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, November 26, 2008
After several weeks of REALLY long work-days (mostly ten or more hours) and working on many weekends, and this week in particular we had four days (since our Monday is on Sunday, so we only have tomorrow off and Friday is our normal weekend) and all of them were 11 to 14 hours at work... and we just have the three day weekend because we'll be working again on Sunday and I need to put in probably ten hours on Saturday as well and maybe I'll go in tomorrow after our little department Thanksgiving meal... so my point is that it's been a rediculously long week following a rediculously long month, and it seems it won't let up as we had hoped it would next week, but instead might go well into December...
So anyway, tonight when we were supposed to be getting off early as people often do the day before Thanksgiving, and we were cut loose by our boss at about 3:30pm (ok, an hour and a half instead of the half-day most people get, but it's something), but that's when the REAL work started. So by 6:30pm when I was finally so ready to fall over that I sent a few "I'm not ignoring your pay issue, I just wouldn't fix it correctly if I tried to do so right now" e-mails and then left for the evening.... I went and grabbed my friend Jen who was also still in her office for who-knows-what reason, and kidnapped her back here so that we could try to relax for one evening and recover from a crazy week.
(She, like myself, has also had some crazy stuff going on in her personal life that makes the out of work time that much less relaxing as well...)
It's Thanksgiving Eve, and we know all the rules about not starting with Christmas music, decorations, or anything else until after Thanksgiving... but we bucked the system and had an evening of eggnog and chatter, and then I popped in Andrew Peterson's Behold the Lamb of God DVD, and as she cried at some of the songs and I reminisced inside my head about the old days before I joined when I used to actually see this concert live and even went to Nashville to be with the community I used to be a part of (and miss terribly) and see the musicians I used to see in concert, this beautiful music kept weaving through the story behind the coming of Christ.
If you don't have this DVD or at least the CD already, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Seriously, let me know, and I will buy you one. Seriously. (It's a tax refund. Your taxes pay me, of course.) Just give me your address and I will get it ordered and mailed off to you right away.
This was the most perfect way to kick off the Christmas season that I could have found while here, and I am really Thankful for Jen, eggnog, and the BtLoG DVD.
I am Thankful for so much this year, and I am so much looking forward to where next year will find me. Perhaps in Nashville again whenever they do the BtLoG concert there, and perhaps with many new and wonderful things to be thankful for, as well as the return of some familiar old faces and hobbies/activities.
Four and a half years in, 16 months here so far. It's been a Long, Long journey. The next eight months are going to fly right by!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Shelley is still keeping me company here, of course. And I think that other than the soil that got everywhere from MB diggin through my plants, and the soil bag that no longer has one of its major edges or the cardboard box that can't really stand on its own too well anymore now that the corner seams have been chewed all to bits, it seems the only other real damage were the little presents she left for me... all in all, so far it seems she didn't do toooo terribly much damage while in residence.
And now that I've done nothing I needed to do this evening (and I mean really needed to do), I'm off to stay up late sewing and ironing and such... goodnight.
Friday, November 21, 2008
I do have two new girl friends with whom I spent the evening last night, which was, to make an understatement, a much better way to spend the evening than working as I thought I would be until 11pm. Fortunately, we were able to leave instead and I ended up not going in today either as I was originally going to, because I was sick again, but I actually would have rather been at work today than here being sick. I have lost all the weight I gained back and then some, I think, and the jeans that fit me so perfectly and comfortably when I came here now fall down several inches if I don't wear a belt, and I've had to add extra safety pins around the waistline of all my skirts. Anyway, tomorrow should be a nice day if I keep getting better as I have been throughout this evening, and maybe I'll get to go try out the new camera equipment I just got in (I bought the lenses and some other accessories from my wish-list tracker to go with my D80). THAT is something to look forward to!
Mousey Brown has evaded every attempt I've made to trap her without injury and take her outside, and she has also apparently tried to dig her way to China through my potted plants. So that was pretty upsetting to me, to see my aloe and my wildflower sprouts all disheveled (or is that de-shoveled?) and injured, with soil all over the floor and the back of one couch. The good news is that I think I know where she hides when I'm around, and it just so happens to be in the box in which I am storing my extra soil, seeds, etc, so I should be able to just put a big plastic bag around the whole thing and take it outside to release her far away from buildings, where she can fight it out with the rather large local stray cat population.
Shelley, on the other hand, has become a rather welcome addition to my nightly routine, waiting to hear her starting up her songs, and being able to tell it's still not time to wake yet if she's still singing. (Although the sun rises here very, very early, I keep the thick curtains in my room shut and the neon from the nearby buildings still leaks in, so it's not easy to guess the hour without concentrating too much for early morning)... I doubt I will ever catch her for outdoor release, and she seems content enough as far as I can tell, so I just try to somehow get food close enough to where she stays that maybe she will get over her fear of me enough to reach it. I still have the large paper cup stuffed with some of my old spinach stalks and paper towel pieces sitting there near the fridge, too, so that if she ever does decide she'd like to be released outside as well, I can do so.
That has been my life lately. Oh, and one other thing:
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Finally, some pictures from when I went to see the boat up close:
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I left at this time to go visit the Fort with some friends (alas, I forgot my camera) and when I returned that evening (have I mentioned it gets very dark here very early?) I performed a fairly thorough search for her to re-evaluate my trap needs. She was not to be found. I did see that the socks I was using to block the "back door" (quotation marks quite intentional) had been pushed aside, and I could only assume this was how she had got in and hopefully got back out.
I didn't bother putting up my trap just yet because that would involve energy, so it was still there when I came home from work this evening (since this morning was a roll out of bed and hit the streets type due to department watch), but all the bread was gone. So I think Mousey Brown is still here.
Since I used to have gerbils (oh, so many!), I am not afraid of Mousey Brown as some might be. Cautious, yes, and aware that she is probably carrying some germs for which my system would not be quite ready, but not afraid. However, it's a bit disconcerting thinking she could be anywhere in this house while I sleep.
I have my fitness test tomorrow, though, and since my one sofa-crash-pad-hosting friend has gone already, and the others have recently drifted off into the world of Notaround, I will be sleeping restlessly here I'm sure. Well, here's hoping Mousey is as shy as she is cute, as reclusive as she is sneaky.
Monday, November 10, 2008
This weekend was interesting. I had some pretty significant cultural encounters with my international friends. I worked a lot. I listened to Shelley each evening, and I tried to give her some food and water, but I think she's still sticking in that back corner.... hopefully she gets unscared soon. And I went down to see that weird boat sitting in the low-tide area which has been featured in photos I've posted here... so now I have new pictures, some of which I'll post soon, probably tomorrow.
And I might even be off tomorrow. I'm on cleaner watch this week but I was told that even though it's not a local holiday, they won't be coming in (though they didn't know that as of today, so I'm not sure it's true just yet) and I also have department watch tomorrow but have been told I should just be turning over sometime in the afternoon in between our two houses rather than having to go in... this will be really nice if it proves true. It has already been a very, very long week. By this morning I felt like Sunday (our workweek start) was two or three days ago (have I mentioned we don't get paid overtime?) .... so after tomorrow (whether or not I have to go in) just two more days and then hopefully a weekend of not working.... that would be nice.
Eight more months, so I'm really trying to get to college applications and such, but it's so darn hard to get to that.. I need to just set aside an hour or few one day and knock it out to say I'm done... I at least did that this past weekend with some of the housecleaning I haven't gotten to in a bit, and this week I'm working on knocking out mailing back videos I borrowed during my leave back in May. Think folks would be glad to have them back? (Mom?)
It's bedtime so that I can think straight whether to work or to address boxes... hope you've had a lovely day!
Saturday, November 08, 2008Katy posted about her voting decision, including this:
I felt through this whole election, before and after, that there was in some circles a rather overemphasis on the race issue despite the press about how much the Obama campaign tried to suppress that. Even though it didn't come up in many conversations at my office (perhaps it was not even the elephant in the room, most of the time), the post-election reaction has made it quite apparent that this was what was on many minds even if they didn't speak it in my presence. Did they feel like they couldn't? Most of those who didn't mention it during but have often since haven't known me for long enough to know of my absolute distaste for making racial issues larger than they could be, or of my own past experiences that lends credibility to my view. They have, perhaps, known me for long enough to see that I am the consistant in relation to race, that I speak professionally to Officers regardless of their color, and in working situations, and that I may speak informally (usually with a mix of Deep-Southern and ebonics as strong influences) in my down-time, but that the color make-up of the audience is not a factor in how I speak.
Anyway, I say all of this to say that his acceptance speach was very good, very moving. I agree wholeheartedly with Katy that he is a very charismatic speaker who can wrap most listeners into the moment and capture attention and appreciation with seeming ease. Because of a phone call (it was working hours here when ya'll were getting the official results), I missed the portion of the speech when he talked about the 106 year old woman who was determined to stay alive to see a black president elected. When one of my supervisors was telling me about this later (and was also talking about her mother being so very glad for the same reason), and then I received an e-mail -- from the base Equal-Opportuntiy Advisor of all people -- that showed simple characatures of each president, all the previous in the same beige-flesh-tone and then suddenly a dark characature at the end, with the caption being about how the voice of the American common man has spoken up for diversity..... when all of these things were happening, I still couldn't escape the overwhelming idea that perhaps we have brought ourselves our first black president in the same way that many people find their first spouses... jumping at the first decent option that comes along.
I am not saying that I don't think he will be a good president. As I mentioned that morning, I am not upset about not getting my ballot this year (although apart from the Presidential election, I'm not sure what else was on the Florida ballot this time around and would perhaps be more opinionated about those issues) because I feel pretty apathetic about the decision this time around. No clear winner and no clear loser for me. How he does as president, and how we shape up as a nation, will be determined in time regardless of how much promise he may hold now.
What I am saying is that if he was truly the far-and-away best candidate, I think the margin in the popular vote might have been a bit more dramatic. I think that the conversations would be less about race and more about policy and history.
But, since I don't think he was a worst candidate, either, or even a particularly bad one, I do join in the hope that his presidency will go well, that we will see many improvements in our nation and in the world. I do hope that it continues the constant search for reconciliation, but I will know it has succeeded when we stop having so many Firsts all the time. I'd like to see our presidential candidates have a race-free race. That is not to say that we won't relate to ethnic aspects of their personal heritage (just as we do to their religion or their family's countries-of-origin) but simply that it won't be such a primary factor for the majority. For example, my Irish heritage helps me appreciate a candidate who shares this heritage, but not all white candidates. His Kenyan heritage could be related to by fellow Kenyan-descendents, but not necessarily all of African descent. It's notable that the white side of his heritage is barely acknowledged, at least in what has reached us over here.
I have mentioned before that this country (where I am now) is a remarkable joining of races and cultures. I forget if I have ever mentioned that, as with many or most other regions, there is also a certain elitist thinking among many of the locals, especially in their perspective of certain other nationalities who have more often filled a servant or laboror role within society here. It gets a little bit deeper than I think I could (or am ready to) express on here, but it has been interesting to become aware of and able to understand exactly what the different ideas are about various local/regional countries (even those at the top of the elitism tiers) and how many of them view the other surrounding countries. This mentality has made this election very interesting from a different perspective than I would have had if I had been living in the States during it, from much more of a world-view than I could have possibly had if I weren't here during it.
Here's to democracy, here's to reconciliation and to diversity, here's to overcoming, truly overcoming.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Since scaring her, she's found a new favorite place towards the back, near the corner of the walls, and on the outside of the concrete support found back there. This narrow tunnel-like area creates a very pleasing echo, so that now it sounds like I'm back in the country listening to crickets outside my window. It's pretty now, and not annoying. I've also grown quite accustomed to hearing this as I come home from work (which has often been around 8pm lately) and as I fall asleep. What I don't look forward to is the day that I have still not released her outside but that I don't hear that sound anymore... i'm not sure what she's been finding to eat under there, but I hope there's plenty.
I've named her Shelley. For almost having a shell. It sounded better than exoey.
Because my lease since that I cannot have pets, I haven't taken in one of the many really gorgeous cats here that I might otherwise like to. And because I don't have a car, I haven't started volunteering at the animal shelter as I had wanted to. So now, having Shelley here, and my newish window garden, so that there is some organic, living matter here besides myself, is a little more friendly to come home and wake up to.
And speaking of waking up, it's our weekend but I have duty, so I've gotta get my coffee now and head out, and hopefully I'll my brain will be a little more awake by the time I get there and it matters.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
After being thoroughly exhausted by work this week (by yesterday it felt like Wednesday, and today was long as well, but now it's exciting to think that we're half-done and tomorrow really is Wednesday and then just Thursday before our weekend!!) .. and by the cold that is kicking my tail as we speak.... I came home to find an e-mail from one of my mailing list subscriptions in my box.
http://www.randallgoodgame.com/ Randall Goodgame has a new EP out! It's a digital release, so for just six bucks you get as many songs, and I've already listened to them a few times through and very, very highly recommend you download yourself a copy, too.
After following a few links on that page, I found that Andrew Peterson had released an album a couple of weeks ago (which has brought up some web browser trouble, so that I'll have to buy this one from work tomorrow) and that Eric Peters is working on a new one as well. He's got an interesting post here that I think you should check out, especially those of you who have been fortunate enough to become familiar with his music. Or who like music. Or who like people.
Since I took up a lot of time enjoying the abundance of new music (along with these, I'm also listening to some of my recent downloads from Paste) and trying to figure out the browser issues in the AP store, I am once again up way past my bedtime.. which I shouldn't have done since rest is important to a sick person; but this cold will pass just like all the others, but every minute without good music is .... well... sad.
I'm going to bed now. About the time I wake up, there will already be preliminary results(perhaps nearly official until all the absentee and recounts and other such votes come in) on the election, I'm sure. My absentee ballot did not arrive in time, and I'm really not too upset because I just really don't feel there is as much of a difference between these two candidates to either be tooo terrible excited about one in particular taking office, or so scared about one that I have to vote for the other to keep the one out (as would have happened had the Democratic nominee been that woman instead of that man...)
So we'll see what the new day brings. Now it's off to process through dreams about what has been.
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