03.31.01 >0053

I'm feelin' especially weird tonight. (This morning? Whatever!) Got home from church about ten minutes ago. Tonight was youth service, and there were about three other groups there. Seriously, some of these folks need to learn how to shake loose and worship...but that's just me. I mean, after going to a church that's very much alive and actin' like Pentecost happened all over again for the past three years, you pretty much get used to the loud music and the way we shout and dance and praise. It's become...well, normal.

But anyway talked some with Miriam, my younger sister. She's the loudest, most assertive, and bossiest one out of us four kids. There's me, her, Larry, and Victoria. She's younger by 11 months. She's...I dunno. Sometimes she can get on yer nerves 'cause she isn't afraid to say what's on her mind, but sometimes she jumps to conclusions, somethin' like that. Like tonight...she said some things that kinda rankled me, 'cause that's what she thought that I thought about her, when I didn't think that of her at all. Jumpin' to conclusions, like I said. Or reaching the wrong conclusions. Whatever.

I went up for prayer, 'cause I needed it. Sure didn't want to, but Mir finally convinced me that it was best. And now I don't feel...happy. I feel down, dang it. I dunno why! Shouldn't you feel happy after being prayed for? I mean, I feel better inside, more at peace, but not glad or joyful. I know I shouldn't depend on my emotions too much anyway, but this ain't a great feeling, and I dunno what to make of it.

*sigh* God, make this feeling go away soon, please!...



03.28.01 >0005

Hullo, Michigan! I recently came across another weblog of note that's authored and kept by Ben Fineman. Bein' a dorm resident myself, I kinda know his pain (Ben is a resident advisor at the Univ. of Michigan), especially when it comes to middle-of-the-night fire alarms. But anyway, go here to check out his blog, which is home to a lot of neat stuff already. (And thank ye btw, Ben, for the kind words about this beginning blogger's site! Oh, yeah...tell Kyle and Jeff that I bookmarked their pages, too. And voted for all three of you. I'm not telling you the scores I gave, though *g*)

Anyway...I am such a procrastinator. I have three papers to write that're due tomorrow morning, and I s'pose I'll be parked in front of my 'puter for most of today to work on 'em. Ah, well. I'll never learn when it comes to waiting 'til the last minute...

Backtracking to the history topic for a few minutes just got my book order from Amazon on Monday. Steven Pressfield has an amazing way with words. He's the same dude who wrote "The Legend of Bagger Vance," but the book I'd like to turn your attention to is "Gates of Fire." It's a truly awesome piece o' fiction that makes the Battle of Thermopylae come alive...you remember what that is, right? If not, scroll down a ways to read the entry for 03.20.01. The narrator is a Spartan squire who was mortally wounded during the battle, but is revived by the Persians to tell King Xerxes the whole magnificent tale of his upbringing, of the Spartan way of life, of true andreia and of the battle and its major players. If you love historical fiction, then check this novel out. It won't seem like fiction after you read it...

*sigh* And still the countdown continues towards AS's imminent demise. Two days. Two days! Well, perhaps it'll cheer me up some to refer you to some wonderful spinoff sites that have been started for AS refugees. The main one is PanHistoria, which isn't yet open to the general public and is still undergoing beta testing. A friend of mine was able to get me in early, and it does take some getting used to, but it has a lot of potential for RPGers and for some good stories.

Next is AncientVines, and I include this link with some reluctance. AV is the heir apparent of AS, and really...they suck! Whereas AS was meant for RPGers who want to tell stories in a historical setting, AV is more for folks who want to write factual articles (and maybe not-so-factual) about ancient history. Interesting at times, but the first word that really comes to mind is...boring!!

And then there's All The World's A Stage, and this site deserves more attention and more members than it's getting right now. Different from both AV and PH...more flexible, we'll say, in its structure. Hopefully membership will rise in the near future...

That's just a few of the new groups out there that've been formed after the impending departure of AS (*sniffle*). I probly could tell ya about CommunityZero, where I play a young Vampire who can walk during daylight...but I could always post about that at a later time *g* 'Sides, I'm startin' to nod off in my chair...



03.27.01 >1324

Spring Break, Spring Break, Spring Break. Why does it hafta be two weeks away??

College life...sheesh. Sometimes it's worse than the real world, I'm tellin' ya (yeah, I know, some of you might beg ta differ).

Well, I didn't sign on ta complain about school, though I've got a midterm in about half an hour that I no longer want to study for. (I figure I've crammed enough stuff into this tiny brain o' mine to at least get a passing grade. Yes, I'm bein' sarcastic.)

What I'm wondering about right now is why folks in my age group (I'm 20) don't seem to like thinking much. Oh, heck, they think, all right but mostly about boys (that's for you girls), sex, what the latest fashion is, who's the hottest star, where's the most popular place to hang out on the weekends, how kool does my car look, am I gonna be late for work, etc. You catch my drift, I hope. Am I mixing the 18+, college crowd up with teenagers? Are we really all so shallow, or is it just me?

The folks who've been deemed the "nerds" or "geeks" talk about computers and other deep stuff that less "intellectually-bent" people don't have time to or don't want to comprehend. But really! I know folks who can think in much simpler terms about things like freedom, love, peace, justice and other general topics and themes similar to those. 'Cept...we never hear their thoughts about these things. Why is that? Are they afraid they're going to be laughed at? Are they just shy to voice their opinions? (Now that I just plain don't believe!) Or is this just a pet peeve of mine that's really unfounded on nothing?

Challenge me on this. Show me that things are different, that they're not really what they seem. I dare ya...


>0134

Is it just me or does my site not look...well, bloggerish? I've been checkin' out other blogs listed on the main site, and mine just don't look normal. Or maybe I'm just being too thorough with what I write. Oh, what the heck...who cares!?



03.26.01 >1152

I had a disturbing dream on Saturday night, and it seemed to, well, become real in front o' me. Call it a warning sign or a wake-up call of sorts.

Now before ya read any further, know that I'm a struggling born again Christian. So far I've written nothing about my faith, and I'm not sure if I will here. I know lots of folks get turned off if you start getting too preachy, and thank you, but being a preacher just ain't my calling. 'Sides, lots of Christians do live in real-time and go through the same things like everyone else. Bet we fooled ya real good though, huh?

Anyway, my dream:

My aunt (I'll call her Sele) and I were on our way to church in her family van. Our church sits close to one corner of the block, and there's a bakery on the other corner. My brother Larry and younger cousin Aaron stood on the sidewalk close to this bakery . . . and with them were two guys I didn't know. A closer look made me realize that they weren't actually human they were demons.

Both Sele and me saw 'em, but Larry and Aaron didn't. I got out of the van and joined this lil group on the sidewalk, and Sele, much to my surprise (I'd thought she would just be dropping me off), did the same. She seemed to immediately ferget about these demons, but I sure as heck didn't, and they were all too aware of me.

And then they started to smirk. Smirks quickly changed to snickers, snickers to outright laughter. They were laughing at me.

I told ye before that I'm a struggling Christian, and that truth was maximized at that moment because I knew just why they were laughing at me. I've done some spiritual housecleaning before, and lemme tell ya, despite the power that Jesus gave us to cast out demons, tangling with 'em is not a fun experience!

It will always remain a mystery to me why God gave us this authority over demons and other beings like 'em. The Bible tells us that we should not even be afraid of them, because God did not give us a spirit of fear . . . and yet many Christians avoid spiritual warfare as if it were a plague. In so many words, we're told that we have authority to put them under our feet.

Now don't think that just because you are not a Christian does not mean you can actually try this and get away with it. An account's given in the Bible of seven young "non-believers" who tried to cast a demon out of a possessed man and ended up getting their butts kicked. So don't try it at home unless you know that God's given you this authority! This is not a game.

Anyway . . . I kind of woke up after that part of the dream came to an end. I wouldn't call it a nightmare, but I was never more aware of how much I'd "fallen from grace," as it was, until that moment. I couldn't rebuke 'em, 'couldn't tell 'em to go away, and they knew it and were taking full advantage of it.

So right at that moment, I started praying some (I was only half-awake, but I was alert enough to know what was actually happening right then). Prayer's a pretty effective weapon in spiritual warfare; so is praise and worship. I also did some major repenting during the next few minutes, too. And then I took a deep breath and told these two little imps to leave. And that wiped the smirks off their faces right away.

Jesus warned his disciples not to rejoice that they had this kind of power . . . he told them instead to be glad that their names were written in the Lamb's Book of Life. And I can see why . . . a person can get proud, knowing that they're able to kick demons' butts with no problem at all. And "pride goeth before a fall" . . .

So there ya have it. First tangle I've had with demons in, ohhh, two years. They really are a sorry bunch . . .

But they're real.



03.22.01 >1129

I've attended a form of boot camp only once. I didn't last too long, either. And unfortunately, I think I'll have to go back next semester. Yikes!

This boot camp requires some form of physical exertion. I mean, moving around is mandatory. The rest of the time, you can park yerself by the phone or in front of your computer.

This boot camp is for wannabe journalists.

A friend of mine told me I was nuts to pursue this kind of career. But well, heck, it is fun.

Personal probs and family probs have just gotten in the way, though, and the thought of trying to write 5 or 6 makeup stories made me freak out. So Reporting will hafta wait until next semester . . . *sigh*



03.20.01 >2337

Okay. I admit it. I'm a history lover.

No, really, I am.

Here, lemme give you a few examples. I took an Ancient Greek language course last year, and loved it from the beginning. Usually I'm not up to challenges (yeah, so I'm boring . . . challenges are actually pretty healthy risks. Well, some of 'em anyway), and trust me, the ancient Greek language is a challenge. A rather huge one, actually. It's just like learning Shakespeare . . . 'cept you're learning it in, well, symbols.

But anyway I took ancient Greek and learned the Attic dialect. Totally loved it. Forgot most of it now, but it did wonders with my grammar, lemme tell ya. We had to read this little book written by Xenophon, an ancient Greek historian who fought in the Peloponnesian War (between Sparta and Athens . . . this is before Alexander the Great came on to the scene). The whole text was in Greek.

This whole bit got me interested in ancient history, specifically ancient Greek history. Fascinating stuff, really. City-states, wars, civil wars . . .

And then I came across this site: AncientSites. (Sadly, this site is closing down on the 30th of this month. I shall miss it greatly.) It's actually a conglomerate mess of member homepages, groups, and a gathering place for history lovers like me.

The point of this place is not to discuss ancient history, actually. It's to roleplay as a character in a historical setting. When I first joined as a member there, for example, I began posting at the bulletin boards as a slave in Thebes, 3rd Century BC, who runs away, eventually gains her freedom, and settles down in a new home. (No happy ending in sight yet, I'm afraid.) For the most part, the historical part of it is accurate and remember, I said "for the most part." Some other folks who post there don't care much for accuracy; they just post because they want to be part of the story. Those who do care for historical accuracy do research . . . which is what I started to do. This history stuff was starting to get a lot more interesting.

Come March 20, I will have been a member of AncientSites for six months. And now I'm a member of more than one group, have many friends, and just totally love history.

Here's another example. Yesterday a friend and I were RPGing together for the heck of it. For some reason, I think hanging around this site too much has stimulated my poetic tendencies, because I write prose for just about anything that inspires me . . . and that's, well, everything. (And you're talking to a girl who hated poetry in high school!) Well, my friend has a Spartan character, and I was still doing the freed slave bit and I'm also a spy for the Athenian army. Neat, huh? Well, the setting is Thermopylae, or "Hot Gates" in Greek. Realistically, the Greeks did actually fight a battle here in 480 BC, against the Persians . . . and lost. But their deaths weren't a waste; a few months later they beat the crap out of the Persians and sent 'em all crying home. Now the Persians are back (at least in our story), we're back at the Hot Gates, and something's going to happen here, obviously. The following poem came out of that RPG session.



Dawn of Battle

Here we now stand
On the threshold of the field
Where men will give in sacrifice
Or not give at all
Where the relentless pounding
Of metal and flesh
Of victory and defeat
Linger and echo
From battles past
Where the war cry and the screams of the dying
Know no end or beginning

Oh, fierce warrior
Do you accept without question
What Fate hands to you?
Do you wish to stand still
When the sun sets
On the bodies of your peers and enemies?
Or will you join them in the Land of the Dead
Having slain the beast
That threatens all you hold dear?

Whatever the outcome, brave soldier,
May Fate bring the glory
That your soul sought
And may the earth remember you
As the victor
In this mad slaughter of all men



I've got this neat little thing about Thermopylae that I printed off the Web now hanging on my wall.

I've gotten bit real bad by the history bug . . . and I don't want to do a dang thing about it!

 

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Sarah Navarro