Snow Days

Monday, February 23, 2015

As the rest of the northeast was wrapped up by Snowmaggedon, I won't lie that I was sitting here in Dallas a little bit jealous of the winter wonderland that everyone has been posting to Instagram and their respective blogs (yes, even the shoveling part).  Turns out, the snow gods have been listening to my silly prayers because we were glazed over by a layer of ice last night and today is officially a snow day!  Not only do I get to stay snuggled up and cozy today but I'll be traveling to the mountains and more snow later this week.  Winter was a little late in getting to me but now that it's here, it's peaceful, calm, and beautiful.  I hope everyone is staying warm and safe - I'll check in again soon!

All you need is love

Thursday, February 12, 2015


We ended up getting a ton of submissions for the Valentine's Day haiku contest (thank you!) and I hope you all had fun flexing your creative muscles.  As all of the entries were so brilliantly penned, Amy and I found it impossible to make the final decision on the winner of the contest.  So, we're asking for your help.  Please pick your favourite haiku out of the four listed before midnight on Valentine's Day to be the GRAND PRIZE WINNER.


Oh Valentine's Day
What am I going to do?
Netflix or Hulu?


Later he called back
Trepidation audible
Why even bother?


Just suck it, you sheep
yes, I’m 30 and single
she wolf, howling free


Celebrating love...
So here is a teddy bear
Purchased from Rite-Aid.

Museum night

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

British Museum
The blazing braziers flank the museum’s wide open doors and light up the nighttime gala at the British Museum.  Walking up those steps and between the massive entrance columns, our girl is dwarfed by the literal weight of centuries, the legacy that overshadows the tiny individual climbing the stairs.  Inside, the hall is cool and dark and dramatically lit with purple and orange spotlights highlighting the Great Court, rising up majestic and all white stone in the center.  Waiters whisk past with tall champagne flutes, colourful herby cocktails, and hors d'oeuvres - a choreographed dance of food and drink.  Her heels click as she winds her way through the mass of people, tiptoeing carefully around the crowd to find a familiar face.  They’re French, so bisous all around and our girl is slightly uncomfortable and out of her element, awkwardly offering her hand first like a cash register drawer shooting out of its slot with a brrrriinnggg.

Her mobile buzzes again, just once, but her heart is already smiling before she even pops open the message.  Then everything stops in its tracks.  Suddenly the room is too hot, the people are mists, and the magical environment of the evening lifts her up like the champagne bubbles she’s sipping.  She finds a bench on the periphery of the crowd to sit down on and reread.  And then she can’t stop smiling and laughing.  Or covering her mouth with her hand, a face that turns wry and then almost looks like it will burst into tears.  The crowds are forgotten, the food is forgotten, and even the French men are forgotten.  The only thing that exists is the girl on the bench with her phone and someone, a very someone someone, tethered to the other end.

How people could continue to mill about as though nothing has happened puzzles her.  Don’t they see her now, walking on air at least five inches off the ground?  She doesn’t feel the chill from doors of the grand hall, left open.  She’s forgotten her objective for the night - meeting someone in the hall somewhere to talk about something.  It’s all so vague.  The only thing she feels is the tug from her hand to her mobile to the someone, someone far away.

Last day of the haiku contest!  Please don't forget to enter your submissions

PS - It's cold in London and I miss you

Sunday, February 8, 2015

"Ca-chunk" is the sound of the passport stamp at the border crossing in London Heathrow.  I'm here again, I'm back.  It's in the 40s (Fahrenheit) in London and I flew away from our one balmy spring week in Texas for this.  My life lately, last year in particular, was predicated so much upon movement - heading to a destination, planning to reach a destination, getting to the destination, and leaving the destination.  And now that I sit in an asexual yet overly floral hotel room that could be located anywhere in the world, I realize that with all this movement, what I've been trying to get closer to was the feeling of warmth and also the prickles of excitement that I have when I'm close to My People.  My People who entertain, who argue, who excite, and who generally push me into being more and in directions I never could fathom.  It's cold and quiet and the only thing I can think of is finding my way back to the raging bonfire that has been lit and stoked by my people.

I miss you, artistic storyteller in Paris and am disappointed that I wasn't able to make the trip over there this time.

I miss you, kindred spirit in North Carolina and wonder when it is I'll see you again and recover part of myself that I never knew was missing until you moved away.

I miss you, adventurous sprite in the Pacific Northwest who always brings out the beastmode in me, never stopping or letting me quit.

I miss you, friends and stand-in family I've left in Houston and neglected to visit since I was there almost two (!!) years ago.  What was I afraid that I would rediscover on returning?

For one who prides herself on efficiency and working smart, here I've been the entire time trying to  manufacture the same environment and atmosphere by myself from the safety of my own apartment.  Safety being the optimal word.  The bonfire of people is out there.  The people, My People, are dancing, singing, telling stories, and creating and destroying all at the same time.  And they are waiting for me.

Don't forget to enter the haiku contest!  We've got a slew of great entries already and are waiting on yours!

With a bang

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Love Shack
I woke up this morning to a controlled demolition of a nearby dilapidated office building, clearing space for what is most likely going to be another high rise apartment complex.  The explosion was a rolling thunderous roar that I could feel in the pit of my stomach and it crescendo-ed dramatically, leaving the hum of helicopters in its wake when it finally stopped.  It seems as though, for once, the universe and my "real life" are working in tandem as February is off to a bang.

As I alluded to last week, my dearest friend Amy and I are holding a *drum roll* Valentine's Day Haiku Contest.  I know many of you are closet poets and have shared your haikus with me time and time again and on this occasion, I'd like your very best Valentine's Day haiku.  Although they don't have to be in the vein of the "man-haikus" that I've been posting on my blog, we would prefer that they be "love" themed in recognition of the aforementioned holiday.  Please submit your entry here by February 11th.  We will select a few finalists and the WINNER who will receive a mystery prize that we'll announce at a later date.  The contest is open to anyone and there are an unlimited number of submissions.

So get your poet hats (berets? what kind of hats do poets wear?) on and may the best haiku win!

Something about a poet and not knowing it

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Taco Valentine
And we continue our man-haikus that I started over a year ago here.  Stay tuned next week for an announcement regarding a haiku contest (get excited)!


"Nice guys finish last"
And nice girls listen to you
Bitch without leaving


I love Neil Gaiman
He gushed, then took my comics
Worst Fake Date Ever


After date fifty
He protested, "She isn't..."
She's your girlfriend, love

The Mystic

Monday, January 26, 2015

My parents are going to consult a mystic about my aunt’s stomach cancer.  Aunt Lila* is in post-op recovery after having a section of her stomach removed.  The next stage of her treatment is to undergo a rigorous chemo session.  Even knowing this, that she has a fighting chance post-chemo, Aunt Lila continues to weigh the pros and cons of it, to the consternation of her daughter and the rest of the family.  This hesitation gives us all pause.

My parents are going to visit Aunt Lila in March.  I think they’d like to bring her hope.  I can understand the need to have good news to bring to her, if any news at all.  Every ounce of hope they can filter into the space where a third of her stomach used to be, whether she swallows it or not.  And although they don’t say it, I think they’d like to sneak some for themselves.

They say thousands of people journey from afar to see the Mystic and that hundreds gather around his temple on the weekends, praying and chanting in his general vicinity.  They say that these hundreds - comprised of people of all races, creeds, kinds - are drawn to him, flies to honey and that he offers answers and predictions around the future.  But what they are really saying is that he gives them some semblance of hope and tranquility when everything seems to be falling to pieces.

The skeptic in me is mildly alarmed at the five hour drive they’ll have to make to see the mystic.  The skeptic in me is also doubtful that it will do any good and refuses to ask more about it, uninterested in the details, as though to discourage their seemingly misplaced need for appeasement from someone who they don’t know, who doesn’t know my aunt, who has no medical training or background.  I have to bite my tongue to keep from goading them.  Oh yeah, well why don’t you consult her horoscope as well?!  They most likely think I’m angry, which they would be right about.  But angry at the cancer and not at the Mystic and also not at my parents.  So I keep quiet.

I realize, as real or unreal as it all is and will be, it’s the motions that we all go through, to know that we have done everything in our power to ensure the well-being of those that we love.  It is not my place to decide whether or not making this pilgrimage is a waste of time and or a productive use of energy and effort (and a weekend).  Perhaps it’s not so much that my parents will be told good news or bad but that whatever they’re told won’t come true.  And that they’ll lose faith in their decision-making ability and the tenacity that has gotten them so far as immigrants from a foreign country who arrived stumbling through a non-native language and unfamiliar culture and landscape.  I am afraid that they’ll lose hope.

But they won’t.  It could be that they’ve never bought into any of this to begin with and honestly, I can’t tell.  There will be other things in life that will disappoint them and there are things that will leave them pleasantly pleased and surprised.  As they grow older, I feel the need to protect them and shield them from life’s disappointments, when not long ago it used to be the other way around.

And regardless of what divination they actually receive, they’ll tell my aunt it was good.  And I hope she’ll hope.

*None of these are real names

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