Saturday, December 28, 2013

"That Old Moaning Tree"

My poem, "That Old Moaning Tree," was recently published in my university's undergraduate literary magazine, Underground. I enjoy writing poetry. I write it for fun whenever I feel a whim, but I do not consider myself a "serious poet," if there were ever such a thing. I thought I'd post the poem here if any of you were curious. It's a bit of a dark poem, but my intention was to make it slightly humorous and slightly ironic. I felt inspired after reading "Cherry White" by Dorothy Parker.

That Old Moaning Tree

More than once I wondered how it would be
To tie myself in an old moaning tree
Where the dry leaves would shush
And the birds wouldn’t sing
Because they’d be too busy
Picking the eyes out of me.

More than once I wondered how it would be
To fly off a bridge through terrain serene
Where the wind would gush
And my eyes would water
Right before I hit the ground,
Where I’d become Earth’s slaughter.

Sometimes I’d wonder,
But it’s of no worth
Because soon enough
We’ll all be deep in the Earth

Where our corpses will wither
And nourish new trees

So another can wonder how it would be
To tie themselves in an old moaning tree. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Spirit of Christmas

"I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.
Their faithful Friend and Servant,
C. D."
 - Charles Dickens, December, 1843

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I've just finished reading A Christmas Carol from Charles Dickens for the first time. I thought it'd be appropriate for the holiday season. Growing up, I watched The Muppet's rendition of this novella at least once a year, and I confess that, at certain points, I envisioned The Muppet Christmas Carol as I read.

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Even if you haven't read this story, you're probably familiar with the phrase, "Bah! Humbug!" (A humbug is a fraud or something nonsensical.) You've most likely heard the name Scrooge, because it's so closely associated with tight-fistedness and an aversion to Christmas. However, A Christmas Carol is more than just a ghostly holiday story of a miser who's scared into generosity. This book encourages us to embody the spirit of Christmas--even after Christmastime.

Ebeneezer Scrooge is frightened into generosity after his encounter with the three spirits, and after seeing his own dead body, cold and alone, he fully realizes the high price of his greed. In the end, he is a changed man (and a very manic one). He not only gives his money, but he also gives his time to others.

The cold Christmas setting of Victorian England mirrors Scrooge's frigid heart, but it also serves as an instrument of comparison to emphasize the evil of greed. Christmastime is known for generosity and good cheer, accentuating Scrooge's greed and his willful ignorance of the deplorable conditions of the English working class. Even after Christmastime, Ebeneezer Scrooge takes the lessons he's learned and applies them to the rest of the year. It is a model that all of us can carry throughout our lives.

We live in a fast-paced world where material acquisition is encouraged and admired, but the best gifts cannot be bought!  Let's be more like the changed Scrooge throughout the year by giving more of ourselves to those around us.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Giving Thanks

It's the heart of late November, and the air is beginning to chill. The leaves have aged through their spectrum of reds and golds, and they're now flying in great numbers through the wind to collect in piles that cover the ground. It's a signal that here in The States, it's that time of year again--a time to give thanks (even though the commercial industry has skipped the Thanksgiving and gone on straight to Christmas). I'd like to take a moment to post about a fraction for which I am thankful.

I'm thankful for having such a wonderful support system in my life. My boyfriend has really been there for me through such a whirlwind of a year, and I can't thank him enough. My best friend is always there when I need her, and I've grown closer to many of my family members as well.

I give thanks for all the opportunities in my life--they do not go unnoticed. It's jarring sometimes when I look back and realize how lucky I really am. I'm enrolled in a university where my tuition is mostly covered. In addition, I work as a writing tutor at my university's writing center, and I'm only a sophomore undergraduate student. There are so many roads I could take...I don't want to take it for granted for even a moment.

I'm thankful for all the little joys in life. It's wonderful to just curl up with a book and a blanket with a warm mug of tea. I love to make fires, either in the fireplace or outside, this time of year. I like meeting strangers and finding out more about their lives. I love learning. The day I stop is the day I die, and maybe not even then.

And finally, I am thankful for the life I have. When you find yourself struggling to come up with a list, always be thankful for living. By simply existing, you already have and will continue to make a difference in the life of another.

What are you thankful for this year? What are the little things in life you enjoy?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Birthday Reflections and Update

I just had my 20th birthday on November 9. I joked that I'd have to start acting serious like a "real adult" now. Really, though, I don't believe one ever truly feels like an adult. I have this theory that everyone's just pretending (and some are better at it than others). I don't feel any older, which is no surprise, but things have changed so much since my last birthday. This year, I hope to make some changes of my own. I go through the same routine, and I don't want to sink into the "everydayness" of life. To combat this, I'd love to start volunteering. There's a few options. I have been wanting to start teaching adult literacy, reading for children, and visiting nursing homes. I really want to do something meaningful.

In other news, I have a poem that's going to be published soon in my school's undergraduate literary journal. I'll be sure to post more about that when the issue comes out. I've also written another story that I just submitted to a local Atlanta literary magazine. I'm really hoping that it gets published. They're a lot more selective than my school's journal, so keep your fingers crossed.

Also, I have officially started working as a writing tutor for my school's writing center. I've had about six appointments already. It's something I really enjoy doing and hope to continue in the future.

Who knows what will happen in the future, but I hope to make something meaningful out of this next year.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Halloween 2013

 On the morning of Halloween, I woke up to get together my costume and make-up to wear during the school and work day. I did this last year for my Jareth costume. This year, people were approaching me off the streets asking me to take photos with them (I might be on instagram)! At the sight of me, some people were taken aback and others were beaming with smiles. I was late to my first class because of the make-up, and it was completely worth it for the sake of infusing a little Halloween spirit in the campus.

On Halloween evening, I decided to take my skeleton-self over to my infamous aunt's Victorian home. Her house is known for being the most elaborately decorated house on Halloween. They have different themes each year. This year it was "Dead Hat Society." It's a reference to the Red Hat Society, which is comprised of old women who get together and have tea parties. If you see where this is going, you'll know that my relatives set up a giant macabre tea party in their front lawn. There were skeletons climbing out of graves, with one on a bike in order to join the ladies of the Dead Hat Society at their skeleton tea party. My costume fit right in-- so much so, that some people thought I was a prop! You can imagine how terrified they were when they saw me moving.


They're coming out of their graves to join the party!







I hope everyone had a spooktacular Halloween this year. Let me know in the comments what you think, and tell me about what you did this year. Also, happy All Soul's Day/ Day of the Dead!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Remembering my Grandmother

Yesterday, October 24, 2013, at 4:39 pm, my grandmother passed away. I wanted to do a small blog post in her honor, as she had such an impact on my life.

Barbara Jane Budner (maiden name Maultsby) was born on August 9, 1934 in North Carolina. She was the oldest of five, all girls. She grew up very poor with no electricity or running water, and often times the girls were left alone. Since she was the oldest, she practically raised the others. When she got old enough to go out on her own, she moved to Chicago to get a job. That's where she met my grandfather. After they married, she went on to have five children of her own.

She was the strongest woman I've ever known. She had a great sense of humor, and she was always so giving. I have so many memories of going over to her house, where she always kept candy for the grand kids. When I was younger, I would pack my overnight bag and sneak it into the car for surprise sleepovers. We would stay up late into the night talking when I got older. She was always there for me as a friend and a mother figure. She was the best grandmother I could have hoped for. She meant so much to me, and I will always carry her in my heart.

For the past six months, my grandmother bravely fought pancreatic cancer, which eventually spread to other areas.  She will be missed, and I will never let anyone forget her.




Sunday, October 20, 2013

Halloween Update: A Change of Plans

So everyone, I am a little disappointed to say that my Marie Antoinette costume is not a go this year. There has been so much piling up on me between things in my personal life, work, and school, that I have been unable to find the time to get the rest of my costume together. I bit off more than I could chew this year, but I know for next time to plan better. Perhaps you'll see the Queen next year...

Although I will not be doing Marie Antoinette, I do have something planned that I can easily do with what I have! I will be using my red dress, a hat, roses, black lace and accessories, and of course some creative make-up, to throw together a Día de los Muertos costume. I think it might even be a better option this year, as I plan on visiting my aunt's house who has decorated her home in a  "Dead Hat Society" theme this year. If you don't remember the aunt to whom I am referring, here is the link to my post about her house. I will take pictures! It's really spectacular, the decorating they do. People come from miles around to see her house each year.

Just so you can get an idea, here are a couple of photos I'm looking to for inspiration:
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How are your Halloween plans turning out? What are you doing this year to get into the spirit? Please, comment down below.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Halloween DIY: Under the Dress

I took a field trip over to my local fabric store this weekend with the intention of purchasing supplies for my pillow pannier (while scouting pretty fabric and lace for my next purchase). For those of you who don't know what a pannier is, they're the big poofy false hips. Instead of making a traditional hoop pannier, which can be costly, I decided to sew two pillows. They should work just as well. 


I brought home some white muslin, which I got for $2.99/yard. I also snagged a large bag of fiberfill for $5.99. I have plenty of this stuff left over, so for the materials I used to make the pannier, it cost about $5.00. First, I cut out the shape of the pillows. After I pinned them, I prepared my machine. All in all, it was incredibly easy to sew. The whole thing took less than an hour. 

My huge bag of fiberfill
 After I sewed the pillows, I sewed up the back. I then sewed two spare ribbons to the front.

Here is the finished product. In the picture below, I am wearing an old plastic-boned corset I snagged from Goodwill a while back. It's not a real corset, and it's somewhat cone-shaped. This is perfect for the silhouette of the 18th century. They used stay corsets back then, so they were not meant to create hourglass curves; stays are supposed to bind. 

I'll continue to update as I go along my DIY adventure. In the meanwhile, I hope you all enjoy your October. Halloween is approaching (the whole month is Halloween for me), and I hope you are getting prepared. Tell me what you think, and let me know what you have planned this year.

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Dress: Halloween 2013 Update

Over the weekend, I scoured the racks at the thrift store, and I actually found a decent base dress for $6 to start my Marie Antoinette costume. It's much more Antebellum than Rococo at this stage, but it's certainly a start. I will be cutting off and re-sewing new sleeves, adding lace trim and new ribbons, and poofing it up. In addition, I will perhaps make a jacket/over skirt. Such a bright red color was not my preference, since pastels abound in Rococo fashion, but I will make it work by adding more pastel accents. Hopefully, I'll get my start this weekend when I go to the fabric store. 


For inspiration, I've been looking at The Costumer's Guide's Marie Antoinette Page, which includes about 65 web pages for each of the dresses from the Sophia Coppola film.

Marie Antoinette Exhibit
This is quite the grandiose undertaking for me. I'm not as adept at sewing as I'd like to be, but this is a learning process. I just hope that I can do my ambitions justice. May the spirit of Halloween fill us up this Autumn. Wish me luck!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Halloween is Creeping Up on Us!

Fall is officially here, and the month of October is right around the corner. I find myself still in the contemplation stages for my Halloween costume. Most years I'm very last minute, but I can't afford to procrastinate this time around. That's because I've decided on a more elaborate costume for this Hallow's Eve: Marie Antoinette (with a slashed neck, of course).

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I've been searching online for inspiration, and I've been developing a tentative plan for how I'm going to pursue this costume. For the dress, I will keep an eye out for a prom dress at a local thrift store. It will need to be a sturdy fabric, preferably in a mid-to-light blue. I will need to make any necessary alterations and add sleeves, bows, and lace. As for the poof under the skirt, my idea involves sewing a couple of small pillows to tie to my hips. This would be easier that making a pannier. What I am most worried about, besides my limited time, is the wig. I cannot afford a high-quality costume wig, and I am also not very good with styling hair. Fortunately, there are online tutorials for my undertakings.
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 Since this will be a process, I plan on posting occasional costume updates. Keep your eyes peeled. I wish everyone the best of luck this season with whatever your plans may be.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Flannery O'Connor and The Christ-Haunted South Lecture

Bedford/St. Martin's
For those of you who are not familiar with Flannery O'Connor or her work, let me take a moment to share a little. Flannery O'Connor was a writer born in Savannah, Georgia in the Twenties. She lived most of her life in a town called Milledgeville, also in Georgia. O'Connor's work is categorized as Southern Gothicism. Her wit is legendary, and her stories are characterized by their rural southern settings, grotesque characters, and the strong influence of her Catholicism (rare in the South at the time) on her work. To those of you who have not read anything from this lady, do (and comment with your opinions)! They are accessible online. Here is a link to "The Life You Save May Be Your Own," which is the first short story I read from her.

Monday evening after class, my boyfriend and I attended a brilliant lecture at Emory University-- an opportunity  that I hope comes around again. The lecturer was a man named Dr. Ralph Wood. He and William Sessions, a legend at Georgia State who also spoke, dedicated their careers to this woman's work.

O'Connor's self portrait next the Christ Pantocrator

The lecture was titled "Straightforward as a Gunshot," which everyone agreed was aptly named. It covered O'Connor's faith as an integral part of her work, Dostoevsky's influence on her writing, and the likeness of her self-portrait to the Christ Pantocrator icon. I enjoyed Dr. Wood's personal experiences he shared growing up in rural Texas, as his "redneck" South was the sort written about in O'Conner's stories. For those of you who are interested in further information, which you most certainly should be, here is the link to the lecture summary blog post from Emory University's Religion and Ethics blog. "Spirited Thinking." Also, click this link to purchase Dr. Ralph Wood's book, Flannery O'Connor and the Christ-Haunted South.

And with that, I leave you all with a quote from Ms. O'Connor:

“I think it is safe to say that while the South is hardly Christ-centered, it is most certainly Christ-haunted.” -Flannery O'Connor

Friday, September 13, 2013

Depeche Mode Concert

Last night, Depeche Mode came to town. After a long week and much time spent looking forward to this, I'm glad to say I was in attendance. Justean and I ventured off to the venue with little incident this time (meaning not getting horribly lost like before). When we arrived, we noticed what a broad spectrum of fans Depeche Mode reached. There were a lot of drunken middle aged people, but besides that, there was a range of alternative types as well as more mainstream looking people. One thing is for sure that most everyone seemed excited to be there. In fact, at one point, I almost got in an altercation with a couple who was so excited, they decided to squeeze right in front of me and cut me off! Let's just say I got them to vacate my vicinity. 



It was a great night for a concert. The moon shone brightly, and looming rain clouds dissipated. As for the show itself, Depeche Mode knows how to work a crowd. They sound mostly the same in concert as on their albums. They even debuted some acoustic versions, which was a good variation to some of their more up-tempo songs. The whole crowd sang and danced (especially to "Policy Of Truth", "Enjoy The Silence", and "Personal Jesus"), and I was no exception; I sang and danced my little heart out. Depeche Mode said goodnight to the crowd after singing "Personal Jesus," but they came back for a 6 song encore. It was immense fun, and I recommend anyone to see their show.

Here are some shots of the Concert:











By the way, Happy Friday the 13th, everyone.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Life Update: End of Summer

Hello, Everyone! It's been almost a month since I've posted anything, and I haven't posted much this Summer, so I thought I owed it to catch everyone up. It's been one whirlwind of a Summer.

I gained a wonderful boyfriend in May, who is more than I could have imagined. Shortly after that, I found out over the break that two of my close relatives are very ill. My grandmother is terminally ill with inoperable cancer, which came as such a shock to my family. She is one of my favorite people on this Earth, and I've had a special bond with her my entire life. She's not expected to have very long. It pains me to know that I won't have her in my life, but she'll always be in my heart. After that, we found that my aunt also has cancer. She just had an operation, so my family's praying for her recovery. On top of all this, we're dealing with other family issues, but I'm happy to say that my brother came home from Thailand early.

Now that school has started, I'm glad to have something to keep me busy. I'm pretty pleased with my classes so far. One of which is an undergraduate peer tutoring course. There are currently four people enrolled. We will be do readings and research, have discussions, and there is a possibility we might be presenting at a related convention! What's more is that we could be funded as writing tutors next semester! It seems so unreal that an opportunity like this would come as a Sophomore in college. I'm also taking courses in intermediate Spanish, World History Pre-1500, and Literary Studies.

In addition, October is coming up, so you know what that means. I'm planning my next costume, and there are no promises so far (I'm working Halloween), but I'm thinking Marie Antoinette... post decapitation perhaps? October is going to be hectic as always, but my excitement's growing.

This Summer has been so concentrated with events, and I'm sure there will be plenty more to come for the rest of the year. With that, I may not post as often as I did, but I still plan to continue this blog.

My grandmother, brother, and I and Grandma's 79th birthday

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

What I've Gleaned from My Summer Reading

My Summer break is nearly over. With school starting back at the end of the month, I'm trying to finish the last couple of books of my summer reading list. On my list, I've read On The Road, The Bell Jar, The Moviegoer, The Old Man, The Turn of The Screw, and One Hundred Years of Solitude (almost finished). My last two books are The Seven Storey Mountain and Tropic of Cancer.

For me, fiction is not really an escape. It's a way for me to dive into different places and experience what is not possible for me at the time. There are lessons to be learned and insight to be gained, and it awaits inside the pages of books. 


Here are the lessons I've gleaned from my Summer reading books:

  1. On The Road by Jack Kerouac taught me that filling one's life with all the experiences youth has to offer does not make one's life full. 
  2. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath made it clear that negativity doesn't solve any problems, and that it's okay to want something different for yourself than what society expects.
  3. The Moviegoer by Walker Percy showed me that we are all on a search for something, and while pastimes are nice to have, they shouldn't become escapes from more important things like relationships and spiritual growth.
  4. The Old Man by William Faulkner teaches that nature is unpredictable, and the forces of nature do not discriminate.
  5. The Turn of The Screw by Henry James shows us that ghosts aren't always "scary" in a stereotypical way, but they remain as they were in life, which is an eerie quality in itself. The story also exhibits the ambiguous nature of "evil."
  6. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez demonstrates that one generation is not much different from the preceding one, and that humanity doesn't change much. 

Fiction is like a lit candle in the dark, so take hold and keep moving forward. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

New Hair: 20's Inspired

For my readers who have followed this blog for any considerable amount of time, you probably aren't surprised that I've changed my hair yet again! I got rid of my orange patch, and I exchanged it for a color close to my natural hue. It's been a while since I've had them, but I decided to go with bangs again. 

This cut reminds me of Daisy Buchanan's in the recent Gatsby. 
Daisy Buchanan
I'm a fan of the Roaring Twenties. It was an age of decadence, but also an age of self-discovery. Besides, some very good authors and artists came out of that era. Speaking of 20's artists and writers, If you have not seen Midnight in Paris, then you certainly should.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Keeping a Spiritual Journal

On the first of January, 2013, I started writing a spiritual Journal. It's been a little over six months since I've started it. My original motivation for beginning one happened after a little encouragement from a friend who considers herself sensitive to the paranormal. I had some experiences in the past that I could not explain, and she gave me good advice to write it all down in an attempt to figure things out. Since then, I've not only written about possible paranormal experiences, but I've also journaled through opinions, dreams, oddly coincidental experiences, troubles, and blessings.

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I've never been one that has been good at keeping journals. This time, I'm glad I've stuck with it. Although only I write an entry about once a week, I can definitely tell the progress I've made in a mere six months. Since starting my journal, I've become more positive in the face of adversity. My demeanor has also become more calm, and I seem to be more understanding with others. That's because I count my blessings, and journaling allows me to have insight on life, thus allowing me to see everything as a learning experience. In just six months, I already feel that my world has broadened. There are still some loose ends that have yet to be tied, but I plan on keeping this journal for much longer. I wonder how much progress I will have made by the next first of January.

I believe everyone can benefit from keeping this type of journal. If you'd like to get started on one of your own, check out [this post] where I outline how you can do it.

Fortune Presents Gifts not According to the Book:


Monday, July 8, 2013

Goodwill's Bad Reputation

In recent news, I was appalled to find that my favorite source to buy clothing has developed a bad reputation for paying disabled workers under minimum wage. According to NBC News, Some disabled workers in Pennsylvania were payed as low as 22 cents per hour in 2011. Thanks to a legal loophole, this is not technically a violation of any labor standard.

Source
Goodwill Industries is a company that prides itself on providing opportunities to
"enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals and families by strengthening communities, eliminating barriers to opportunity, and helping people in need reach their full potential through learning and the power of work."

One of the main reasons why I had always shopped at Goodwill, besides the variety of clothing at bargain prices, is that I believed each purchase would help serve my community. Goodwill claims to treat workers with respect and dignity while achieving high ethical standards. In reality, I found Goodwill is systematically discriminating against workers by denying them the opportunity to have equal pay, treating them as second class citizens. Meanwhile, the company can afford to pay executives six figure salaries.

Goodwill's executives argue that their disabled workers have a different definition of "success", but they seem to ignore the fact that these workers still have families and bills they need to afford. The company may not see it this way, but by paying certain workers less, Goodwill is saying that these people are less valuable.


With a heavy heart, I find myself choosing not to shop at Goodwill while this treatment continues. There are many other thrift stores without a reputation like Goodwill's. Alternatively, I might find myself shopping more at local thrift stores, Value Village, or America's Thrift Store.

If you still shop at Goodwill, please take this recent exposure into consideration. Many people, including myself, have friends or family with disabilities. It saddens me to see such deplorable treatment.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

I've been Tagged!

Thank you, Alice, at [Alice Lost & The Monster Brigade] for tagging me! I'm glad to have another excuse to post!

Rules
  • Thank the person who tagged you for this challenge and post a link to their blog. 
  • Tag 5 blogs with less than 200 followers. 
  • Wish them to tag more bloggers to help keep this thing going! 
5 Things You Need Everyday
  1. Although I don't get one everyday, I usually need a nap everyday.
  2. I need some creative or reflective alone time in which I can read, write, and think. 
  3. I need some time to listen to music. Usually this is in the car.
  4. Breakfast! I don't do well skipping that (unless I wake up at lunch time).
  5. A little time on the internet.
5 Books You Would Recommend 
  1. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. It's a novel that deals with themes of fate, growth, and personal struggles. The characters are so real, and you won't want to stop reading once you start.
  2. The Monk by Matthew Lewis. This is an early Gothic novel that confronts religious hypocrisy and the pitfalls of pride, set during the Spanish Inquisition. It incorporates folklore as well.
  3. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. It's sort of an unconventional bildungsroman. It's exciting and tragic at the same time, and it is a shocking piece of literature to some.
  4. Dracula by Bram Stoker. It's a classic good versus evil epistolary narrative filled with folklore and vibrant characters. 
  5. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides is an excellent contemporary novel surrounding the suicides of one family's daughters.
5 Materialistic Wishes For Christmas Presents
  1. Some more scented candles and incense.
  2. Maybe a CD or two. Astronomica from The Changelings is on my list.
  3. A Beatrix Potter story collection that I used to read as a child.
  4. A New mattress. 
  5. Perhaps a funky pair of Thai or Palazzo pants.
5 Places You Wish To Visit
  1. Peru. I've thought about doing Peace Corps here. I would love to hike the Andes, visit Machu Pichu, swim in Lake Titicaca, and experience the rich culture.
  2. London. I've been wanting to go here for a very long time. I've had a few opportunities, but they've never worked out. 
  3. Edinburgh. I would love to visit Greyfriars Cemetery and the Edinburgh vaults.
  4. Iceland. The landscape is incredibly majestic with volcanoes, glaciers, and aurora borealis.
  5. Romania. Ever since reading Dracula, this country is on my list of places. 
5 Adjectives That Describe You
  1. Ambitious
  2. Quirky
  3. Insightful
  4. Compassionate
  5. Genuine
5 Things You'd Say to People About Life
  1. Life is going to have hardship and struggles, but there is always something good to emerge from something bad.
  2. Don't place too much value on material objects. Experiences, friendships, and loved ones sweeten life and make it something worth living. 
  3. You can have an affect on every person with whom you come into contact, so make it positive. Who knows, the stranger next to you might need a smile or a simple "Hello."
  4. Live so that when people remember you after you die, they will think of you fondly. 
  5. Don't let anyone tell you who you are or what you are supposed to do. It may take some time to figure out, but you are the only one who can know these answers. Trust your intuition.
People Tagged

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Goblins and Hobgoblins

Toby and Goblins from Labyrinth
While thumbing through a copy of Fate Magazine, an article about goblins caught my eye. Goblins are legendary creatures that come in many shapes and sizes. Generally, Goblins are said to be small and ugly, noisy, and have a bit of a mean streak. They are known for their compulsive cleaning, mischievousness, greediness, and occasional baby-stealing (Labyrinth)

The Gringott's Goblin
Christina Rosetti wrote a poem called, "Goblin Market" Here's an excerpt:

Laugh’d every goblin
When they spied her peeping:
Came towards her hobbling,
Flying, running, leaping,
Puffing and blowing,
Chuckling, clapping, crowing,
Clucking and gobbling,
Mopping and mowing,
Full of airs and graces,
Pulling wry faces,
Demure grimaces,
Cat-like and rat-like,
Ratel- and wombat-like,
Snail-paced in a hurry,
Parrot-voiced and whistler,
Helter skelter, hurry skurry,
Chattering like magpies,
Fluttering like pigeons,
Gliding like fishes,—

[Here] is a link to her full poem.

Hobgoblins are very similar to goblins, except they hop around on one leg (from some sources), and they have a nicer demeanor. Hobgoblins are fond of pulling pranks and performing small household chores. Puck from A Midsummer Night's Dream is a famous example of a hobgoblin.

Spiderwick Chronicles
Now that you are probably more familiar with these creatures after reading this, try leaving out a bowl of milk and some food-- maybe even small clothes. You might just attract a goblin or hobgoblin, but more than likely, this will merely get the attention of the local cats and raccoons.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Decatur Cemetery


Established in 1823, Decatur Cemetery is older than the city of Atlanta itself.  Through the iron gates sprawled pathways lined by stone walls and oak trees. There were monuments of varying sizes and shapes, some worn and peppered with lichen. 

 Within the cemetery, there are a few mysterious letterbox locations. Letterboxing is a past time similar to geocaching. Participants use riddles to find hidden boxes. Inside the box is a pad of paper that is stamped and dated by the finders. My boyfriend and I trekked through the cemetery to find the hidden boxes. We managed to find one of the three, which was soaked with water. Although we didn't find all, our cemetery exploration proved successful.

soaked letterbox, hiding under the tree trunk.

Thomas Holley Chivers
Upon research, I found that Decatur Cemetery is home to a man named Thomas Holley Chivers. Chivers was a Medical Doctor who became a poet, achieving mild fame at the time. He is famous for his friendship and correspondence with Edgar Allan Poe. Poe even called Chivers "one of the best and one of the worst poets in America." Poetry of Chivers often had dark themes with religious overtones. He felt that poetry was a divine gift. If you'd care to read some of Chiver's works, check out his [poemhunter page].