delusions of Grandeur
Fleming and John

The entire CD catalog
Eddie From Ohio

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

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

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

Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's was great. Happy New Year's, boys and girls!!

I went with some friends to a house party and we forty-some-odd (some people left, whether for other parties or for their own homes I don't know, much before midnight, and some who had planned to be there didn't end up showing) really had a wonderful time ending 2007 and ringing in 2008. Can you BELIEVE it's already 2008?!?!?! Well, here it is, anyway, even though it's not for all you Stateside folks, though by the time you read this it may very well be.

So it's now in the wee hours and I'm off to bed. This has been the craziest, busiest, nutsiest year, and one with some of the most significant changes both in life in general, our world at large, and my own personal and emotional growth. It has been incredible. A lot to reflect on. I'm looking forward to seeing what this next year will bring, and after a year of so many moves, it'll be nice to be in the same apartment, in the same department, in the same country, in the same everything for a year.

Goodnight, boys and girls. Goodnight, and Happy New Year!!

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

There is one thing to outsourcing and foreign help that cannot be disputed: politeness.

In dealing with Amazon recently regarding my older brother's Christmas present, which got lost in the mail (but which they replaced immediately, free of charge, express shipping), I got two e-mails that were distinctly written by non-Americans... you could tell from the grammar, but you could also tell from the choice in words and the nearly-overwhelming sense of sincerity and courtesy.

There are a number of Indians (and some Pakistanis and other surrounding-area persons) who work on base and around town, and phone calls with them always make me smile. Although I can't always quite understand them and have to ask them to repeat themselves a fair amount, I always hear at least a few things: "What's your good name?" is one of my favorites. There's something else that they usually sign e-mails with, something like "For your kindness regards" or something like that .. but I can't think of it off the top of my head.

Now, I think I give good customer service overall. I think I've been having a harder time with my customers once they cross the line to irritation (like asking me questions in an e-mail and then not even reading the response and asking the very same question as a direct response to that response, for example), but I still usually give good customer service. But I cannot match the customer service I have seen from many of the Indian, Pakistani, and other employees. It makes up for any language barrier or any other struggles that may come from the outsourcing that many companies have done. (If a phone conversation doesn't proove this, just see if you can move it to e-mail.. written correspondence is where it really shines oftentimes!)

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas, boys and girls!

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Monday, December 24, 2007

The Christmas Eve service on base was really quite interesting and amusing more than anything else. From slide-lyrics broken up in strange places to re-reading of Biblical passages (as if the first reader didn't get it right!), with at least three times during singing that the pianist, the slide-changer, or the Pastor brought the singing to a standstill except for us brave and rebellious souls who kept singing through the awkward moments (and those of you who know how I feel about my voice can understand a dimention of how humored I must've been in order to keep singing when it was mostly quiet) and got everyone back into the song.... it was funny. It was pretty at points, and we had a candlelit portion, but more than anything else, it was amusing.

One of the funny side-bars was that I was sitting with my Captain and her husband, because we'd gotten there at the same time. And everyone kept asking her if I was her daughter. I know I look really different out of uniform, with my hair down, and actually *gasp* wearing makeup, but you see me every day!!! I took it as a compliment anyway, of course. I very much like my Captain and her husband, and each of them commented to the other how dangerous it was having me with the one (that is, she first said that her husband and I made too many corny jokes together, and then her husband said that she and I made too many wisecracks together)... And since my own mother and I aren't together tonight, my Captain made as decent a substitute as could be found, I do believe.

The sermon was about people celebrating Christmas and not celebrating Christ. It was, somewhat ironically, about a foreigner visiting the States and coming away with the impression that much of December is a great big party, and learning about Santa and trees and snow, but not ever having an understanding of what Christmas is really all about. He even threw in the whole idea that people now say Season's Greetings and Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. He also told a particularly morbid story (which I will not repeat here, because I really don't feel it should have been told in the first place) as an analogy of this, trying to drive home the idea of not forgetting about the Baby for whom we are joyful.

Now, I personally disagree with the idea that we should only say Merry Christmas. Granted, I'm really not the outward Evanglistic type, the one who will walk up to strangers and start telling them about Jesus. I believe in getting to know people, accepting them for who they are and being honest about who I am... and if they open the door to interest in hearing about my faith, I will gladly share it. I am in no way ashamed of Jesus, and everyone who knows me for long at all knows that I am a Christian, but I am also sensitive to the heartbreaks and heartaches of this world an the way that Evangelism can be perceived as shoving it down people's throats rather than a genuine interest in their welfare. Care for the welfare they're aware of first, and if they see Jesus in you in the process, they will want to know more naturally... That's what I feel. So because of that, I am a strong supporter of the diversity (religious, cultural, and otherwise) in this world, and a strong supporter of saying Merry Christmas to those you know are Christians and/or are celebrators of some form of Christmas. Happy Holidays or Season's Greetings is a great way to sum up both Christmas and New Year's being only a week apart, as well as the great mix of other holidays that exist in this timeframe. When you don't know what a person celebrates, or when you know they celebrate holidays other than Christmas, it's more than appropriate to wish that their holidays are happy as well. To say Merry Christmas to everyone you meet (except perhaps on Christmas Eve and Christmas itself, or at least to those dressed in festive colors which would lead a reasonable person to deduce they may be celebrating) is just furthering the commericalized, watered-down version of Christmas anyway. If you're not going to stop and have a twenty minute conversation with people about what you believe, why should you believe those two words are going to express to them anything about your true faith and the reason for celebration? Saying Merry Christmas at this point is little different than saying Happy Holidays or putting a Santa Claus lawn ornament in front of your house. To those in a community of believers, it is a sign of common faith and a deeper greeting, but to say it to every passing stranger, it holds no extra significance.

In a similar way, the only reasons a foreigner would come away with the impression about the big party are because 1) no one welcomed them into their midst in a religious context, assuming this foreigner were open to that, and it is the lack of welcome rather than the lack of religious ceremony that is the problem, and 2) because most of Western Culture celebrates Christmas as a cultural holiday, and every decoration we buy or container of red-and-green sprinkles we put on our sugar cookies continues this. Should we stop decorating? Why would we go so far as that? Some have, and that's certainly their choice to make, and one I will support if ever in the situation to do so in their lives. But those who have not so chosen need not be encouraged to stop with the decorations, the candies, the parties.. just recognize that it is one aspect of Christmastime that is very important, and anyone who has been away for December can really attest to how important. A natural consequence of the togetherness and community, of the common colors and decorations that we find in Christmas is that a person not indoctrinated will not necessarily be aware of why we have that togetherness. Likewise, a visitor to a Muslim country may not be aware of why they fast during the day for Rhamadhan and then get together with all their friends and family and party all night long, but this visitor may very well enjoy the party. This visitor could easily leave with a box of gourmet dates in hand and never know anything about the Qu'ran and devotion. Especially if this visitor comes during the Eid that follows, and the people aren't fasting during the day anymore, and it's just three days worth of partying. If this visitor is not invited to a Qu'ran reading or talked to directly by a Muslim explaining their beliefs and practices, the visitor may just think he's had a really wild visit to the Arabian Gulf (or other Muslim area) and never have a clue what was really going on. It's the nature of the beast, Chaps, and it's really not that bad of a thing. Let's diagnose the problem instead of the symptoms, if a problem indeed exists.

I know what you're thinking: "Gee, Patty, tell me how you really feel... and I'd like that in essay form." I know, I know. I'm a little opinionated on this matter. It also has a lot to do with the fact that I would never be comfortable attending this particular church service regularly, partly because of the style, and their own lack of welcoming, and partly because of other issues I'd rather not go into detail about at this time. And so I have so far been more of a C&E Christian than ever I was before, though I still routinely search for other local church services and watch the base Chaplain news for any change in the lineup. And there are so many other factors involved. These thoughts are thoughts I've had for years and have been having especially this month anyway, but sitting through the sermon tonight pushed them over the edge to where I had to get them outta my system.

The end.

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Gosh, my AIM list is nearly empty right now, like people can't be on in the days leading up to Christmas.....

Of course, most Stateside folks are asleep right now anyway, but I still usually have at least a dozen people on, and right now it's half that and has been shrinking every hour or so.

Fox only has the three most recent episodes of House (read: before the writer's strike postponed the other completed ones, I guess) on their fox on demand program, which isn't working for me right now anyway, so I guess I'll just be waiting for whatever sort of DVD they come out with. Likewise, NCIS isn't hooking me up, either.

They DID playe UHF on cable here last night! which somewhat surprised me. It was fabulous, though, since all my VHS tapes are in storage somewhere right now. A friend came over near the end (I was having a Princess Bride movie night with a few folks) and was equally surprised.

I'm in something of a state of boredom right now, and really recognizing how limiting it is not to have a car here and not to go many places by myself, especially when my potential companions aren't guaranteed to be much safer (and/or much more entertaining) than the risks (or entertainment) I could face by going alone. So I stay home most of the time, and although I love my place, and I have art supplies and books and all kinds of wonderful things I could do here, I don't get into them enough. It helped a lot when we had the door decorating contest at work and I got very crafty for that... though I may have inhaled a few too many glue fumes in the process. Anyway, I think I'll go break out some of my supplies now.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Also, I worked nearly 14 hours today and have to be in again in under 10 hours. Although I worked over 14 hours sometimes in Jax, I hadn't yet worked this long here, so it's a new record for me... I had some good company in my customers at the end there, and got to hear some really nice British accents as I was leaving, but it was a long, long day. And tomorrow will be long, too, but I really hope it's not as long.

Oh! And an officer walked up to me in the chow line today and asked why I wear my hair so long (because it was down on Thursday and maybe because of how the bun I have to wear it in is gi-friggin-normous) and my response was basically "Why not?" ... he looked at me like I was crazy and walked away.... Come on, man, just say you like my hair and get it outta your system.. don't give me a hard time about it just 'cause men can't have their hair this long!

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*sigh* ... it is as I hoped it would not be... I did not pass my US History I CLEP. Although I did amazingly better on the other CLEPs, even the subjects I didn't think I'd do so well in, this one did not carry the same fortune with it.

There is an 8 week Euro History course online in February and March, and I will take that if I can't get to a computerized CLEP station (seriously, WHY don't we have those here?!?) and test outta that puppy before then... can't be that bad.

Man, I could taste my degree.. it was so close... of course, eating paper isn't good for me anyway.

But my grades for this semester posted and I DID get the A in my chem class, so I will have my Associates with a 3.8 or maybe even a teeny bit higher if I take the Euro History class and get an A...

That's ok, I guess it just gives me more time to decide where I want to go for my Bachelor's.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

ARRGH! I'm going crazy waiting for my CLEP results!! They should've been up last Wednesday, and I waited until tonight to give a little more time with mail slowdown and stuff, but they're still not up... so I called around a bunch of places and finally got confirmation that the exam was received but that I need to talk to the office here to find out why it's not posted... and that CANNOT be good. :( Plus the woman here is supposed to be traveling for two weeks at some point, so hopefully that's not right now or I really will go completely nuts! Gosh...

Meanwhile, my grade for chem isn't officially posted, but I did ace my final (and got extra credit on it) and my project, so I think I am down a total of 10 points out of the thousand he uses on his grading scale, so I did get that A for certain, and that's wonderful! More important than that, I feel really good about HOW I did in the class... not just the chemistry part, but in trying to help my classmates in our virtual world ... it's not the same as tutoring at the school in the past, but I think I was able to help clarify a few things. Though it probably evens out since I mighta killed the curve...

Anyway.. I'm gonna call the college office tomorrow about the test, so please be with me in spirit during that.. it'll be while you're sleeping, so dream about it. And then if I didn't pass I can study for the history two test, or maybe take a class here or online if one's being offered, but I REALLY wanted to be moving on past the Associate's in the spring.......

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Chick: Well, that's the best idea you've ever had!
Dude: Really, you like it?
Chick: No. But it's the best idea you've ever had.

--- Corner Gas.

They say "against" and "sorry" funny...

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Friday, December 14, 2007

We have cleaning contracts here since it's a shore command, and most of the cleaners are Indians (and they get paid a lot more by us than they would in many other places, and plenty enough to send lots back home to family, despite the fact that it's a lot less than many Americans make and have a hard time making their own ends meet sometimes) ... So I was on Cleaner Watch this week, which means escorting the cleaners around the building while they do their thing, and also means seeing a lot more of my coworkers than I see on other weeks. The cleaners don't speak much English, but they understand a more than most people think they do... and even though I'm usually good with accents, I have a really hard time understanding the one that talks the most....

Yesterday we were in civilian clothes for our command Holiday Party, and I was walking the cleaners around mid-afternoon for the trash pickup, with my hair down. The one I can't really understand was explaining to me that my hair is ok, but it would be really great if it was black. He said it was so light it was like old lady hair (which is funny, since it's not nearly so blonde as it was when I was a child, and even then, most cultures with dark-haired females seem to really love blondes .. and the REALLY blonde girl I work with gets called an angel all the time here and people really fawn over her everywhere she goes) and would be much better if it was black.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I cannot emphasize enough how much I love the Behold the Lamb of God album from Andrew Peterson and friends. And how grateful I am that they released it on DVD, which means that even though I cannot go see the tour this year (and had not seen it in a few years until last year in Jax), I can still watch it here in the Middle East with a nice glass of eggnog, all wrapped up in a blanket. (Me, not the eggnog.)

I seriously cannot emphasize how wonderful this musical set depicting how and why Jesus came really is, and how beautiful the music is, and how incredible the lyrics are. The WHOLE story, not just the part starting with Joseph and Mary. In fact, I think my two favorite songs are "Passover Us" (about the Passover, of course), and "Deliver Us", also not directly about the manger or the wisemen or anything else we typically associate with the coming of Christ. It's hard to pick out favorites among the songs of this album, but these are the two that really catch me the most every single time, which is saying a great deal... the entire album is just SO GOOD.

I don't believe there is anything that could make it more perfect or more complete. I think it is ... well, if you aren't familiar with it, you simply must check it out. That's all I can say.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Ok, riddle me this, Batman:

tr.v. piqued, piqu·ing, piques
1. To cause to feel resentment or indignation.
2. To provoke; arouse: The portrait piqued her curiosity.
3. To pride (oneself): He piqued himself on his stylish attire.

No, that's not a multiple choice question... that's the real definition, from the American Heritage Dictionary.

"pique." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 10 Dec. 2007. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pique.

Whiskey Tango Sierra, over?

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Sunday, December 09, 2007


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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Ok, so I can't always talk about what's going on in my life, for various and sundry reasons, especially as things themselves are actually happening or in progress. It's the same reason why I don't use my last name or specific location on here.

So when I posted that pricetag post, it had a lot to do with that. Plus with the whole thing of not wanting to continually post the same-old-same-old about my chemistry class wrapping up and work being challenging but productive and all that stuff with which I've been sorta in a rutless similarity cycle for a while now.

But, for those who know a little about Navy traditions and other Defense type items, this might help explain a little tiny bit about what I couldn't put into words:

Dad, did they have challenge/command coins when you were in?

I don't have many. This one outranks all the other ones I could've imagined having by a LOT. It's still not the most special to me in some ways, but knowing that I was the teensiest tiniest part of some really cool stuff happening does make me a little bit proud to have been there... not proud in myself, but proud that such things are happening. And honored to be even the teensiest littlest bittiest part.

Of course, it also opened up the floodgates of realizing how much I have NOT been trained to be in some of the positions in which I find myself here.... I did not get much of the protocol and etiquette training previously, because it was rarely applicable. I just got yelled at without being corrected if ever I did anything that someone didn't believe to be proper (like speaking to an Admiral without being spoken to first). It's different here, to be sure. But I think I'm expected to know a lot of things that I really don't know and I'm not really certain of how to find out.

Anyway, that's just a fun little image of one of the many things that has been making things a little bit busier in my life even though I really had nothing to do with any of it until the moment of, and then I was just standing watch outside a room to keep people from walking down a hallway.... hmm...

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

You seriously cannot (CAN NOT) put a pricetag on this kinda fun....

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Santa came to visit us... I guess he was a little sick of the snot-nosed brats at the malls, so he came to see the snot-nosed brats in the Arabian Gulf.

Remembering that it gets dark here by about 1630, it wasn't actually as late as it looks to be when I saw Santa. He didn't seem to be enjoying the tempuratures, but I imagine he often gets a little warm in that suit.. you'd think it'd help him with his waistline.

Santa brought along the Christmas Camel, but he swears he's not getting ready to replace Rudolph.

Isn't this next one just the grossest picture ever??Well, maybe not that bad, but it's kinda gross. Plus, he kinda looks like the Loch Ness Camel.

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I did not even know what busy was before these past two weeks. Not longer hours than usual type busy, just fuller hours. It has been a full, but very productive and satisfying week already... to the point where I feel like tomorrow should be the weekend. But no, today was our Wednesday-equivalent or "hump day" for some corporate environments. Except I'm working on Friday for at least a while, which is usually the start of our weekend. One joy of being a very junior person compared to the rest of my department is that when each department has to send a representative to clean up the building, that gets to be me. I think it'll be a lot of fun, though... one thing I can really, sincerely appreciate about the military working atmosphere is that the 'working parties' (specific cleaning or working projects, usually involving general spaces) I've been part of usually tend to be fairly fun with good attitudes, while 'field days' (cleaning our own spaces or surrounding areas) are more likely to be a little less fun and not such good attitudes.

So there we have it. And we're in full holiday swing except for the whole nothing-changes-for-the-holidays-here thing, so really we're in fully decorated splendor and everything else is business as completely usual. And soon it'll be the real holidays, and then soon after that it'll be my birthday, and then not too far past that I'll hopefully be participating in a graduation ceremony (though I think my department here is going to do a little one when I actually graduate, which will be REALLY fun!) and then later on I'll already be done with my first year here, and before I know it, it'll be the holidays again.

Time flies when you're having fun and working hard!!

Soon, I should have some new pictures to post. For now, more homework.

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Hippie: (after hearing Max wants to avoid the draft)You still have options man.
Max: Yeah, jail or Canada and they both suck. I mean I could never come home, so what is it, it's a choice of a 6x4 cell or an endless wasteland of frozen tundra.
Hippie: Montreal is cool.
Max:Man, they speak French there.
Groupie: So learn French. Learn French or die.
-- Across the Universe

"So how do i do normal
The smile i fake the permanent way
Cue cards and fix it kits
Can't you tell - I'm not myself
-- Frou Frou, Hear Me Out

"It's been known for a train to jump its track. It's ok, so you'll know, most times they come back. It's ok to lose your life, when you finally see your birth. It's ok to say, "I love you," and figure sometimes it's gonna hurt.
Don't forget to bring kindness, don't forget to say thanks. Don't forgot to spend your love, no it will break the bank. Don't forget to bring some empathy, for the saints and the sinners. Don't forget to bring encouragement. Yeah, we're all just beginners."
-- Bill Mallonee, Bank

"As a comedian, you have to start the show strong and you have end the show strong. Those are the two key elements. You can't be like pancakes, all exciting at first, but then by the end you're sick of 'em!"
-- (The late) Mitch Hedburg

"Hey, this is weird! I ordered one frozen yogurt and they gave me two. You don't happen to like frozen yogurt, do you?" "I love it!" "You're kidding! What a crazy random happenstance!"
-- Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

"Only one more trip," said a gallant seaman,
As he kissed his weeping wife,
Only one more bag of the golden treasure
And 'twill last us all through life.
Then I'll spend my days in my cosy cottage
And enjoy the rest I've earned;
But alas! poor man! For he sail'd commander
Of the ship that never returned.
Did she never return? She never returned,
Her fate, it is yet unlearned,
Though for years and years there were fond ones watching
Yet the ship she never returned.
--The Ship that Never Returned, Henry Clay Work

"It was Flannery O'Connor who said that 'grace must wound before it heals.' Her words help me to separate what is most true about life from the things we want to be true. We want life to be painless. True grace is a hard sell because in order for the human heart to understand forgiveness and love, it must first experience darkness and isolation. A life lived under the rule of grace is a life of need which allows us to receive an appreciate the gift of the giver of grace. This is why we will always have the poor with us; this is why God will not allow us to ignore injustice; this is why we are called to a life we cannot handle alone, which can and will break us in the effort to live it -- because grace must wound before it heals."
-- Justin McRoberts

Regarding 2007:
"the year has gone quick, but most of the days haven't"

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days o' auld lang syne

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stoup !
And surely I’ll be mine !
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
and pou’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin’ auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin’ auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !
And gies a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right gude-willie-waught,
for auld lang syne.
--Robert Burns, "Auld Lang Syne"

I thought Christmas Day would never come. But it's here at last, so Mom and Dad, the waiting's finally done. And you gotta get up, you gotta get up, you gotta get up, it's Christmas morning.

Did my sister get a baby doll? Did my brother get his bike? Did I get that red wagon, the kind that makes you fly? Oh, I hope there'll be peace on Earth, and I know there's goodwill towards men, on account o' that baby born in Bethlehem.
--Rich Mullins, You Gotta Get Up (Christmas Song)

O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie,
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.

O Holy Child of Bethlehem,
Descend to us we pray,
Cast out our sin, and enter in,
Be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels,
The great glad tidings tell,
O come to us, abide with us,
Our Lord Emmanuel.
--L.H.Redner, "O Little Town of Bethlehem"

Walk humbly, son
Walk humbly, now
And cherish every step
For a life well spent
On this earth we're lent
Will be marked by the void you have left

May you conquer (not curse) challenges
May you hold back the dark like a dam
May you lead your life with lion's roar
May you leave it like a lamb

Don't await rewards for your good deeds
A reward won't make them good
Don't await judgment of any foes
They'll receive just what they should

When you find the axis of this world
Don't tread too far inside
Run away as far as you think you can
Be well and enjoy the ride

Walk humbly, son
And store your pride
When you need strength later on
For your life's work will be judged if earth
Is saddened when you have gone

Walk humbly, son
Walk humbly, how
And forget not where you are from
May you go further than those before
And provide for those to come

Will you walk humbly, Son?
--Eddie From Ohio, Walk Humbly, Son

Strings of lights above the bed
Curtains drawn and a glass of red
All I ever get for Christmas is blue

Saxaphone on the radio
Recorded 40 years ago
All I ever get for Christmas is blue

When you play my song
Play it slowly
play it like I'm sad and lonely....

Weatherman says it's miserable
But the snow is so beautiful
All I ever get for Christmas is blue

It would take a miracle
To get me out to a shopping mall
All I really want for Christmas is you
--Over the Rhine, from Snow Angels

"In a little while I'll feel better
Gonna travel around the world
Gonna see it all

Gonna go to Paris, maybe Rome
But I'll feel better miles away from home,
Gotta figure some things out

So sell all my things, I'm not coming home
There's nothing there to keep me there
Just heartache and panic and worries and things that'll bring me down
My head feels much clearer being here

In a little while I'll feel better
Gonna spill my heart to every stranger in every town
I'll visit castles in Ireland, have some fella play the violin and play a song for me

So sell all my things, I'm not coming home
There's nothing there to keep me there
Just heartache and panic and worries and things that'll bring me down
My head feels much clearer being here
--Rosie Thomas, Sell All My Things, from Only With Laughter Can You Win

"Please tell me once again that You love me. That You love me. Please tell me once again that I matter to You and You really care. Please tell me once again that You're with me, forever. It's not that I could ever doubt you, I just love the way it sounds. I just love the way it sounds."
--This Train, I think it's from a song on Emperor's New Band.

"Every once in a while, a bannerzen posts."
--Me, during the 2002 Boredeys at Cornerstone Festival

"7:30. What kind of people have to be at work at 7:30?"
--Mr. Holland's Opus

have you seen my love
is he far away
have you seen the one for me
whose face lights up my day
i won't let one boy steal a kiss
or call me his instead i'll wait
for his voice to call out to mine
and carry these daydreams away
have you seen my love
is he far away
have you seen the one for me
who won't let me get away
please tell him that i'm
waiting for him praying for him
night and day for now i'll be a
lonely girl just longing for his sweet embrace
--Rosie Thomas, Have You Seen My Love, from When We Were Small

Traveling is significant because it takes so much effort. Either you're going to some place you love, or you're leaving some place you love. Usually it's both.
--Friend of a friend of a friend

I think I have Bond's ability to get into trouble but not his ability to get out of it. Someday I'll be in some foreign country with 5 thugs with automatic rifles pointed at me, and I'll just.... fart
--Peter, my twin brother, while we were talking about bicycle accidents.

"You had no alternative .. We must work in the world. The world is thus." --- "No .. Thus have we made the world."
-- The Mission (a movie)

The summer ends and we wonder where we are And there you go, my friends, with your boxes in your car And you both look so young And last night was hard, you said You packed up every room And then you cried and went to bed But today you closed the door and said "We have to get a move on. It's just that time of year when we push ourselves ahead, We push ourselves ahead."
And it was cloudy in the morning And it rained as you drove away And the same things looked different It's the end of the summer It's the end of the summer, When you move to another place
--Dar Williams, End of the Summer

Looking out the bedroom at this snowy TV.. ever since commencement, no one's asking 'bout me. But I bet before the night falls, I could catch the late bus.. take small provisions and this Beethoven bust. I could find work in the outskirts of the city, eat some fish on the way.. befriend an old dog for a roadside pal, find a nice couch to stay -- a pull-out sofa, if you please!"
--Eddie From Ohio, Fifth of July.

Ooh! Get me away from here I'm dying
Play me a song to set me free
Nobody writes them like they used to
So it may as well be me
Here on my own now after hours
Here on my own now on a bus
Think of it this way
You could either be successful or be us --belle and sebastian, Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying

"The trouble with folks like Brownie is they hold their life in like a bakebean fart at a Baptist cookout and only let it slip out sideways a little at a time when they think there's nobody noticing. Now that's the last thing on earth the Almighty intended. He intended all the life a man's got inside him, he should live it out just as free and strong and natural as a bird."
--Leo Bebb in Frederick Buechner's "Treasure Hunt"

"Life is a phantasmagoria .. It is a pell-mell of confused and tumultuous scenes. We try in vain to find a purpose - to bring an order, a unity to life. I suppose that is the appeal of art. Art is the blending of the real and the unreal, the conquering of nature. It is real enough for it to reflect life, but has the unity that life lacks."
--D., in a recent email.

"in time memories fade.
senses numb.
one forgets how it feels to have loved completely."
--Pedro the Lion, The Longest Winter

I've always had this feeling about Patty that she's complex and intriguing...I like Patty alot. She's got a good heart and tells terrible squirrel jokes.
--Julie, from her blog on 4/8, after a large group of friends from all over gathered at my house for the weekend.

"Try to remember that world-weariness isn't necessarily a bad thing. In the book of Mark, I think its Mark, Jesus looks at a blind man and sighs. Jesus sighed before even telling the man he would be healed. He sighed, and I'm not sure that there's a much more human expression of frustration than this. Faced with the horrid picture of a cursed earth and looking into the white eyes of a man blind from the day he was born, He sighed. The Creator of the universe in human form was sad "of the evils of this world," the world He created. Your Creator sighed for you in the same way before He healed you and made you His."
-- Jesse, in response to my Weltschmerz blog entry

"After the last tear falls
After the last secret's told
After the last bullet tears through flesh and bone
After the last child starves
And the last girl walks the boulevard
After the last year that's just too hard
There is love

-- Andrew Peterson, After the Last Tear Falls

"when you most need people, you don't need perfection - just to know someone gives a damn"
--Jamie, during a recent IM conversation

How will you answer when, years from now, your child asks you: 'Mom or Dad, what did you do to combat the evil of squirrel hazing?'"
--From Dave Barry's Blog

"My brother's always [telling me], 'You should be more mysterious--boys like that.' But I'm not good at that. It would just make me more uncomfortable."
--Rosie Thomas, in an interview with Kathleen Wilson

"Loners want to kill you, but not for any particular reason, and they'd probably like you if they weren't being guided by the violent voices in their head."
--The non-box result from a random quiz I took today. (No, I frankly can't recommend this quiz site, but if you're really bored and you're not seeking to remain pure, go right ahead..)

"No one wants to oil a snake these days!"
-- Emmett Otter, Emmett Otter's Jug Band Christmas (Found under the Specials section of the TV section of the Henson website.)

Jamie: "I am one of the greatest criminal masterminds in the world."
Her mom: "We're all safe."

-- Jamie Bevill and her mother during Christmas-Decorating dinner, December 20, 2002

"and if i were a jetson
i'd throw out all my shoes
i'd set up cans for friends
to dump their shoes senseless shoes
a pioneer of callouses
lordy-be and bless my soul
i'd be a barefoot spaceman
the first you'd ever know"
-- Eddie From Ohio, If I were a Flinstone

"The best way to have God's will for your life is to have no will of your own!"
-- Charlene Potterbaum, Thanks Lord, I Needed That!

"Generations circle and each one atones. The sins of the father are seperate from my own. In Pilgrim's Progress, it's forgiveness that makes whole, and as time levels and consoles, I place the daisies in your bowl."
--Jan Krist, Daisies in Your Bowl

"For a moment he just stared at her. Then, with an urf-urf-urf of laughter, he turned back to the controls."
"They made good time, despite the lingering tenderness of Mara's ankle and the distractions inherent in a faceful of itch."
-- Timothy Zahn, Star Wars: Heir to the Empire

"It's on the internet.. so, then, it must be true."
-- Five Iron Frenzy, The Untimely Death of Brad

"Be at least as interested in what people can become as you are in what they have been."
-- Steve Griffin

Blessed be the rock stars!"
--Justin Dillon Stevens

Get up for the shower.. wash and scrub and scour every part as if a cleaner man could better bear the shame..
--The Waiting, Look At Me

"She was eating gnarly amounts of calcium."
--Samuel Hernandez

Homeless man to girl trying to give him money: "No, thanks, ma'am. I never work on Sundays."
-- Amilie, the movie.

"Wow! I never thought I'd need a radar-guided spatula!"
-- Larryboy, Larryboy and the Angry Eyebrows

"Isn't it great that I articulate? Isn't it grand that you can understand? ... I can talk, I can talk, I can talk!"
-- Wilbur, Charlotte's Web (the movie)

I believe that people laugh at coincidence as a way of relegating it to the realm of the absurd and of therefore not having to take seriously the possibility that there is a lot more going on in our lives than we either know or care to know... I suspect that part of it, anyway, is that every once and so often we hear a whisper from the wings that goes something like this: "You've turned up in the right place at the right time. You're doing fine. Don't ever think that you've been forgotten.
(and in another entry)
When we close our eyes to the deep needs of other people whether they live on the streets or under our own roof -- and when we close our eyes to our own deep need to reach out to them -- we can never be fully at home anywhere.
(and in another entry)
Maybe at the heart of all our travelling is the dream of someday, somehow, getting Home.
(and in another entry)
The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet. -- Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking: A Seeker's ABC

When I lay these questions before God I get no answer. But a rather special sort of "No answer." It is not the locked door. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. As though He shook His head not in refusal but waiving the question. Like, "Peace, child; you don't understand."
-- C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

CCM: You've spoken a lot more about crying than I ever thought you would.
JK: Oh, I've cried a lot. Truthfully, I've cried a lot more this past year than I've probably cried in five years.
CCM: Why?
JK: It's fun to feel.
-- An Interview with Jennifer Knapp in the January Issue of CCM Magazine

"Youth is not a period of time. It is a state of mind, a result of the will, a quality of the imagination, a victory of courage over timidity, of the taste for adventure over the love of comfort. A man doesn't grow old because he has lived a certain number of years. A man grows old when he deserts his ideal. The years may wrinkle his skin, but deserting his ideal wrinkles his soul. Preoccuptaions, fears, doubts, and despair are the enemies which slowly bow us toward earth and turn us into dust before death. You will remain young as long as you are open to what is beautiful, good, and great; receptive to the messages of other men and women, of nature and of God. If one day you should become bitter, pessimistic, and gnawed by despair, may God have mercy on your old man's soul."
-- General Douglas MacArthur

""Don't go matchmaking for me, Ilse," said Emily wit a faint smile... "I feel in my bones that I shall achieve old-maidenhood, which is an entirely different thing from having old-maidenhood thrust upon you."
-- Emily, from the Emily books by L. M. Montgomery

"I wish Aunt Elizabeth would let me go to Shrewsbury, but I fear she never will. She feels she can't trust me out of her sight because my mother eloped. But she need not be afraid I will ever elope. I have made up my mind that I will never marry. I shall be wedded to my art"
-- Emily, from the Emily books by L. M. Montgomery

"Tomorrow seems like a long ways away. But it will come, just like any other day... Deep inside, where the wounded creatures hide, I am afraid. Maybe I got lost somewhere along the way somehow. Please rescue me... Yea, though I walk through the valley of the dark shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For you are with me... Though I fear, though I am afraid, You are with me. Though I'm angry, tired, broken down and confused, You are with me. Though I sin like I've never sinned before, lose myself right out an open door, You are with me."
-- Waterdeep, You Are With Me

"The invisible people agreed about everything. Indeed most of their remarks were the sort it would not be easy to disagree with: "What I always say is, when a chap's hungry, he likes some victuals," or "Getting dark now; always does at night," or even "Ah, you've come over the water. Powerful wet stuff, ain't it?"" -- C. S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

"When People object... that if Jesus was God as well as Man, then He had an unfair advantage which deprives Him for them of all value, it seems to me as if a man struggling in the water should refuse a rope thrown to him by another who had one foot on the bank, saying, "Oh but you had an unfair advantage." It is because of His advantage that He can help."
-- C. S. Lewis

"But, you know, as a Christian, one of the big questions you always ask yourself is, "So we believe in Jesus, we believe in the teachings of the church, but what does that look like when it's lived out?" Because surely, one of the things that Jesus said that I think we often overlook is, "The person who hears my words and does them is like the wise man who built his house on the rock." He didn't say "the person who hears my words and thinks about 'em" or "whoever hears my words and agrees with it." But he said, "Whoever hears it and does it."
-- Rich Mullins, during a radio interview, as quoted in An Arrow Pointing to Heaven

"find that which gives you breath and grants you more to give
because life ends not in death but with what dies inside while we live"
--Christopher Williams, Breathe

"I have packed all my belongings. I don't belong here anymore. This pair of sandles, one pack to carry, this old guitar and this tattered old Bible. And I know I won't be afraid. 'cause I know, I know Home is where You are."
--Dog Named David, Heavenly Rain

"Open up your weepy eyes, everyone is dancing. Angels peer through sweet disguise, through a fire of cleansing.
--My Brother's Mother, Finest Hour

"Long hair, no hair; Everybody, everywhere: Breathe Deep, breathe deep the Breath of God!"
-- Lost Dogs, Breathe Deep

"You may be bruised and torn and broken, but you're Mine!"
-- Asiam, Relentless Love

"I don't deserve to speak, and they don't deserve to hear it. It's makin' me believe that it's not about me."
-- Justin McRoberts, The Story Stands Alone

"Kickin' against these goads sure did cut up my feet. Didn't your hands get bloody as you washed them clean?"
-- Caedmon's Call, Here I am Again

"They say God blessed us with plenty. I say you?re blessed with poverty. ?Cause you never stop to wonder whether earth is just a little better than the Land of the Free"
-- Andrew Peterson, Land of the Free

"Computers will know everything in the 21st century. They'll be like me in the 20th century."
-- Crabby Road