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September 30, 2003

Grandma and Ramen

For those of you who are wondering, if you are wondering about it, my grandma has been doing pretty well in the last two days, eating more and had more energy, thank you very much! She's going to the hospital to finish her rounds of tests and by next Monday, her doctor will read the results and give his opinions and suggestions for her treatment/non-treatment. By then, I don't think that we can hide the fact of her illness anymore. I think she'll be sad, but I know that she also knows that she could not possibly live forever. I hope that, nomatter what, we'll do our best to make her as happy as we can, and also to show her our appreciation of her with the time that remains.

Now, my dog Ramen has been staying at grandma's house for the last 3-4 days, and it's just amazing to see them interact with each other. Every morning, when she gets up, she makes a point of feeding Ramen toast, and at first, he'd eat it, but since toast is not meat, he had been refusing it. I'd get up and grandma would ask me, "why doesn't your dog eat"? Then I'll find out that she had been trying to feed him toast again. One of the reasons why Ramen remained with Beth was because we were afraid that Ramen would be a really overweight dog.

I have no idea whether or not Ramen was trained before we've adopted him, and what language he used to know. The reason why I stated this stemmed from this afternoon, grandma told Ramen to look for grandpa, Ramen looked at her and then proceeded to run towards grandpa! She had spoken to him entirely in Chinese!

He'd also nap next to her bed, and would not get up until she does. In some ways, they are a lot alike in personalities. Most of all, I think he really helps her not to think about her pain so much.

He is also teaching me so much about what it really means to be a faithful friend, to which I've so far found no parallel.

Now, would a palm pilot do all that? (see the first "Life with pets" entry)

Posted by Nerdstar at 11:14 PM
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Compumentor

Compumentor is looking for someone who can utilize blogs in helping nonprofits affect social change:

How can weblogs promote social change? We are interested in understanding how weblogs can be utilized to benefit the work that nonprofits are doing. We already know that nonprofits can update their websites regularly using Moveable Type. We already know that Blogger can be used to share information internally. We already know about K-Logs. We are interested in going further.

We'd like to think beyond the utility of a blog for sharing information. We'd like to understand how information can be aggregated and shared using a combination of organizational weblogs and other aggregation tools such as TrackBack, blogdex, or the daily crawl. How can Mark Pilgrim's "Who are the people in your neighborhood?" be used by nonprofits? By activists? What's the most logical and effective way for these tools to be combined?

Interested candidates should outline some ideas to give us at least a rough sense of their approach. We will ask leading candidates to develop a project plan for implementing one or more of their ideas.

I love this idea! Go read the rest of post!

(woohoo, my webdesign class is already paying off and it hasn't started yet, I found the blockquote tag in the textbook!)

UPDATE: Wow, the more I look around Compumentor's website and the offshoot, TechSoup, the more impressed I am. What a wonderful enterprise they have undertaken. Check them out, who knows, maybe you can help them out!

Posted by Beth at 04:13 PM
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Gaping Void

If you're not reading Gaping Void, well, damnit, click on the link! He's got great ideas and fantastic little cartoons he draws on the back of business cards.

Posted by Beth at 03:02 PM
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September 29, 2003

JetBlue

Instpundit has interesting news about Wesley Clark and the JetBlue mess.

JETBLUE PASSENGERS are unhappy about it sharing their personal data.

Interestingly, Wesley Clark is on the board of Acxiom, the company involved, according to this story in the Post. Clark didn't have a specific role with JetBlue, it says, but he was behind the development of the passenger-information database involved.

Does this tell us anything about the privacy policies of a Clark Administration? I don't know.

The one thing I haven't understood in all of this is why JetBlue's stock price hasn't been negatively affected by it all. It looks like a great company. I heard the founder/CEO speak on C-Span one night and he seemed like a great leader and business man. So I was very surprised when I first heard about the passenger info crap. But as I've watched their stock price over the past few weeks it's still going up. Do investors not get what a big deal this is to customers?

Posted by Beth at 09:22 AM
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Weekend

The weekend was very nice. Beautiful driving weather! In fact, it's still warm enough in Houston that Nerdstar and her sister went swimming Saturday afternoon, and then a bunch of kids got to swim that evening.

It was two days of family, and since it was only two days it was great! Her sister's husband is as picky about what he eats as I am, so it was nice to not be the only weirdo there! It was interesting to see everyone dote on him as the new man in the family.

Everyone loves Ramen because he's better behaved than their dogs and just wants to be petted all the time. He's funny though, after an extended period of time with lots of noise, he starts trying to find a quiet place to hide.

Mostly it was good to spend time with Nerdstar. She's still in Houston for a few days. Her grandmother has more medical tests on Wednesday, so she's going to go with her. Her grandmother was doing really well this weekend, she enjoys having everyone around for a few days.

Now it's back to work on a Monday morning. Oh joy.

Posted by Beth at 08:51 AM
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September 28, 2003

back home

Hello again, nerdstar here. I am finally at my folks' home and up late with a can of root beer, the trusty dog, and the laptop. Everyone is finally asleep now, so there is sufficient peace and quiet to write about some things.
I saw my sister and her new husband since they got married about a month ago. I really wished that we could have been there, from the photos I could tell that it was a good wedding, and I wish them many happy years together!
Another milestone, Beth finally got to meet my sister, and it went without a hitch, to my relief. (see prev. entry by Beth) I was a bit worried but not really, I figured that they were going to really hate each other, or not, and so far, I don't think that they do.
My body has just about shut down after my plane landed near home. I don't have to think about the f*ckheads that I've left behind, no more loud music coming from down the hallway, no elephantfeet thumping upstairs, and no leaders who are just using their troops to advance themselves. I've slept a lot.
Beth was here with me for most of the weekend, she took Ramen here and I think that my folks were happy to see him, he's such a gentle dog, just perfect with older folks and young children, I think that he has a great potential for as a therapy dog! (If I only had the time and the $ to train and certify him!)
It was really good to see her, and I am looking forward to spending some more time with her later this week!
My grandma is still a kind of weak physically, but she was happy to see everyone, and had even managed to eat a bit more than usual! (She, due to her stomach cancer, had gotten to the point to which she was mainly drinking ensure, soup, and milk to get her nutrition.) I am praying that, against all the odds, that there may still be ways of treating her disease.
I will go into the hospital with her as she is scheduled to get her last two tests before the doctors report their findings the following Monday, I have heard that her doctor is the world's most famous in the field of stomach cancer, and if I can, I will ask him some questions and try to understand it in my limited medical knowledge.
On that note, I will goto bed, and a goodnight to everyone!

Posted by Nerdstar at 11:13 PM
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September 26, 2003

Friday Night Perspective

When I scheduled having the day off from work, I wasn't sure what I'd be doing today. Nerdstar flew into Houston tonight, and I wasn't sure her uncle would be in town to pick her up at the airport. Fortunately, he was. I wasn't crazy about driving to Houston on a Friday evening and dealing with traffic and the airport. I opted for giving her some time with the family tonight before I drive down early tomorrow morning.

I've also been contemplating substitute teaching again. They've had orientation the last couple of Fridays, and another one was today. I figured, what the heck, might as well check it out. I left a couple of hours into it. It's good to know I just don't want to go back into teaching, certainly not subbing - or "guest teaching" as they've changed it to, because semantics matter. Besides, I also realized that there are people who need that job much more than I do. My job isn't perfect, but it's not horrible either. Yes, I'm going to do what I can to get a better one, but I need to stop being a whiney ass at the one I have.

I'm very ready to see Nerdstar tomorrow. But I'm also meeting her sister for the first time. When Nerdstar and I were first living together, she was in an IM with her sister, and I got on and ended up totally pissing her off. (Of course, Nerdstar says we're just too much alike.) So in four years I've never met her. But I'm feeling pretty good about this weekend. Her sister just got married recently, her husband is Portugese. It'll kinda be the UN at the grandparents this weekend.

Mostly I'm going to be sad to come back to Austin Sunday night and leave Nerdstar in Houston with her family for a few more days. I'm very ready to have her home with me! (I keep telling her I mostly need her here to clean the house LOL) I keep trying to explain to Ramen that his life will be much better tomorrow morning - he gets to take a trip in the car, and see Nerdstar, and see the grandparents and the cousins. He won't be stuck with mean ole me!

Ya'll have a good weekend. I'll be back here late Sunday or early Monday.

Posted by Beth at 09:55 PM
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More Do Not Call Crap

It appears the telemarketing companies are saying, hey, you can't deny us the right to hassle people and not deny that right to political and charitable organizations. Ok, fine. Block them all! In fact, I had assumed that when I said I didn't want calls that it DID include any kind of unsolicited call. But wait, politicians and charities have speech that is more protected than businesses. Hmmm. I'm sure this compares to the Mormons and Jehovah's Witness being able to come to my door and not salespeople.

What all of the court stuff seems to be missing entirely is that it isn't the government denying telemarketers free speech - it's the individuals who have signed up for the list. I'm not clear why it matters that the FTC is the vehicle we individuals have used. I understand these companies make billions, and they're going to do everything they can to protect that. But I completely fail to understand why they seem to have a special right to intrude into my phone thru my phone when I expressly say I don't want them to. There has to be some way to opt out.

Posted by Beth at 02:44 PM
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September 25, 2003

Brain Flow

Today while covering the front desk, there was a pen that was really fun to write with. It's rare I hand write anything, it's too hard to read when I do. But, I let my brain flow like the pen - here's the result:

If I could spend my days doing anything...

Damn if I know the answer to that one. You'd think by now I would, but nope.

If my life were a movie... it wouldn't be much like it is right now.

I'd definitely be rich - and would I be classically beautiful or just damn sexy?
Powerful - yes, please.
Brilliant, of course.

Hell, if it's a movie I'll be immortal.

An immortal time traveler with a fantastic companion.

How weird would it be to forever be an observer, because I couldn't really change anything, could I? I don't exactly want to be God. Not that it's clear He interferred much in the past 2000 years.

Would I rather see the past or the future?

Would it all seem more or less futile? Somehow I think more.

Posted by Beth at 03:24 PM
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September 24, 2003

subsistence

Hello again everyone! Nerdstar again, with further tales of my deployment. Since I am all about the food, I will rant about the kind of stuff they've been serving here on post. I will take perhaps a digital pic or two later on to be included on this site for your viewing pleasure!
Imagine that you are back in school, and I am not talking about college, but grade school. Do you remember the kind of plastic plates that had little compartments on them? That is what they use to serve the thousands of us who passes thru. this post.
Now, imagine your canned veggies, swimming in butter, government grade, your soup exploding with saltiness, re-constituted eggs, then you have a pretty good idea what army food is like. I say army food, because there are differences between army, navy, and air force food. (the air force have the best, by the way.)
I am more used to it now, the starchiness and the grease used to send me, and others like it, straight to the bathroom, but by now, I've more or less developed a "iron stomach", so I can pretty much digest brillo pads without any problems!
Not that I am trying to put all the wonderful army cooks (or its contractors) down, but it's just that when you cook for thousands of people, you just can't concentrate on specific fat contents, fine flavors, or the presentation too much. Every once in a while, alright, every weekend, I'd find myself craving for other things.
Since I've been at Ft. Lewis, when I do go out to eat, I have eaten mostly non-American foods, mostly Mediterranean, followed by Indian, then followed by Vietnamese noodle soups,sushis,and last but not least, pseudo-Thai dishes. Now, being Chinese, my favorite cuisine have been and will always be Chinese, so why haven't I eaten much of any Chinese food? (Okay, I did go do dim-sum twice in Seattle.) Well, I just don't think that Chinese food here is "all that", unless you are really into one of those "wok and roll" places that sells some of the most greasy Chinese fares for about a buck. (I might not be rich, but I am not yet THAT poor.)
Eating kind of loses meaning if you don't have loved ones around you, adding more "bleh" to the whole experience. When Beth said that she hated eating alone, I understand exactly what she meant. I don't know which is better though, eating alone, and trying to rush so you'll finish your stuff faster, or eating with a bunch of people, not a lot of who you like or admire very much.
And yes, it's true, Starbucks are everywhere like they've dominated the world. While I am proud to say that I haven't yet became an addict, I do have to say that the occasional tiredness and the often boredom of the day prompted me to get a cup or two of "cafe Veronas"! (4 packs of sugar, 1/5 half and half or 2% milk, well blended.)
Since my body is the type that gets used to stuff really fast, even with more exercise, I am sorry to report that I have neither lost or gained any weight. Which is okay, my supermodel dreams have already came and gone.
On a final note of the day, I got bronchitis for some odd reason, could be a side effect of the flu shot that they gave me late last week, or just my body's way of dealing with things.
So I will go for now, because I got to wake up at 5:30 AM, even though the first formation is at 7 AM, you've got to get into the shower, get that monkeysuit that we called uniform on, and grab a bite of that starchy dinining hall food! MMMMMMMM!

Posted by Nerdstar at 10:46 PM
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Huh?

I'm sure by now you've read or heard somewhere that the Dixie Chicks are turning their backs on country music. Ok, fine. I think country music turned it's back on them first, or at least the fans sure did. Although, are their sales really down?

This is a fantastic article about the whole thing.

What's next for them? Will they quit country for real and take up guitars and drums? If not, will they withdraw their names next time they're nominated for Best Country Album at the Grammys?

Who knows. But one thing's for sure: By turning their backs on country, the Dixie Chicks are in danger of mutating into a left-wing boutique act whose audience is more interested in supporting a brand of politics than enjoying music.

I guess I'm trying to imagine the Dixie Chicks mutating into Ani Difranco. I just don't think they have the brains for it.

Posted by Beth at 04:56 PM
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Telemarketers have free speech rights?

I don't know a thing about any of this really, but this doesn't make sense to me:

U.S. court rules FTC overstepped its authority when it set up the list to block telemarketing calls. September 24, 2003: 4:41 PM EDT
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - A federal court has blocked the national "do not call" list -- meant to allow consumers to stop unwanted telephone sales calls -- just days before it was scheduled to take effect.

The DMA and other plaintiffs argued the do-not-call registry violated their rights under the First Amendment, allowing freedom of speech, and the Fifth Amendment, which grants due process of law. They said the FTC's rules "discriminate against speech based upon content and identity of speakers and ... suppresses far more speech than necessary."

Does the first amendment really apply to businesses?? I mean, how would that apply to say the adult entertainment industry?

Maybe if The Prof wasn't out looking at pretty co-eds I'd have some answers!

Posted by Beth at 03:54 PM
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Resume Help

Ok, time to get more proactive with my life. Do instead of ponder. I did sign up for the first web design class. I'll be taking it online, but that seems the better option at this time because the classroom class might not materialize, and if it did it would be at least an hour drive to get there. I'm really looking forward to it. I know enough to be dangerous but not helpful or creative!

So, the next project is to update and really improve my resume. Unfortunately, I'm not feeling like I can do a good job of that alone. Anyone out there feel like they can help me out? I'll send you cookies :-)

Posted by Beth at 01:52 PM
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September 23, 2003

My deployment stories

Hello everyone! This is Nerdstar, and I have been at Ft. Lewis, Wa., since early May, and I am still here, waiting on that seemingly illusive piece of paper that will either dictate me going over to Iraq, or bringing my butt back home to Texas.
Beth has been strongly urging me to write my experiences down for y'all, she said that it will be a good way to vent some of my frustrations, so here it goes....
I will try to place the characters and the events in some sort of order, but I will not follow a strict chronological sequence, so please bear with me!
Just some background, I am a supply sgt. for this military intelligence company, belonging in the army reserves, what made this particular deployment "special", was the fact that just about all the members of this company came from other parts of the country, and not all of them have jobs in the military intelligence fields. They are, in essence, the last group of Arabic linguists in the reserve system, and how did the government find them? Well, all of them, at one time in the past or another, had been taught Arabic courses and even if they were only taught that for a week, it got on their permanent record.
Needless to say, most were really surprised to be called up to serve active duty, some of them had left the service behind and were enjoying some really good jobs out there in "the real world".
Well, they came because of 1. possible career advancement. 2. they had to do it, or get reprimanded (some actually want to do the 20 years and retire.)3.needed the $ and have no other job/career prospects.
My reason for volunteering myself on this mission was a mixture of reason #1 and reason #3. While I don't plan on retiring in the reserves, I wanted to see if I could find some military work in the Chinese language field.
I had originally volunteered myself back in Jan., but their company commander (who is now my commander) said that they already had someone, so no thanks. I didn't take it personally and went about my life.
Then, 4 months later, I got a call from my 1st. Sgt. (he is the highest grade person, enlisted, in a company.), asking me to pack up my stuff, because they wanted me to goto Iraq as a supply person.
I only had 4 days to prepare for this, and I was not qualified in the unit supply field ( I was a warehouse supply clerk back in my "GI Jane" days.), but they didn't seem to care, so off to Ft. Lewis I went.
When/if there is more time, I will tell you, more in depth, about the people on this really, really, long trip, so stay tuned!

Posted by Nerdstar at 10:51 PM
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Freaked Out!

EEwwww

If I had gone to bed at my normal time, I would have missed seeing this damn thing crawling on my wall!! It's the size of my palm! EWWWW. I'm not normally freaked out by bugs and such. But this sucker was way too big to be in my house!

It's all the cats' fault. They insist on coming in and out all night so I have the backdoor open just a little for them. This thing came in way uninvited!

I am so creeped out! I sprayed it with bug killer spray and managed to throw it outside. Shudder!

Posted by Beth at 10:26 PM
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Media Bias and Political Polls

Instapundit has been all over the bias of the media coverage of Iraq. It got me to thinking about how that ties in with all the political polls going on, Bush's approval ratings, and the chances the Dems have of getting anywhere in the 2004 elections.

It's really a question of just how much influence the media has - the networks, the NY Times, the cable news, all of it.

And this would be a perfect gage if the media were just honest enough, brave enough, and had enough integrity to report the whole picture of the situation in Iraq. If that started happening today how long would it take for Bush's approval rating to go up again? How high would it go? Would the general public view the removal of Saddam and the rebuilding of Iraq more favorably?

I'm not at all optimistic any of this will happen. But damn it would be interesting.

Posted by Beth at 09:32 PM
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I See

Just another stunning example of the state of censorship in Amerika! Mystic River

Posted by Beth at 09:27 PM
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Web Design Classes

I'm looking into taking some web design classes at our community college. Unfortunately, I'd have to take six afternoons off from work, and I'm already out of vacation and sick time. I talked it over with my team leader, she's going to ask our manager. We'll see. They offer these classes online as well, but I think I'd rather do it in a classroom setting. I'd hate to be sitting at home on my horribly slow dial up and have problems with no one around to ask. There are three classes total and look decent.

I was the one in our office who pushed for an office website, and now that we have an intranet site I help maintain it. So it's not a big surprise to my bosses that I'd want to do this. They'd be stupid to say no just because of the time factor, but we'll see.

I'm also talking with a company about doing a freelance transcribing project. I was honest with the guy and said I had no idea what going rates are. We'll see what comes of that. I could be really busy soon.

These are small things, and might turn into nothing at this time. But it helps just to try!

Posted by Beth at 04:03 PM
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Bad relationship

My relationship with my job is bordering on totally unhealthy. How sad that the best analogy is that of a relationship gone bad. I've been obsessing about quitting even more for a week and a half now. What it comes down to is that I'm just not happy working here, and not just for the eight hours a day I'm in the office, but it's carrying over to home time as well. Life with Nerdstar being gone is hard enough, but to be so miserable at work at the same time is just stupid.

No matter how much I try to talk myself into being happy here, into sucking it up, sticking it out, making it work, it really is like a relationship, once something goes bad, it's almost impossible to get it back to good. (yes I know, cheesy lyrics.)

Part of why I don't just quit is that I don't want to be a quitter. I don't want to feel like I failed. I mean, how stupid to quit a job because your feelings are hurt. But that's a lot of what's wrong. I feel unappreciated, unchallenged, disliked and just plain stuck.

The other problem is trying to find a different job. There's still just not much out there. I have experience in office work, answering phones, a little bit of retail and waiting tables. So in addition to feeling like I quitter, if I ended up back in temping or waiting tables I'd also feel like a loser.

I just can't seem to find a line of work that I'm qualified for and that I want to do. There's always the option of going back to school, but I guess I'm not ready for that yet.

Of course, this is all complicated by not knowing how long Nerdstar will be gone and what happens after that.

I am checking hotjobs and monster. Putting out feelers for doing some transcribing, contemplating bartending school. I just don't know how to think outside the box of my apparent qualifications.

Sigh.

Posted by Beth at 09:55 AM
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Office Interaction

I read this story about the British company banning email in the office in a couple of places yesterday. In one of the stories, the owner was quoted as saying something to the effect of if you have something to say to someone, pick up the phone or walk to their office.

So I was surprised that none of the news commentary on this on the cable shows last night talked about how this could just be an effort to get people talking to each other again - about personal interaction. (Yes, it could help the bottom line in productivity, but that doesn't have to be the only motivation.) I know I take the easy way out and email people I don't like talking to and avoid interaction. There was worry in the early days of the internet that people would just sit at home and do everything from their computers in isolation - but in some cases we do it from our offices instead.

Posted by Beth at 09:15 AM
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September 22, 2003

Ordinary Weekend

The healing powers of a rainy weekend are fantastic. My mood this morning is the best it's been in weeks. And it's a Monday - go figure. The weekend was a good mixture of productive and lazy. Saturday morning I got an oil change for my car. It's a 1997 skylark that I got a couple of months ago, so I don't have any idea what maintenance has been done on it. Then, because I'm a girl, the oil change guys think they have to go over every little thing and make all sorts of recommendations. It's kinda funny, because I never got that with my 1969 Camaro. I guess they knew if I were driving a car like that I knew something about them. Anyway, the air filter and radiator fluid needed changing. I went and got the parts and got that done. It always feels good to do something tangible.

After an hour of sweating in the humidity (before the rain started) I was ready for a nice shower. Ramen decided he needed to run around the neighborhood some more, except this time he went out to the main road. Bastard. I couldn't find him on foot, so I got on the motorcycle to look for him and still couldn't find him. At that point I was like, screw him, yes, Nerdstar will be very sad if he runs away, but it's all her fault for not training him anyway. I never wanted a stupid dog, I was perfectly happy with my cat. Then, as I was parking the motorcycle he comes running up all happy to see me. Dick.

By the time I drove down to the outlet stores there was a nice, steady rain. Did that mean it wasn't very crowded? No. It just made people driving in the parking lot that much more stupid. There's a Sketchers outlet store and I got two pair of shoes. Way cool. And I got a lot of little candles. They actually had jasmine scented - mmmmm.

Sunday was just laundry and television. That's about the way it should be.

Now I'm counting down days until I get to see Nerdstar! She flies into Houston Friday night.

Posted by Beth at 09:08 AM
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September 19, 2003

Statue

Four years ago, Nerdstar and I took a road trip from Austin to Toronto for the month of October. It was one of the best experiences of my life, and our young relationship survived.

I took this photo from the ferry. This was the first view of Lady Liberty I saw. I thought, hey, I've never seen a picture of the backside, might as well take one. It was a beautiful day, the clouds made a perfect backdrop. The first time I saw this photo I immediately thought of the caption. I had this enlarged to 8 1/2 X 11 and I've got a NYC skyline taken on the ferry trip back that afternoon that has the WTC. I had that enlarged to 11 X 14 months before those towers were gone. On 9/11 I thought again of this photo and the caption, but just didn't have the nerve or heart to do it. Today, I do.


Statue of Liberty

Posted by Beth at 02:58 PM
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September 18, 2003

The Sandman - Endless Nights

I picked up Neil Gaiman's The Sandman Endless Nights on the way home from work today. It's simply a stunning work - of ideas, writing, and art. In reading all ten books in the Sandman series this summer, I've fallen in love with the Endless. To be given a better glimpse into each of them in Endless Nights is a treasure. The only hard part of reading Neil's works (in every form) is knowing there are so many layers I'm not getting to. Then again, that's the beauty of books - you can come back to them time and time and time again, finding ever more layers.

It is a good thing there are only 15 portraits of Despair - just those were enough to have that little black cloud hovering around. 13 would be the hardest philosophy final ever given. Yikes. The very first question is "If you can't be happy where you are, you can't be happy anywhere. Discuss, with examples from your own life." That's one of the hardest lessons to learn. My senior year in college I lived alone. And yet, there were so many nights I wanted to run away. That was a pretty big clue it wasn't circumstance I was running from - it was me. Even know, in this sucky time of being alone, with Nerdstar gone - running away is a constant theme in my thoughts. I struggle all the time with being happy where I am. The other questions you'll have to get your own copy to read.

If Despair is a black cloud, Delirium is a magic carpet ride. It reminded me of the Emperor of American in an earlier Sandman - he was kept sane by his insanity. And it reminded me of the stupid movie KPax, where it's quite possible we have one crazy person bringing sanity to other crazy people. It's obviously the strangest (and yet beautiful) artwork in the book, yet it's a comforting story, hopeful even. Maybe it is our delusions and insanity that keep us sane.

Who else could it end with other than Destiny - a blind man with a book that tells the story of everything ever. Who wouldn't give their soul for a peek in that book? Hell, I'd be tempted to give the souls of my unborn children to read my days in that book.

All I can really say is go buy this book. It's one of those rare books that really can touch you.

Posted by Beth at 10:17 PM
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Beef Cake

If last season's Survivor was Survivor Fake Boobs, then this season is obviously Survivor Beef Cake.

It's always amusing to see how what people think is their strength is actually what hurts them the most!

Posted by Beth at 07:47 PM
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Stupid Callers

Just a couple of the stupid calls I get:

Call 1

Caller - I need to get some study guides

Me - Ok, I just need a name and fax number and I can fax you the order form.

Caller - Oh, you can fax me the order form?

What'd I'd like to say - OBVIOUSLY!

I go thru this about twenty times a day.

Call 2

Me - standard phone greeting, then - This is Beth

Caller - long pause.... who are you calling for?

Me - um, you called me.

The ones who really piss me off are the ones who call regarding something our office doesn't do, and when I tell them that they get pissed and say I'm not being helpful. Uh, how the hell can I answer questions about something we don't do?? I was helpful and told you we don't do X, isn't that more helpful than if I made shit up to make you happy?

I think there should be one day a year (month would be even better) when anyone who's job it is to answer phones should be allowed to be a total smart ass to stupid callers - maybe then they'd (we'd) all realize just how stupid they are.

Posted by Beth at 01:28 PM
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Roller Coaster

I haven't updated much about Nerdstar's situation because the possibilities seem to change every day. I guess it was early last week the military made it known that in spite of reservists orders being for one year total - they changed it to being one year "in country" so that her year of duty doesn't actually start until she leaves for Iraq, no matter how many weeks/months they waste waiting around before being sent over. Ok, fine. But her unit still doesn't even have specific orders for going to Iraq. They were told they'd be going over with a stryker group in October - but then she found out the strykers aren't going until November. Then they heard their orders would be for November 15, now they're saying November 8. In the meantime, they decided to give everyone two weeks of leave - Sept. 27 to Oct. 11. Nice. That may have even been backed up to Sept. 24 - which would be even better. Her grandmother is doing a day of medical tests the 25th.

In the meantime, she's still doing everything she can to get reassigned back to Austin so at least she can go visit her grandparents and take care of them as much as possible. She doesn't want to just be completely discharged and throw away future opportunities as a Chinese linguist. But her chain of command is dragging it's feet in the worst possible ways in getting the paperwork together for her reassignment.

Every night when she calls there's a different outlook for the future. I'm increasingly tempted to tell her to say to hell with all of it and just come home! I'm sick to death of eating alone every night, of sleeping alone every night, and of just not having her around. I'm trying not to live like my life is on hold - but it's hard not to feel that way. I can't even begin to imagine if she's gone until next December instead of May. I'm an emotional basket case now.

Posted by Beth at 10:21 AM
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September 17, 2003

Evil Rich

That's the evil rich for you - donating $51 Million to New York schools.

(Not that I think throwing money at education will solve the problems!)

Posted by Beth at 04:20 PM
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$$

The Big Picture has a fantastic post on how record companies could have revamped their business model and made a fortune and provided much better services for music fans.

In the comments, I wonder why people in power - CEOs and politicans alike - don't hook up with the "idea people" ie bloggers. Rob points out that most people still don't even know what blogs are, much less read them. Which led me to think - hey that's how all of us poor bloggers can make some big bucks - hire ourselves out as research specialists to find all the brilliant ideas hidden in blogs.

How much problem solving could be accomplished just with companies having internal blogs with unrestricted flow of ideas?

Posted by Beth at 04:17 PM
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Misc.

Day two of nothing much to say. I'm not living in my head any more than usual, just not feeling very talkative, or typeative, this week.

Yesterday I picked up book two in the 1602 series. Thankfully, there's a really good annotation of the series. I also got two Sandman posters - one of Morpheus at his palace, and one of the entire Endless family. I put them up in my office today. Maybe at the very least they'll inspire some nice day dreams at this boring ass job.

Last night Ramen was a complete freak. I took him out for a short walk to be nice to him. A little later, my neighbor came over and we were talking - she said the maintenance guy showed up about her a/c and said they owners are just planning on making improvements (I hope that's true). Ramen loves people so I let him come out so she could pet him. He decided to take off and see what else he could find in the complex. After about five minutes we decided we should find him and make sure he wasn't playing in traffic. She found him at someone else's door - he'd stratched it and the people had been nice and gave him treats. When he saw me again he came running. I asked if he was out looking for a better home!?! A little later I'm watching tv, ignoring him as always, and he brings the tennis ball over to me. WTF? He's NEVER done that. We've tried playing fetch maybe ten times with him in over a year - we're usually lucky if he brings the ball back twice before wandering off. So, we played fetch for maybe four whole minutes. Weird.

Posted by Beth at 03:15 PM
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Beth Blogs

I'm now reading three other Beth's!

Beth 1

Beth 2

Beth 3

Posted by Beth at 02:49 PM
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September 15, 2003

Yikes

To the utter dismay of English teachers everywhere:

Scrambled words are legible as long as first and last letters are in
place. From Joi Ito's Web:

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't
mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, olny taht the
frist and lsat ltteres are at the rghit pcleas. The rset can be a
toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is
bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by ilstef, but the wrod
as a wlohe.

(found via BoingBoing)

Posted by Beth at 03:24 PM
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The Tribe has Spoken

Woohoo! Thursday marks the kickoff of another season of Survivor. Sadly, this will probably be the highlight of my week! Can you believe this is season #7?

Posted by Beth at 11:45 AM
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Weekend Ponderings

Ramen and I had a lovely road trip. It's a good thing he doesn't mind five hours in a car and sleeping in hotel rooms! He's a very strange dog though. He wants desperately to be petted twenty hours a day, but he's not a dog that will do anything to please you to ensure those hours of petting. Saturday night when I got back from the casino and was on the phone with Nerdstar, I was sitting in a chair with my feet up on the king sized bed. Ramen walked around to the other side, looked me in the eyes, and jumped on the bed. Jerk. He knows better - he's never allowed on the furniture.

I lost a couple hundred gambling. I don't usually play roulette, but it was the only game I was winning at Saturday. Oh well. It wasn't the same being there without Nerdstar!

I realized it's the first time I've ever slept in a hotel room alone. Very weird. Then I got to thinking about all the rich, single men who'll fly to Vegas for the weekend and just hire a "companion." That would be too weird, too. I wonder, though, if I were to ever be older, rich and single, would I call up some company and hire a beautiful young woman to hang out with for an evening, a weekend. Maybe. Maybe once to see what it's like. To see what her life is usually like.

My attitude towards money is changing a little, too. When Nerdstar first left I was all about neither of us spending any money and saving it all for something big when she gets home. Now I'm more likely to say, fuck it, let's spend what we need to be happy now.

Posted by Beth at 09:21 AM
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September 12, 2003

Weekend

I've pretty much decided to head to Lake Charles this weekend and do some gambling. I haven't been to a casino since we went to Vegas last March for our birthdays. If you want to tag along or meet me there, drop me a line in the comments or email. I'll probably head out around 9 or 10 Saturday morning.

Posted by Beth at 02:55 PM
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Not even close

I had recorded Before Night Falls sometime last week. I finally decided to watch it yesterday. It's a sad movie, but not a tear jerker. It's the story of a beautiful man, a gay writer who lives in Cuba during the "revolution."

I didn't realize how fitting it would be to watch that movie yesterday - the annivesary of 9/11. I read sometimes the rantings of those who compare Bush to Hitler (or hell, just hear it in the Democrat debates) and sometimes wish that they could live just one day under a true dictator, to know for one day what it truly means to have no freedom of association, thought, speech. To be jailed and tortored for loving the wrong person, for writing the wrong novel. Because no matter how much you think there's persecution in this country, there's not. Tim Robbins, Micheal Moore, etc. etc. etc. are free to say and write any damn thing they please. Anyone in this country can have a free website to post anything they care to about their life or political opinions without their neighbors calling the thought police on them.

We're not even close to life under a dictator.

Posted by Beth at 01:32 PM
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Homer would be happy!

Krispy Kreme is planning on hooking up with Walmart.

Posted by Beth at 10:44 AM
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Not Dead Yet

Well, yesterday wasn't so bad. I did go eat pancakes, and they were good. I did straighten up the house, it's not spotless, but it's better. But mostly, I cried. There were tears rolling down my cheeks most of the day. Sometimes the sobs just caught in my throat. The names of the immediate victims at the WTC were read, but we'll never be able to list the names of ALL those affected - the ripples of pain and loss and grief are pretty much endless. If only those who write alternate histories could write the stories of all those who not only died, but now will never be because of the evil in the hearts of so few in comparison.

But in this hell of depression that's been trying to take over my brain lately, one thought came thru loud and clear yesterday - in the tone of Monty Python of course - I'm Not Dead Yet. And I need to start living like it.

Posted by Beth at 09:36 AM
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September 11, 2003

9/11 two years later

Well, here we are. I didn't make it in to work today. I was feeling kinda sick yesterday. A weird kinda sick. Not really a cold or flu, but achy and run down. I went to bed about 6:30 last night and slept on and off until 11:30. Then I didn't get back to sleep until almost 4:30 this morning - hence no work today. It was a long night of despair. But thankfully things are a little brighter today. I think I'm going to go eat some pancakes and spend the day cleaning the house. I can't tell you how neglected it all is.

As for 9/11 there are so many people who put things so much better than I.

Stephen Green has a fantastic post about not being terrorized. It and the comments are a great read.

Your other required reading is Michele's Voices Project.

Posted by Beth at 11:30 AM
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September 10, 2003

Cool and Funny

An X keyboard. (Found via BoingBoing)

Posted by Beth at 04:12 PM
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Moving Around

Anyone else out there watch MI-5 on A&E? It's a great new series. One of the characters asked last night, "why not just open all the borders and let people live any place they want?" Just another little idea I've pondered. What if for X amount of time every X years, people all over the world were free to move to any other part of the world they wanted to. Assuming we could account for criminals and terrorists. Assuming cost was not problem.

One, where would you choose to live? And two, where do you think most people in this world would choose to live.

Nerdstar and I sometimes throw around the idea of going and living on a small island somewhere. I've never spent any time on a small island, so I don't know for sure I'd like it. But I'd like to give it a try for a while.

Posted by Beth at 03:28 PM
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Private Business vs Government

Business Pundit hits on aspects of something I think about sometimes - that is, why can't/don't we just privitize everything and dismantle the government for everything except national security. Then I think about how people are always saying corporations are eevvviiillll. And I watch documentaries about all the events that led to the unions forming and how companies are evil sometimes.

I think that the best point of our government is representation. Ideally, everyone has a voice in government because of our locally elected representatives. But we all know it doesn't really work that way. Not even on a local and state level. It's not that there can't be genuine politicians who look out for their constituents, it's just that there aren't actually very many. But I tend to think that if it was all privitized, who would look out for the little guy.

But Rob points out that we have much more direct power over corporations. It's much, much easier to vote with dollars than with elections every two or four years. We've certainly seen corporations fail and go under when they were evil in the past few years. Then again, we've seen two or three politicians finally get booted. But I think it's much easier for an evil politician to stay in power than for an evil CEO. The marketplace is much less forgiving than the voters. Especially with voter turnout as low as it is.

Then there's the issue of who's better at innovation, problem solving, and so on. Do I even have to answer that?

I just can't comprehend why people trust the government to do an adequate job of providing education and health care and retirement and everything else more than they would trust private industry. At least in the private industry if a company screws me over, or offers sucky products, I have a choice. Even as big as Microsoft and WalMart are - I have a choice. And in spite of worries to the contrary, I'll always have a choice. But when the government gets ahold of of something - like the public schools or social security - there are NO choices to be made. If I find the products my mandatory tax dollars supply horribly inadequate, all I can do is spend more of my own money on an outside alternative. It's like having to pay Walmart for groceries that are spoiled and damaged, then going to Target for what I really wanted and having to pay them as well.

I know people think they wouldn't be able to afford education if it was privitized, or they see how expensive health care is (that's a whole different post). So how could they afford it if everything were to be privitized? But imagine how much more you could afford if you got to keep the 30% to 40% of your paycheck that goes straight to the government.

Posted by Beth at 01:47 PM
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Dem Debates

I couldn't bring myself to watch the whole hour and a half, but I did watch about forty minutes of the Black Caucus democratic candidates debate last night. UGH. The single most frustrating thing was that they wouldn't answer the question they were asked. Ms. Braun was given a specific question, and instead spent her alloted time answering a question that had been asked of someone else. If you're going to agree to do a debate by certain rules - then answer what you're asked.

I know Howard Dean is popular these days, but that man scares me. He seems slightly crazy, maniacle even. I love listening to Rev. Sharpton, and can even see where he'd be a good advisor, but I don't see him as a politician. Actually, I think if he really wanted to make a difference in the lives of black Americans, he could be most effective if he really was the reverend of a mega church. Those pastors have a lot of impact and power and can truly affect changes for the better.

In the debate there was still a lot more here's why Bush sucks than here's why I'm a great leader for this country at this time. I know that bashing Bush is popular with their crowd, but it won't get them elected.

The issues they do take on are domestic ones. They use the same old scare tactics on education and health care. Yes, these systems need help and reform. But Democrats think throwing money at a problem will solve it, and thirty years of throwing money at education hasn't improved it one bit. It's going to take radical ideas and changes to improve health care and education. That's where I wish think tanks and politicans would actually get together and make some real changes instead of politics as usual.

But what's really going to get the Democrats their butts handed to them is foreign policy. There isn't a single one of them I would trust to prevent another terrorist attack in this country. Say what you will about Bush, there have been no more attacks here. And for the 2004 election, that's still the most important issue - period.

Update: Stephen Green has a nice set of comments posted as he watched the debate. Start there and scroll up!

Posted by Beth at 11:15 AM
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September 09, 2003

Raw Emotions

I don't understand emotions at all. Normally this sentence would introduce something about pms and hormones and all that crap. One of the problems in having irregular periods (hang in there with me guys) is that when your emotions go all wonky you don't necessarily think "oh, this is just pms, I can ignore these wonky emotions and be rational instead" because you can't just look at a calendar and say ah yes, this week is the week I'll be a crazy bitch. It sorta blindsides you.

Well. Last night when I couldn't sleep I got to thinking that maybe, just maybe 9/11 is kinda like that emotionally. I am feeling completey raw and strung out and on edge this week, because it's the anniversary of 9/11.

I know that 9/12 last year there was a very real, concrete change in my emotional state. You know, the proverbial black cloud being lifted and all. We'll see if Friday brings more of the same.

Posted by Beth at 04:35 PM
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Just Curious











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I could just as easily put up a poll asking what you'd like to see more of around here, but didn't. Feel free to put any such suggestions in the comments.

Posted by Beth at 01:28 PM
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September 08, 2003

Better Reading

In my funky mood, I offer this site with some fantastic reading material. Poems and short stories by Neil Gaiman, more info on the Sandman series. Things like that - great things to read.

I'm not at all familiar with Lou Reed or his music. But this interview Neil does with him reminds me so much of Ani. He talks about how fans still see him as his former self, about how years later his lyrics will surprise even him in their honesty. Things like that.

Posted by Beth at 03:16 PM
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Boring Burden

"I think shy is boring, I think depressed is, too." ANI

I generally feel that way, especially reading other people's blogs. The only thing worse than reading about people being depressed is reading about dreams. That's why I tend to not write entries like the last one.

Things are a little better this afternoon. Of course, after bitching about coworkers, our office manager asked how I was doing and was very polite when I explained how much things suck. And another coworker was sympathetic.

I know how hard it is to continually feel like you have to try to cheer someone up who refuses to cheer up. I know it's easier to just not talk to them. And I don't want to be that person. I don't want to be a burden to talk to - I'm enough of one just by not always going the polite conversation route. But how do you balance being honest with not being a burden?

Posted by Beth at 02:01 PM
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Crazy

I'm on the edge of crazy. Or at least it sure feels that way. Has for a few days now.

The rest is a lot of woe is me type crap.

Continue reading "Crazy"
Posted by Beth at 09:13 AM
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September 05, 2003

Bastards

Might as well put a bad, sad day to good use. The choices on tv tonight were women's tennis or Ranger's baseball. I tried both but just wasn't in the mood for sports. The other night I recorded Seven Days in September on A&E. Tonight felt like the right time to watch it. It's very well done.

My reaction that awful morning, and again watching it on tv almost two years laters is - YOU BASTARDS!! I still can't comprehend that kind of evil. I'd still be perfectly happy to nuke the hell out of anyone/anywhere that would ensure my kids never have to live thru a day like that.

I'm sure you've all read it, but just in case, Lileks puts it all so much better than us mere mortals.

Posted by Beth at 09:40 PM
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Comparison Shopping

Damn the US Postal Service. The Angel Season 2 dvd from Amazon, with free shipping is $37.99 - no sales tax. Best Buy and Circut City both have it for $45.99 + 8% sales tax. Encore has it for $55.98 + tax. Suncoast has it for $59.99 + tax. I didn't even bother to see if Walmart carries it, no way I'm dealing with the traffic and idiots to go there.

Impatience and the sucky postal service is costing me an extra $10.

Normally though, you can't beat Amazon for selection, convenience and prices!! I place an order, decide how long I'm willing to wait for it, and have it show up at work a few days later. I've never logged onto Amazon and NOT found what I was wanting. I can't begin to count the number of times I've got to Target or the mall or even Wallmart and not found what I needed.

We do tend to spend a lot of time and money at Barnes and Noble. Unless there's an author I know and trust, the best way to find a good book to read is to go thru tons of them reading the covers and the beginnings. But when it came to cd's - omg they were priced way too high. Yes, they let you listen to samples of songs from any cd (they should let you hear the whole cd if you want) so I'll go there to check things out, and then buy them somewhere cheaper.

I still don't shop for clothes or shoes online, too many sizing and styles variables. But even for things I don't purchase online, the amout of choices and information makes the shopping I do in brick and mortar stores much more simple.

I know stores are sometime about selling an "experience" - but I just want the products I want to buy to be easy to find and cheap. I can have "experiences" at home!

BuzzMachine has similar thoughts posted.

Posted by Beth at 01:19 PM
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Today Sucks

Man, for a Friday, today is pretty sucky. It's amazing how one completely lousy night of sleep can undo any good the previous night of good sleep had done. I thought I was getting up rather late this morning and running about fifteen minutes late to work. But when I got out of the shower and looked at the clock on the cable box, it was an hour earlier than my alarm clock indicated. That really sucked! I guess in all my tossing and turning I set the alarm clock forward an hour. So, on top of not getting to sleep until around 2 or 3, I lost an hour. The small upside is that at least I had time for breakfast without being late for work.

I got a notice in the mail yesterday from the Waco police saying someone had reported that a car with my license plates was involved in a hit and run. Nice. It's amazing how quickly they can find you if they want to. It's from that six car pile up I was almost a part of. I told the officer this morning that my car didn't actually come in contact with any other car, that I had simply stopped to make sure everyone was ok and then left. He said ok. Hopefully that's the end of that.

My plans for this weekend was all about watching the Angel Season 2 dvds. Well, thru tracking them on Amazon's page, I find that the post office says they attempted delivery yesterday at 11:22 am and that I can either come and get the package at the post office or it'll be returned to Amazon. Damn. The post office around here has really long lines. I decide to take an early lunch and chance that the package is actually there. Nope, of course not. The guy can't explain why not. I'm like, duh, because you LOST IT. There's no way they tried to deliver it to my office at 11:22, because there's always someone at the front desk. Fine. I'll call Best Buy and see if they have it in stock and go get it after work. Then the one from Amazon will eventually be returned there.

It's just 12:30 and this is my day so far. Every other minute I'm completely tempted to put my head on my desk and go to sleep.

Posted by Beth at 12:25 PM
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Democrat Debates

No, I didn't watch them. I can hardly stand watching the short clips they show on the news programs.

The only thing you have to ask everytime you hear them bash the hell out of Bush on the war, the economy, anything, is - what EXACTLY are they proposing be done instead?

*crickets chirping*

That's right - not a damn thing. Until they've "got a better idea" they should just shut the fuck up!

UPDATE: No, I'm not really happy with the Republicans either. This post about sums it up!

Posted by Beth at 08:52 AM
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September 04, 2003

This explains so much!

OMG! This entry by OddTodd explains so much. I'm sure you can guess which type is Nerdstar and which one is me!!

Posted by Beth at 04:11 PM
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Pet Peeves at Work

It's annoying as hell to answer the phone and have the person on the other end just sit there quietly, then stutter around trying to figure out who they called and why. Uhh... hello... if you're going to dial a phone number - expect and be ready for it to be answered!!

The lady in the office next to me is very nice, but not too bright when it comes to using those new-fangled contraptions called a computer. She frequently comes to me to help her figure out how to do what she's trying to do in Excel or Word. No problem. Yesterday she said she'd tried entering info in Excel three times and it keep losing what she entered. I looked at her screen, saw that she was in cell #65406 and then looked at her number lock key - sure enough, it wasn't on. She'd tried three times to enter in information and never once figured out it wasn't typing in numbers at all. Smart.

Posted by Beth at 04:08 PM
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Hit Away

Spoons has a great post today about social manners and how men are less likely to be the ones standing in your way making you wait thanks to boys hitting other idiot boys when they're younger. I'm all for hitting anyone who's in my way now to help improve their future behavior!

Posted by Beth at 11:23 AM
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Brilliant Marketing

I've long been impressed with Eminem's musical, lyrical, rhyming abilities. Now I'm impressed with his business skills. Although his record sales are in the millions, to really make money it's all about signing and promoting new artists and getting a cut of their share. So, he's decided to boost sales of Obie Trice's new cd by including a golden ticket in three of them. The golden ticket gets the holder an all expense paid trip to Detriot to spend the day with Eminem while he works on his new cd. Brilliant. I'm not sure how many cds Obie would have sold without this promotion, but now it'll sell at least ten times as many.

(I tried to find a link about this story but couldn't find one. I saw it on one of the cable news stations last night - maybe MSNBC, but I'm not sure.)

Posted by Beth at 10:45 AM
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Better

I finally got a good night's sleep thanks to Tylenol PM. That and emails from friends really helped ease some of the sadness.

Last night and this morning Nerdstar called from the firing range. They're having to get weapons qualified this week and next. It's weird to hear all that gunfire in the background. She's not great with guns, but gets by. I keep telling her she can shoot herself in the foot and come home :-)

Posted by Beth at 10:10 AM
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September 03, 2003

Ouch!!

I can't begin to imagine how much having a drill thru your head hurt.

"I ran my hands up the drill bit, up to my eye, and put my other hand in the back of my head and felt it coming through the back of my head," he said. "And that's where pretty much the shock set in."

Doctors said the drill bit pushed his brain aside rather than pushing into it, which likely would have caused serious brain damage or death. After weighing their options, doctors essentially unscrewed the bit to remove it.

It reminds me of the similar picture in all the psych textbooks of the guy whose personality changed after he had a metal rod thru his head.

Posted by Beth at 11:29 AM
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Bleh

Today is a pull the covers over your head and stay in bed all day kinda day. Unfortunately, the paycheck addiction is stronger. So I'm at work today trying to hide out in my office as much as possible. Even people just walking by my office is annoying. I think I'm too good at putting on a happy face. I don't think most of my coworkers realize just how hard it is on me that Nerdstar isn't here. Well, no happy face today.

Posted by Beth at 10:25 AM
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September 02, 2003

Essay

This essay is the most comprehensive and compassionate I've read on the whole homosexuality and Christianity issue. The author is Larry Bethune, pastor of University Baptist Church here in Austin. Maybe I'll go check them out.

Posted by Beth at 03:25 PM
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Dykewrite

The other day I was wondering what I wanted to do with posts about gay related news stories I was reading. Well, I've been a member of Dykewrite going back to my Diaryland days. Jenna was gracious enough to invite me to be a contributor to the mainpage, and I finally said ok. I'm not separating gay issues from other issues - my life isn't compartmentalized - but this is just another venue for my strange take on the world.

I've put a couple of blurbs over there this morning.

Posted by Beth at 01:23 PM
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Sadness

Nerdstar hasn't even been gone 24 hours and the sadness is settling back in. It took forever to get to sleep last night, then I had really long, movie like dreams early this morning.

These last four months have been hard, but I have a feeling it's all about to get harder. Within the next week or two she should find out when she goes to Iraq. I think she's still holding out hope there's going to be some way she doesn't have to go. I'm not so optimistic. I'm just hoping she's given enough time for me to be able to fly up there and spend at least a couple of days with her. Because once she leaves Ft. Lewis, God only knows when I'll see her again. (I try very, very hard to not think that I might not see her again.) I also try not to think about all the holidays and birthdays and our anniversary that she'll miss if she's over there for six months.

One day at a time is a sucky way to have to literally live.

Posted by Beth at 10:15 AM
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Theology

This entry over at BuzzMachine surprised me this morning. One of the topics Nerdstar and I come back to time and again is God and religion. I've been contemplating trying to find a church mostly for social reasons. Some of the best friends I've had in my life were my Christian friends during college. (It was Christian friends I made later, here in Austin, that rejected me.) Nerdstar has a couple of Christian women in her unit, and she, too, is finding them to be among the nicer, more stable people.

Nerdstar and I also discuss theology fairly often. We were out walking the dog Sunday night and talked about church and friends. Then Monday over lunch we were talking about about how weird the ideas in Christianity are. I was trying to explain the point of the cross (to destroy sin and death) and the importance of the Holy Spirit (direct communion with God). I think the modern church has completely lost what those two ideas really mean. We've nullified the freedom gained thru the cross and rejected the Holy Spirit almost outright. I told her the biggest disagreement I had with people at the last church I attended was that I said I'd take what I heard God telling me over what I read in the Bible any day.

Which brings me back to Buzzmachine's post.

It is the characteristic doctrine of utopian revolutionaries and violent heretics from many centuries -- this idea that God is speaking to them directly, and that they may now ignore scripture, history, and tradition, and do whatever feels good. is a quote from David Warren who left the Anglican church.

There's a great reply to this ickiness and more... go read his whole post.

Posted by Beth at 09:29 AM
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