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Showing posts from 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. Someti

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 source 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. source 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. Ho

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 u

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 sto

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

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 w

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 spe

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

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 am

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). Source 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 affor

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 a

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 eve

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 ha

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: 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.  The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath made it clear that negativity doesn't solve any problems, and that it's okay to want so

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.

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. source 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 m

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 i

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 Although I don't get one everyday, I usually need a nap everyday. I need some creative or reflective alone time in which I can read, write, and think.  I need some time to listen to music. Usually this is in the car. Breakfast! I don't do well skipping that (unless I wake up at lunch time). A little time on the internet. 5 Books You Would Recommend  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. The Monk by Matthew Lewis. This is an early Gothic novel that con

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, Glidin

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 an