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, October 31, 2008Happy Halloween!!
And: See, I really am trying to gain the weight back....
This, ladies and gentlemen, is (purported to be) a camel burger! Used to be that when you ate one of these puppies and its side items, you'd get a tee-shirt that said something about how, believe it or not, the wearer had eaten a camel burger at such-and-such hotel/restaurant. Eight of us went tonight, and I think we all finished the camel burger and sides (even myself, and also even the little Japanese woman with us! ... which may not be surprising after the recent Hot Dog Eating Contest win.... ) ... no one walked away with a tee, though, so one of the guys thinks they're not doing it anymore.
It was a fun night out, good little escape, lots of good photos.
And, also, I'm guessing that someone in my building has a snake. That's the only way that I can explain the fact that the only cricket I've ever heard of even existing in this entire country has taken up residence under my fridge... I thought my fridge was breaking (like many other things in this flat have since I moved in) but was glad to find that the really high pitched whirling sound was just the now-unfamiliar sound of a very confused cricket. I'm trying to catch him humanely and put him outside, but I'm also tired of the headache I've been getting (crickets under fridges in marble-and-mirror kitchens tend to echo a weeeee bit) and I'm not sure he'll survive too long outside either.
Anyway, it's late here now, most of you guys are about to be another hour further away time-wise on Sunday, and I have some face paint to go wash off... goodnight, and since it's well past midnight here, Happy All Saints' Day!
(And Happy Birthday, Victor!)
Sunday, October 26, 2008
And I was not very large in high school.
I think I need to find a new stres coping mechanism... I still eat ice cream a lot, but obviously that's just not doing it for me anymore. Perhaps I should eat only pasta??
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I remember, of course, the old tall, yellow popcorn-poppers of the eighties and seventies... and the little foil-wrapped stovepacks, and I know families who pop popcorn in large pots on the stove... But for much of my life, microwave popcorn has been standard, and the saltier and more buttery, the better, in my humble opinion. I love getting the remnants of salt and butter coating off the side of the bag.
I brought some microwave popcorn over to my international friends', and they were surprised and happy and excited... apparently it's rare for them to even see this in stores, much less actually cook it. Some of them plan to take a bunch home with them to give/show to friends when they leave here. They didn't even realize that we sell it on base, because they didn't ever think to look for it since it's just not a part of their lives.
The girl stood right near the microwave and watched it every second, laughing and clapping. I gave them the micro-popcorn 101 lesson about listening for the three-second gap in pops to know it's done and not burn it. It was just so surreal to me to see folks who are in my generation, though a few years older than I, who were so impressed by microwave popcorn!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Many places here use fun text, such as "on Sunday the 21th" routinely. I love saying them how they spell them. Twenty-firth. It's just so great!
When my international friends and I went out for some Indian food the other night (which was absolutely delicious!!!!), we had large plates full of yummy nummies... so afterwards, one of the guys says "I'm so full" and I responded "me, too" of course.. the French guys burst out laughing and the French female explained to me that in France, the females do not say things like this. I think she was saying it had something to do with lady-like discretion. I explained that I'm an American lady, and so I'm full. Also, I learned some time ago that in France, it is not ok to burp around others. Guys don't do it as a competition in a group of only guys (I would think maybe some of the younger ones are learning to do so now, but not the guys my age) and you don't do it around your family, either. So when these French friends got around Americans here for the first time, they were very shocked at first (and now somewhat amused) by all of the burping that can take place.
There are many words that are in one language a regular, every-day word (like the Arabic word for "your book", for example, which is kitabich) that can sound very similar to bad words in other languages (the way kitabich is pronounced is more like get-a---- and you can imagine the rest)... I have run into this often with Arabic, French, Hindi, Tagalog, and some other languages frequently spoken here, and many of them have pointed out English/American words that sound not so friendly within their languages.
The regional TV networks (multiple channels each) here are great examples of really good tries at marketing their products in English but just not quite hitting it square on the head.... Two of the main ones copy from imdb or other reviews, but they'll cut off mid-sentence or leave out really important key words. Sometimes it's pretty cute. One also comes up with great headings for their shows, which are sometimes pulled from imdb plot lines and sometimes are not... For example, their headline for Gray's Anatomy says "Medicine Nor Relationships Can Be Defined in Black & White" or for Dr Phil it says "Development of Life Strategies to Be Adopted by Others".
They've been mostly getting better recently, but there have still been some pretty funny ones from time to time. I'll try to remember to post some of them whenever they come up.
There were a couple of other things that happened over the last few days that I wanted to blog about, but I forget now what they were. Ah, well, perhaps it will come to me another time.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
So, now it's time for me to leave for my Arabic final this evening, and then it's Oktoberfest on base. Maybe I'll grab some more giant mugs for my collection.
These pictures are from that evening when I mentioned staying for dinner. They're also to show you another aspect of the quasi-European diet and why it's so effective at weight loss. Eating dinner with my international friends that evening, the French were kind enough to share with me the Saucisson they had received in the mail that week. Yes, in the mail. Not, from what I could understand of the conversation, in a refrigerated special delivery package... and from the looks of the actual sausage, it couldn't have been stored very specially. But they were really excited to received it, and really glad to be eating it, and savored every moment.
(I found this article while trying to figure out exactly what it was I was eating:
Just in case you can't get the full appreciation for how scary this item looked (and you can imagine the smell, too!), here is a closer cropped version.
So, can you see why I'm losing weight here now?!?
Another aspect is how things over here are just not what they are back home. Take, for example, this French dressing. Seriously, this is straight off the shelf, not a reused bottle. I tried to explain to them that this is ranch dressing, maybe a garlic ranch after I tasted it, but certainly NOT French dressing. They said the store just did it to sell more. Because, of course, if it's associated with the word French, everyone will buy lots of it!
Apart from the saucisson, we also had some nice hot saucisse, lamb chops, and a few other dishes. So to cook the other meats, they fired up the grill. I took lots of shots, but this is my favorite... to me, it looks like a clown jumping on a trampoline. See the little legs and the big belly and the arms flailing in the air?
After dinner was a lot of sitting around and lounging by the pool, as usual. They swiped my camera from me, so I figured I'd show you how I'm looking these days.
And, finally, here is the moon from that night. This was one of only three pictures I managed to take where I didn't only get a white shape, so I really need to get back into studying my photography rules/tricks. Anyway, it was a beautiful moon that night and I always think of Fievel and the song "Somewhere Out There" when I'm looking at the moon here.
Oh! And I found out tonight that Get Smart and The Dark Knight are both still playing at the theater here, so I'm probably going to see at least one of those unless you guys tell me that it would be a waste of time... but I imagine Get Smart should be pretty good. Let me know, guys. Thanks!
It started out with getting my hair done, and then getting ready for the evening, my two bodyguards arrived to pick me up:
And we enjoyed the ball, complete with new friends at the table (one of whom is here, but there were six others) and a whole new appreciation for American ceremonies on behalf of my foreign companions. They don't have a Prisoner of War ceremony/rememberance table in most other services, and were particularly impressed by this symbolism.
Some other parts of the ball were not so impressive, particularly the dj (who broke most of the cardinal rules of dj'ing, like making it about him instead of the music), so we left there earlier than expected to go to our favorite local haunt.
I had to get extra fun out of the hair since I paid a decent bit for it and I'm compusively against short-term expenses in general... it looked pretty nice the next day when I let just a few ringlets out, and then that night I took out more than fifty pins from my hair since my scalp finally hurt enough to not keep them in. Seriously, more than fifty. It was a large stack. No wonder my hair didn't come out that night!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Kaly and Paul, the Filipino restaurant I went to today kind-of reminded me of the sign from your trip... nothing that drastically odd, but still some things that just weren't quite good translations. And they were watching Pinoy TV there (the Filipino channel), which had "Celebrity Duos" on, and so it was fun listening to, as you said, the very interesting language experience of the mix of Spanish, English, and the native tongue. What I've always loved about Tagalog is how when they are saying a word in English that is not in English in Tagalog, the have a very strong accent and you can easily place the word as being spoken by a Filipino. But when they are speaking Tagalog and a word that is in English in Tagalog is said, it is said with the nuetral American accent, such as "steamer" or "seven days a week" (real examples from today's TV shows), where they would sound thickly accented as foreign words to the speaker but as native words they sound like a regular announcement. Before someone says this is part and parcel of TV programs, I have heard the same thing about my Filipino friends, where in speaking English the accent is very strong (pood sale, pundraiser, and froblem being some of my favorite FilAm words) but in speaking English-within-Tagalog there is, by US standards, no accent at all.
Anyway, as I said, it's way past my bedtime. So, goodnight to you all, and God Bless!
Right now, for example.. I woke up around 9 this morning (sleeping in is loverly!!) and had some coffee, because I'm not much of a breakfast person and because I was planning on lunch at noon with some French and Filipino friends... the Filipinos had to bail and one of the French guys slept much later than planned, and so it's now almost an hour later than planned and they're just now starting to take their showers and get ready. My stomach is growling like crazy, and they haven't even picked me up yet! So it'll be probably another thirty minutes to an hour by the time we get to the restaurant, order, are served, and my belly is satiated. Then I won't be hungry again, hopefully, until later in the evening and will probably just have something small since it'll be so close to bedtime.....
So, just thought I'd share since that's what's on my mind right now and since the dress I was wearing to the ball did NOT fit me when I bought it at a thrift store here (I was more interested in the fabric than the actual dress at the time) and it pretty much fit me this time around... and clothes that fit me just fine when I left Jax to come here are now a lot baggier on me. Which is sad, since I really liked my wardrobe and since I hate spending money... but then, I'm still wearing my old size-12 pants with safety pins all around the waistline, because I really don't care about the fashion so much as the comfort.... so there you have it.
Saturday, October 11, 2008Broken English, which is about a New York girl who randomly meets a French guy one evening and about their relationship, but also about her best friend and about her own self-discovery... some of which takes place in Paris. I really enjoyed this movie, especially because so much of it mirrors some of the interactions (especially with accents) that I've had with some of the friends I've made here. Some of the accent jokes were exactly like experiences I've had (having them tell me they're hungry but it sounds like angry, so that I responded "why are you angry?" and it took a while to sort everything out) .... and some didn't work for me at first because I've gotten so used to the accent.
This has been perhaps the best weekend I've had here in a while. We had an extra session in Arabic class on Friday, so two days in a row I had that class, and the Navy Ball was last night, so I'll post pictures of that soon (I'm meeting a friend for a beer in a minute) and today apart from class was very relaxing, and then tomorrow is a third day off which is fantastic.... I didn't have to refuse to think about work so much this weekend like I usually struggle to do, because a lot of the issues that made for very late hours these past three weeks got mostly cleared up this past week, and some of the others my Chief ordered me to get apathetic about for my own health, especially if they involved people who could have taken care of their own issues and neglected to do so.
Anyway, it's time for that beer, so I'll post some more pictures later or tomorrow. 'Nite!
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