fragile

i love caedmon’s call – this song in particular is beautiful, and somewhat fitting. that group, along with burlap to cashmere (or, “bushells to barells,” as my sister once called them) and bebo norman, have the power to transport me back to my younger days. (pause) yeah, i’m only twenty-five, but i still have younger days! i always think of riding in charlene’s red jetta, on the way to impact (oasis’ predecessor) or brewed.

last night were the calling hours at the funeral home for katherine’s mom. kat is one of my high school best friends, and we’ve actually known each other since we were little. besides knowing her from school and staying over her house, our families attended sister churches, and i used to accompany her and her family to maine for vacation. we have so many memories of those trips. =sigh=

despite the somber occasion, i saw some people i knew, and had a good time talking with them for a while. i saw ron and jean, friends and former employers – the owners of a diner where i used to waitress. my parents have known them since before i was born, and i used to eat at their restaurant when i was little, and then i landed the job. the place has since closed, and they’ve moved on to other things, but we became friends through that particular stint. i miss seeing them every day. funny, when you think of all the connections – both my brother and matt used to work there, ron and jean were of course friends with the rowe family, and i met katherine at ron and jean’s daughter’s baby shower. weird.

there were many pictures on display at the funeral, both recent and of the black and white variety. it’s amazing how much kat looks like her mother, when the latter was young. i felt all choked up, seeing all those images, and imagining the countless memories behind them.

it got me thinking about my own family, as these types of things have a tendency of doing. it’s already hard for me to see my grandparents age, grow seemingly more fragile with each visit. and to think of watching that happen to my own parents – that’s scary. i know it’s just the way of things, the course of life, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

ps – nikki, it was so good to see you last night, even if you weren’t able to come with me! at least we had the excuse and got to talk for a while. *grin*

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karla needs

okay, this one deserved it’s own entry.  got this from patriciaclark. google your first name with “needs” after it, and compile a list of the first ten things that you come up with. here’s mine (i didn’t make it up, either!):

01 karla needs to be sitting in a jail cell for the rest of her life
02 karla needs an interpreter
03 karla needs to step back and make room for new leadership
04 karla needs a break
05 karla needs email list for all CoED recipients
06 karla needs your forms ASAP
07 karla needs volunteers
08 karla needs to concentrate on grammar
09 karla needs a break (hm… maybe i should take a hint!)
10 what karla needs is a good man

it’s that time of the year…

i can’t believe it’s december! i was getting rather annoyed when radio stations started playing christmas music before thanksgiving; i would hear the start of a familiar jingle and furiously hit one of the buttons. how dare they jump the gun! now that thanksgiving has come and gone, though, it’s okay. i revel in the holiday season. (pause) okay, so that’s not entirely true… i cannot stand the bustling crowds and ridiculous ploys to get people to spend their money on extravagant and meaningless gifts. however, i enjoy getting all my decorations out – humble as they may be – and making my little home look festive. and when we get a tree – which, of course, is always bigger in the house than it originally looked in the lot – i have a blast unwrapping each ornament from its tissue paper, reliving the story behind each one, and placing it in its own spot on the perfect branch. =sigh=

okay, so gifts are fun too… but that’s only a small part of the holiday (granted, one that takes up way too much time and energy and funding). i am happy to report that i have almost finished shopping, and that i at least have specific ideas for the last of the people on my list. i already wrapped a couple of the gifts – can’t save it all ’til the last minute! – but have to wait until the other collections have been completed so i can put them altogether. i’m so excited! i’ve gotten my christmas/new year’s letter written and just have to get some stationery and mail ’em out. oh – and i designed some new earrings, and hope those go over well (with the females, anyway, hehe).

today was cleaning day at the dentist office where i work. i finished early, then decided to dig out a couple decorations from the closet – fake greenery with pinecones and ribbons with a candle in the center, snowman basket, and – i kid you not – fiber optic bonsai. don’t ask! the lights are pretty, at least. tonight, i asked philip to fish out all my holiday containers from the attic, and tonight i’ve been “decking the halls,” as it were. most of the items are ornaments that have to be patient until we have a tree, but there are still some other items i was able to put around the room. i hung up some sparkly white snowflakes alternately with three glass/iron ornaments (penguin, angel, santa, respectively) in varying lengths from some nails from the beam in our living room. i hung our stockings from a couple nails on the chimney, put a couple santa decorations around (one is holding a bulb that has one of those glitter lights on it; when it gets hot it bubbles), stuck a couple extra snowflakes in the potted plants by the window… what else? i’ll be hanging ribbon from the window frames to hang christmas cards on – when they’re full, they look so festive.

i really want to go to michael’s and target and get some more lights, because we only have a couple sets for the tree, and some of the bulbs are out. i have enough ornaments for the tree, but i really need some other knicky-knacks… though i’m not sure what. i don’t like too much tchotchke year-round, but during the holidays it’s fun. to think, this will all be over with – *snap!* – like that. and we’ll be putting everything away, starting a new year. =sigh= i guess it should be refreshing, but it’s not. damn new year’s resolutions.

happy turkey day

i’ve been busy ever since i got home from work tonight – putting dishes away, making dinner, washing dishes, putting away more dishes, doing laundry, cleaning up the kitchen, wrapping some christmas gifts we’re delivering early, and making two pies for tomorrow. =sigh= i should just go to bed, because we’re getting an early start tomorrow… but i wanted to write something first.

i’m somewhat sad – and upset – we’re going away for thanksgiving. even though i see my [immediate] family members quite frequently, i think it’s important being with them for the holidays. not that i’m against a little variation every now and then, but… nevermind.

anyhoo… we have a tradition of going around the dinner table – bellies full but still eagerly awaiting dessert – and each person saying what he/she is thankful for. when i was little, i would groan in agony at this exercise, but as i’ve gotten older i’ve come to appreciate it immensely. we should be giving thanks every day, but sometimes we forget, and of course we take things for granted… so what better day to set aside the time to do this specifically than thanksgiving?

well, since i won’t be around, i thought i would just go ahead and put in my two cents’, as it were. so here goes nothing:

i am thankful for…
… my family, most of whom are caring and supportive and extremely silly.
… my friends, though they may be few.
… my job, and a boss who appreciates the work i do.
… my car (that we could afford to buy a new one).
… my cat, Nala, who [sometimes] gives me affection.
… my talents and abilities, which i so often take for granted.
… my marriage, because it’s still there.

i could go on… but no need to get more minute than that. many times when i think of how much i’m blessed, one of two things happens – either i feel this overwhelming sense of undeservedness, or (if i’m not in the best of moods) i tick off the things i should be thankful for and add “yeah, but” at the end. e.g., “i might be able to bake and cook as all get out, but i can’t create my own recipes,” just to give you an idea. you could also apply it this way: “yeah, my family members are loving and all that happy nonsense, but they can really annoy me sometimes.” (pause) hey, i’m not saying that i say that, i’m just saying you could use that as an example!

why is it so hard sometimes to admit that, yes, we are blessed? that we have so much to be thankful for? maybe we just want something to complain about, to prove we’ve been wronged somehow. i don’t know. but right now i know how good i have it, despite all the imperfection. (i just wish i could hold onto that)

happy thanksgiving.

che

At my sister’s recommendation and my library’s availability, I finally watched “Motorcyle Diaries.” Stupid me, I didn’t realize who the main character was – I didn’t know his first name was Ernesto! I am ashamed to admit I don’t have the best knowledge of history – dates, names, places, what have you. I feel that my being educated at a private Christian school limited my horizons… and of course the fact that I didn’t go to college. I was once an avid reader, but preferred (and still do) fiction over non-fiction.

I have been bemoaning the fact that there is so much knowledge, so much information, facts that I haven’t crammed into my brain yet. What’s worse, I just read the other day that your brain reaches it’s final weight in your 20s. From then on, as you get older, you can still learn new things and introduce new ideas, but it takes longer to assimilate and remember. I only have five years left to put things in there that might actually stay! This of course doesn’t explain why I can’t seem to remember anything from high school.

Back to “Motorcycle Diaries”… I decided to [TRY] and read up on a topic that interests me as often as possible – either from reading about it, hearing about it, watching a movie, someone else piquing my interest, whatever. Today I checked out Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life, by Jon Lee Anderson, in the hopes of educating myself. I haven’t actually started reading it yet, and I hope I can get through it… it’s quite thick! And if it reads like a textbook, forget it!

When I think of Che Guevara, I think of Fidel Castro, communism, the Cuban revolution… of dictatorship, unfairness and injustice, and finally overthrow. One of the reasons why the movie so intrigued me, is that Guevara started out on a mission for justice for Latin America. How could someone with such compassion turn into such a negative leader? What went wrong? Upon first blush, I would say his heart was in the right place… but there can’t ever be a perfect government, a perfect society, because they’re comprised of people… and people aren’t perfect. Politics must be one of the most challenging mediums for implementing one’s ideals.

Anyhoo… if you know of any good books on the topic, please pass along some recommendations. I was only able to find this one in the biography section, but i’m sure there are a lot more out there.