Looking Glass To The Past

Reminded several weeks ago about my old poetry books by Jenny Hansen when she talked about poetry being her coping tool, I dragged them out. I remember never going anywhere without a pretty journal book so that I could write down whatever poem popped into my head. Looking back on those poems was like going through a time machine. Sometimes funny…especially looking back on how far I’ve come, sometimes painful. Then again, teenage years are an angsty time.

I thought I’d share a bit of the funny along with the angst today.

Melt Down Written 2/12/91

You took an iron chain
And linked it through my heart.
I couldn’t pull away
Or my life would fall apart.
But my tears were like acid
And you caused them to fall
So by your own mistakes,
I gained my freedom afterall.

Shot Written 4/14/91

She loaded the gun,
checked the back,
then took aim.
I heard the trigger
as it clicked.
I closed my eyes
then felt the metal
as it seared
through my flesh,
causing it to throb
like my heart.
Then she held
a mirror to my face.
“How’s that?”
she asked
as I quietly examined
My newly pierced ears.

The Storm written 7/24/91

Inside a great darkness
that only knows pain,
the sound of the thunder
the feel of the rain
A small fleck of sunlight
has broke through the wall
an alien object
in a stormy night fall.

The darkness is constant
while the light is so new.
The white is not trusted
in a world of dark blue.
The pain is too common
to accept the sun.
The closer it gets,
the harder I run.

Yeah…there’s something beautiful about youth…and looking back. Seeing how far you’ve come. What about you? What were you like when you were younger? What was your escape? What brings back those memories? Those nostalgic smiles?

Here’s a little secret. As much as I wrote…and I did lots of that… My escape came through music. All kinds of music. It still does. Like I told Jenny…it’s my coping mechanism.

I also want to share some people who’ve really wowed me with their poetry lately… I encourage you to just take a peek at their work. It’s amazing!

Renee Jacobson wrote an amazing piece on Learning Shame. Karen Robiscoe writes on Talking Shop that completely wowed me. Clark Kent 07 proves exactly why he’s a Superman in the advice he gives on how to treat a woman. Maybe Hasty Words and how she gets from A To Zero will impress you the way it did me. Personally, I found V’s poem, Flare, to be quite a great reminder that there’s perfection to be found in imperfection.

Every day I find something new and different that excites me! What treasures have you found? Share!

A MILE between Smiles-and other nonsense

Today, a friend of mine from elementary school posted the following on her Facebook status:

“What is the longest word in the dictionary??????”

Of course, in the comments she responded with “Smiles, because it has MILES between the two S’s! LOL!”

What ensued was a moment of humor and brain twisting.  One of her friends thought her husband had hacked her account again and was playing a prank. The rest of us decided to try to think of the biggest words we could come up with.

Here are some of the words that people came up with:

supercalifragelisticexpialidocious–gotta love any Mary Poppins references.

then there were the medically related ones…

hysterosalpingo-oophorectomy

pneumonultramicroscopicilivolcanoisis

And then another friend had to ruin the fun by doing a wikipedia search and posting the results.  Bah!  Where’s the fun in that?  I seem to recall that if you took out the medical/technical words it was antidisestablishmentarianism that was the longest English word. Of course I could be wrong.

Why am I posting about this?

Coming up with medical terms reminded me of a time when we started using our medical terminology knowledge to create things.  In fact, I have a favorite…

Cranial Rectal Inversion- (aka having your head up your ass)

And as I started thinking back to school and work and realized that every job or student has had some sort of fun created lingo to say things.

When I was working in the electronics industry the techs would talk about I-D 10 T issues people would have. Before people got savvy, you’d actually hear people tell customers dropping off computers, etc for technical support.  “That’s terrible, sir.  But I’m pretty sure I can fix it.  This is simply an ID10T issue.”

After a while, someone out there got savvy and wrote it down…and that little word was no longer useable.  (Which was a bummer when you’d have someone come in with their computer tower wondering why their coffee holder was broken…when in fact it was their cd rom drive…and the list could go on and on)

Now not all words or phrases we come up with are negative or derrogatory. Sometimes they were flirty and fun!

Sophomore year in high school our French teacher only had 5 of us students (it was a small, private school) taking French 2.  So she had two classes she was teaching simultaneously.  We were considered the “good” kids…you know, the ones who were never any trouble…and never in the principal’s office?  So one day she left us alone in the library with a book called 1001 French Verbs and gave us the assignment to write a story…as a team.  Four hormonal girls and one boy.  Care to take a guess as to whether or not that paper got done?  LMAO!  Poor, trusting teacher.  Instead, we looked up the verbs, tried to figure out what we cold conjugate and make the naughtiest phrases we could come up with.

The most original one we came up with? “Mettez votre langue dans ma bouche”.  Put your tongue in my mouth.

What can I say?  There was already a song about will you go to bed with me.  I believe it came out in the 70’s.  “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir”. Boy did we get in trouble when she found out we said those words to one of the boys in our class…

I know it’s all childish, but these things make me smile…and bring this nostalgia in my heart.  Be glad I couldn’t find the library scene from the movie “Threesome” or it would’ve been attached to this post, LOL!  Yeah…I could totally have been the girl that got completely turned on by a guy had big words in his brain and knew how to use them.  Between that and a sexy singing voice…Yum!

So what things make you nostalgic? What are your favorite big words?  No cheating and looking it up…what do you think the biggest word in the English language is?  On a side note, I had a friend once whose last name was Manoonkittiwongsa. That is not only a long word, but fun to pronounce.  I’m always fascinated with things like that, too…

By the way, my friend had posted the initial question because she’s been putting kid jokes in her 8 year old’s lunch box every morning and thought she’d share…LOL! So if you didn’t like this post…or now you’ve got a zillion big words on the brain, blame the 8 year old!

Rising Through The Ashes…

To say this week has been a challenge would be a mild understatement..and it’s just Tuesday.  Yesterday I chose to spend time with my husband and didn’t have much to say anyway.

Last week, Julie Glover wrote a blog on movies that defined our generation.  For whatever reason, Julie’s blogs always seem to get my own creative juices flowing.  I take a few days to soak up her posts, then I write.  Considering that Pump Up The Volume was my all time favorite (Yes, even over The Breakfast Club which is my 2nd fave), it really got me reminiscing…and thinking about what it was that made that movie matter so much to me.

You know, these days you hear so much about bullying and all of it’s causes.  This is nothing new.  In fact, it doesn’t just stop because you become an adult!  I don’t like it.  I don’t agree with it.  In my youth I’d gotten more than my fair share of it.  In Pump Up The Volumethe main character, Harry, played by Christian Slater says that getting through it…surviving it…that’s the point!  I think about that line a lot.  And I think he’s right.

There’s a scene where Samantha Mathis’ character (his love interest) tells him that he keeps waiting for a voice to tell him what to do or what to believe…then says…you’re the voice you’ve been waiting for!  In fact, earlier in the movie she sends his character a letter on red paper with a poem on it…She’s trying to figure out who his radio persona really is.  The only thing she knows at this point is that they go to school together and that he speaks to her on a very visceral level.

“You’re the voice
crying out in the wilderness,
you’re the voice that
makes my brain burn and make my guts go gooey.
Yeah you gut me,
my insides spill on
your alter and tell the future,
my steaming gleaming guts spill out your nature.
I know you,
not your name, but your game.
I know the true you,
come to me or I’ll come to you.”

Going through challenges in life, embracing them, allowing them to sink into your soul and strengthen you…it helps to define the person you are.  It feeds your passions.  As writers, musicians and artists…it really helps you constantly recreate yourself.  These are the gritty things that inspire you.  They’re the opposites of the good, clean positive feelings that help you to realize, remember and appreciate when the good ones come along!

There’s another not so well known movie from the recent past that starred Lindsey Haun  from True Blood & Toby Keith, that really drives that point home.  It’s called Broken Bridges. It’s where I discovered Lindsey Haun for the first time.  She has an amazing voice.  I’d love to hear more of it!  And the lyrics are just so powerful, so filled with emoition.  We artsy types really feed on emotion.  I know for me, though I can’t always write my grief while it’s happening, give me a couple days of distance and poetry or stories fly…and with a type of depth to them that speaks to real life experience.  In this movie, and the above song, Lindsey Haun’s character writes this song and sings her heart.

She found a way to turn her pain into something beautiful.  Because, like Christian Slater said…”surviving it’s the point!”  What about you?  Are there movies that have touched you deeply?  Maybe pushed you harder toward your dreams?  Maybe helped you get through tough times?  Or maybe it was music?  What inspires you?  Who inspires you?

Making A Difference

Recently I read an awesome Blog Post by Julie Glover honoring teachers in high school that have made a difference.  I thought it was great!  Teachers are like many military personnel…rarely is their work appreciated or recognized unless something goes wrong.  It made me think of the teachers that have helped challenge, encourage and develop me over the years.

I began to wonder.  How do they know when they’ve made a difference?  When their lessons have sunk in?  Sure, every once in a while a teacher will have some thoughtful student come back and thank them.  But more often than not, life happens.  Then all they can do it hope that the lessons they taught are practically applied.  And it reminded me that sometimes, through life, teachers can be taught, too.

So here’s a scene from one of my favorite teaching movies, Renaissance Man…mixing teaching and military.  It touched my heart.  Never ceases to choke me up.  Because DeVito’s character is the teacher.  The kids he’d been given were called the Double D’s…standing for Dumber than Dirt.  The drill seargent thinks that teaching these kids Shakespeare isn’t going to help them.  Won’t help save their lives.  And then there’s the lightbulb moment for both of them…and it’s beautiful.

In my life I’ve been blessed with wonderful music and English/Language Arts teachers.  The one who recognized my love of writing and poetry was a wonderful lady named Mrs Vorwick.  She saw something take root in me and encouraged it.  She even chose me, in eigth grade to go to a writers workshop at one of the nearby high schools to inspire me.  I remember being so honored.  I was the only one of my class of over 300 students that she picked to go.  Wow!

I hung on to many of my poems…even from back then.  Now a few of you who’ve been reading me for a while have read my most current stuff as I often share my poems immediately following it’s conception.  So here’s a flashback to my writing from the ’80’s.  Still very innocent and fraught with idealism and sweetness…  But this is to honor her for how far I’ve come today.  Because really, how can you appreciate the present if you don’t benchmark it against your past?

Set Me Free

“Give me wings,” you said to me,
“Let me go.  Please set me free.”
I looked at you with teary eye
And knew I had to let you fly.
So slowly, but surely I let you go
Hoping that you’d always know
I’ll care for you my whole life through
No matter what you say or do!

Then, one day, someone I once knew
Said, “I am coming back to you.”
I was so happy on that day
That I didn’t quite know what to say.
And since I know you’re back for good
I’m glad that I had understood.
You wanted me to set you free
So that you could come back to me.

So this was written nearly 20 years ago.  I still like the first verse…  Yes, you can tell I was young…but it still blows me away.  A teacher saw that and recognized my potential.  What about you?  Do you remember the teacher or person who influenced you and helped you to become the person you are today?  Or who encouraged you to chase your dream and shoot for the stars?  I’d love to hear about it.  And while you’re at it?  Thank a teacher.  Or a serviceman.  Give them a hug.  They don’t hear it often enough.  I think you’d be amazed at how much it will mean to them.

My Anniversary

“This sacred vow I make to you

Does not contain an ‘if’

Though I’m aware that trials lie ahead.

I will love you and pray with you

And through it all, I will stay with you

Our home will be a refuge of

Unconditional love.”

verse of Cherish The Treasure

Sung by:  Steve Green

This song was sung by my sister and a friend at my wedding three years ago tomorrow.  On that day I vowed to love, honor and cherish my best friend.  This man is the most loving and patient man I know.  Personal fears and family scars from my parents had me afraid to take the leap for so long.  But, like I said, he’s my best friend and he’s patient.  He was willing to spend 16 years reassuring me that he wasn’t going anywhere.  He knew what he wanted the moment he saw me and he brought me around to his way of thinking.  For that, I’ll always feel blessed and grateful.

I still remember the first time I heard this song.  I was sixteen years old.  I had been asked to sing at a family friend’s wedding along with another guy from our church.  I remember hearing the words and thinking that they would make pretty awesome wedding vows.  Back then I had a romantic streak a mile wide (some would say it’s still there, just below the surface) and I hoped that the man I fell in love with would be vocally gifted.  Why?  Because I thought it would be so romantic and cool if we sang our vows to each other.  That didn’t happy, but I got the best guy in the world instead.  I think it’s a fair trade.

Practically every little girl I ever knew planned what their wedding day would be like.  When you thought of your wedding day, what did you see?  Did music play a part?  If you’re married now, was reality anything like the dream?

Now, as for anniversaries…there are themes to these things.  Did you know that?  The first anniversary gift is supposed to be paper.  Which was fine with us!  We were still recovering from paying for our wedding, so we decided cards was it.

Second anniversary is cotton.  Waiting for me before we headed out to dinner with my sister and brother in law that night was a beautiful gift bag with streamers and colored tissue and balloons.  And inside?  A bag of cotton balls!  LOL!  Yes, my husband is that awesome!  I cracked up.  When we got back from our dinner, my real gift was waiting for me.  Vera Bradley purse, lunch bag and all sorts of little knick knacks.  What did I get for him?  Well, he’s a big Ed Hardy fan…so I got him a couple of Ed Hardy boxers.  😉

Tomorrow is our third anniversary.  Well, that means it’s our leather anniversary.  Fun, right?  A little on the kinky side?  If you were me, what would YOU get him?  I’ve already got his gifts…(and yes, one is kinky…care to guess?)

Anyway, that also means tomorrow night I won’t be posting a new blog.  I’ll be spending my time with my honey.  I’ll still be getting your comments during the day and on my smart phone, but…  Tomorrow is for my man and me, so my responses probably won’t come till Friday, either.

Enjoy your night…  I know I will!

Speaking Of Empty Chairs…

No, this is not a political post.  I promise.

Ever have one of those reflective days?  Today was one of those days for me.  I tried to think back to my most vivid memories.  They all had something in common.  Food.

First, being part Asian, food is a big part of my social culture.  We try to feed everybody.  Or so it seemed to me growing up.  I associate food with welcome and friendship.  With family and laughter and togetherness.

I remember my family sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner my younger sister’s senior year in high school.  Somehow that conversation got away from us.  We wound up talking about putting a mare in heat between two stallions and the consequences.  My sister had seen that for the first time at one of her friend’s dressage competitions.  She thought something was wrong with the mare.  LOL!  Her friend had to re-explain the facts of life to her…well, as it pertains to horses.  And then she went looking for pennies to put in the water.  I guess copper can help counteract that response.  From there, it spiralled into the size of a Hump Back whale’s “unit”.  Because apparently it’s as big as several football fields.  My step-dad had been watching the Discovery channel earlier that week and felt the need to share since we were on the topic.  Of course none of these topics caused the bout of hysterical laughter that my sister’s final comment did.  “Um…Guys?  For my English assignment I’m supposed to write about what we talked about at Thanksgiving dinner.  I think I might have to lie.”

I could go on and on about stories like this.  Stories that build our family.  When we were younger they helped build our values.  They let us know we were important.  It was a time where we told our parents about how our day went.  We were assigned chores (how to set a table, how to clear it, how to do dishes, even how to cook) and learned responsibility.  We got to dream our dreams and share them.  It was time for family.  And friends were always welcome.

I think back to those times and wonder who I would be if I’d never had that time.  How much would it have changed who I am?  And then I think of many of the kids today.  So many dinner tables are left empty.  Many of them don’t know what it’s like to have a family dinner except for special occassions.  They’re left to fend for themselves.  It’s got to be rough for many of the parents that are prevented from sharing this time because they have to work.  But even more, it’s sad for those kids.  As for the parents who just choose to be absent?  Well, one day they’ll realize what they’re missing and want to change it.  Most of the time, by then, it’s too little, too late.

When you think back to your youth…what do you remember fondly?  How did it impact you as a person?  Is it something that still continues today?

Rainy Nights

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The gentle pitter patter of the rain against my window pane tonight calls to mind sweet memories; wet kisses in the rain, long conversations in the dark. Such love and nostalgia surround my memories of the rain, so I looked for a picture to suit my mood.

The young lady in the picture found it in an old photo box. These are her memories:
As young lovers we snuck out in the rain to meet and…

I close my eyes and see you,
The soulmate of my youth
Sweet, sexy conversation
Soft sighs, low moans
Cocooned in darkness
Naked, laid out on a bed of grass
Rain cascade down our bodies,
The gentle,
Cool caress of nature
Slide over me.
You surround me,
Arms hold me tight
Keep me safe
Your hard heat throbbing inside
My other half
Making me whole,
Filling me with your love.