Jul 18, 2017

Posted by | 0 Comments

Pineapples [Prose] Creative Writing 101 – Journal 4

Pineapples [Prose] Creative Writing 101 – Journal 4

Grade: A

Comments: “wonderfully sure tone and voice throughout– witty, and uses repetition to great effect” and “vivid and really captures the feeling of early memories, how vivid they are, and how our present perspective colors them when we look back”

 

 

When I think of that house, I think I’m four. When I think of the next house, I think I’m seven. I don’t think of the first house, there’s nothing to think of.

When I’m four, there’s patched and peeling pineapple wallpaper in the kitchen. One of the doll dresses my older brother gave me for my birthday matched that wallpaper. In that kitchen there’s a large table. It’s old and wooden, probably oak, and it hurt me once. While gliding over across the floor like a graceful ballerina I stub my big toe under the leg, blood ruining my pink ballerina tights. The toenail falls off. I managed to injure that same toe in the exact same way under a friend’s refrigerator in a different kitchen 10 years later.

In my pineapple kitchen on my old oak table I learn to play solitaire. I play by myself as is appropriate. I slap the cards one at a time in a row, over and over, “Slap. Slap. Slap”, on-top of that lacquered surface. The dusty metal radio sits next to me, broken antenna dangling and pointing away from my face. A musical jingle plays out. 10 years later I know that jingle belongs to NPR. I don’t know that when I think I’m four. Behind the big table is a long counter. It’s high, too high for me, it probably would be perfect for Julia Child, but I don’t think that then. That orange laminated counter holds a large beautiful ham. The orange Julia Child sized counter is not too tall for our black and tan hound Finder to leap on top of. I think I’m four and my mother takes Finder to the pound. She says later that it’s not because of the ham. I think it’s because of the ham.

The black and white tiled floor holds a sea of mouse traps, one for every tile. I peer in from the hallway door and know that to enter the kitchen would mean destruction. When there aren’t mouse traps there’s open 2-liter bottles of Cola under the sink. I don’t look under there when I’m four; I don’t like to see the mouse corpses floating in several inches of water.

I’m four and I’m standing on the black and white tile, watching my mother make dinner on top of the orange counter in front of a yellow and green pineapple backdrop. I’m telling her about my best friend Lindy. Lindy lives in a barn. Lindy’s family died in a fire. I’m going to go run away to China with Lindy. I don’t. I think I’m four and my best friend is imaginary.

Read More
Jul 6, 2017

Posted by | 0 Comments

Garbology [Prose] Creative Writing 101 – Journal 3

With an exasperated grunt the crumpled piece of paper flew to join its compatriots in the waste bin next to the old oak desk. It rested as temporary king of the hill on top of others of its kind with different amounts of the first draft hidden on their insides. Among its peers was a large bottom-shelf plastic vodka bottle, empty, and taking up much of the space. Along with the bottle were the largest shards of a shattered glass tumbler; the smaller pieces resting feet away inside the bag of a hand vacuum that was a very practical holiday gift ten years ago.

The crumpled ball managed to save its spot at the top of the pile as it rebounded the approach of another piece of paper viciously tossed its way. Though, the force of this interaction jostled the bin’s delicate balance, sending minute shockwaves through its contents and knocking an old brown banana peel to the floor which had previously been clinging to the lip. Two empty blue ballpoint pens also slid further down the inside of the bin inching closer to the sticky gum-littered base. Their tips stopped short resting on the shredded squares of various receipts dating from the last three months and one expired coupon for a 50% off massage at a local spa; another practical gift this time gone unused. Last, but most numerous in the bin were the cigarette cartons, American Spirit, yellow, that filled in the spaces between vodka bottle, crumpled paper, and the base.

Another balled up piece of A4 flew at the bin and unseated the ball at the top. Knocked over the side it rolled for only a second before coming to rest against the dusty eggshell white baseboard unlikely to move again for months.

Read More
Jun 30, 2017

Posted by | 0 Comments

Crash [Prose] Creative Writing 101 – Journal 2

Grade: A

Comments: “Wow, this is great! The use of second-person POV and present tense creates such immediacy, really throwing the reader into the experience. “

You shake and shudder one hundred times faster than the racing heartbeat currently throbbing in your ears.

Your right foot is pressing the pedal of the brake into the floor as if to try to fuse them as one.

There’s screaming coming from somewhere; is that you screaming?

Your eyes which had previously been blinking and darting around searching for stability, focus, first on your hands and their white knuckle grip on the steering wheel and then to the spider’s-web a foot in front of your face.

No, that’s not you screaming, but you start to scream now joining in the noise, not quite achieve a horror movie scream, but more of a panicked monotone “ahhh!”.

You release your grip and hesitantly reach up and realize that that’s not a spider’s-web dangling dangerously close to you, but actually the cracked and caved piece of laminated glass that used to be your windshield.

You somehow have the presence of mind to shift the stick into park, you even manage to turn the key to off. You’re starting to catch up to time; what the hell had happened?

Turning your head you see a figure on the ground to the left, moving and wailing, the source of the screams that are not your own. You recognize that it’s a young girl. The other, you think there were two? The other you can’t see.

You look around wildly for your phone and pull it out of the folded up sun visor above your head and with more steadiness than you actually feel you swipe across the unlock screen and open the call app.

Suddenly there’s someone at your side talking to you. What are they saying?

You press the pads of your fingers into the glass of the screen and three numbers that every child knows.

“9”, the woman is talking to you still.

“1”, she’s asking you a question.

“1”, you nod shakily assuming she’s asking if you’re alright. You might not actually be but you nod anyway.

The phone at your ear is dialing and you hear the other line ringing.

You try to climb out of the car through the door the questioning woman had opened, something stops you. Still holding the phone to your ear, still listening to the sound of the ringing, you unclip your seatbelt.

The nice woman, you decide, helps you out of the car still trying to talk to you. Looking around you see the two figures, one to the left, still screaming and now surrounded by tall dark haired man and young blond jogger, and one a couple yards in front of your car, motionless and being attended to by short haired woman in business suit and old woman with blankets.

Where did they come from? Why did they hit you? They didn’t hit you, you hit them of course, but how?

Your mind starts firing faster now, going through the last several minutes. You were driving, slowly, carefully, it was a school zone and the sun was in your eyes, your apple cider and croissant from Starbucks untouched waiting until the ease of the freeway.

But then, something happened, a thunk and a crash, and here you were.

The nice woman is rubbing your back still talking, she’s probably asking what happened. All you can do is horsely yell “why aren’t they answering!”, the call to 911 still ringing in your ear. Looking around you see the traffic of the two lane road stopped in either direction, the people from the cars closest are out and watching, or trying to help. Some neighbors, like the old woman with blankets, are running to and from their homes for supplies.
The nice woman puts her hand over yours and tells you that emergency vehicles are already on their way, you can stop calling. She helps you sit and slump against the side of your car which now has a dented hood, bumper, and shattered windshield – all stained with blood.

You call your, boyfriend? (Is that what he is to you?) You were leaving his house, this isn’t even your neighborhood, you had just kissed him good morning and good-bye. Why isn’t he answering?!

You call your work, it’s early, there won’t be anyone answering the phones yet, that’s supposed to be you this morning.

You dial your boss’s extension and leave a message, “I’ve been in an accident, I won’t be able to come to work”.

Read More
Jun 27, 2017

Posted by | 0 Comments

Oliver [Poem] Creative Writing 101 – Journal 1

Oliver [Poem] Creative Writing 101 – Journal 1

Grade: A

Comments:Wonderful! It’s very hard to write poems about pets without it coming across as too sentimental or cliche, but you manage it well here. …”

 
 
 

My little toaster strudel

My blueberry muffin

My perfectly toasted

My golden god

My little stinker

My love,  my heart

The ray of sun

Holding our house together

Where is my Nobel Prize

For I have discovered

A perpetual energy machine

You’ve learned a lot

From your friends in the park

Mostly how to bark

In my face

While I’m sleeping

While I’m working

“Walk” you shout

I explain with patience

We just took a walk

When you sleep

I kiss you

I do not shout

The technical term

I smooch you

Velvet lips

Satin ears

Silken tum-tum

Even when you dream

You shout

Little shouts

Through closed velvet lips

It builds up

Truth bursts out

Sometimes I shout

Quietly

I love you

Read More
Apr 13, 2015

Posted by | 0 Comments

A Drive By Update

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I last posted!

Actually, I can believe it, but I still feel bad.

Since November: I haven’t shaved my legs are or my armpits – which has been really nice.

I’ve started vlogging semi regularly, though there isn’t much of that yet.

I’ve been streaming and recording games with Adam which has been a lot of fun.

And I started (and am almost done with now) the spring semester which includes Calculus 2, Physics 40, and Chemistry 1A

math1B physics40 chem1a

I’m having a tough time of things, but don’t really have the time or energy or words to really verbalize it.

So, this will just a a short drive by kind of update.

<3 <3 <3

Read More
Nov 11, 2014

Posted by | 0 Comments

Birthday Thoughts for Cat

In honor of Cat’s birthday yesterday, Sunday, I wanted to share a little about how she’s made me a better person, and gush a little about how great she is.

Two years ago this month, one of my favorite cousins and pretty good friend, Cat, found her way back home to the bay area after many many moons away. It wasn’t very long before proximity turned existing mutual admiration and enjoyment into a grand friendship that grows stronger with every midnight cup of hot chocolate or cute puppy picture shared. Besides for enhancing my life by being a constant source of understanding, support, and laughter, she has, without intent, bettered my emotional and social footprint on this world.

 

I fundamentally believe that people are always changing; every day, every minute, we are receiving feedback that affects how we perceive, how we think, and how we act. Some days we change more than others, but generally that change goes unnoticed until viewed from the distance of time. This decade of my life has held a lot of changes, but the last two years, besides for this headlong jump into my education, I’ve most significantly felt the impact of my shifting perceptions.

 

Two years ago I started to become more directly exposed to Cat’s gentle scent of activism in the form of critiques, musings, and efforts to be inclusive and thoughtful in her language. Now, I have always thought myself socially conscious and have been surrounded by varying aspects through the people in my life, but never before to the level at which this challenged me.

 

I say challenged because even though I had always been open to ways in which I could be more inclusive and progressive, Cat would notice and talk about issues I had never before thought to think about. I thought myself a humanist, or an equalist, assuming that of course it was better to only think of all the people as a whole, not realizing how necessary it actually was to focus on women, or the differently abled, or people of color, or any oppressed or disadvantaged by society. As a white, generally healthy, cisgendered person, the impact of the issues weren’t fully in my field of vision, not to claim that they are even fully now, but you generally know what you live, and I have fortunately lived a pretty charmed life.

 

These challenges were mostly presented in the entertainment industry, in games, movies, shows etcetera. In a way, initially, I was angry about being challenged. Her critiques of some of my favorite things, though not untrue, felt hurtful and souring. I would be annoyed while watching Doctor Who with her, or would dread the end of a movie viewed together. I was stuck in this mindset that these things she saw as “problematic” where simply the stories that the writer wanted to tell, and I felt like simply because I enjoyed the thing was reason enough for it to be fine the way it was.

 

Cat never pushed me or actively tried to get me to change, she loved me the way I was, and I knew she thought I was a wonderful human being no matter what; she just simply was – unapologetic and unflinching in her quest for global betterness.

 

Through this, I was suddenly painfully aware of the lack of people of color in my favorite television shows, or the way in which a character I viewed as a badass chick was actually a tired trope. I was angry with Cat because it was her pointing these things out that caused me to feel uncomfortable about what I loved.

 

It didn’t take me long though before I realized that my anger was in fact misplaced and that I could in no way blame her for removing a little of the wool that had been systematically pulled over my eyes for the last 25 years. I even got to a point where I realized I could still enjoy the things I had loved and that I could also be critical of their failings; the two were not mutually exclusive.

 

And as feminism is currently having this big moment, both in and out of the entertainment industry, I’m struck with how thankful I am for being in a place where I can really appreciate it and understand what I have to fight for.

 

So on this, the (yester)day of her 32nd Birthday, I want to share my unending appreciation for what she has opened me to, and of who she is, because I think she’s pretty fucking cool.

<3

 

Read More
Oct 29, 2014

Posted by | 0 Comments

Updates!

This update is a long time coming. I’ve been busy, between school, two part time jobs, and trying to keep my sanity; but I’ve been really wanting to let you know how everything is going.

Academics

This summer I took Pre-calculus and C++ and achieved B’s in both. I was sad to lose my 4.0 grade average, but knew that it had to come eventually.

The precalc was challenging, but I’m proud of how well I did for a compressed summer course and in comparison to the class average. I did very well with the C++ course, and would have gotten an A in the class, but due horrendous traffic, I was over an hour late to my final exam (which was weighted with the midterm to be worth over half the course grade).

I had a very brief break, and then started in on the fall semester.

I’m currently taking Calculus, Chemistry, Engineering Drafting/Design, and Advanced AutoCAD.

Calculus, is a bit of a mixed bag. I do great on the homework and understand and participate in class, but the tests are long, difficult and don’t allow calculators. The teacher is young, and new to teaching though. His only teaching gig before SRJC was a privet catholic women’s college in Montana. I think that he’s starting to realize that he may need to expect a little less from his junior college students. Although I did poorly (for me) on the last test, I actually did a little better than some other students who are the smarties in the class.

I’m really enjoying Chemisty, but it’s like learning a whole new language. I’m also doing fairly well and get “good job!” written on my tests.

Engineering is also going pretty good. I just got my midterm back and scored a 42 our of 40. Its taught by an adjunct teacher who works at Medtronics so he has a lot of good industry knowledge.

I’m also excelling in my Advanced AutoCAD course. Though this wasn’t required for my major or transfer, I elected to take it because I did so well in the previous AutoCAD course and there are good opportunities for drafting work. I’m hoping to maybe get a part time work from home job once the class is over. I think I can get a good recommendation from my teacher as well considering he stopped by my desk last week and said “You’re pretty good at this, aren’t you?”.

This semester I joined the Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement program which has a lot of great opportunities from things like campus visits to information on internships.

I even just submitted my registration for an Undergraduate Women in Physics conference for this winter. I’m also hoping to be selected for a summer research internship at UC Berkeley. I have to write some essays and get recommendations from teachers to apply by the end of the year.

All in all I’m still in love with being a student and am so passionate about where I’m heading.

Financial

I managed to score a couple of scholarships that for the Fall semester paid out about $600. I also got my fall distribution of my Stafford student loans, though is a little less than last year because of the total limit of what I can take out.

We knew it would have to be like that, gradually less and less for each year I plan to borrow, hoping that scholarships I would receive would make up the difference, but I’m also driving back and forth to school 4 days a week  now, about 1600 miles a month.

I’ve started looking for some kind of rental closer to school, but so far nothing has been a financially sound option to give up my current situation.

I also haven’t yet received any of my grant (free) money yet because I had to submit a special conditions form, that I didn’t get noticed needed additional paperwork until last week. When I submitted said paperwork on Monday I found out that it would be another 4 to 6 weeks for processing. This takes me through the end of the semester basically with about half the money I had last year.

I’m hopeful that I can keep things floating until my grant money comes through, or I receive aid for the spring semester.

I’m looking forward to applying for the next round of scholarships, I should be eligible for quite a few.

 

<3 <3 <3

Read More