I got a job. I will be a personal care assistant (teacher aid) in the exceptional education department at my Alma Mater, Eau Gallie High School. I will be one-on-one with an autistic teenager who is non-communicative but really bright. This job is about 32 hours a week and pays okay. I am excited, but obviously a little nervous. Tomorrow I have to get fingerprinted, get a background test, and take a drug test. I hope I pass. I fail at so many other things. Ciao.
As summer ended and camp let out, Kevin, one of the children who attended camp this year, gave me a gift card for Tower Records (and I wasn't even his coach). Well, I spent it tonight and nearly forty of my own bucks (not FEMA's) and this is what I will get in a week:
Death Cab For Cutie - Plans
The newest release from these Washington state indie poppers who make the jump to the majors with this record. To some, this is horrible. While others see the potential for greatness. I don't know. I still love DCFC and dislike the OC. I'm looking forward to hearing it.
Stretch Arm Strong - Free At Last
Positive hardcore with punk rhythm and metal licks. These guys could seriously be the heaviest thing I currently listen to, which is sort of sad considering I used to even like some Death Metal. But from what I've read, this release sounds more like what A Revolution Transmission did, but has lyrical elements similar to their last effort, Engage. Not that I really care, but it's kind of cool. This CD comes with an autographed copy of the insert/liner notes.
The Juliana Theory - Deadbeat Sweetheartbeat
Don't ask me what the title means. TJT's last album, Love, had some good moments. Yet, it had some really shoddy moments too. I'm scared. The samples of songs I've heard from this album are heavier, but word on the street is, they have gone back to more of their pop roots. This is good news. This disc also comes with bonus DVD highlighting the making of this LP.
Miles Davis - Birth of Cool
I am slowly getting essential Davis albums in my collection and this was my next acquisition. Recorded in 1949 and 1950, this was basically Miles' first album. Later on, he would become the great trumpeter we know him as, but it was sessions like these that built his arsenal of sound and unique textured-playing. Miles Davis invented a genre with this record. It certainly wouldn't be the last time he did so.
Lipsey Street (Blaize, Thanks For Picking A 2nd Floor Room)
The first building on your left is Hamilton Hall. My room, # 209, seems to look okay from this picture, although water has receded greatly, thus not letting me out of the woods totally. No word yet on when residents will be able to return to the fallen city.
In other exciting news, I got my emergency $2,000 from FEMA yesterday. That was a huge sigh of relief as bills still continue and tuition will start coming out again next month. I will be able to finish out this semester online through what will become an independent study and internet courses. We'll see how it goes.
Mild-Life Crisis Pictures like these still bring me to tears. Man, I love reunions (nod to NewsCom for it).
What is love? Love... it's such a funny thing. Johnny Cash said it was, "a burning flame." I often thought of it as a game. But, the Bible doesn't need to come up with a clever rhyme to answer the query. 1st Corinthians answers astoundingly by proclaiming that God is love.
I like that. I need that. I want that.
I wonder how one distinguishes the difference between love and like (or lust)? Sex and sacrifice. Friendship and marriage. All the elements are intertwined and cannot be separated simply for self-seeking pleasures.
It's pictures like this that keep me up wondering late at night.
It has to be, it can't get worse. Well, yes it can. I suppose that worse could be a lot of different options of consequence. But for me, I am alive. Life hurts less these days. Anyway, the main reason I am writing is to ask those of you who pray to pray for my Mom. She broke her wrist last week and now she has to have surgery on it to put a plate in to keep the bones from shifting so they set properly. Thanks, I appreciate it.
That's what the state trooper said to me today as he walked away from my car. Oh yeah, he sure did give me a ticket. Why? I was clocked on radar doing 92 mph in a posted speed limit of 70 mph (on I-10 East). My ticket is $205.50. I can't be mad because it's my fault. It's just not one of the brighter things I've done. It's my first ticket in 4 years. Just where the last of my money needs to go.
In other news, I will continue to update everyone on my current situation. Without much notice to anyone, even my parents, I came to my parents house today. It's strange to be here. Just seven days ago I left my home, only be gone for a few days. These will be the longest few days of my life.
If you wish to contact me via postal mail, here is the info. If you want my phone number here, email me and ask for it. Since it's my parents line, I don't want to give it out on the net.
Jeff Watkins 4515 White Road Melbourne, FL 32934
(Ed Note About Blog: Not that I started, but on To Whom, I will relinquish from discussing any of the mishaps or tragedies post-Hurricane Katrina from now on. It hurts too much for me. People are free to discuss, have/share opinions, tell others they are wrong/right, etc. This is your constitutional right. But the thing I am so tired of is people who have never lived in New Orleans, or even visited it for that matter, having opinions of the city. The kind of opinions where they conclude in a pretty post about what should or should not happen and who is or is not to blame. The issues submerged [pun intended] are so multi-faceted that it is not a problem that can be solved so quickly and effortlessly. Also, to those who concern themselves with the poverty of the city now, please? If anyone cared, why wasn't anything being done about it years ago. I realize my statements have holes and aren't solid arguments, but that's not what I'm doing here. I'm just sharing my frustration of hearing the uninformed, inform me, of what my life was like. This isn't directed at anybody in particular. I am just tired. I can see all the sides and I can relate to all the people.)
I am a volunteer.
I am a looter.
I am white by skin.
I am treated as a minority in that city.
I left because I had a way out.
But my heart and mind stayed. It's not the same, but it's more unbearable than you can imagine, unless you were there.
I am a person who cares.
I am a person who is angry and fed up.
I can be compassionate.
I can be a bastard.
I was safe.
I wasn't safe. Even though I didn't see the horrors in real life, I still can't get the images out of my head just the same.
To quote my old friend Chase (at least I think he titled a post that once). I am still doing good here in Dothan, Alabama. I'm catching up with friends and trying to remain optimistic about everything. The realization is hitting me more and more that I have nothing left, as far as material positions. I do realize that "things" aren't important and can be replaced, but you try losing everything except for what you took with you haphazardly--it will make you think a lot. And that's about all I have been doing the past few days.
I've talked to some friends from New Orleans and that is an answered pray and a huge sigh of relief. I'm still waiting to hear from some other people. Blaize, my roommate in the sunken Hamilton # 209, went back to the surrounding area today to do relief work. Pray for him please. I am praying about what I need to do. I know my parents want me home and I sort of want that too.
Today I find out what the rest of the year holds for me in academia via the school's website. I will let you know what my plans are and how to reach me.
Well I have been up for a long time and need to sleep. Today I find out what I do for the rest of the year and I have lunch with Ricky. And it might even feel normal at some points. Seems to pan out for me.
Here's a picture of my blessed neighborhood. If you scroll all the way to the right and look for a long line of train tracks, you will see NOBTS. It runs parallel to the tracks. The seminary is on what appears to be the north side, but in actuality is east. It's mostly underwater, but I can see the roof of my dorm so I still have my hopes up that I can get some crap from within.
Post Script: If you can manage to see the pool next to the gym, my dorm is the one next to that on the right side of the pool and gym.