Saturday, August 6, 2011

Bugs and lizards

I got home from church at about 10:00 tonight (there were a lot of people there for confession, and I wound up being last, as usual) and immediately had to kill two of those big ass 'waterbugs', as Matt calls them.  I call them big ass cockroaches.  One was on my bed... killed it.  It left some goo, so I had to remove the sheet and I'm gonna sleep on a bare mattress tonight.  I've awoken with those fuckers crawling on me in the middle of the night.  Nothing like waking up to the feeling of teeny scurrying bugs crawling on you, I tell ya.  And this morning I reached over for my Arizona Tea and instead of feeling the nice, smooth cool aluminum surface of the can, I instead felt the scribbly, scratchity pointy fucked up multilegged presence of one of those damn bugs perched on the top of my can, right on the tab.  Man that pissed me off.  The bug got away, and I had to get up for a glass of lukewarm water.

Anywho, back to this evenings bug killing.  The other one was perched on the heel of my boot which was lying on its side on the floor.  I carefully lifted it and smashed it down.  Stupid bug.  A third one got away, it disappeared into a crack on the ceiling.  That's probably where they live... I should spray some 409 or something chemically in there.  One of them actually flew across the living room the other day.  I didn't know those bastards could fly!  I tracked it down and slaughtered it.  I can't wait for summer to be over so those little barstages will go back into hibernation or cryo-freeze or something, whatever it is they do.  Maybe they just die... the point is, I usually don't see them in the winter.  I'm thinking about getting some roach motels (I wonder if they would work on waterbugs, if that's what they really are), or a bug bomb and set it off when I'm at work.  I'd have to leave the dogs outside all day though, and it's hot.  Hmmm... they'd probably be ok, there's that veranda in the back yard which provides plenty of shade.

Now I've been observing a teeny little lizard for the past 30 minutes as it explores the wall around my window.  I'm not gonna kill it, it's actually kind of cute, and maybe it'll find a water-roach nest and eat the babies or eggs or whatever.  That'd be cool.


Friday, August 5, 2011

Psalm 102

I first discovered this psalm when I was reading at grave watch in 2009, and it immediately became my favorite.  I believe that it's a testament to suffering and sadness and despair; that as a result of these things do we come to experience and know God.

Hear my prayer, O LORD, and let my cry come unto thee.

Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily.

For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned as an hearth.

My heart is smitten, and withered like grass; so that I forget to eat my bread.

By reason of the voice of my groaning my bones cleave to my skin.

I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert.

I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top.

Mine enemies reproach me all the day; and they that are mad against me are sworn against me.

For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping.

Because of thine indignation and thy wrath: for thou hast lifted me up, and cast me down.

My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass.

But thou, O LORD, shall endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations.

Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come.

For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof.

So the heathen shall fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth thy glory.

When the LORD shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory.

He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer.

This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD.

For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth;

To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death;

To declare the name of the LORD in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem;

When the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD.

He weakened my strength in the way; he shortened my days.

I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days: thy years are throughout all generations.

Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.

They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed:

But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.

The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before thee.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

What's it like?

What must it be like for the person who knows that he only has a set amount of time left for him?  I can see him going about his daily activities like he always did for years and years and years, secure in the knowledge that the next second will occur, and the next, and the next, leading into minutes, and hours, and days... and on into an indefinite future of aliveness.  But eventually the countdown will reach zero, and there will be no more comfort to take in the notion of 'a little more time'.  But still... what will he do?  Turn a screwdriver?  Wash a dish?  Pat a dog on the head?  Take a nap?  Visit a friend?  Stare at the wall?  Count stucko phantoms?  Go to sleep?  What will be the last thing he does, ever?  How does that countdown reach the end for him?

What will he feel when he sees the forever still and distant terminator on the horizon getting impossibly but inevitably closer?  Will it fade from day into night, or will it be an abrupt transition?  Will there be another terminator, this time describing a new day?  What kind of day will it be?  Will there be things to do in it?  Will now keep going on and on, or will it end?

Will all of those things that gave his life meaning still mean anything in this new day, if there is one?  What about that woman he loved?  What happens to that?  Did it mean anything real; anything that will translate into 'after the now'?  Or what about the children he never knew?  Will he see them, when they eventually join him in the afterness?  Will he see those he's hurt and broken and killed?  Will anything from the before-time of physical life survive in that after-time?  And if so, is there a such a thing as forgiveness there?   

What is one man's life in the grand scheme of things?  Can one living consciousness really be sentenced to an eternal separation from God due to an infinitesimal mistake made during that pinprick of an instant of eternity that we call life?  It's possible to kill with just a few words, and without even knowing it.  How can that kind of power fall to just one person, and how can he not even be aware of it?  How can such irresponsibility exist? 

How can such despair exist?  There must be an equal hope to counter it... there has to be balance.  There has to be.  Is there no hope for the damned?

Whoever that guy is, I wish him the best, and all of God's Grace.  I know he exists somewhere.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A piece of history

This is a rare vintage photo of the male choir, Chantus Maximus, of St. Maximus the Confessor Orthodox Mission, circa 1918.  The sole surviving member, Elias Davis (far left), is 133 years old and, unfortunately, suffers from advanced dementia, believing that he lives on Mars in the town of Barsoom where he raises spotted mice for the local Rotary Clubs' annual charity auction benefiting the Downtrodden Methane Breathers of Deep Mariner Valley.  In actuality, he resides in Denton, Texas, on top of the flag pole near the old courthouse in the town square, where he has become somewhat of a cultural icon.  He can occasionally be heard muttering in Klingon about how much better the service was four and a half billion years ago.

The credit for this photo belongs to Leah Cole.  Unfortunately, on her way back from 1918 to present day Denton, her time machine ran over a brontosaurus and she disappeared somewhere in the Cretaceous period, never to be heard from again.


The other day after Mike got tonsured, Dorothy took my arm and said, "That's going to be you soon!"  Really.  How could she read my mind?

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The new girl

Chiy actually hired a girl.  Her name is Olivia, and she's roommates with Stephen and Matt, and she said they're always talking about me.  When I hear something like that, I'm always surprised.  What are they talking about, and why?  She said, "Don't worry, nothing bad!"  Still, I can't help imagining all of them sitting around the table at their house, talking about me.  Are they talking about my religion?  About the fact that I'm a mysterious sonofabitch who always keeps to himself?  Am I cute?  Old?  Funny looking?  Cool?  A loser?  Well, she said 'nothing bad'... but I've wondered now and then what people say about me behind my back.  I'm sure there's been plenty of shit talked about me over the years.  Olivia is really friendly though.  It should be fun working with her.  She always says hi to me when she's in the store.  Even when I'm in the cooler, she'll open the door and shout 'Hey Ash!' and she's always telling Matt to tell me that "Olivia said hi!"  I hope we can be friends.  I miss Brittney, and now Matius is gone too, my two good friends at work.  I'm thinking about going to school at the seminary on Kodiak Island, for the drug and alcohol counseling degree, if it's possible.  I dunno what that has to do with anything.  Anywho.  I'm tired, time for bed.