Friday, September 30, 2005

My 4th Circle

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Ok, so ya'll know that there are supposedly 9 circles of my own hell, at least two circles are occupied by Wal-mart. The 3rd circle is Wal-mart on a normal definition, Wal-mart is hell. It also comprises the fifth circle on weekends and payday. ;-) YEs, I do know this from personal experience.

But the 4th circle is missing you say? Quite right...the fourth circle of my own personal hell is held by one solitary character: /

Yup, that's it this stupid character kicked my arse for about 4 hours yesterday. Ya'll know that I am creating three separate blogs for my law firm. We are set to launch on Monday...well, two of the three sites will be ready. Anyway, putting these sites together has consumed most of my waking (and some of my sleeping) hours. The templates have all been manually adjusted for color, font, spacing, and content.

I have become far more proficient in HTML code than I ever thought possible. Now, I won't pretend that i know a whole lot; but I do know enough to get by. Well, after posting almost 100 entries, I had to go back through and organize them. Not so difficult, but definitely time-consuming and labor intensive. Well, after about three hours of sorting and coding, i went back through to check all my links.

None of them they work a couple hours before when I tried; but now, nothing. What happened? I didn't moce any pages after I input the links...I checked the template again...still right...hmmm.

After hours of going through the entire template, one line at a time I realized what happened. Blogger had decided to "help" out my codes. After I had entered them, Blogger added an extra "/" to each and every link line. Frickin' frackin' Blogger. So then I got the distinct pleasure of going back through each and every link (for the 58th time) to remove the extra character.

So, the moral of this story is:
  1. Computers are a mean breed of machine sometimes.

  2. I hate HTML codes.

  3. Working hyperlinks are overrated.

  4. You can never be too careful when you live in the blogging ghetto (right, Joan?)

  5. There is a fourth circle of hell, and it's populated by the /

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Flashbacks of Feeling

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Ok ya'll, go ahead and laugh; I will readily admit to being a life-long (well not my whole life...I am older than that) GnR fan. Sweet Child O' Mine is one of my all-time favorite songs.

Anyway, Ogre bought the Greatest Hits album and let me borrow it yesterday. It’s been on constant repeat in my car. It really is the best of...anyway, I keep hearing this song in my head. It seems to be following me around. Flip the genders...the song makes perfect sense.

Much to say about work; but my brain is too tired to make sense of the madness. Suffice to say, I am in the process of creating three separate blogs for my firm...blogs that are being created from scratch and are supposed to be launched Monday morning. I am beyond stressed and exhausted. But, at the same time, I am enjoying this project. It is my brainchild, and I am extremely proud...or I will be when it's finished. I am such a perfectionist firstborn sometimes.

Ok, enough about that...I will show ya'll my handiwork first thing on Monday...or maybe Sunday night if I'm feeling generous. ;-) (So very pretentious of me to think that ya'll want to see it first.) hehehe...

Patience ~ Guns 'n' Roses

Shed a tear 'cause I'm missin' you
I'm still alright to smile
Girl, I think about you every day now
Was a time when I wasn't sure
But you set my mind at ease
There is no doubt
You're in my heart now

Said, woman, take it slow
It'll work itself out fine
All we need is just a little patience
Said, sugar, make it slow
And we come together fine
All we need is just a little patience
Mm, yeah

I sit here on the stairs
'Cause I'd rather be alone
If I can't have you right now
I'll wait, dear
Sometimes I get so tense
But I can't speed up the time
But you know, love
There's one more thing to consider

Said, woman, take it slow
And things will be just fine
You and I'll just use a little patience
Said, sugar, take the time
'Cause the lights are shining bright
You and I've got what it takes
To make it, We won't fake it,
I'll never break it
'cause I can't take it

...little patience, mm yeah, mm yeah
need a little patience, yeah
just a little patience, yeah
some more patience, yeah
need some patience, yeah
could use some patience, yeah
gotta have some patience, yeah
all it takes is patience,
just a little patience
is all you need

I been walkin' the streets at night
Just tryin' to get it right
Hard to see with so many around
You know I don't like
Being stuck in the crowd
And the streets don't change
But baby the name
I ain't got time for the game
'cause I need you
Yeah, yeah, but I need you
Oo, I need you
Whoa, I need you
Oo, all this time

Did I miss something?

Did I miss the memo where we are rationing steel and aluminum again?? I ask because my mind is currently boggled by my most recent purchases.

Here's the thing: it cost me $3 more to get my car fixed than it did to buy razor blades. Now, I don't know about ya'll, but I think it's criminal that I had to pay $30 for one package of razor blades. (And that was the Sam's Club price!!) I took my car to the mechanics yesterday, I had a service and safety done...ya know, all the tests and oil and filter change...all the good preventative stuff; it cost $33.... any one else seeing a disparity here?

How is it possible that prices can be so ridiculous!?!?! I realize it's a little thing in the scheme of life, and that's fine...I am mostly over it now anyway. But the issue still remains...since I'm not going to stop using my razor...

I just found the comparison to be more than a little ridiculous. Ok, end random rant.
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Monday, September 26, 2005

My Manic Monday

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With all the stress and drama swirling around me the last couple weeks, I miss the days when life was simple. I am resigning my adulthood (effective immediately) and returning to the age of 6. An age when I had few cares or worries...a time when I didn't worry about paying bills on time, or making sure that there were groceries in the fridge, or clean clothes in the closet. When it was just assumed that people (expecially grown-ups) would do exactly what they say they will do.

My brain hasn't been forming full thoughts today. I haven't had enough sleep the last two weeks...I was stoked to get 5 hours at once with drugs. It's taking a toll on my mind and spirit. I am drained. Being a girl has been escpecially taxing the last few days. Saturday I could barely drag myself off the is much better, but I am still exhausted.

I am excited about the new marketing project I am working on for the firm. I will explain more as the project comes together. But, what I can say is that it will be an incredible tool for the business, I think. If I could impose upon the fabulous legal professionals I am proud to call readers and friends, I would love to have your input. Let me know if you're will take about five minutes of your time! :-)

Ok, another subject, if you want to know what I've been listening to this weekend, check out my playlist.

Also, the song I have been playing over and over (Thanks Rie for reminding me of its existence):

Cherish The Day ~ Sade

You're ruling the way that I move
And I breathe your air
You only can rescue me

This is my prayer
If you were mine
If you were mine
I wouldn't want to go to heaven

I cherish the day,
I won't go astray
I won't be afraid
You won't catch me running

You're ruling the way that I move
You take my air...

Show me how deep love can be

You're ruling the way that I move
And I breathe your air
You only can rescue me

This is my prayer

I cherish the day
I won't go astray
I won't be afraid
You won't catch me running

I cherish the day
I won't go astray
I won't be afraid
Won't run away

You show me how deep love can be
You show me how deep love can be
This is my prayer

PS~ Clark, I miss you...

Friday, September 23, 2005


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I'm not writing too much tonight. I'm tired and I just don't feel like it. I'm a cranky girl and I wanna crawl into a hole for a while. Anyway, Jason finally made it to his destination. Read about his adventure here.

Good stuff Jason, thanks for sharing it.

Lots of prayers and hope of safety to Christina and her whole family.

Have a good night ya'll...and stay safe wherever you are.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Gettin' Out

While the gettin's still good. Or something to that effect.
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It seems like the population of the whole southern half of Texas is on the freeway right now. I have many friends and family who live in Texas, from Houston to Dallas-Ft. Worth. All of them have been accounted for, thank God.

Keep the evacuees and the EMS workers in your thoughts and prayers as everyone scrambles to be ready for Rita. Jason has several updates about his evacuation process. Be careful out there Jason!!

Fabulous Miss Feisty is preparing for a house full of people and pets. Ingrid and Lauren are still at home. Stay safe girls!!! Hopefully thestorm will completely bypass Miss Joan this time around. I hope you feel better sweetie!!

Even work here is being slightly affected. Federal Express has ceased deliveries to most of Texas according to our rep. So now we shift cases and shuffle priorities to make accomodations for Rita. Back to work I go...I'll update ya'll as I learn more.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

It's Your Turn, Boys

It's Wednesday, and by now, ya'll should know that means it's Seven Inches of Service day. Last week, we wrote advice to the girlfriends left at home during a deployment or the ones pereparing for a deployment. This week's list is for you soldiers out there. Everything that follows has been tested in my own life. Go read the rest of today's posts!!
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Clark and I actually went through the deployment together with minimal drama between us. The outside world presented quite a bit of stress, but our relationship moved along pretty smoothly. So here ya go:

  1. When you start out this deployment process, there is an important decision to be made. Do you want to be in a long distance relationship in the first place? If you are going to commit to a relationship, then do it; if you don't want to that is your choice, but don't fake it...there are plenty of girls who will just be a pen pal if all you want is mail. Be upfront with your girlfriend about what you really want.

  2. Along those lines, know that trust is important. Obviously, trust is important in all relationships, but even more so in relationships that last through deployments. You have to be able to trust each other completely, otherwise you will be consumed with doubt and that is a recipe for trouble. If you want her to trust you; you've gotta trust her too. Don't get bogged down by officers or friends who tell you that all girls cheat while their soldiers are gone. Yes, some do. But the vast majority don't...wouldn't even dream of it. Have faith in the girl you love; she is going to do the same for you.

  3. Realize that you have a "war face", recognize what what your war face looks like and how it manifests itself. Please try to understand the effect it has on those around you. We know that you have to put on your war face, and that it will make you distant. That's how it has to be, and we all accept that; but it's not an easy concept to grasp until you've lived it. Please be aware of that fact and don't judge your girlfriend too harshly. It's frightening to watch the man you love completely change in the beat of a heart...and it takes some getting used to. But don't take that to mean that we can't handle you or your deployment...we can. We haven't been brainwashed or misled and we willingly choose to endure the deployment from within the silent ranks because we love you. We choose to be with you the same way you have chosen to be with us.

  4. I have said it hundreds of times, and ya'll will probably hear it at least that many times more: Communication is of paramount importance. That said, communicate whenever you can. Letters, emails, phone calls, photos...utilize whatever means are at your disposal. You don't have to be a prolific letter writer to make this work, but put some effort into it. When Clark was gone, I wrote him about three or four letters a week. In return, I got about one letter every six weeks. But that was ok, because I knew that it wa all the letter writing he could do, and as long as he was making an effort, then I didn't mind that I was sending more mail then I received. For the record, emails (while nice and appreciated) do not make up for hearing your voice if you have access to phones. Clark was very diligent about calling at least once every phone day, frequently he would call two or three times on phone day; that made the intervening days much more bearable for both of us.

  5. Probably the most helpful thing that Clark and I did before he left was to develop a code or system between us so that we could stay aprised of each other's lives without breaking OPSEC. We worked out words to let each other know that we were alright, one to say that things were crazy, phrases to let each other know what we could expect to hear in the next few days, good and bad. We also wrote coded phrases in our letters to each other so we could discuss an event without ever using words that would have outside meaning or repercussions...we weren't about to be the ones responsible for having phone day cut short.

Clark's deployment was tough on us; no mistaking that. But, it was definitely made easier by following the steps listed above. We had few disagreements, and we learned a lot along the way. Deployments are never simple, but they aren't impossible either...and they can make your bond unshakable.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Red Moon Rising

Updated below

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Ever been afraid to look out the window because of what might await you outside? I am not a nturally fearful person...I am cautious because of experience, but I don't have a spirit of fear.

Here's a little secret about me; I have a completely irrational fear of door peepholes. You know, they're eye level (for most people) in the front door of most houses...well I am terrified to look through them. I have a fear that someone will jump through while I am looking out. I makes absolutely no sense and has no connection to any event in my life. (Thereby rendering the fear irrational) Anyway, I have been forcing myself into aversion therapy of sorts to get over it...I make myself look through the peephole whenever I go to answer the door. I am getting better...but that isn't actually the point.

The point is this: that feeling of fear that grips me when I have to look through the peephole has been plaguing me all week. Only this fear isn't irrational...there is something going on...I don't know what it is; but it's big. I'm not the only one who is feeling this. I had nonstop nightmares last night. I woke up in a cold sweat twice...that's not normal for me...there are some other things going on as well. I can't put my finger on all of it yet, but I am hoping to know before it's too late.

So, until I can narrow down what's going on and who it involves, do me a favor ya'll...check in if I haven't heard from you in a while. Just let me know you're alright for the time being. Clark...this means you too, check in with TG if you need to...

Sigh...and usually the moon is so peaceful for me...but there is something in the air...

***UPDATE*** The disquiet is getting worse. G is having the same responses. Most of ya'll have checked in, even Clark. It's bigger than individuals...but I know little else that I want to discuss. I'm still not sleeping...the moon was red again last night...and full. I'm functioning on about two hours of sleep. Thanks Judy and Rie for being there last night.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Aaarrr Mateys!!

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Thanks to Bette I now remember that it's National Talk like a Pirate Day!! Arrrr!! She has some great links up over there, so go check them out!!! For today, my pirate name is Secondmate Elizabeth the Fearsome

You Are A Pirate!
You Are A Pirate!

What Type Of Swashbuckler Are You?
brought to you by Maddog Varuka & Dawg Brown

Hehehe just one more good excuse to watch Johnny and Orlando!! ;-) As if I ever needed an excuse.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Resume Normal Breathing

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At least for a moment I can breathe again. My week has finally come to an end...and I am pleased to announce that I did indeed survive. I suppose a quick rundown is in order, so I will try not to ramble. It is late after all...not that I'm sleeping much these days anyway.

My work week was tense and stressful as most of you know...and I even called in sick on Friday (hense the middle of the night posting) ;-) My fire cadets had their open house on Wednesday night and S and I spent the first half of the week preparing for it. So much work went in to it...but it was a big success and we have four or five new cadets now. That's good for the program, so I'm happy.

Last night was Jean's very low-key and very fun bachelorette party. The strippers were wonderful. (I am so kidding, it was just us girls, several white russians, and some Fakespearian actors). We did hair and nails and watched movies. Like I said, it was really laid back, but I think Jean had a good time, which was really the whole point, now wasn't it.

Friday and Saturday Grace and I worked at a songwriters' conference/workshop. There was a lot of hurry up and wait, and I didn't get to work with the planners like I had hoped, so it was kinda disappointing. But there were a few good moments. We passed several hours of downtime by playing "celebrities" and helping the different clinicians with minor details.

We did get to spend some time with a friend of mine from L.A. who was up to lead a drummer workshop. He's a cool guy, funny, smart, smartass, he's great and I love hanging out with him...his only fatal flaw: he looks and sounds just like Clark. They say that everyone has a twin in this world (some have more than one) and pretty much, my friend is Clark's clone. While on some levels you can see how this would be appealing...seriously, it's like Clark in five years with his ish all together...and at the same time...well, you see where I'm headed; Clark just needs to figure life out already. ;-)

Speaking of Clark, he talked to TG Friday night and he's ok...for the time being. It's not all settled yet, not by a longshot...but for now, I can start breathing again. So, thanks ya'll for the positive thoughts and prayers. I'm hoping to know more soon.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Hey Love

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Again, and as always, Nikka is pure genius filled with real, raw emotion. She is the damn man...she speaks to the deepest part of the soul. After listening to her for a couple hours, and talking with dear Bette I believe that "this too shall pass"

Hey Love ~ Nikka Costa

You've said all you have to say
You've hit the wall and you can't get through another way
You got your eyes down to the floor
You say you don't think you can give anymore
We're colder than you've ever known
It seems we made our choice and now you walk alone
But just in case your mind's not made
Tell me if there's still a chance I could persuade

You say you've tried but can't go on trying in vain
While we step over your tears
But I say try and try again because we need to hear

hey love
While we try so hard to get our way you're pushed aside
hey love
We're running faster because it's only you we leave behind
hey love
And every day we try to rise above, we let you down
hey love
If you left us we'd really wish you were around

You say you've tried but can't go on trying in vain
While we step over your tears
But I say try and try again because we need to hear

And I know you won't disappear
It's plain to see in every child that you put here
But if you should turn away
I don't think we could afford the price we'd pay

hey love
While we try so hard to get our way you're pushed aside
hey love
We're running faster because it's only you we leave behind
hey love
And every day we try to rise above, we let you down
hey love
If you left us we'd really wish you were around

hey love, never go...never go...

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Making Sense of Insanity

"when ain't nothin' goin' right,
love will be your soldier.
when all you can do is cry,
love will be your soldier.
when no one's around,
love will be your soldier.
when your world is tumbling down,
love will be your soldier." ~Nikka Costa (of course)
**Despite what you read below, I will survive, I know that**
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Ok, so my post is late fact today has turned into tonight...but it has taken me this long order my thoughts in any meaningful way. Today has been nonstop craziness. There was was alright, oh, FG is speaking to me again, and at least there was nothing that taxed my brain too terribly.

Then as I was headed back from lunch with mamacita and ogre, G called. Her mom is in the hospital back home in Canada. Everything is alright, they're just keeping her for observation, she should be home in the next couple days.

As I was hanging up from that call, Jean beeped through. Some days, mass transit was one of those days. So, I drove Jean's history final over to school for her. As I searched for the office, I loudly proclaimed to anyone withing earshot that buildings shouldn't be art, they should be functional!! I'm sure I had Frank Lloyd Wright rolling in his grave, as I know I received distain from several people around...none of whom had offered me directions as I was obviously lost!! (I actually do appreciate good architecture but not when it precludes me from finding the office I need)

In between all of the chaos, it was never far from my mind that I haven't talked to Clark since Tuesday afternoon, and tomorrow is the hearing. Both of our lives could change drastically in the next 24 hours and I may not even know about it until much after the fact.

It scares the hell out of me. It truly does; and I have been sick to my stomach all day. Well, actually it started last night, as poor Rie found out as she had to field the stream of questions. (Thanks Rie) As ya'll know, I worry about Clark...with good reason sometimes...and this is one of those times.

I can't talk about what I don't know. Suffice to say that it breaks my heart to watch the people I love suffer. Now believe me, I am very much a fan of much as I appreciate grace, my first instinct is towards justice. Anyway, it hurts me to see Clark's past decisions continue to haunt his future...and by association, mine...though I am far less concerned with myself than I am with him.

I am praying to know more soon...if you think of it, say a little prayer for Clark...he's gonna need it tomorrow.

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The preceding image is from Post Secret. It's not my secret (I mean I didn't send it in)...but it could be one of mine...

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

So, Ya Wanna Join the Silent Ranks?

It's Seven Inches of Service day again! Yay!! Anyway, this week's topic is "5 Pieces of Advice for a New Military Girlfriend". Mine is posted below, as always. The rest are up at Miss Joan's place. Go read...all the posts are especially fabulous this week.
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There are a few traits you will need to be an army girlfriend and retain at least some of your sanity. The last few days have put quite a bit of strain on my sanity, even with these things, so if I sound more cynical than usual, take it with a grain of salt.

  1. Patience and flexibility. I know that personally, patience is something I don’t have in large supply; though I have infinitely more now than I did three years ago when I first fell for Clark. Anyway, if a deployment is involved, there will be a lot of waiting in your future. If you're a hurry-up-and-get-my-life-settled kind of girl, I don't suggest a military relationship, because your life will no longer be your own. Then there's flexibility, which dovetails off of patience. We're not talking normal "oops, there's traffic, dinner will be an hour late" flexibility...I'm talking about, "honey, you know that trip we planned a year ago, that we're supposed to go on in two days, well, we're going to have to reschedule or you're going have to go alone because I won't be home." Big, life-changing flexibility is what being an army girlfriend is all about. Clark told me, right after he deployed, that the only thing certain about the Army is that nothing will ever be certain.

  2. You also have to be independent and confident. Even if you aren't, you better learn to fake it. Being needy and insecure will not get you anywhere. Your soldier might be the sweetest, most considerate man; but when he is half a world away, he can't stroke your ego and fix your bad days. You have to be strong enough to withstand the creeps (sometimes otherwise nice guys) who will hit on you and attempt to convince you that you really want to be with them not a man who only calls once every other week. I think these guys have a homing beacon or something. You also have to be independent enought to attend parties, weddings, family gatherings and the like, alone. After a while, you'll learn to put on a brave face when constantly questioned about wasting your life on a man who isn't around.

  3. Communicate with your deployed soldier as often as you can, by whatever means are available. Write letters, send emails, utilize the phones whenever possible. Write down everything you think, everything you do, all of the mundane details of life. It keeps your soldier going, and in turn it will help you feel connected too. Work on open communication, don't pick fights even if you're in a bad mood. Work through whatever issues may arise, right then and never know when the next chance will be. Make sure that you verbalize the love you makes it more real to hear it when the one you love is so far away. Clark and I never once got off the phone without saying "I love you." It's not like we thought the other person had changed their mind if those words weren't said. It was more like saying, "I love you" helped get us through the time between calls.

  4. Be committed to the relationship. But be honest with yourself, if you aren't looking for a long-term relationship, don't pretend that you do. It doesn't help either of you to be anything less then forthright with the other. It broke my heart everytime I talked to one of Clark's army buddies who had his heart broken by receiving a "Dear John" letter or finding out that his girlfriend was seeing other people because she wanted something more casual than he did. Most girls don't run around on their guys, but the few who do have given us a bad name, don't take it personally, just don't add to the perception. Go into a military relationship with your eyes as open as possible.

  5. Don't take it personally when your soldier puts on his "war face". They all have one, and when they put it on in front of you for the first time, it can be scary. I was very taken aback the first time I saw Clark put his on. He went from joking and laughing to serious, focused "Army Clark" in the space of a heartbeat. They have to have the war face to survive deployments, but it can be difficult to process and understand to see the man you love change so rapidly. Your soldier will withdraw at some point...he may apear cold and calculating where he was once warm and protective. The man you love will return, but you have to bear with the "Army man" to get there. He's doing what he has to in order to survive and return to you. So rather than getting upset and hurt, love him through it and remember that once he's gone, you'll be wearing your own "war face" to stay sane on this end

As intense as all this is, it's not all bad. The concessions are more than worth the rewards. None of us would be here if that weren't the case. Intense experiences bring about intense emotions and reactions...that's where this list comes from. I've said before that I wouldn't trade my relationship with Clark for anything in this world...that remains to be true; and I would be willing to bet the other girls feel the same.

In case ya'll wondered, the preceding list is the third try for first try can be found in the literature regarding PETAG.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Sunday night my parents went to see Chicago perform with Earth, Wind & Fire. I was so very jealous; Peter Cetera has one of my absolutely favorite voices. The man could sing me a phone book and I would be happy. I can listen to him for hours on end, and I frequently do.

Anyway, my mom knew how much I had wanted to see Chicago (even though I was really glad that she and Dad got to go...Chicago is one of their favorite bands as well.) and so she called me probably ten times throughout the night to let me listen to the good songs. It was so sweet of her. One of the songs they did as an encore is on my top song list.

I was actually talking to Ingrid when she played me the encore. It was fantastic, and the sound quality rocked! Even over the phone...I wish now I had let the answering machine pick up...sigh...oh well, next time they come through I'm going. I don't care how much tickets are.

Today's song:

Hard to Say I'm Sorry ~ Chicago

Everybody needs a little time away
I heard her say
From each other
Even lovers need a holiday
Far away from each other

Hold me now
It's hard for me to say I'm sorry
I just want you to stay
After all that we've been through
I will make it up to you
I promise to
And after all that's been said and done
You're just the part of me I can't let go

Couldn't stand to be kept away
Just for the day
From your body
Wouldn't want to be swept away
Far away from the one that I love

Hold me now
It's hard for me to say I'm sorry
I just want you to know
Hold me now
I really want to tell you I'm sorry
I could never let you go

After all that we've been through
I will make it up to you
I promise to
And after all that's been said and done
You're just a part of me I can't let go

After all that we've been through
I will make it up to you
I promise to

You're gonna be the lucky one

When we get there gonna jump in the air
No one'll see us cause there's nobody there
After all you know we really don't care
Hold on, I'm gonna take you there

P.S.~ Happy 25th Birthday, Lauren!!!
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Sunday, September 11, 2005

We Will Remember

"When the last fire is quenched and the devil is dead, what will become of our firefighters? No, that's just an idle fantasy. We'll always have our firefighters, because fire is an old god who is with us forever. We'll honor the bravest and treasure them right there in the firehouses we've come to revere.


We don't have to go to the movies anymore for our heroes. We don't have to turn on the television. Our heroes are down the street, chatting at the firehouse door, ready to face the old god."

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In my family, today is an especially sobering day. Not only do we, as a firefighting family mourn the loss of so many of our "brothers" taken so tragically four years ago; but we also recognize the mortality and selflessness of each man and woman who comprises "America's Bravest" everyday.

Just two months after the September 11th tragedy, my dad and his fire crew made a trip to New York. They went to personally deliver the $40,000 they had raised in our community. More than that, they went to support and encourage the FDNY firefighters who survived.

Their crew spent almost a month in the various stations, helping to rebuild, repairing what equipment they could, and helping their "brothers" through the grieving porcess. It was a very powerful and meaningful experience for everyone involved and these trips have continued every 18 months since then.

"The brotherhood to which all firefighters belong has the hardest job of all~ to live with the loss of their fallen. For brotherhood is a two-edged sword; it's those very bonds, so close and caring, that make the hurt so bad. If even one of their number falls, thousands feel it as a personal loss and hundreds will turn out for the funeral. Imagine the pain when hundreds fall. But they have this strenght to draw on. You can see it in their eyes. If brotherhood hurts, it also heals. Because above all, brotherhood endures. It has, for almost one hundred and fifty years and will for hundreds yet to come, facing down the inconceivable and the unimaginable, denying victory to despair, strong in the knowledge that this, too, shall pass."
~Frank McCourt from the book, "Brotherhood"

**quoted with utmost respect but not permission**

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Meme Madness

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Ok, so with everything going on right now, I have been seriously lagging in getting the latest memes (that have been so graciously bestowed to me...please know i'm only slightly sarcastic) out and sent onward. I don't believe in tagging people myself, but my fantastic friend Niccola sent this to me. If you wanna play along, go ahead and leave it in the comments or trackback...whichever. :-)

Ok so here it is: Top 5 Albums you Can Listen to from Beginning to End

1. Can'tneverdidnothin' ~ Nikka Costa

2. The Very Best of Chicago ~ Chicago (yeah I know it's a two disc set...leave me be! ;-)

3. Daylight Again ~ Crosby, Stills & Nash

4. No Name Face ~ LifeHouse

5. Cocky ~ Kid Rock (silence, a little rage does me good)

**also a couple notables that didn't quite make the list: Nickelback (Silver Side Up), 30 Seconds to Mars (S/T), Sheryl Crow (Greatest Hits), Limp Bizkit (Results May Vary), SR-71 (Right Now) and Billy Miles (S/T)**

Ok for those who care, I will be posting something more meaningful and patriotic later on, but let's face it, the middle of the night is when I'm most manic, not sentimental.

orchid night

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"Cookie is drunk. Cookie is drunk at Vogue." and well, everywhere else tonight for that matter...I hate the army.

Ok, so that isn't entirely true...the drunk part, yes...the hatred of the army isn't. Mostly I'm just disappointed. As ya'll know, today (well, technically yesterday as it is now after midnight) is Clark's birthday. With 6 birthdays between us, this was to be the one we would finally spend together. This is where the army comes in...for once everything was on schedule...and then, the army happens!

Clark ended up having to go to a briefing about going to Louisiana. As I said before, his unit is at the top of the list to go, and it looks like they are about to be mobilized.

I know he has been wanting to go... He needs to feel like he is doing something constructive. But the selfish, girl part of me was really upset that our plans got interupted once again.

To combat my disapointment, I went to plan B...which may, or may not, have involved a hell of a lot of Malibu. Grace and I started out the night with D, and ended it at G's bar, which of course means that all drinks were comped (because, well, the army sucks!). To qualify exactly how disapointed I was...I actually called JD and woke him up (He is still busted about the surgery but he completly redeemed himself by making me laugh.) Though hearing the hostility in his voice when it came to anything Clark-related stung a little. Oy vey! But he did make me laugh after all and my day did seem better. ;-)

Between Grace, G, JD, and Malibu...this wasn't the worst of Clark's birthdays we've spent.

So happy birthday Clark...May this year be better than the last...

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Lost in Thought

Don't be scared of your deepest emotions -- it's essential to feel, understand them. It's time for you to really think hard about what you're doing with your time. It could be that you're all for it, but you won't know if you don't ask the hard questions and answer honestly.

That's what my horoscope says I should be doing today. I think I believe it, but some day's I'm not sure I can handle the answers. I feel like lately, all I've done is ask difficult questions or make difficult decisions. It's not the everyday, run-of-the-mill-this-is-part-of-being-an-adult type stuff's much deeper than that. Ah well, c'est la vie.

When I got into the car this morning I pushed shuffle on the stereo...the disc of choice was Results May Vary and the first song to come on was "Down Another Day" played twice, on its own I might add, on my 9 minute drive to work. So here, decide for yourselves if there is any relevence...

The end is near my summer days
All great things go away
Feel the cold comin' round the bend
Everything's going to change again.
down another day, down another day.

Oh, the winter I adore
Summers gone forever more
Someday she'll come back to me
Seasons change set me free
down another day, down another day.

Don't have to bore you with details (I'll never let you down)
and in the morning, the sunrise (will never let you down)
If I could hold you tomorrow (I'lll never let you down)
and when she's golden, the ocean (will never let you down)

The end is near, my winter fling
Change is melting everything
Now it's time to sink below
Season come, season go
down another day, down another day.

Don't have to bore you with details (I'll never let you down)
and in the morning, the sunrise (will never let you down)
If I could hold you tomorrow (I'lll never let you down) and
When she's golden, the ocean (will never let you down)

I keep saying goodbye, saying goodbye,
keep saying goodbye
she's always coming back.
She keeps coming back. She keeps coming back.
I keep saying goodbye, saying goodbye,
keep saying goodbye
she's always coming back.
She keeps coming back.
You keep coming back.

Don't have to bore you with details (I'll never let you down)
and In the morning, the sun rise (will never let you down)
If I could hold you tomorrow (I'lll never let you down) and
When she's golden, the ocean (will never let you down)
down another day, down another day (will never let you down)
down another day, down another day

Tomorrow is Clark's birthday, and I am hoping that with the now six birthdays that will have passed between us, we will finally spend one's only taken us three years to get it right...maybe.

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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

And Then Comes the Sun

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I wrote about Clark yesterday and I talked to him today. I'm not yet ready to delve into all the complexities that comprise our relationship, but I've decided to share something Joan said to me this afternoon. She said:

I think that you two are supposed to be together. I've thought that all along. I think he has known it too, but was too scared or scarred to admit it to himself. Where this kind of love is concerned, it never comes easy. You have to fight for it and if you're willing, you will eventually get there. But most people won't fight for it.

"If you love someone, really love them, but there is trial after trial after trial. When do you get to the point where you say enough is enough, cut your losses and walk away?"

"Never." ( from The Mexican, by the way)

She is absolutely right ya'll...I've always known that I would fight for Clark when it came down to it, and it's not something that is easy to explain. I'm not even going to try right now. Just know, that with all the twists and turns still to come...for this moment, I am happy. Truly and deeply happy.

Sensible Act of Selflessness

Ok all today is Service day. Most of the posts are up over at Miss Joan's place. This week's question: "Do you think the soldiers who are deployed and are from the affected areas on the Gulf coast should be allowed to come home and rebuild their communities/protect and help their now homeless families, even if it means YOUR soldier might have to go to Iraq/stay in Iraq longer?"

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As always, mine is posted here and the rest of the posts are up at Seven Inches of Sense, so go read and enjoy.

As I type, Clark is preparing for the possibility of being redeployed. This time it isn’t to a foreign country, but to Louisiana. His unit is in the volunteer line to be called up so they can serve. He is excited about the possibility of going. Not because he wants to see the devastation; but because he feels like he could really help.

The question posed this week is whether I would willingly send him, not to New Orleans but back to Iraq so that other guardsmen could be with their families. I have spent a good deal of time thinking about this because for us, that is a real possibility. Clark is in the National Guard and apparently, it’s not uncommon for Guard units to rotate so that the soldiers can serve their own communities.

Well, Clark already spent a year in Iraq. It was brutal for us; but we survived. I don’t like the idea of sending him back; but I also know that he thrives in that situation. One where he can go out and do his job, get his hands dirty and feel like he is making a real difference in the lives of others. I also know after one deployment what I would have to expect in a second one.

I then turned my thoughts to the families in the Gulf Coast…if I were in their position, I would want my soldier there with our family. I would want him to be able to rebuild his own community before rebuilding a foreign nation. I do believe that the job our soldiers are doing in Iraq is important; but for those who have family in the hurricane-ravaged South, home is their rightful place.

So yes, I would choose to bring home the guardsmen overseas to help in their own communities even though it would mean sending Clark back to Iraq and the horrors that still plague him from his first trip there. I would choose to send Clark back simply because if the situation were reversed, I would want someone else to be selfless enough to allow my soldier to come home.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

In the Middle of Myself

Ok, so it’s time for a confession. I haven’t been able to get Clark off my mind for the last 18 hours. It’s kinda crazy, because I’ve been doing just fine. I’ve barely given him more than a fleeting thought the last couple of weeks. Do I still miss him sometimes? Yeah, of course I do…but like I told TG’s hubby James yesterday: I’m happy. I am content and I am at peace with my life. I really am happy.

Then, Clark somehow squeezed his way into my brain. Out of nowhere…I talked to Grace about it for a moment yesterday, but only in the context that Friday is Clark’s birthday. Meaning: I need to pick up a card for him; regardless of our relationship status, I have never missed his birthday. It’s a big deal to me that I remember birthdays. Sometimes I slip up, but usually I’m pretty good.

So anyway, that card was really the extent of my thoughts on Clark. Until last night…I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary…I didn’t even get sad and miss him more than usual. But for some reason he entered my head space and refuses to be budged. So, anyway, I had decided on the song “Karma” by Alicia Keys, as my song of the day.

Karma ~ Alicia Keys
Weren't you the one who said that you don't want me anymore,
And how you need your space, and give the keys back to your door?
And how I cried and tried and tried to make you stay with me.
But still you said that love was gone and that I had to leave.

(Now you) {Talkin' 'bout a family.}
(Now you) {Sayin' I complete your dream.}
(Now you) {Sayin' I'm your everything.}
{You're confusing me, what you say to me.}

Don't play with me, don't play with me.
(What goes around comes around; What goes up must come down.)
Now who's cryin,' desirin' to come back to me?
(What goes around comes around; What goes up must come down.)
Now who's cryin,' desirin' to come back?

I remember when I was sittin' home alone,
Waitin' for you 'Til three o'clock in the morn.
And when you came home you'd always had some sorry excuse,
And explainin' to me, like I'm was some kind of a fool.
I sacrificed the things I wanted to do things for you.
But when it's time to do for me, you never come through.

(Now you) {Wanna be a part of me.}
(Now you) {Have so much to say to me.}
(Now you) {Wanna make time for me.}
{What you do to me, you're confusin' me.}

I remember when I was sittin' home alone,
Waitin' for you 'Til three o'clock in the morn,
Night after night, knowin' somethin' goin' on.
Wasn't home before I be goin', goin' gone.
Lord knows it wasn't easy, believe me.
Never thought you'd be the one that would deceive me
And never do what you supposed to do.
No need to hose me, fool, 'cause I'm over you.

(What goes around comes around; What goes up must come down.)
It's called karma, baby, And it goes around.
(What goes around comes around; What goes up must come down.)
Now who's cryin,' desirin' to come back to me?

As I was getting the lyrics in order to post, I saw that I had new email. Lo and behold, it was from Clark. Did I mention that I haven’t heard from Clark (except for a brief acknowledgment that he got my new address) in two or three months. Anyway, I was a bit shocked…I don’t know why, I shouldn’t be the least bit surprised that he would be on my mind and subsequently contact me…it’s been the pattern for a few years now. It said in part, “i miss you like crazy Audrey, but like usual it my own fault…

Yeah Clark, it is your fault; but believe it or not, you aren’t the only one who feels that way. I miss you more than I would care to admit. Yes I am happy. Yes I like my life; but missing you and being happy are not mutually exclusive in my life…never have been when it comes to you. How do I say all the things I feel and think?

The answer is simple…I don’t. I won’t be putting my heart on the line this time…not for quite a while anyway. No, my response to him didn’t say any of this. I kept it short and friendly and surface. It’s what I have to do for now; and that is okay with me too.

I do wonder if this has anything to do with him choosing today to contact me (it’s his horoscope for today):
You can't hurry love -- sometimes you just have to wait. Be patient when it comes to your relationships, especially if you and a loved one have dealt with a lot of turbulence in the recent past. What's important is that you don't view this as a make-or-break time. While the energies you're encountering now might be quite dramatic, it doesn't mean that you have to settle things now once and for all. Remain open-minded.

At any rate, knowing he still loves me is a very bittersweet emotion right now.

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Monday, September 05, 2005

Craziness that Wasn't

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I almost went on a spontaneous road trip. I even got as far as mentally packing. One of the girls I work with (one who is speaking to me) is from LA and she and her boyfriend were supposed to go "home" this weekend. Well, he ended up wanting to go to a "nerd convention" instead and she figured she would just have a boring labor day...until she remembered Moi.

I love road trips and I love So Cal...besides I have people I miss in San Diego...I mean how perfect would it be...after all I had just finished reading my girl night invite. ;-) The slight problem...I was supposed to hang out with the girls this weekend and work in the house. Hmmm...ok, here's a compromise, if Grace is down for going too, then the trip will be cheap and she'll see her family, I can go visit mine, Lena will see her sister...all will be right with the world.

Wrong. Apparently Grace promised her mom (who is currently in Nashville with Grace's older brother) that she wouldn't cme for a visit until they are home. Oy! So I suggested going to SD with me, little bro is in his new apartment and we haven't seen it yet...etc. You get the idea. Then she gets upset about how hurt her family and LA friends would be if she drove right past them....etc, etc.

Anyway, drama drama drama...I finally made the command decision, if it's going to be this much stress, let's not go at all. This was supposed to be fun and impulsive and a time to get away. It's not worth all the headache it is apparently causing.

Why was it so all or nothing? well, Lena and I are both poor...we work the same place after with two of us and the astronomical price of gas, we just can't afford it this week. It's not a huge deal, it's not like I had been planning it for a long time or anything...but I did let myself get just a little excited. It's been a while since I've had a good road trip.

But we aren't giving up the idea...Lena and I are going to continue plotting until we come up with a weekend we can make this drive. Anyway, I placated Lena and Grace with the promise of Margarita night and fun movies.

End result...well, Lena went ahead and made the drive, so girls' night was small and quiet, but lots of fun. Grace and I made a killer Chocolate Kalua Trife that I found at the
Fabulously, feisty Christina's place.

We ended up not wanting that rich of a dessert after our drinks so Grace and I saved the trifle for today's family BBQ. Also a lot of fun and a big hit, just so ya'll know. Now thaqt I have my own space again, i really do enjoy these family get-togethers.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Humans Helping Humans

I am so proud of my fire department.

Here in Northern Cali, we are about as far in the Continental states as you can get from the hurricane ravaged South; that hasn’t, however, slowed the (excuse the word) torrent of media coverage in this area. Not just heart-wrenching stories of victims, but also opportunities to help. There are charity drives aplenty; both for money and supplies. We are being asked to conserve gas so that there is enough to be sent South…water too.

We have a small fire department considering the population of this town and the acreage it covers. That has never stopped our firefighters from stepping up when tragedy strikes. We are known for, among other things, our willingness to share resources and man-power when it’s needed. We have an exceptionally high rate of mutual aid to forest fires, flood aid, and all manners of tragedy response.

After 9/11 our fire department appealed to the town and raised over $40,000 for the families of fallen firefighters in New York. (Did I mention our town population is just over 50,000 as of this year) It was our firefighters who raised the money for a new pediatric burn wing a couple years ago.

They don’t just talk around here…these guys act too. We sent a crew to New York a couple months after 9/11…they helped rebuild some of the fire stations that were damaged. Most of those guys still visit every 18 months or so, just to help out and encourage their “brothers”.

Now, the point of this story: We are doing it again. Our little department is sending two of our own to New Orleans for a minimum of ten weeks. Yeah that is 2 ½ months at the least. Because they are so well trained, they will have some of the worst jobs. As experienced EMS workers, they will be doing search and recovery…a job no one wants, but has to be done. They know going in that it will be a heart-rending experience…but one that will make a difference. It’s something they can give back to help. Their association is funding the trip as part of their contribution to the relief effort.

Both these guys are young (26 and 31) and married…one has a child. They will be separated from their spouses for longer than they ever have been. Please keep their families in your thoughts. The firefighters too, this is a dangerous assignment they’ve signed up for…I couldn’t be prouder to call these men: “Family”.

I will provide updates as I receive them.

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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Humanitarian Efforts

Ok all, I am jumping on a worthy bandwagon today. Unless you've been living under a rock (and presuming that said rock didn't blow away) ya'll know about the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Anyway, I have friends and family who have lost homes themselves or have family in that situation. So, since today has been dubbed Blog Relief Day I have chosen a couple charities, that I have always supported to share with ya'll.

The first is World Vision. An organization that helps children of third world countries (yes I know the politically correct term is "developing nation") and poor children her in this country. I have worked with World Vision relief teams here in California and in Mexico. THey are good people and they are making a difference. If you feel so inclined, help them out.

The second is The Humane Society. Many people have been separated from their pets and shelters are beyond being overcrowded. Many shelters have been destroyed and the rebuilding isn't too high on the beaurocratic priority scale.

I have heard from most of aforementioned friends and family and I am so thankful for their safety. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of the people who have suffered the devastation of this hurricane whether it be loved ones or property.

Technorati tags: Flood aid; hurricane katrina
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