Archive for November, 2004

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Words, Words, Words, with some Cooking Advice thrown in for Good Measure

November 29, 2004

Mood: Bemused/Thoughtful
Song: "Always a Woman"-Billy Joel

Shhhhh…

What I am about to reveal in this posting could brand me a traitor to my gender:

When will guys ever learn the fundamental truth that the biggest turn on for women (coming, of course, from someone whose life is still PG-13 until May 28th πŸ™‚ ) is an emotional connection? I know, we all are aware of this and it is even the subject of many jokes; however, the fundamental principle remains. Anything physical becomes even more *indescribably* wonderful when in the context of a meaningful relationship built on mutual trust, respect, honesty, and honor.

I'm not a feminist by any stretch of the imagination (I'm actually quite conservative), so don't start burning any undergarments yet, ladies. On the other hand, I understand now why communication is so essential. Sadly, I am convinced that many males have no concern for what we're thinking or feeling, becoming almost totally focused on having thier own needs met.

Let me use a fishing analogy (borrowed from a book I'm reading entitled Love is a Decision)

If you want a perfect cast every time, it's important to take care of your reel so it will be working when you need it. Any deep-seated issues in a relationship will show up physically first. This makes sense, when you think about it, since those needs fall at the bottom of Maslow's hierarchy. The relationship in the above metaphor, of course, is the reel (minds out of the gutter, please πŸ™‚ ). Honestly, I think that women fundamentally desire security, and I know more people than I care to mention who have gotten into trouble to ensure the rug isn't pulled out from under them. Men, on the other hand, are often about ego (not in a bad way…we all need a well-developed sense of self).

Here's MY "taxicab confession"-

I HAVE TRUST ISSUES

*whew* I'm glad that's said πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ :). We can't excuse our problems by blaming them on our parents (sorry, Sigmund Freud), nor can we use the old standby line, "That's just the way I am." Confession starts by taking ownership upon understanding the gravity of what we have done. I'm leading a Bible study on Genesis, and in a recent lesson we read about Abraham's deception of the Philistine king Abimelech when he told Abimelech that his wife Sarah was really his sister. When confronted, Abraham initiated a rear-covering maneuver by saying, "Well, actually she really IS my half-sister. She just happens to be my wife as well". Sidetrack??? I don't think it is. The patriarch wasn't being completely honest, and I discovered this weekend that I'm not usually honest even with myself.

A small issue on Wednesday turned into a big issue; Charles, unfortunately, had to bear the brunt of it. I was upset, but I didn't know how upset I was until later. Thus, I told him everything was fine (and I thought it was), but when he was on his way to see me I realized that I really was bothered by it.

It must have been extremely hurtful for Charles to realize that the person he loves ends up pulling away or holding back because she doesn't count on you to be there for her or follow through. Of course, I don't count on anyone to be there (not without cause, mind you). This weekend I had to confront myself, and the sight turned me to stone. I wish sometimes I had the ability to erase the past, to return to a state of innocence and trust. Unfortunately, the ghosts always remain, like Hamlet's father rising from their Purgatory to return and stir me to act.

My relationship history is spotty at best (one genuine relationship that ended VERY badly after being a "yo-yo relationship" for years, and one "friend" who turned into a stalker [Direct Quote: "You know, there are lots of places outside your house where someone could hide and you'd never even realize it"] *involuntary shudder*). The tragedy of it all was that for so long (and probably still today), I thought I deserved to be used-my ex wanted me to step into the sidelines as soon as he found someone else, then when that didn't work, he'd intentionallty get my hopes up again just so that he could gratify his own wants. My mother is still friends with the parents of my ex, and in a phone conversation his mom said to mine, "Oh, yes, he's trying to convince M. (his wife) to come to the wedding". My first thought: Oh, gee, I thought people actually wanted to be INVITED before planning to attend an event :P. Unacceptable! The tragedy is, I never told either of these two individuals (the ex and the freaky stalker) how much they hurt me. Not that it would have made a difference to either of them, but I'm just beginning to become unfrozen again.

I want to be a woman of high moral character, but I am also aware of every minute flaw-if I were to paint my picture, I could etch in every line and crease.

The worst of it all is that I still absolutely blame myself. Under the mercy alone can I hope to stand.

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Turkey Ad Infinitum, Ad Nauseum

November 26, 2004

Happy Shopping

Mood: humble
Song: "Give Thanks"

After two…count them, TWO Thanksgiving dinners yesterday, I am convinced that I will never be hungry again (thank you, Scarlet O'Hara). My sweetie and I were able to spend Turkey Day together after all, and I couldn't be happier. Every time I see him, I love him more deeply, more passionately than I thought possible. I can't WAIT for May. Then again, there's always Las Vegas. Not that everything's perfect…I discovered this weekend that I have issues (not that those of you who know me didn't already have an awareness of that fact). Thanks be to God, C. and I were able to have some *serious* discussions. It's not necessarily solved, but I realized that I have a pattern of not trusting, based on reasons which are too complex and detailed to get into right now. He doesn't deserve a fiancee who detaches from him, and it frustrates me as well. Pray hard, but know that things are going well right now.

Now that Thanksgiving is past for another year (except for turkey leftovers at my aunt's tonight and "Thansgiving part deux at my stepdad's family for Christmas), I have compiled the following and comprehensive list of "gratefuls". More will be added in a clearly untimely fashion:

***the ability to breathe***my loving Heavenly Father***a workable relationship with my earthly father***loving and being loved***sparkliness***starriness***elephants-reminders that God really does have a sense of humor***Charles Michael, for his ability to know me intimately and love me despite myself***Miriam Grace with her compassion and brilliance***Rebecca Ann, for teaching me patience and the value of integrity***Renee Michelle, a living demonsration that people really can change, God willing***Amanda Catherine, with her ability to create a Christmas ornament that distinctly resembles a fetal pig***Kimberly Lynn, for her demonstration that you actually can like your family and for her sense of style***Evan Franklin, my cousin/brother (no, not what you're thinking-honestly, those evil minds…I consider him to be like my brother ;)***occasional Faerie Queene Book 1 dreams***my fuzzy vaccum cleaner, Rosie Jane***books, books, books***Shakespeare's language***freedom to choose with responsibility to choose wisely***reminders of heaven***cooler weather***the beauty (now that I can actually SEE it) of the desert in winter***my mom and stepdad, for showing me that people don't always leave***my father, because I have learned through him to love unconditionally***Vrinda/Brenda, since she and I are different as day and night, but we understand eachother somehow***Tejas, my little brother, for his wicked sense of humor :)***shelter***food***neat clothes in normal sizes that actually fit***only 6 months 'til the wedding***the confusion of realizing that you don't know everything after all***the ability to feel*** πŸ™‚

It's okay if you're confused πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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Danke Shoen

November 24, 2004

Mood: Bored (be afraid, be very afraid πŸ˜‰ )
Song: "9 to 5"

Today's grateful, strangely enough, is work, where I'm sitting right now typing this oh-so informative post.

I am a writing tutor at my local community college, and I couldn't be happier here. The only problem is that students keep expecting me to read their inane papers for their English classes; I mean, really! As if I had time for that with all my e-mailing, phone-calling, and blogging :)! J/K of course (in case my boss is reading this πŸ˜‰ ).

I don't know what I would have done without this job during the time when I was composing my thesis (now available in my college library-I'm published!!!!). I have time to work on my studies, and the atmosphere is relaxed.

It would only be better if Mircat worked here too πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ :).

N.B. 1: Notice how I did NOT use the new cover sheet for TPS reports on this posting πŸ˜›
N.B. 2: I think someone's trying to take my stapler…

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Efcharasto

November 23, 2004

Mood: Friendly
Song: "Friends" by Michael W. Smith

Grateful #2

I am so blessed by the tremendous friendships I've gained during my 24 years. I am not the type of person to be a social butterfly; in fact, I consider myself a kind of social gnat. Even so, God has brought people into my life to sharpen me and make me over into his image.

These individuals, and they should know who they are, deserve my loyal love, which is what I ever strive to give.

They are all different, these friends of mine, and each is incredible. I do not deserve thier friendship, but I have it anyway. Marriage may be how God chose to represent his love for us, and in its self-sacrifice this may or may not be true (I'll let you know after May 28th πŸ™‚ ). Regardless, friendship also has a touch of the divine in it–of all the loves we have, friendship is the most like God's love for us in that it is unnecessary and even superflous at times. We CHOOSE friendships, unlike family members or (sometimes) even mates. Thus, there is something fragile and delicate about friendship relationships, and they can be shattered in an instant with a careless word.

I wrote my thesis on friendship in marriage, and so I must state that I believe friendship can, and in fact should, exist in marriage as well. Here's the classical definition (hinted at in several of my other postings): Amicitia aequalitas est. Amicus alter ipse. There, I think that's all cleared up now :). Okay, okay *sound of arm being twisted*, you talked me into it; Friendship is equality-a friend is a second self. Friends mirror each other, and the closeness of true friendship is severed only in death. I always get a kick out of the strange tale of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson (thank you, Mrs. Perl, AP US History teacher). Both men signed the Declaration of Independence, and were, at one time, close companions. Politics divided them, but towards the end of their lives they reestablished their bond. In fact, Adams's last words, spoken on July 4, 1826, 50th Anniversary of the signing of the Declaration, were, "Jefferson still lives". Ironically, in his bed at Monticello, Jefferson was also breathing his last and died on the exact same day.

May I never wait that long to tell my friends how much they mean to me! I hope that every conversation ends in such a way that I would not regret what may be the last words I speak to them.

Friendship also involves transparency, and this is a concept I struggle with daily. How do you remain completely open to another person, especially when you're not sure about what you're really feeling anyway? Honestly, I have no idea, but I intend to strive for honest, open communication.

In the name of honesty, then:

There are some friendships which to me seem fundamentally unhealthy. These friendships err based on a disordered love. We are to love God first; anything else is either a perversion, a deficiency, or an excess of love directed at secondary objects. There-I've just summarized the entirety of Dante's Purgatorio, and you don't even have to journey through Hell first ;). Friendship, just like any other love, can become disordered. I can think of one example in my own life, and one at least in th e life of a friend. The friendship relationship becomes twisted when a friend becomes a god. Yes, I know it sounds wierd, but I have witnessed it. Holding on to friendship long past the point when it can be healthy is devastating; that, too, have I witnessed. It is excruciating, but unless certain friendships are cut off, burned away, and otherwise demolished, they can in no way be restored. Allowed to fully die, they can be resurrected in such a way that they are, while the same friendship, something fantastical ond otherwise impossible. Don't take it from me, read The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis.

So, in the spirit of friendship and gratefulness, let me reiterate that my friends have loved me through some battles, and I can't wait to see what the coming years will bring.

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Grazzie

November 22, 2004

This post begins my list of "gratefuls", to be continued throughout this Thanksgiving week. I'm sure you already knew this, but Thanksgiving wasn't officially a national holiday until the Civil War, when Lincoln set the last Thursday in November apart for remembering.

In all ways, Thanksgiving was a time to express gratitude to God, from whom all blessings flow (note the use of the objective case for the preceding pronoun) and thus I begin (this is the lit major in me) with a poem.

God of our fathers, known of old,
Lord of our far-flung battle-line,
Beneath whose awful Hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine–
Lord God of hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget-lest we forget.

The tumult and the shouting dies;
The captains and the kings depart:
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget-lest we forget!

Far called, our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget-lest we forget!

If drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe,
Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
Or lesser breeds without the Law-
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget-lest we forget!

For heathen heart that puts her trust
In reeking tube and iron shard,
All valient dust that builds on dust,
And guarding, calls not Thee to guard,
For frantic boast and foolish word-
Have mercy on Thy People, Lord.

Rudyard Kipling
"Recessional"
1897

I am, above all, grateful that my Lord, who has no reason to take notice of me, poor and weak as I am, has seen fit to love me. His love is all-consuming, undeserved but demanding all, but he is gentle, oh, so gentle.

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12-Step Program for Bibliophilia :)

November 18, 2004

Okie dokie, artichokies πŸ™‚

Here's the deal:

-because I have all sorts of free time on my hands *insert your best version of hysterical laughter or scoff here*

-because I have a $20/day reading habit

-because I'm curious

What great and/or terrible books are you currently reading that I should be reading (or shouldn't, for that matter)?

I'm looking for a few good books…

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Up the Random Tributary Without any Visible Means of Propulsion

November 17, 2004

For the Sparkly, Phenomenal Miriam Grace

Raining Cats and Dogs

With a few hisses thrown in for good measure

"As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another"
-Proverbs 27:17

BUBBS Warrior Princess…Chai at Commons…Sins of Incontinance and 1 Leopard Spotted Dress…DON RAGS DOOM…Bonum, Veritas Pulcher…Dante, Dante, Dante…Gelato: Lemon and Dark Chocolate…Internet Cafes…"No, I'm not lost, I know EXACTLY where the Trevi Fountain is"…Frozen Artichoke…I'm so NOT obsessed with stars…Pizookie love at B.J.'s…Reynolds making up a song about *nudist* tendencies…12th Century Church that's a 4th Century Church that's a 1st Century Warehouse…LOTR with two hotties and massage chairs at SharperImage…No Worries…Harmonizing with Prince of Egypt…"YOU have such excellent taste/Chinese Chipendale"…Oh, you're supposed to eat the seeds of the Pomegranite?…Ben and Jerry's Brownie Batter fests…3rd St. Promenade…I don't need to buy more pens, I can stop any time I want to…asleep at the Opera (zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz)…San Diego with Perry the Penguin…sneaking into Grandma's back yard…High Tea with clotted cream and lemon curd…Winston Churchill…Philipino Mafioso…J-Bird and MirCat's London Adventure…B and B in York with πŸ˜› mushrooms…Every cinema should be converted into a bookstore…ComedySportz…You can never wear enough glitter…Vice Supreme High Dictator for Life…monster friend and shelt in a pelt…walking along the canal by moonlight…HobNob time…SkinMarket…Wear the Pelican Theater outfit (Oh, I mean Taboo Gentlemen's Club)…the seven stars…reciting Romeo and Juliet on an Italian balcony…The chocolate is SO much better…Ginger and Stellie…Legolas cutout…La Habra Woods with a very sparkly, starry Target shower curtain…Sheltie talk, and talk, and talk…Chocolate Chip Cookie Torture…illicit photo shoots with Massinger…PROVING MONTAIGNE WRONG