Short Update

For those that follow my writing passionately, this is intended as a sort of apology. My computer has been acting up lately and it cannot handle the internet long enough to send out an actual blog. Adding to this is the craziness of the season, and I haven’t had much time to write lately. What time I’ve had at home has been spent in the presence of my siblings or catching up on other things (including learning the cello for next semester’s orchestra class!). If I don’t blog before then: Merry Christmas to all!

~Snots

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Eleven Cylinders of Excitement

When told to put a fun night into a small cylinder, many high school and college students (according to my health class) might immediately think of their personal vices, from one plant to the next chemical or powder, containing toxins that can make the body feel “good.” When I think of a can of excitement, I immediately turn to my faithful pens and pencils. I’ve sold my soul to the arts and it will remain that way until the day I die.

Tonight, I went on a search for a special pen. My efforts were rewarded with eleven mind-blowing writing utensils. Among the fruits of my rummaging were pencils from my father’s workplace and another from the chemistry teacher I spent the semester with, followed by two other pencils. The remaining seven were pens, including two bearing the mark of St. Louis Bread Co (Panera) from when my grandmother worked in their offices. Now I work in on of their cafés and can’t quite deny the excitement in the new found evidence of our connection.

What sends my mind for the largest, most thrilling loops are the simple intricacies contained in each separate writing stick. Of all the pens I discovered, only two were the same model, but one was missing an ink cartridge, allowing the claim that each is unique to stand.

Beyond the trip through time brought on through the Bread Co pens, the mechanisms of the pencils are far more intriguing to my mind. Unlike the mechanical pencils I’v used in the past, the ones featured have erasers that are aesthetically stowed away, rather than being bared to the world, or completely missing in action. What’s more: two of the erasers have nifty  metal sheaths that allow the pencil to grip the erasers more tightly, while allowing the amount exposed to be regulated.

The tips have been spruced up quite a bit as well, with a single direction, free-sliding feed on the pencil from my teacher, and a highly sophisticated feed on a plain silver model I discovered in my grandparents’ old stash. Lead is stored in the body of the pencil, just like in any other, but when it comes time to replace the lead, this one requires that the back-up sticks be taken out and re-inserted from the tip. There is a metal mechanism much like that around the eraser that grips the lead so it can be twisted into and out of the barrel smoothly, with no jumps or integers. Furthermore, a small metal probe is stowed behind the lead, and as the pencil uses the last of the graphite, the probe ejects the small stub from the metallic sheath so that another stick may be inserted.

For those that made it through my geek-out session, congrats: now you’ve seen a bit more into my mind. Art and science are certainly two of the quickest ways to my heart (forget food, it’s far to overrated), and when the two come together in a way that can inspire further experimentation and documentation, I can’t help but stop and gawk.

Make sure to take the time this week to take a trip to the land of the geeks and analyze something you enjoy!

~Snots

Your Story Makes You Stronger

A little follow up on Harry and his impact. Please Read This!

My Unspoken Thoughts

To whomever is reading this right now, I’m ready to tell you my story, except my story is unfinished just like many others. Some can say my story just began. I’m telling my story so others who are afraid to speak up can know they are never alone. Right now I think it’s the best time for me to make this post. Yesterday my friend Harry passed away. He was taken too early. Before I start my story, I want to tell you a little about him. To be honest I can’t remember the last time him and I talked but high school was very rough for me, I hated everyday of it. Even though I haven’t talked to him in a while, I’m still a mess after hearing the news because he made a great impact on it. I started this post this morning and I’m just now getting…

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Dear Harry

To Harry and everyone he has touched: you are certainly in my thoughts and prayers. I hope everyone else will join me in offering whatever support they can.

Re-Posted from:

Renee Owens

I don’t even know where to begin.

Some of you know this, but for those who don’t, I’ll recap quickly. (this relates to the Tony situation)

My brother is a musician and was in a band growing up. Long story short, the guys in the band became family. Tony, the drummer, committed suicide this past summer. It was very hard considering he was like a brother and he was family to mine. I have a blog post on that situation called “Dear Tony” from a while back.

Tonight, I received another call from Deejay. Deejay is another one of these guys who is family also. He’s protective and so loving towards me and he holds a special place in my heart.

I was sitting at the table talking to my family and friend when Mike got a call. It was Jeff who was actually the “manager” of their old band. Mike stepped out into the garage and talked to him. Not thinking about it, the rest of us continued with our conversations. Moments later, I got a call from Deejay.

I answered and he asked, “Where’s Mike?”

“Downstairs, I think.” -I thought he went down there, not outside at the moment.

With shatterness and breaks in his voice, he said, “Harry killed himself.”

My heart absolutely dropped tonight. I was in such shock, for a second, I thought he was joking. How Deejay told me and how the call went was literally deja vu. It was a mimic of the call I had received this past summer and I did not like it.

I cannot believe that another one, from the same group of boys, took their own life. I don’t know for sure, but I think Harry was only 21, maybe 22. Tony was 23. Like the whole group, Harry was my brother. He was my protector. He was one of the nicest and most caring people that I no longer have. He was something special. Everytime we met, he gave me the biggest bear hug like I was his favorite cousin at a holiday get-together. The last time I saw him was this past August, the 15th. My brother, Mike had a welcome home party and Harry came all the way from Florida just for it. Harry was in the Airforce and was deployed in Florida. When he left the party, he gave me hug, but five minutes later, he came up to me and said, “give me another hug. I don’t know when the next time I see you will be.” The fact that that was the last time absolutely blows my mind.

It still hasn’t processed we’re going through the same thing all over again with the same people and same group of incredible guys.

I’m so heartbroken, but Harry is now free from the stress and depressive thoughts he battled with.

Forever and always, I’ll love you Harry, my brother.

The Weather Outside Is Frightful

I’ve finally done it: I’m blogging about everybody’s favorite small-talk topic.

What we’re seeing, however, really is a surprise. For those not familiar with the situation: we have 70 degree weather in the middle of December in St. Louis! I can’t say we’re accustomed to tremendous snowfalls, but we’ve had our share of winter storms, and it is completely normal for one or two decent coverings after the middle of November. 70 degrees, on the other hand, is warmer than most of my cross country teammates like to run in! Everywhere I go, I see little girls playing in the street in their short shorts and tank tops as if it were the middle of summer! I’m surprised no one has broken out the water guns judging by the way they’re all acting.

I will say that this year’s seasons have seemed to have been shifted back: both summer and fall came pretty late. Maybe winter will stay late too? There might be snow days lasting through April and into May. I wonder what would happen if the Graduation Ceremony was snowed out…

All-in-all, though I’m not reading into the weather to make some big, deep analysis on mankind or a boiling-mad Sun, I’m thinking this “winter” will stick around in my memory. Hopefully there are other reasons for it to be great!

~Snots

Write, Type, Draw, Inspire

The pads of my feet dance across the magical floor spread before me. Tiles dip and pop as they respond to the gentle pressure where the intangible becomes more real than the earth that calls itself a home and more immortal than the fire, wind, and seas that give the world its life. Yet, just moments before, my very essence flew on its own, inhabiting the multi-purposed appendage of my host, marking my ideals on the very palms that now sweat as I fly across my stage, leaping and striking with a grace unrivaled by the smoothest models and a determination unmatched by even the most starved of beasts. I ruthlessly emulate those that have gone before me as the fruits of my labor are preserved in the memories of minds and files that never decay.

The eloquence of my performance has taken years to master, yet perfection still hides its timid face behind many more horizons than I have time to count. One-two-three. One-two-three. One-two-three-four-five. The rhythm of the day marches behind my thoughts as the years flood back over my ever-growing focus.

From the day I first met the vessel I inhabit, I began leaving evidence of my work on everything I touched. The halls I roamed, homes I invaded, and playthings I abused in boundless amusement all tell tales of the great capers I engraved in their histories. As I grew with my host-body, I met a new way to interact with those like me. I found books and endless collections of papers that had been so carefully crafted by my predecessors. I wore my mark into their pages, absorbing splatter after splatter of ink long before my own black splotches joined those of past minds. They wrote for me, and I wrote my thanks in the only way I could: sacrificial oils and toils left in place of borrowed knowledge.

Eventually, the ignorance I had fled without success left my maturing mentality for younger, weaker targets. The strokes I had admired on every occasion finally followed me as I laid the binding down and reached for my own portal to expression. The white slab before me bent in the wind and tore at any agitation, but in it, I saw in it greater potential than I had been shown in any of its relatives held slave to covers and symmetrical stamping. With the help of my newfound friends, the stark plain began to take shape into a beautiful masterpiece that resembled a red tornado with the points and curves of my first letters jutting at odd angles just below it. My inaugural message made its way out at last and the brain I had called out to for years finally threw its doors open as the mouth it had bonded with spewed any secrets hidden behind the partially comprehensible work.

After my introduction to the world around me, many new hands began writing their own stories across mine as they guided me to take my own actions and develop patterns that every brain had learned to recognize. My skin became familiar with the touch of many new utensils as I was ambushed around every corner with a new pencil, pen, marker, crayon, brush, or knife that could spell anything I thought of. I tried writing from different points of view: recreating my patterns upside-down, using my host’s other hand, and learning his name so I could mark countless surfaces with Stephen, Michael, Naylor, or anything else off a list of numerous other labels for the creations I represented. The round edges I had been introduced to changed as well as my impatience beat the precision Stephen’s body was capable of and a new language of letters was introduced to my continually expanding vocabulary. The smooth, flowing cursive fit the page perfectly, but the looping garnishes that distinguished the style marred my efforts to stream from the hand to the page quickly, and I hastily ran from the script as soon as I could.

It was shortly before I escaped the festive trappings of the flowing print that I first wandered out on the dance floor and began to tango with mechanical print. The keyboards that I learned to play reacted to my every command and required no twirling of too-long sticks with too-short erasers when my body jumbled my messages. They knew exactly what I wanted to say, even when I didn’t have the words myself, and they remembered every thought that crossed my mind, no matter how long had passed since I dwelled on an idea. The computers that my newfound accomplice always dragged along found their use too, as they augmented the abilities of my stage and recorded my performance for large audiences to see.

Because I began to gain popularity as I moved past symbols on a page, and into messages dreamt up by imaginations that I helped spark, I began looking for even more outlets. I stumbled across an ancestral tradition from Stephen’s familial roots, and began once again to seek more knowledge. The French language met me where I was at, and we quickly became great friends, though I do still struggle at times to keep up with the pampered tongue’s demands.

I cannot deny my own demands, however, as I tax the memory I have obtained, searching for inspiration and meaning. For every change in the way I presented myself, there were many more changes in the way I was composed. I recorded my history and emotion for all to see if they looked hard enough, leaving a small piece of myself everywhere I went. I wrote phrases and essays to prove a point–to gain merit and make my voice stronger. And I crafted painting, sculpture, poem, and story, all to convey just what I’ve learned, from love to hate, from joy to sorrow, and from excitement to frustration.

Through it all, my ideal state serves me well, allowing me to observe, analyze, create, and portray as I live out the search for wisdom. I look forward each day to approaching the new and familiar faces, brains, works, and lives, putting myself out on the line to create something physical. But most of all, I anticipate the life my work takes on as it embeds itself in the deepest part of a being, undetected until it spurs inspiration out of once barren fields.

A Day Late and a Dollar Short (supposedly)

Today’s blog features a rare topic: my job. Anyone that actually worked last night could share just how bad a night it was. To be honest, I was done before I even went in. My day was already wearing on me by the time classes let out. I need to apologize to Patricia at this point for the tension-filled ride from school to work. When we arrived, we found out that Erin was the only other employee there for the night. Paul would be the closing manager and I was supposed to train Patricia on line. We had no one to maintain, let alone close, dining room, and no one to clean dishes. Our injured ringer was convinced to come in for dinner rush, and we ended up calling our prepper in so that she could clean dishes. I didn’t get any dinner until around 8:30 when I was finally let on break, and my body was feeling it after a very light lunch. When I got back from break, I was sent to the back of house so I could finish dishes and clean-up. Patricia was left on line alone, despite only being trained in half the modules needed. She did amazingly well, all things considered, but I held three positions as we closed, cleaning dishes, supervising Patricia, and supporting McKenzie, who was sent out to close dining room, despite her injury. Zack was finally convinced to make an appearance after his other job at Walmart wrapped up, and he was sent to help in the dining room when he showed up (after the café was closed). To corporate: I apologize for our times, it was a single trainer-trainee pair on line during dinner, not the usual 2-3 trained employees that it takes to stay caught up, and to Paul, thank you for not exploding on us because of the shortage in work.

In stark juxtaposition, the morning after a trying night began wonderfully, despite the short sleep. I rose at 5:30 to attend Mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. It went beautifully, and now back at home, I’ve had time to write a bit before heading in to school.

Let’s all make today a wonderful day!

~Snots