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
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Barbara, if you're reading, I love the beautiful ...shawl? ... I tried it on, too, and it's even more beautiful on because it hangs so pretty-like, but I didn't want to just fold it up somewhere between uses, so it's draped across my loveseat like a blanket, and it looks just gorgeous.
In other news, of course, I'm excited about the upcoming Patriots win this Sunday. There will be lots of folks staying up to watch the festivities overnight, though I have the early watch the next morning and may need to miss the last few minutes of the game to make it on time. I hope I can go home early that day, but (if not) of course Redbull exists for such a time as that....
I am tempted to even make a statement something the likes of: If all my Boston teams win all their respective sports titles over the next year, I know I ought to get me back to Boston after I get out. There are other options, but I think that is the most likely for me at this point. After two years of not driving here, getting back to Boston and driving everywhere but the city itself can't be a bad transition, though the snow and the cooler summers will take a little adjusting. But of course it's not REALLY just through sports teams that my footsteps will be guided, especially since I'm not REALLY all that into sports..... all the same, my lack of completely passion in the sports world itself makes it all the better a way to get suggestions from complex realms.
Anyway, it's way past time to be getting ready for bed and resting my poor little brain for a while.
I've added gestures to my Adventures in Arabic series, btw... like the sweeping motion (with your fingertips down, back of your hand towards the ceiling/sky) that means finished or go away, and the accompanying word that would best be spelling in English something like "(ch)hallas" where the (ch) is a hard h somewhere a mix between chalice and hard, or the way that Chanukkah can be pronounced. So whenever the Arabic woman starts talking to me in Arabic or makes a smart comment, I just tell her "finished" in Arabic (and always with the gesture) and she laughs because she knows that's one of the few things that's stuck with me, but I manage to use it almost every single day anyway. There are a few other gestures that I have incorporated into my non-verbal vocabulary, and the thought hasn't missed me that it'll be really fun when I do get back to the States and I'm using all these words and gestures that others probably won't be so familiar with, but I think they're there forever, just like "might could" and "fixin'" have stayed put since I succumbed.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Having been here for a while now, it's funny to me that the release was on the same day. Plenty logical for them, of course, but funny to me. But maybe this is a "you have to be here" kind-of thing.
Finally, tiny little bits of Arabic are starting to seep in to the point where I hear words out in town and I'm starting to pick up on a few. Last night I was out with a friend, and went into the restroom where there were two Arabic women at the sinks, and I thought they were talking to eachother at first. It turned out the one was on her cell phone and the other just waiting for her, but the one kept saying "he fainted? he fainted? and then he fainted?" all in English but with a heavy accent, and then suddenly, "Oh, mooskine!" the Arabic word that can mean things like "Oh, I pitty him!" or "I feel so sorry for him!" or "Poor baby!" (As with many languages, the ending denotes the gender of the subject, and therefore it's one word for males and add an ah for females. The Arab woman I know says the feminine to me all the time, but I recognized the masculine when I heard it because of those two things, the word itself and knowing the gender rules.)
Since (and I got this from my parents, by the way, both of them .. Mom and Dad, you know it's true) I have something of a tendency to say "poor baby" whenever anyone says something remotely whining, I think I'll just start saying the Arabic version instead. With that same tone of voice and pouty lip, I'm sure the meaning will come right across!
I've picked up a few other words here and there, and often pick up one from the Arab woman for at least a few hours, but it doesn't usually stick for long. This one stuck because she says it to me ALL THE TIME. If I stub my toe, if I'm frustrated with the dude at work that everyone hates, if I'm too busy to figure out where to start on something.... "Oh, mooskina!"
(The spelling is mine, by the way. Like other languages whose alphabets do not used roman-based characters, there is a "romaji" (for Japenese) or roman-style spelling where someone hears a word and writes down approximately how it would be spelled if it were in a roman-based language, which is why you see variations all the time, like Ashura and Ashoora for the New Year celebrations they're currently wrapping up. I'm not sure how all else folks would've spelled mooskin(a), but I knew I didn't want to use the u as in muskina because people would say muh-ski-n(ah) instead of moo-ski-n(ah), and they don't even have the uh sound over here in the same way.)
I've only come to recognize one Arabic character in writing, though, which is "no" or the negativizor. I noticed when watching English-language TV (which all has Arabic subtitles here) that anytime someone said "No! No!" that character came up twice, and also that when someone had a sentence that included words like don't, won't, can't, shouldn't, anything with a negative word or implication in it, that character was there as well. It's not unlike the character for the Japanese syllable "to" (pronounced "toe"), so it grabbed my attention for that reason first, and then I started noticing the association pattern with the English dailogue.
More Adventures in Arabic to come, I'm sure!
Monday, January 14, 2008
Finally, I got some pictures from some of the folks from the New Year's party.
This is how one might have turned out were there a sketch artist there who decided to do a portrait.... Consider this a reminder on sticking to your resolutions, should you have any (unlike me), and on continuing to have a happy new year!
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
And also, see, the thing is, that just because some extremists want to blow us up, that doesn't mean the majority, the innocent, the members of society about whom we should be most concerned, do not want us there. Those are extremists. Extremism exists everywhere, nomatter how good the people have it and nomatter how much other people leave them alone. Everywhere. The grass is ALWAYS thought to be greener by someone, and there will always be someone who things that they don't get enough attention and violence is the way to get it.
It's a dark and terrible world we live in sometimes, and trying to withdraw into an introverted, isolated group won't help anymore than spreading out into ignorant, controlling masses.
(This would be a good time to mention that when I said in November that I was particularly interested in watching Barak Obama and Ron Paul and interested in seeing what would happen next November, I didn't necessarily mean that I was particularly interested in VOTING for either of them. More that they are both getting out there an awful lot and both have things to say that do get me thinking, and I especially love watching what tiny buzz words make the audience clap or cause lots of chatter among the media and watercoolers, when people don't necessarily know what the candidate even just said...)
Sunday, January 06, 2008
It all started two evenings ago, when it *gasp* RAINED here! With thunder and lightening and everything! I hear it does that a bit in January most years, but it was still a strange feeling. And then a strange feeling that rain is a strange feeling.
This place really does go nuts when it rains, though. Puddles and ponds everywhere, folks who you'd think were driving on snow for the first time in their lives, the way they have to try so hard to turn on their wipers and get so different driving than the usual speed demons and crazy folk. So it was strange. It was all weird out tonight like it might rain again, or it might be sand, or it might be fog, or it might even be smoke. We'll see, I guess. I kinda wished when it was raining that it was late at night and I wasn't in the middle of a movie and I could've just curled up and gone to sleep to the sound, but then, it wasn't a very long storm anyway.
Work hours just keep getting longer and I don't go home because of reaching a good stopping place anymore, I go home because I can't see straight and I start spelling everything wrong and all that... so I now know for real why my predecessor seemed like a slacker, and it was because she'd been trying to juggle the greater part of these taskings all by her lonesome for three years, and it just can't be done. I have my supervisor, once he gets back from leave, but for her time here it was only her..... of course, there are also a lot of jobs that are new since I came on board, but overall it's a lot of work and more than one person could possibly do for more than a week. It's been several weeks now that our office has been particularly busy while also in the middle of holiday leave periods and all. I'd like to say that sometime not toooooo far away, it'll be normal, but I dunno... I'm still so busy trying to proove that one really bad supervisor wrong about not being able to give good customer service, but I am also learning a lot about not being overly thorough or answering too many questions that haven't been asked (like, "hey, did you want a sandwich for lunch?" "no, and I also didn't want a plate of speghetti or mashed potatoes, but maybe I could be interested in some ice cream or meatballs".... "umm.. ok, I was just gonna run to the deli and thought I'd see if you wanted a sandwich... but I guess not, so, yah.. there...") and other methods of not being quite so busy when I can help it......
So that's been my week or my month or ... well, my whole year so far I guess. I cannot believe it's already 2008. That's craziness.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
I had a one-disc VM marathon and got a friend hooked on it (thanks so much! I think I hadn't seen any of the first season and it's a great one!!! My favorite line so far was "You're flat" ... "I'm just as God intended!") so now I need to wait for said friend to be free to continue watching...
I am going to take a nap, as I'm completely drained. I had friends say there was a going-away tonight, but I feel like there was some cosmic hint for me not to end up there, so I'll probably just stay home and watch movies, as I often do. It's nice to escape sometimes, and I need it right now. 'Nite.
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
I was going to try to go back to see him one last time, because he recently told me he wanted that and that he'd wait for me for when I was originally planning to head back for my Associate's Degree graduation... but previous to that I had not been imagining I would see him again after saying goodbye in June before leaving the States. After planning to go back to see him, though, now that I don't have the chance it's a little hard, and especially because I'll never know if there was a particular reason he wanted to see me again or if it was just to see me again and to say goodbye.
All the same, he was finally able to let go. It is good for him. He held on for a very long time, and lived a very long life with amazing stories.
Goodbye, Gramps, and rest in peace.
Anyway, New Year's came, and I remember sitting in the chat room with people from all over the world, off and on for hours that day/night, ringing in the New Year in Hong Kong with Grace, and in Europe, and in every time zone in America, right down to Alaska and Hawaii. It was something magical, beautiful, unifying. I have never forgotten that experience. I have had a few other New Years' online since and they were all echoes of that first for me. I have since mostly moved into not-so-on-line celebrations despite the fact that most of my closest, longest-time friends are in the online category and that now that I'm overseas, most of my communication with anyone and everyone is as well... but it took some doing to try to find something like a ball drop at midnight in our time zone being broadcasted on anything here, and they were about to show something and switched to the Bhutto Assassination videos instead, which is a great way to change years, isn't it? So that was disappointing, but then they did show fireworks afterwards, though I think I was the only one watching.
It's impressive and communal to be part of a world with worldwide celebrations through a long timeframe so that we can all be together in them even very far away.
(Speaking of time, some of us dressed semi-formal for last night's party, and I hope to have some pictures soon to post... the nailpolish I wore to match my dress is called Time, which I figured was just that much more appropriate.)
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