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Archive for December, 2008

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“I don’t know nothing except change will come.”  Patty Griffin

    It’s New Year’s Eve.  I’m at my parents house looking after the dogs.  I couldn’t commit to any of my options for parties and celebrations.  I just didn’t know what I was going to feel like doing.  This afternoon, I felt like sitting outside and reading my book by the fire with the dogs.  After a little while I started getting antsy that I was going to miss something, but not antsy enough to do anything about it.  But things worked out as they almost always do, Maggie called, and in a little while, I’m going downtown with the Badger children, which is EXACTLY what I want to do.  Once I knew that I was going downtown, I was able to enjoy the fire and the dogs and the beautiful night even more.  It’s amazing, even though I don’t want to commit, security that something specific is going to happen in my future gives me an added enjoyment to the present. 

    The coals had gotten hot enough for me to put a full log on the grate, and the log had a branch nub on the top of it that, when the wind would blow the flames high, would catch fire and glow until the same wind that caused the nub to catch fire would blow out the glow.  I found this mesmerizing.  There are few things I find as enjoyable as watching a fire while drinking a choice beverage.  But watching this flame catch and go out repeatedly was somehow extremely soothing.  Someone has been shooting off fireworks in North Augusta for the past few hours, and although I can’t see them, I can hear the dull THUDS of the explosions in the distance. 

I’ve been reading back through my archives, trying to remember 2008.  Isn’t that sad?  It is amazing the things you forget.  It is amazing that the problems I found so crippling at the time could be so easily forgotten.  I’ve been thinking a lot about privilege, and loss, and perspective. 

In these difficult economic times, it has become shockingly apparent how the word – security – often times means very little.  And how easily perspective is lost. 

I was in New Orleans this time last year.  There is a lot to be said about that trip, but even this far removed from it, I’m not sure I can put it into coherent thought.  It is difficult to believe that was an entire year ago, except when I dwell on some of the specific memories, they seem even further removed than a year.  I love New Orleans. 

Two years ago I was in Atlanta on NYE, at the widespread concert.  I wasn’t suppose to be at the concert, but Chad had an extra ticket at the last minute, and I was already in the ATL and had (shockingly) been unable to commit to the other plans available.  It was the last Terrace Christmas as I remember the Terrace, even though at the time none of us realized that 2007 would bring such profound and permanent changes to the landscape of our lives. 

Three years ago I was also in the ATL, and NYE was spent at the Terrace, for one of the best parties I think we ever threw.  I was suppose to be in Athens for NYE, but I flaked out on my Athens friends at the last minute.   I wore a pink mini skirt and heels to that party, and I met a boy.  He thought I was super cute, and happened to live in Augusta, and we hung out a lot while I was home for the rest of my christmas break, and dated for a few weeks after I went back to Athens.  But ultimately, I realized that he liked the girl in the pink mini skirt and heels, and that was what he was looking for, the girl who wore such things as the rule, and not as the rare exception.  And I realized that although such things seem petty, it was a good lesson.  To make sure someone likes your rule, and not your exception.  And to make sure you like someone in the rule and not as their exception. 

Four years ago I was in New York, for one of the most exciting and enjoyable NYE experiences ever.  It was a night that could never be duplicated, which is probably a good thing. 

Oh!  That’s Maggie.  They are coming to get me soon.  I need to go find my shoes.  Maybe later I’ll stop reminiscing the ghosts of New Year’s past and actually tell you all the things I learned in 2008.  But then again, maybe I’ll just tell you some other unrelated story. 

Briscoe says – HAPPY NEW YEAR!  MAY 2009 BRING YOU HEALTH AND HAPPINESS!

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My camoflague socks –

are really good at hiding.  I dropped one on the rug the other day while doing laundry and didn’t find it for three days.  The dogs didn’t even find it.  Whoever invented camo is a genius!

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Merry Christmas Eve!

Briscoe and I are digging through the house today, trying to find all the presents that I've bought over the past month, and wrapping them up.  Actually, wrapping is probably a strong word, I prefer putting large bows on the gift and not using wrapping paper.  But because I'm a maker's mark ambassador (thanks to JBlanchard!), I have some sweet maker's mark wrapping paper that must be used. 

I secretly want to go to the mall today, just to see the crowds and the sales and all that jazz.  I'm not sure I have anything else to buy, which makes going to mall sound ridiculous.  I might not be able to stop myself. 

Briscoe and I are sending out Happy New Year Cards, and they are super cute, so email me your address if you want one! 

I'm going to leave you with my favorite Christmas verses, they are always the same, but they make me happy every year.  I hope you all have a Happy Christmas! 

Luke 2 (NIV)

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels 
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them,
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

 
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.** The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

John 1 (The Message)
The Life-Light

The Word was first,
the Word present to God,
God present to the Word.
The Word was God,
in readiness for God from day one.

Everything was created through him;
nothing–not one thing!-
came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
the darkness couldn't put it out.

(emphasis added)

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It's really hot around here.  Like, 80 degrees hot.  And it has been the whole week.  And it is suppose to stay warm for a while. 

I'm not complaining, since yesterday was one of the prettiest, most pleasant days I've ever experienced.  We sat out on Travers front porch and drank beer in tshirts at 10 pm last night (I love sitting outside on warm nights drinking beer).  When it gets cold I always miss the porches. 

But even so, my clothes aren't seasonably appropriate, and like Kate said the other night  when I was sweating in my red felt skirt and tall suede boots- "It's hard to play Christmas when it's 80 degrees outside!"

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Consumer Demand

We have a huge glass cookie jar where we keep the milkbones.  I like to keep it sort of full, because it looks silly with only a handful of milkbones.  When it is full it looks pretty – so I normally buy those big boxes of milkbones.   (btw – target sells milkbones at half the price of petsmart). 

This weekend I was pouring the big box into the glass jar, and I noticed that the milkbone colors were different.  There was no green milkbone!  Now, I've always seriously questioned the reasoning behind having a green milkbone in general, since I'm pretty sure I'm never had a dog who loved vegetables.  I wouldn't want a vegetable cookie as a treat, and I sort of doubt Briscoe would either.   She's never complained, but I always feel a little guilty when I give one dog a sausage milkbone and the other dog a vegetable milkbone. 

Well, I don't have to feel guilty anymore!  Right on the milkbone box it said – TWO NEW MEATY FLAVORS!  I guess the dogs of the world have spoken and have risen up to demand meaty treats over vegetable treats.  I don't blame them. 

But the green milkbones did give a color contrast to the glass jar that I'm going to miss. 

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Burns the last, of the day down.  I'm the last one, hanging around.  (sorry, I was singing in my head). 

Yesterday I was sick in bed, which sucked.  Even though the idea of spending a rainy day on the pull out sofa watching movies sounds appealing, when you feel terrible, it's really not much fun.  I would have rather been at work.  Honestly.  I'm serious.  But I watched some movies I haven't seen in a while. 

You know how certain movies and songs and books can mean one thing to you at a point in life, then when you go back and watch, listen, read them again, you take away something totally different?

Seven Years in Tibet is a movie I used to LOVE.  It came out when I was in high school, and I watched it repeatedly.  But I haven't seen it since.  Many of the things I liked about it then are the same things I liked when I watched it yesterday.  The desire to climb mountains, the amazing scenery, the fact that Brad Pitt is beautiful (although in real life, seemingly crazy), the allure of the forbidden county of Tibet and the unreachable city of Lhasa, along with the inspiring and captivating story of the Dalai Lama.  But there was one part that touched me yesterday that I doubt I ever took note of in high school. 

When Heinrich (Pitt) and his friend Peter finally (after years of wandering) arrive in Lhasa, they fall in love with the same girl.  Heinrich tries to impress the girl with his scrapbook of accomplishments in the olympics and his impressive summits of mountains.  She replies with – "This is another great difference between our civilization and yours. You admire the man who pushes his way to the top in any walk of life, while we admire the man who abandons his ego."

Heinrich is unfazed by this comment and continues to pursue her by buying her ice skates and showing her how they work (because, although there are ice skates in Lhasa, they have come through trading posts and the Tibetans do not know how to use them).  There is a scene of Heinrich and Peter teaching the people of Lhasa how to ice skate.  In the scene, Heinrich is trying to impress the girl by doing tricks and showing off, saying, LOOK AT ME!  Peter, on the other hand, is not broadcasting his skill, but is instead holding the girl's hand and helping her learn.  In other words, he was paying attention to her, and not to himself.  I don't think I need to tell you who she falls in love with. 

I was struck by these two very different tactics of getting someone's attention, and how much more effective Peter's approach was.  I was also struck by how strongly I want to impress people sometimes, and how off-putting that can be.  It was like watching the kind of person I know I can be sometimes and wish I wasn't, and watching the kind of person I wish I was all the time but sometimes forget to be.  It's like the quote – "There are two kinds of people – those who walk into a room and say – 'Well, here I am!' and those who walk into a room and say, 'Ah, there you are!'"

I also found it interesting that the girl was smart enough to know how each man's approach was a glimpse of his character and to be attracted to the man that was more concerned with her than with himself.  Oh, if we could all be so intelligent. 

My last point about this particular dynamic, is that later in the movie Heinrich visits Peter and the girl once they are married and have moved outside of town.  Heinrich makes some petty jealous comment about their happiness and how he is alone.  And the girl says – "Heinrich, a friend's good fortune is a blessing.  You must be a very lonely person."

It was a good movie.  You should watch it. 

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 me:   did you read my blog today?
 

Jennifer:  yeah, and i didn't talk to shel silverstein on the phone
  you must have imagined that

 me: you said you did!
  you said he called

 Jennifer: i really don't think i said that
  i dont remember ever talking to him
  ?
i mean, i talked to some other people
  but i don't remember him being a client of carol's
 

(a quick search for Shel Silverstein in gmail reveals the following)

———————————————————————————————————————-

hi!
1 message


Jennifer Brown <jenniferbrown@gmail.com> Mon, Jun 5, 2006 at 3:51 PM

To: Charlsie Paine <charlsiekate@gmail.com>

I just talked on the phone to Shel Silverstein!


Jennifer Brown
cell 706.555.1569

———————————————————————————————————-

me: BAM
  I love gmail
 

Jennifer: omg. didn't even remember that
  hahahahaaaaa

   me: seriously
  I love him
  I remember

Jennifer:   crazy
  i can't believe i don't remember that
  i wonder what else I don't remember !
  🙂

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