Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sunset Blush and Creme De Cassis Make a Good Mix

I probably shouldn't be blogging so close to midnight.  Whatever.

1)  I got a new job.  Before you get all excited, it's retail.

2)  I've read 80-odd books, so far, this year.

3)  I've discoverd a love for boxed wine.  And cheap wines.  It was bound to happen sooner or later.

4)  I replaced my copy of The Musketeers, and finally bought Treasure Planet and The Black Cauldron.  I love those movies.  Don't judge.

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Story That Stays

At 12:01am, I reached the end of Deathly Hallows.  Due to the fact it's been out for years, and I see a lot of it, I knew what was going to happen (or most of it).

I still feel like crawling into a hole and dying.  Knowing what happens in a book, and reading a book, are two different things.  Very different things.

I'll try to sleep, but I know it's not going to come easy.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

How do I put this...?

I started reading the Harry Potter books.  Yes, yes, I'm still at home.  Yes, yes, Mom doesn't know.  Please don't tell her.

I got them on my Kindle, so there's no actual evidence that I own them.

Anyway, I just finished book 5.  I have enjoyed them.  I like them.  I think they're great.

I hate everyone who has ever demonized them.

I should have been able to read these growing up, dammit!

I could've been one that grew up with the characters.  I should've been there to see the movies when they came out.

On the bright side, I can binge-read them (although I didn't thus far) and I don't have to wait for release dates!  I can also binge-watch all the movies, for the first time, if I ever can manage it.

I had to take a break after book 4.  I just had to.  I was too shaken.  And there are 28 books (I counted them on my Goodreads reading challenge) between 4 and 5.  I thought it was only about 5 or 6 books ago, maybe only a month ago that I read book 4.  No, no, it was back in April.  I whizzed through 5.  I probably won't have the series finished by the end of this month, but I'll probably be done before the end of August.

I'm trying not to think about my upcoming birthday.  Or the fact I've accomplished so little in 24 years.  I'm trying not to think about tying bricks around my ankles and jumping in the bayou.

A change of reading material, you see, was definitely in order.  Something that was positive in the shitstorm that I've made my life.  Yes, I know, it's my fault, my decisions, my stupidity.  Now I have to fix it, because damn sure nobody else will.  Easier said than done.

I haven't read much fantasy this year.  But I see myself falling in love with the genre all over again.  When you're life sucks, you don't like any better what's going on in Mordor, but it sure beats the hell out of staying where you are.

THAT is worth everything.  And if any of you religious types don't like it, you're probably not good company anyway.


Sunday, June 19, 2016

I'm Not Nice

There is a certain cynicism that comes with growing up in church.  Or maybe that's just me, because I grew up in church and grew up in a legalistic home and now I'm picking up the shards of my broken faith and trying to piece together something akin to a spirituality.

Today was not the first time I've heard the Gospel (thank you, Brennan Manning).  I think it was the first time I heard it from a pulpit though.

....  

I will be 24 my next birthday.  I have grown up in church.  Why is this the first time?

I have accepted that the Church had made many mistakes.  That I have made plenty more.

I will hold myself accountable for my mistakes.  I will not go easy on the Church for theirs.

I think this boils down to:

I have a lot of resentment against the Church.  I need to forgive the Church, and my family, for wrongs, real or otherwise, done against me.  No one's perfect, and these people never claimed to be.

Fair enough.


Monday, June 6, 2016

Candid, Candide, and the Candidates

“Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her; but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cars in order to win the game.”
― Voltaire, Candide

Oh, this road has been long and hard.
“I have wanted to kill myself a hundred times, but somehow I am still in love with life. This ridiculous weakness is perhaps one of our more stupid melancholy propensities, for is there anything more stupid than to be eager to go on carrying a burden which one would gladly throw away, to loathe one’s very being and yet to hold it fast, to fondle the snake that devours us until it has eaten our hearts away?”
1) We started going to church again. I am not taking back anything I've said about the Church. I will not apologize for observations or feelings. I will not pretty up the damage growing up in church with legalistic influences has done. I've had to find my way back, and that's iffy at best.
He wanted to know how they prayed to God in El Dorado.

"We do not pray to him at all," said the reverend sage. "We have nothing to ask of him. He has given us all we want, and we give him thanks continually.”

If for some odd reason your pastor decides to preach from Candide, this is the part where he'd say, "We need to have an El Dorado attitude!"



2) I'm still unemployed (walked out of my job nearly 2 months ago). I had a dream I went back to work where I walked out, and the reasons I quit were still there. No lie. In the dream, nothing had changed. Perhaps it was better to stay there? Or to leave? Whatever, no going back!

“Work keeps at bay three great evils: boredom, vice, and need.”

3) Reading's still okay.

“For my part I read only to please myself and like only what suits my taste.”

4) Writing's been bad.

“A great work must be novel without being far-fetched, frequently sublime, but always natural. The author must know the human heart, and how to make it speak; he must be a poet, without letting any of his characters speak like poets; and he must be a master of his language, using it purely and harmoniously and not letting the rhyme interfere with the sense.”

5) Oh yeah, and on a larger level, American politics has reached an all new level of low: Pissing contest for the ages!

“In every province, the chief occupations, in order of importance, are lovemaking, malicious gossip, and talking nonsense.”

I'm sure I've mentioned it before: Candide is probably my favorite classic. Because I can give my blogpost a proper commentary with quotes from that slim treasure.


This is the world God created, therefore it is the best of all possible worlds. And everything happens for the best in this best of all possible worlds.

I would have that in quotation marks as well, but I can't seem to find it either on Goodreads or my own pretty copy of the book. At least, not in so many words.

In light of Point 1, looking at Point 5, and thinking back to things I've said:

1) God appoints.  Guess what, Christians? WE, THUS FAR, HAVE SURVIVED OBAMA.

2) If Jesus said He would be there until the end of the world, do you believe it or not? I don't recall Him saying it was easy. He just said He'd be there.

3) Jesus also said somewhere not to worry about tomorrow.

I find this sound advice when it comes to American politics.

(I also think if I read my Bible as much as I looked up Candide quotes, maybe I'd be better off. Or maybe not, because this is the first time in a long time I played on Goodreads quotes.)

At the end of the day, I have no control over what happens. If I don't have control over it, I don't want to worry about it. At the end of the day, it gets filed under "Not My Problem."

I try to file as many things as possible under "Not My Problem."

I did not ask to be born. I did not ask for most of what's going on in this world. Don't believe what our generation is like? Go on Tumblr.

I do have to live in this world. Come hell or high water, I do have to live here until a new one is created. I will live here. I will have a good attitude about it.

Fine! I will try to have a good attitude about it.

“All that is very well," answered Candide, "but let us cultivate our garden.”


Sunday, May 15, 2016

So, yeah

Well, I would like to say I've just been too busy to post.

Well, not the case.

So,

1)  Still single.  Lonely as fuck. I've signed up on a few dating sites and trying chatting online.  Had a lot of interesting conversations.  Had a lot of conversations I regret.

Edit:  That didn't last long.

2)  I walked out of my job 2 1/2 weeks ago.  Yup.  Just walked out during my shift.

3)  Reading's been going okay.  Writing overall has been great, although the last few days haven't been.

Friday, June 26, 2015

It Got Easier

The Internet is exploding with two things:  Joy, and Outrage.

Personally, I don't feel one way or the other about gay marriages being legalized across the US.  

1)  Obviously, I'm not gay.  And if y'all didn't know that...well, now you know.

2) What other people do is none of my damn business.

Well, I am glad it's over now, let's put it this way.  Can we focus on the next problem on the list now?

I've been meaning to write this post for a while, and the day's events kind of paved the way for it.

The beautiful thing about giving up Christianity is that I don't feel the need to judge people.  I don't have to care about their religion, their sexuality, their home life, their job, or whatever.

It doesn't matter.  It doesn't make them less of a person if they're not like me.  It doesn't mean they aren't worthy of love or that they don't deserve to be happy.  They're people.  Living, breathing people with feelings and thoughts and dreams and wishes.

The funny thing about that is, even Christians shouldn't care.  If a gay comes up to you and needs food, would you let him go hungry because he doesn't fit a certain mold?

Honestly, I thought the Church had bigger problems.  Aren't there hungry people in the world?  Hurting people who need healing?  Global warming (if it's real, man)?  I used to be super against environmentalism, but I'm not anymore.  This is the world we live in.  Perhaps we should take care of it, at least a little.

But it's so difficult to love.  And so easy to judge.

Riping about homosexuality should never take the place of loving someone who obviously needs it.  Someone's sin is between them and God.  Not between them and you.  I promise, they're not hurting you, they don't want to hurt you.  Do not hurt them.

And again, it's none of your damn business.  Christianity doesn't allow gays.   Okay, Christians aren't allowed to be gay anymore than Muslims are allowed to drink.  Fine.  But not everyone follows that, and you can't expect someone to live up to expectations that aren't theirs.

If I don't see the End of Days (it's a crapshoot), and it happens after I've grown old and died (if it's really going to happen), I don't want to be remembered as someone who was so religious, who stayed in my ivory tower, and you couldn't come to me.  I want to be remembered as someone who, yes, I'm an asshole, but people never doubted that I loved them.  I actually gave a damn.  I didn't judge, and I didn't ripe about someone's choices.

I don't believe in getting stressed over things I have no control over.

I don't have to like the world I live in.  It sucks.  But I do have to live in it until a better one comes along.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Approach Me, Please

So, it doesn’t look like I’ll be moving to Columbus after all.  Ah well.
The problem, however, is that I’ve already turned in my notice at work, that I’ve already said time and again how I don’t want to work in retail anymore, and that I was leaving…
Story.  Of.  My.  Life.
So, I’m looking at the Gulf Coast.  I like the Coast.  It’s a nice place, for Mississippi.
I looked for library jobs, and filled out, and then printed an application out, and brought it to one of the Harrison County libraries.
Now, I am probably overblowing this, but when I approached the desk, she…kind of glared at me.  Like, I’m a big, important librarian, and what do you want, mortal?  I, very meekly, asked if I could give her an application.  While she was taking it to the back room, I hightailed it out of there.  Well, I thought I wanted to work in a library, but if this is how you would treat someone you should’ve assumed was a patron and probably needed help or a library card, how would you treat an assistant?  Yes, it would be nice to work in a library, but I’m not sure if I want to work at that one.
Remind me again why I want to move up north, when it’s a well-established fact “damn Yankees” are not as nice as Southern folk when I react when a librarian doesn’t smile in greeting.
You know, as much as I can’t stand people, as much as I say I hate them, that they suck, I’m pretty good to customers.  I get compliments on how nice I am.  I’m smiling and cheery and bright and polite.  Most people don’t get that in other places.
Yes, yes, you know I’m an asshole.  However, I have most of the people that patronize the Wiggins’ Fred’s fooled.  They all think I’m nice.  If I can be nice and greet people with a smile, what is your excuse?
I don’t want to be like that.  I want to have a warm smile and a warmer heart.  I don’t want people to walk away feeling the way I did today.  Holy cow, that broad was scary.  Matter of fact, I don’t want people to feel like I do most of the time.  Because most of the time I feel like crap, that I’m too different for this world, lonely, unwanted, and unappreciated.
I complain about people a lot.  Which, they do suck.  In general.  But there are a lot of regulars that I simply adore.  They make my day when they come in.  But at the same time, I don’t know these people all that well.  I don’t want them leaving the store thinking that the cashier was too rude or too whatever to simply be nice to them.
I want to be approachable.  I want to be the Healer INFP that I’m so often typed as.  Even though I’m not good with physical affection, I don’t want people scared to hug me.  I want to love people.  Well, individuals.  I don’t want to judge.  I don’t want to be mean and unapproachable.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

My Little Grief


I'm moving in with Lacey after I finish this trimester. I've turned in a quasi-notice at work, not written, but verbal, and got some cigarette boxes, and will be getting more, to move my books in.

I left my internship site a little early Friday, because nothing was really happening. I derped around for a few hours, and then I picked up and left for her town.

It was a nice visit, and we got the apartment semi-ready for my moving in. I wasn't terribly impressed with Columbus, but I really have my eye on Tupelo anyway. Columbus, living with my BFF, is just a temporary thing. I love her, she's my sister from another mister, but she's used to having her own place-and-space, and I want my own place-and-space.

All the same, she's looking forward to me living with her, and so am I.

But...

I got back home at 6 last evening. As I was laying in bed, it occurred to me that soon this wouldn't be my home anymore. I've lived in this house 16 years, most of my short life, and soon it wouldn't be my home anymore and I would be all the way up in Columbus, MS, and this wouldn't be my home anymore...

I didn't cry. I don't cry. But damn if I didn't feel like it.

It's the next stage in my life, moving out of my parents' house, getting a full time job that's NOT retail, and making my own home, and hopefully looking for a boyfriend...

New beginnings mean there's an ending to get through. I'm a sucker for a happy ending, and if I've learned nothing else from book series, it's that endings hurt a little. You're happy for the happily ever afters, but it took a lot of pain to get there. Also, the endings are always a little sad. There's a new normal to adjust to.

It's not too late to back out, but I said I'd go, and I'm going. I'm cutting the apron strings.

And hope I don't scream for my momma when all my shit's up there and the moving truck leaves.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Pretty Words 2: The Reverse Testimony

I would like to apologize in advance for what will be the Easter post this year.

I grew up in church.  I can't tell you the first time I prayed a sinner's prayer.  My parents were not and are not exactly legalistic, but strict.  I wasn't allowed to read Harry Potter.  We didn't celebrate Halloween in any shape or form.  No parades.  My earliest years of church, I was not allowed to wear pants.  I always had to wear a dress or skirt.

I grew up attending church off and on.  Sometimes we never missed.  Sometimes we didn't attend for weeks.

I liked to read fantasy--still do, but when I first started reading, it was always fantasy books, dragon books, books with magic and daring.

In the Christian vernacular, dragons and magic = Satan, therefore not good, and this caused many arguments between me and my mom.

Although, I will say as an aside, Skin Game sent me back to my Bible when many of Christian books did not.  Just sayin'.

I grew up.  Sort of.  I still feel 17 sometimes.  And then I remember I'm graduating with a bachelor's in May and moving out shortly after, and then I feel like the slow-developing young lady I am.  Because I do everything late.  Better late than never, though.

I liked to write about the Ragamuffins, about Rich Mullins, and Brennan Manning, and all that stuff.  Y'all know.  Many of those posts are here.

And then I began reading The Signature of Jesus by none other than Brennan Manning.  I didn't get very far, because it made me cry because what little I had read, was nothing I had ever experienced.  I'd heard of such things, but it had never been a personal experience.

Nothing had ever been personal.  I never felt led.  I never felt the all encompassing love of God.  At least, I couldn't recall a time.

It was a lot of "This was simply not my experience."

That was when it started.  It made me question a lot of things I'd heard.

It simply wasn't my experience.  It was just a lot of pretty words.  Pretty words, pretty words, pretty words.

I tended to stay away from "Christian-y" things after that.  I wasn't a Christian.  I wasn't good enough or wasn't far enough, or just simply wasn't enough.  Those were not my religion or spirituality.  Eventually, I wrote "Pretty Words."  I had a good day and I wrote "Holy Rollin'."

I can't believe that last one was four months ago.

It's difficult to sit in church and listen, when you're not sure you believe that God loves you.  On an intellectual level, I guess He does.  On an emotional level, on a spiritual level, I don't know if I believe it.  I probably don't.  This God hasn't bothered with me for a long time.

I was raised on Revelation sermons.  "If those bother you, it means you're not ready."

Dang right I'm not ready.  I wanted to grow up and get married and have kids and all that.  That kind of stuff doesn't happen in heaven, paradise it may be.  I wanted--still want--romantic love.  It almost felt as if we were taught we wouldn't see adulthood, or not much of it.

And here I am pushing 23, still afraid to have kids because I don't want to be one of those people, pity nursing mothers and those with young children...

That is no way to live.

Do I believe I'll see Revelation?

The more important question is, do I still even believe in Revelation?

Because let's face it, the things foretold is basically the history of the world events.  The world has always been imperfect since the Fall.

Because let's face it, the Bible isn't special in its teaching.  Most religions say some form of love your neighbor.  Most religions teach a flood.  Most religions say do good deeds.  I don't even think Christianity is special via, not your works but Jesus' work.  You are not saved based on your merits.  You are saved because of a savior, or for trying, or some such.  It's the heart.  Yes, actions help, faith without works is dead, but you're not saved based on your deeds.  You're saved because your heart belongs to Insert Savior Here.

And here I am, wanting to pray to a God I feel is very distant, and what am I supposed to believe?

Someone might say the Bible contradicts itself.  It might say one thing here, and another here.

And the Christian dutifully answers, Well, the Bible was written to different people, in different times.

So, if you admit different people wrote the Bible, and imperfect people wrote that Bible, how is it infallible?  And if it is all supposed to be Holy Spirit inspired, why were books taken out in the late 1800s?  Barely 200 years ago?  Who decided that?  How can you tell is something was Holy Spirit inspired?

One of the few things I am absolutely certain in regards to the Bible is that God is bigger than the Bible.

So, I have to sit in church feeling dead and hollow inside, because I don't think God cares about me, and He's not doing anything here, and I'm just sitting here because I'm forced...

So, I have to listen to others talk about what God is doing in their lives and maybe it would be nice to have that, but I can't say anything because then I would just get preached at, and that secondhand faith, secondhand religion is what I'm trying to get away from.

Your miracles strengthen your faith.  They don't do much for me.  Maybe I'm a bit of an empiricist and want to see things for myself.  Maybe I need to feel the wounds in His hands for myself.

Or maybe I should just thank God that the miracles required in my life were far and few between.

And then, I haven't touched my Bible lately, unless it was for church, or if I just was moving it from one place to another.

In one of my last written prayers, "I don't think I love You.  Well, I won't lie to You or to myself.  I don't. ....I don't have faith.  I have fear."  Whatever it is, it's not love.

I was raised to fear God, not adore Him for His mercy or grace.  Be saved or be thrown into hell.

That is no way to live.  Perfect love never cast out my fear.

This is nothing new.  I've expressed such concerns before over the years.  This isn't my first bout of what I term spiritual depression.  But it was never this bad.

I've been suffering in silence.  No more.

So there you have it.  How I went from growing up in church off and on, to rebelling because I like dragons, to questioning because I've noticed the similarities in Christianity and other religions are more striking than the differences, questioning the faith, questioning the Church, questioning the Bible. I do still believe in God, I just don't know if I believe in the Bible, or the God of the Bible.  A Creator, Great I Don't Know, yes.  Loving Jehovah, I don't know.

It hasn't been my experience.  And it breaks my heart to verbalize this.  But I can't keep doing this.  Eventually, this will all out.

It could end in tragedy or triumph.  Stay posted.