Thursday, October 31, 2002

"I'm sick and tired of these stupid things happening to me! And somebody had better do something about it!" --Prudy in Support Your Local Sheriff.

As has happened the last couple years, my carefully-planned Halloween costume has disintegrated the night before Halloween. Last night I melted a hole in my costume with an iron. So now I'm throwing together a quick costume to match my husband's. He's going as Wolverine from "X-Men", and now I'm going as Rogue (thank you, ED for having long gloves I can borrow!). We're patterning our outfits after what they're wearing when they first meet, about 17 minutes into the movie. You know, kinda normal clothing. Because there's no way I could get him to wear yellow-and-blue spandex. It's our hair that's going to make us recognizable. We got "hair glue" for his to give him that great pointy Wolvie hair, and I'm going to quick run to the mall after work to find some sort of impermanent white (or maybe silver?) dye to do a quick streak in my hair. But I'm afraid that as has happened all too often, our costumes will be too subtle and only a few people will get it. Let's see...my freshman year a friend and I went as sort of a photo and its negative--I wore a white shirt and black pants, she wore a black shirt and white pants, etc. Nobody got it. Sophomore year I was a genie, but just ended up looking like an Bohemian MC Hammer. Junior year my friends and I went Goth Glam, so that was quite fun and people understood that. But last year we decided to all go as vampires dressed as something else: a vampire as an elf, a vampire as a fairy, a vampire as a military commando (that was me), and a vampire as Ringo Starr from the film Help! (that was him, and only one person besides our group got it without us explaining the whole thing). I don't remember having this problem as a kid. We'll see if anyone figures us out this year. Maybe I should start thinking more garishly.

Just a couple more thoughts from Chamberlain (this time regarding the aftermath of battle) for you to ruminate upon:

"But we had with us, to keep and to care for, more than five hundred bruised bodies of men,--men made in the image of God, marred by the hand of man, and must we say in the name of God? And where is the reckoning for such things? And who is answerable? One might almost shrink from the sound of his own voice, which had launched into the palpitating air words of order--do we call it?--fraught with such ruin. Was it God's command we heard, or His forgiveness we must forever implore?" (p 42. Chamberlain, Joshua Lawrence. The Passing of the Armies. New York: Bantam Books, 1993.)

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

What ARE they dropping?!!!!! Whoever it is that lives above us seems to have this fascination with dropping stuff on their floor. This happens almost every night. It sounds like they have a bag full of beads or unpopped popcorn or bbs or something and they are dropping them one-by-one with no discernible rhythm on the floor above our tv. It's driving me NUTS! Why?! What are they doing? Are they mad?
If I needed one more reason to love Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, here it is. During a battle near Petersburg, after having been wounded in the side and dehorsed, the following occurred:

"By a sudden backset I found myself surrounded by Confederates, who courteously lowered their muskets and locked their bayonets around me to indicate a reception not easily to be declined, and probably to last some time. The old coat was dingy almost to gray; I was bare-headed, and rather a doubtful character anyway. I thought it warrantable to assume an extremely friendly relation. To their exhortation I replied: 'Surrender? What's the matter with you? What do you take me for? Don't you see these Yanks right on us? Come along with me and let us break 'em.' I still had my right arm and my light sword, and I gave a slight flourish indicating my wish and their direction. They did follow me like brave fellows,--most of them too far; for they were a long time getting back." (p 37, Chamberlain, Joshua Lawrence. The Passing of the Armies. New York: Bantam Books, 1993.)

Okay, it was a bit mean to the Confederates, but extremely brilliant (and kind of funny, I think). Just thought I'd share :-)

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

I'm reading The Passing of the Armies by Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain right now. My copy is part of Bantam Books' 'Eyewitness to the Civil War' series. He's making some really great observations (as can be expected from a man who was a professor, a governor, and president of a college besides rising to the rank of brevet major general in the Union army), and I think I'll share them here quickly, and a few thoughts on them. Here are two things JLC has said so far that struck me:

"The North was as arbitrary as the South was arrogant" (p 21).* Thank you! A Union writer (a general in their army, no less) who freely and of his own volition states that the North was not perfect. Of course, the South was not perfect either. From what I've studied of the Civil War (and I admit that's not much; I just took a one-semester course in it and have read some stuff on my own), I think those two words--'arbitrary' and 'arrogant'--perfectly describe the attitudes of the opposing forces. The North thought they were right and would let nothing stand in their way, not even themselves. The South thought they were right and thought they could lick overwhelming opposing forces. Proving once again that all people are stupid. (Yes, even me, far too often).

"...instant advantage is not always lasting achievement..." (p 22).* This just makes me ruminate more about everyday life now than the Civil War. It feels so true! People who think they have it all because things have been handed to them on the proverbial silver platter are not usually going to be remembered for anything more than stupidity and arrogance and how fast they were forgotten. The song "High Flying, Adored" from Andrew Lloyd Webber's opera "Evita" comes to mind, with the lines about "a shame you did it all at twenty-three" and "for someone on top of the world, the view is not exactly clear". Or think about pop icons who come quickly to the head of their business (one-hit wonders of all kinds) and then two years later we can't remember their name. But the people who work slowly toward what they want, like the Beatles, Creed, Bobby Darin, Harrison Ford--the people who put in the time as underlings and nobodys before becoming interesting (this works for politics too I suppose, and of course for any sort of great artist, writer, musician...)--have much more of a lasting influence (if you haven't heard of Bobby Darin and are wondering what sort of lasting influence he could have had, check out a lot of recent soundtracks, and you'll find him everywhere. More about him later. Much more). This gives me hope for my own future as a writer because as yet I haven't done much, but I've been published in a few little magazines, I was editor of the college literary magazine for two years...I've been putting in my time. Maybe my day will come too.

*(Chamberlain, Joshua Lawrence. The Passing of the Armies. New York: Bantam Books, 1993.)
So I was looking forward to taking Friday off even though L&B aren't having their wedding this weekend after all. I'd requested the day off and gotten in approved, and figured I'd just have a day off all to myself. Hah! I just did the math and realized that with those 8 hours gone, the overtime I've been doing this week wouldn't be overtime at all, and all in all taking Friday off would cost us $75. Like we can afford that! Especially since we're getting health insurance now, and Gabriel is sick (although Dad offered to help with the cost of fixing him), and we have to start paying back my student loans in November. So no special day off for me.

On the bright side, my friends and I are going shopping on Saturday to a Christmas store and other random places, so that should be fun. Even though I don't plan to spend much (I've got a twenty I'll take along, and when that's gone, no more spending for me), I do want to get some Christmas decorations for our first Christmas together (well, first Christmas as a married couple, we've spent 2 other Christmases together with our families). I love Christmas! My husband laughs at me, but I do! I can't help being in a Christmas mood already! I started shopping for it in May! And I'm almost done with the presents I'm making for 4 of my best friends.

And in really groovy news, I wrote to The Homeless Guy and told him how much I appreciate the things he's saying with his blog (thehomelessguy.blogspot.com), and he wrote me back!

Monday, October 28, 2002

Poor Gabriel. Took him to the camera place in the mall yesterday, and they said I'd have to pay $120 to get him sent off to a repair shop. So I guess I'll have to try the place down the hill. I wish I just knew what's wrong with him, but so far no one has been able to tell me.

And Angel was depressing last night.

And it's a very Monday-ish Monday. We have 20+ new people here at work that all got trained over the weekend. It's their first day on the job, and they're all confused, making work very hectic for the rest of us.

Lots of reasons to brood.

At least the sugar cookies I made last night were good. And I got material yesterday--2 yards at $3 each--to make myself a new sarong.

Sunday, October 27, 2002

Ahhh, Sunday. The day I don't have to go to work at all. Not one tiny little bit! Today after church I plan to take Gabriel to the camera place in the mall, and see if they can fix him. After that, I'll come home and call my parents, then bake sugar cookies. And tonight...Angel!!! I might also squeeze in a little time working on my novel if my husband doesn't need the computer for homework all day.

I've started investigating some other people's blogs. The Homeless Guy is really fascinating. He's the the only one I've found so far that I've visited more than once.

Friday, October 25, 2002

"Another wet day, another wet town." --Kirby, in some random episode of Combat! (possibly "The Little Jewel" or "The Party"?).

This morning, instead of being greeted by friendly snow, I was treated to a dribbly rain. October is confusing.

Today my Dad sent me this message, which beautifully puts into words what I have been trying to explain to my husband about cameras:

> I am extremely saddened to hear about your camera.
> Being a camera man
> myself, I know how important a camera is.
> Pictures are irreplaceable and
> so are the moments they catch. Few people realize
> this, but those of us
> who do must stick together, lest we be tempted to
> not take pictures.

I have this great urge to preserve things. This is why I journal and blog: to preserve the memories of what my life has been. This is also why I take photos. I know that my mental memories fade, but when I look at a photo of some occasion, the memories revive and I can remember my past better. The same happens when I read back over some of my old journals. I remember how I'd been feeling, what I'd been thinking, what little trials and joys I was experiencing at the time. And then one day I can pass all that down to future generations. Because I love learning about the past, I feel I must preserve the present.

Maybe this can somehow help explain why I'm so upset about my darling camera Gabriel being sick. I'm not just some fluffy, airheaded moron who is sad because she has a broken toy, you know.

Thursday, October 24, 2002

Snow! Wonderful, glorious snow! I walked to my car this morning and there were tiny white things in the air and even a few on the ground! Not that I expect it to stick or anything, but it was a fun surprise. Almost made up for the fact that I had to get up at 5:55am.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Gosh, my very own blog. A spot for me to randomly rant about any and all subjects at any and all hours of the day or night. Kinda scary to think that other people might be reading this. Probably they will be, because I'm sure I'll end up giving people my address. So if you're a friend of mine, Hi! If you're a random stranger, Hi! to you too.

Gabriel is sick. I'm quite worried about him. Especially since I don't think my sales receipt for him exists anymore. (Gabriel is my pet camera). I paid too much for him to just let him sit in his case and rot the way I did to the stupid $80 Minolta. Why is it that my trusty old Kodak works even after being lugged around and dropped and sat on and heaven knows what else for 10 years, and when I get a really great camera, it kaputs in 14 months? Ugh. Really, I'm too depressed to write any more. To think of my darling Gabriel sitting lifeless in his little nylon nest when I should be capturing all sorts of things with him...not to mention retrieving the 20 pictures from that graveyard photo shoot...

Technology depresses me.

I need more caffeine.