Pretty, pretty, pretty.

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Nobutseriously.  Say what you will about canyons and rain forests and glaciers; these are my ideas of stunning natural vistas.

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Safe Haven

In lieu of a proper Poemography post this week (because those take WORK, and I’m kind of not willing to expend that right now #sorryimnotsorry), I’m going to spare a few minutes (or thirty) here rambling about magic places.  Magic, safe places.  Enchanted places.  Wonderful places.  Wondrous places.  See?  Ramble.

First there is the library.  There isn’t a card system, or any overdue fines, or any computers or organization system or even librarians, unless you count the moths and mice.  There’s a short, winding footpath that you take to get there.  There’s an American flag flapping outside.  This is the building where my parents married, and there are antlers affixed to the wall inside.

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It’s made of logs, like everything here.  There’s a few decrepit washing machines inside, a bucket of ping-pong paddles and balls but no table, and cushy moth-eaten daybeds.  There’s tables to be rolled out come the 4th of July, when everyone brings their famous Jell-O Salad Spectacular and their most festive garb.

There’s a typewriter with no paper or ink, on a table next to a hibernating Shop-Vac, for the kids to bang around on.  Including this kid.

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Typewriters thrill my soul.

And this is the inside of the library.  It’s nothing much, but it’s everything.

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I found a Copyright-2006 book there today, which is an immense rarity.  Mostly these are 1950’s-70’s, at the latest.  They’ve all acquired that lovely and acrid and wholesome yellowing-book smell.  And mostly they aren’t literature books, but they’re books with character, books with backstory and history and so many varied noses inside of them, all laid out and free for the taking.  It’s like a home for misfit books, and I want to make all of them my babies.

Honestly, the fact that places like this still exist are what kindles my hope for the future.  Pictures can’t really capture the aura of the free-for-all run-down library.  It’s magic, and mysterious, and historic, and lovely.

Then there is the dock.  Nothing actually docks on this dock.  It’s T-shaped and floats in the middle of the oh-so-creatively-named Second Lake.

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And it’s rickety and creaky and bobby and old and overall not too structurally sound but you step onto it and suddenly you are The Focal Point of the World.

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There’s just no other way to describe it.  It puts you in your place.  You are small and the world is huge and beautiful and amazing and you better galdang appreciate that for the brief time you spend here.  And it’s quiet.  The kind of quiet that you literally can’t imagine after living in a city.  Sometimes people fly-fish, and then there’s that soothing skimming of the line, and there’s the trill of bird and the creak of the planks, but it’s silent.  In a way that really should be eerie, but is the exact opposite.  Peaceful.  Very peaceful.

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I meditated on it.  Which, really, what??  I know; not usually my thing.  I’m pretty high-strung and, to be honest, I revel in being high-strung.  It keeps the ideas flowing and the mind bouncing around so as not to dwell on any one thing for an inoptimal length of time.  But it felt like The Thing To Do, and kind of renewed my faith that there is A Thing “out there”, regardless of what that Thing may be.

Tepee (my cabin village) has always been my safe haven.  You can’t feel sad, or stressed, or pressured here.  There’s no one here you don’t know and there’s nothing really disturbing the peace and most importantly there’s no Society.  I blame the constructs of Society for a lot of life’s daily stress and problems, which is maybe not the most healthy or proactive attitude to have about life, but…being here just reinforces that belief system.  Here, a boy from another state that we didn’t even know randomly dropped by our cabin last evening to ask if he could play with Little Bro, because he’d seen him in the yard earlier.  Here perfect kid strangers strike up impromptu baseball games with one another—here even I can bond with someone over fort-building and minnow-grabbing.  I don’t have to be a high-performing teenage academic or any of the other labels that are inevitable slapped on me—I can revert to Wild Child status in its most innocent form, and romp in the stream at the base of a waterfall.

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Special-looking toes, grimy sweatpants, and all.

This is my safe haven.  It’s wonderful here.

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We hired Death as our landscaper

pm1 pm2 pm3 pm4 pm5 pm6 pm7This was the flyer Death left tacked to our door.  I stood on tiptoe and took it down to read it.

Wanted:  Odd Jobs, & Odds and Ends

Hey there.  Death’s the name.  (Yeah, people say I should change it all the time; make me more approachable.  But the only other thing I could think of that kind of suit me was Lucifer, and as Lucifer people still avoided me.)

Anyway…I can take care of almost anything you need taken care of, but my real specialties are extermination, varmint control, weed control, controlled burnings, etc.  And music lessons.

I’m good with kids.  I know how to silence them when they’re crying.  And no one who’s experienced my services reports back negatively.

I’ve included a picture on the back of this flyer because most people get the wrong idea of what I look like.  Usually I get skeletal, white, draped in black flowy robes in desperate need of a wash–no nose.  Then if I get too close people usually snap change their minds, saying I’m surely some big jolly old white guy perched on top of a cloud.  I guess you could say my identity is fluid..?  I hope you don’t have anything against the genderqueer.  Like I said, I’m great with kids.

My fees are what I consider reasonable; years of work have worn me pretty thin, you know, and we all have to support ourselves.  I understand that modern medicine has its benefits but it’s really thrust tough times on some non-deservings with its increasing prevalence.

I really appreciate you taking the time to read this flyer, and, if you’re interested?  Just give me a call.  You know where to find me.

Death had been standing right behind me, reading the flyer with me, over my shoulder.

Ellipse…

DSCN3292Ellipse

so named for the way your ellipse

stretch back over your eteeth

catching your etongue between them,

stopping it dead in its path of treachery

and your efingers,

unbeknownst to you,

tap out on the table that hesitant

dot dot dot

speaking of omission

things glossed over while quoting your inner monologue

haphazardly

getting the dates wrong,

deliberately turning a blind eye to the parts that don’t support

the point everyone seems to want you to make

blind eye + ears

as they hand you a rubric,

list of main ideas,

requirements for 10 in-text citations

“Oh, it’s okay…

if you’re quoting something really long you can…

leave…out some…parts…”

So much can be salvaged by delving into the infinite millimeter between the dots

and pulling out what fell into the empty spaces

please try to stick to commas

they suit you better.

Silver

Silver Cream

Teapot

trying to remove that one last stubborn splotch from the surface of the teapot,

she turns to me–

rub rub rub, in a circular motion–

and begins to gab about the size of her stomach and how sad her eyes look.

I’m eight years old and I’m not really listening.

Partly because I don’t believe her and partly because it’s boring and partly because I’m just

Too engrossed by the way the silver is catching the light,

and the way the word makes me think of a pebble.

For a moment I’m frustrated that there isn’t anything to rhyme it with.

Silver.

rubrubrub, in a circular motion.

The years have accumulated on her collection,

as years do.

The saucers are dimpled, the cups are mossed over,

the teapot shimmers except for that one damn splotch.

She doesn’t like tarnish.

I find it ironic that it rhymes with varnish

then I figure that’s intentional anyway and frown.

She wears her flaws like charms on that empty chain bracelet always dangling around her wrist

falling to her elbow when she raises a hand in greeting and dropping to wind itself around her fingers in the night

it is the first thing she feels when she wakes,

the first thing she sees when she looks in the mirror

and she paints her eyelids

silver

to remind herself that she is made of stardust–unfortunately,

so are They.

She realizes she is composed entirely of cracks, fissures,

held together in space only by the Strong Force

the same pull that keeps the apartment in order, atom by atom

and the force that

just once

helped her to keep from flying apart when she got too close to him,

too far away from him

but she forgets that the beauty is when light gleams through the cracks she forgets

too much polishing will wear down the finish

and something too reflective will blind you.

Rather than people who shine,

I tell her,

I like people who glow!

At eight years,

I like the way my mom’s heartbeat is strong and steady,

the way she’s so warm and comfortable to lean against,

the way she’s a beacon of soft light and nourishment.

I like the way my dad pulls on galoshes and wades assuredly into a task,

the way he fights with light.

I’d never seen anything more beautiful,

flame encased in silver

and I liked

the way that I knew they were both okay with the change the flame would create, eventually;

the way some things would melt and some would glow red.

She looks at me like I’ve said the best thing ever and then smiles, sadly, ruffles my hair.  In a circular motion.

Aw, sweetie, but the world doesn’t.

I’m really confused as to how the world could ever be more important than my own thoughts and ask,

So the world is trying to polish you?

She says, Something like that.

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MIMM: Hatchday, Pretty Light, Knees, and Insane Decisions

Hey everyone!  How’s your Monday going?

DSCN3124 DSCN3127 DSCN3137 DSCN3143 DSCN3160 DSCN3159Mine’s been pretty…pretty, to say the least.  As a Washingtonian, such flagrant displays of sunshine are something of a rarity, and you can bet your bottom dollar I’ve been taking full advantage of these picture-perfect summer days by frolicking about, soaking up the Vitamin D.

I’ve never really been one of those people who need an extra boost on Mondays to get through the week, even when school/activities are in session–I’ve just never hit the “Monday wall” that I guess so many people run into.  I’ve already confessed my nerdship to you guys–Monday is basically my favorite day of the week!  Not only is it usually pretty light on homework because teachers don’t like to take the time to concoct elaborate assignments over the weekends, school STARTS UP AGAIN and I know it’s going to be the beginning of a (potentially gruelingly) glorious week!

Still, it never hurts to get a little extra boost, even if your biggest worry right now is that the hammock that’s callin’ your name is gonna get lonely.

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The weekend was pretty enjoyable marvelous.  I hosted Citrus’ third hatchday party–I made sad-looking but still (IMO) cute cockatiel cookies and we bopped around outside.  There was a sleepover and we all got very slap-happy.  We were tired in the morning but there were muffins (with both lemon and seeds–perfect for a bird named Citrus!) made by me and a frittata made by Mother Dearest (with potatoes inside–tasted like hashbrowns!!).  I do so love hashbrowns.

Alas, we did not have a circular cookie cutter, so I had to shape the sugar cookie dough (nomnomnom) with a beer-can chicken prop-thing.  (My culinary vocabulary falters when it comes to meat…)

To make the cookies, I used the Savvy Vegetarian cookie dough recipe, this recipe for coconut whip as a frosting (tinted yellow with food coloring), Craisins for eyes, chopped up Watermelon Laffy Taffy for the beaks, and mangled “orange slices” candies for the orange cheek circles.DSCN3042 DSCN3052

This totally didn't happen what are you talking about.  Not straight from the beater, never.

This totally didn’t happen what are you talking about. Not straight from the beater, never.

I wouldn't recommend using A Taste of Thai coconut milk (pretty popular brand) for the whip--it has some sort of stabilizer added that prevents it from working too nicely.  I used...whatever this brand is.

I wouldn’t recommend using A Taste of Thai coconut milk (pretty popular brand) for the whip–it has some sort of stabilizer added that prevents it from working too nicely. I used…whatever this brand is.

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Beaks!  Haha

Beaks! Haha

Aaaaand the final result.  Bit homely, but that’s okay! 🙂

Citrus approves.

Citrus approves.

Other marvelous things today…

Can we talk patella bracing for a sec?  I’m in love.  I don’t think that’s hyperbole.  Anything that was enough to lift me out of the forced 8-month running break thanks to these dang knees is virtually a Messiah in my eyes.  (I think it was probably the braces in adjunct with my rest, stretching, physical therapy, orthotics, supportive shoes, and therapeutic ultrasounds, but hey, whatever works…)  To my surprise, I haven’t lost all of my (nonexistent to begin with) running prowess, and the braces allowed me to attend my first *OFFICIAL* XC practice last Friday!  I hope to attend two more this week!  We’ll see how that goes…alas, my mileage maximum right now is approximately 3.  (Maybe four on the hamster wheel?)  By the end of the summer we’re supposed to be easily running 8…

This brings me to my first INSANE DECISION OF THE DAY!  This one is way less insane than my other one, but it’s still a big thrill for me.  I signed up for another 5k!!  This one’s on August 24th, and, while running in the heat ain’t exactly my cup of tea, I’m beyond stoked!  If I can even get close to my time on my first-and-only 5k, then it will be a huge reassurance for me that, though my knees doth plague me, I can get my kickassery and (somewhat) speed back with enough motivation.  (To any “serious” runners out there reading this:  I know a 5k is not a huge distance.  It’s kind of a menial race.  But, alas, my body is NOT DESIGNED FOR RUNNING WHATSOEVER [sitting and blogging is more my speed, how ’bout you?] and a 5k is a big deal to me!)

Sweet Potato Chocolate Pancakes 009(Throwback to the morning of my first 5k, waiting in the starting line.  Pay no attention to the ominous disembodied hand on my shoulder; someone else is cropped out.  And notice the fear hiding behind the forced smile–the glazed eyes, the overall absent disposition.  I was convinced I was going to die that day.)

Incidentally, you know what’s harder than running a 5k?

………………………..Biking two hundred and two miles.

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Yeah, it’s insane.  We’ve covered this.  And it will require buying a new bike, and/or some road tires for my current trusty steed mountain bike.  But recently (yesterday-recently), la madre de una de mis amigas (I’m not sure why I phased into Spanish here, but I couldn’t think how to word it in English) participated in the Cascade Bicycle Club/Group Health Seattle-to-Portland bike ride, a one- or two-day event that spans a total of 202-point-something miles.  Which gave me a sudden and intense burst of inspiration.  It’s a recreational ride, not a race, but from my extensive Googling of the thing last night it looks. epic.  And everyone says you need to dream big and set high goals to keep your morale buoyed, right?  So.  I’ve got a year to train.  I post this to the internet so I can’t back down–next year, Daddio and I will be participating in the 2014 Seattle-to-Portland ride.  And we will rock that epic $#*@.

Much moreso than for running, my body (and quads) like biking.  While the farthest ride I’ve ever taken to date was just 40 miles with lots of hills, and I died afterwards–I’ve got a year.  Best get on this.

Ahh.  The inevitable foot selfie.  (For some reason I just tried to spell “foot” as “fut”…)  Daddio and I went on a short (10 mile?) ride today, and I plan to get some running on the hamster wheel done as well.  Fitness, here I come!

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And arrachgha, yes, I need to do a poemography post today, since I’ve skipped out on that for, what, three weeks?!  Problem is, I only have one line to work with… #poetictrialsandtribulations

“Rather than people who shine–

I like people who glow

is the line, but I’m not sure how to weave that into a poem.  Would it be all right if poemography was extended to flash fiction?  I know I made the rules, but you guys can change them.  I’ll luv ya forever 😉

Costa Rica Photo Dump

No, I don’t have anything earth-shattering to say right now.  No, I have no spunk or seriousness or awesome alliteration to share today.  No, I have nothing worth blogging about, really (I’ve been curled up on the couch all day for the past two days nursing a wicked GI bug and a protein smoothie) but I realize I’ve kinda left you guys alone for more time than I am comfortable with! 😉  10 days…where are my manners?  So, just to reassure you that I have not died (and was in fact having the time of my life on vacation), I’d like to provide you with some of the stunning vistas of my last 12 days of existence…

Smiling tree!

Smiling tree!

Ladies and gentlemen, the single scariest creature in the universe.  Not only is it as long as your forearm plus the length of your hand, it can carry 25 pounds (I half expected to see my backpack scuttling away in the night...)

Ladies and gentlemen and those in between, allow me to present to you the single scariest creature in the universe. Not only is it as long as your forearm plus the length of your hand, it can carry 25 pounds (I half expected to see my backpack scuttling away in the night…)

Tacos made by angels.  The best in my life!  (Broccoli..?  And copious amounts of cheese!)

Tacos made by angels. The best in my life! (Broccoli..? And copious amounts of cheese!)

Chester, the walking stick

Chester, the walking stick

Zip lining through the canopy!  (I am ridiculously proud of this photo!)

Zip lining through the canopy! (I am ridiculously proud of this photo!)

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Post-zip-lining face. The wheel spat so many little flecks of grease back onto the zip liner that I became freckled for a day. I dunno, you guys, I would date me…

I also became Angelina Jolie for a day, thanks to a special tropical leaf-flower thing.  Except Angelina probably has better hair.  Give me a break.  There were minimum showers and cosmetics available.

I also became Angelina Jolie for a day, thanks to a special tropical leaf-flower thing. Except Angelina probably has better hair. Give me a break. There were minimum showers and cosmetics available.

No words...except I must state that 7 different hummingbirds landed on my finger at the sanctuary!  (They can sniff out the avian personalities, I tell ya...)

No words…except I must state that 7 different hummingbirds landed on my finger at the sanctuary! (They can sniff out the avian personalities, I tell ya…)

Baby leatherback turtle, just hatched and being released to sea...again, no words.

Baby leatherback turtle, just hatched and being released to sea…again, no words.

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I was feeling poetic, you guys.

I was feeling poetic, you guys.

A very iconic-looking stick.  I'm not sure why I thought this...just stick with me here...

A very iconic-looking stick. I’m not sure why I thought this…just stick with me here…

Attempting to do yoga in the surging sea.  (In a lightning storm.  I'm smart.)

Attempting to do yoga in the surging sea. (In a lightning storm. I’m smart.)

Failing, and deciding to try summoning Poseidon instead.

Failing, and deciding to try summoning Poseidon instead.

Pots full of warm mud, at a spa...*shudders* at least my skin seems softer now.  It felt like slathering warm bird weaning food all over one's self.

Pots full of warm mud, at a spa…*shudders* at least my skin seems softer now. It felt like slathering warm bird weaning food all over one’s self.

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Yes, the name of the owner of our tour boat was actually Victor Hugo!!  I die.

Yes, the name of the owner of our tour boat was actually Victor Hugo!! I die.

 

First time ever trying Kona (coffee) Cake...I did a lot of worshipping the Dark Lord over this trip.

First time ever trying Kona (coffee) Cake…I did a lot of worshipping the Dark Lord over this trip.

We saw the elusive Resplendant Quetzal!!  I didn't get the best picture of him out of my group, but you can still marvel at his beauty.

We saw the elusive Resplendant Quetzal!! I didn’t get the best picture of him out of my group, but you can still marvel at his beauty.

I also saw fireflies for the first time in my life; I feel my childhood is now complete!

With this, I bid you adieu, at least until tomorrow.  Wish me a speedy recovery! 😀

Breaking Glass

dainty,
delicate,
spider-leg threads of space-time
tiptoeing onto the scene,
creeping into the calm and distorting that fourth dimension
with a feminine chinkling that would be melodious
in any other context.

pic 1 try 3But, as it is,
you stand dumbfounded in the middle of the kitchen,
your hand still clenched around the goblet that isn’t there;
you took a hammer to your mirror, so enraged by the image it portrayed.

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And as we wince at those snowflakes embedded in our angry skin,
we ask ourselves
How can something so beautiful do so much damage?
Before we realize
That it hardly ever works out any other way.

The avalanche buries the group of hikers,
The glistening pelt of a tiger latches onto an unfortunate,
The glowing beacon in the sky will burn you if you touch it.

 scalding sun

Bedhead

Everyone knows the princess is pretty–

in fact, positively smashing

She’s quite and shy, never said one thing witty

and she always stops war when two countries are clashing–

(In fact, even at age four, the princess herself knew this...)

(In fact, even at age four, the princess herself knew this…)

(She also had rather impeccable fashion sense...)

(She also had rather impeccable fashion sense…)

 

Men look in her eyes, and they fall in love

she’s everything a girl wishes to be!

Her name, it’s so pretty, it’s Annabeth-Lee–

ever as dainty as the cooing of a dove!

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Yes, she’s pretty all right, with barrettes adorning

her waist-length hair, which has a delicate sheen–

but nobody,

not even the Queen

has seen the princess

in the morning…

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Dichromate

i once fell in love with a colorblind boy
who couldn’t distinguish between red and orange

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for this colorblind boy i once felt so sorry
he was missing out on such vibrancy
and then i realized the invalid was me
everyone can see something someone else
can’t see

such vibrancy

just remember this next time you might
just
break
and he’ll rock you so close to try to soften the ache
he’ll raise you on a throne; of his world, you’ll be king
don’t try to understand what you’re missing
i know as i watch you struggle
to see
to be
to free
finally relax and just breathe
it’s there.  believe me.

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