“This planet has – or rather had – a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time.”

Why do humans have to have enemies, it’s been a constant throughout our existence?  Are we so unhappy that we have to blame others for our unhappiness?  Is that what is going on?

Let’s work our way backwards:

2016 – African Americans against the Police force

2001 – America against Terrorism that translated to hatred of Muslims

1991 – America against Iraq

1960s – 1991 – Cold War, America’s enemy was Russia

1950s – 1960s – Vietnam War, enemies at home and abroad

1950 – 1953 – Korean War

1939 – 1945 – World War II

1914 – 1918 – World War I

1898 – Spanish American War

1800s – Battles with Native Americans

1861 – 1865 – Civil War

Our American History is a history of hate, it seems that we can’t go through a few years of peace before we have to declare a new enemy.  Do we get bored?  Are we afraid of someone taking something we have?  Are human’s all toddlers with their favorite toy that no-one else can play with?

I wish the world was more like my bike path, when you slow down in life and actually take a moment to breath it’s amazing how nice people actually are to one another There’s not a person I pass that doesn’t say good morning.

I think one of the problems with this world is that we’re so busy living our own lives (or flying by people at 60 mph) that we don’t take time to make simple human connections.

 

 

 

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“Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.”

I chose this quote, because movies are an illusion of time and light.  This was written for my fine arts appreciation class, over the movie Citizen Kane


Directing

Orson Welles a Broadway and radio director and writer who had recently written and starred in the radio “news broadcast” “War of the Worlds” to great critical success was given a 3 movie deal with RKO.  Citizen Kane was the first of these three films.  He made his directorial debut with what is arguably the best motion picture ever made.  In addition to this being one of his first films, the majority of his actors were also novices in film, but most certainly not novices to acting.  Most of the actors are classically trained actors that he brought over from his Mercury Theater group.  Since most of the scenes required “deep focus” these classically trained actors skills leant to the effect, being able to “place themselves firmly in each scene”.  Welles didn’t rely strictly on novices for his film debut though, his cinematographer Gregg Toland, an experienced cinematographer actually sought Welles out, wanting to work with someone who had never worked in film before.  His innovative techniques brought much to the film.  Toland invented lenses for the effects of “deep focus” which would allow the entire frame to be in focus, not just the objects in the forefront.  This “deep focus” technique allowed for stunning camera work to be performed, allowing the audience to focus on multiple items in the frame at any particular given time.  Welles also brought in an experienced make-up artist Maurice Seiderman, who invented new techniques for aging the stars for a fifty-year period in the movie.  Seiderman created new “spirit gum” to affix the prosthetics to Welles’ face, because Welles was allergic to the type usually used.  Seiderman also used full body suites for the aging process, of his own design.  The collection of innovators on this film combined to create cinematic magic.  From Orson Welles unorthodox approach to film, and his inventive cast and crew, the film has stood the test of time as one of the best films in history.

Screenwriting

Orson Welles employed the services of a well-known and well-respected screenwriter of the times, Herman J. Mankiewicz to help co-write the script for Citizen Kane.  There is quite a lot of controversy into exactly how much Welles’ actually contributed to the script for his most popular work though.  Welles had been taking writing credit for much of his previous works with the Mercury Theater group, even though he had not been the sole contributor on most of these works.  Howard Koch wrote War of the Worlds, the radio broadcast that spring boarded Welles Hollywood career, however Welles had taken sole credit for the writing.  This is the case with many of his Broadway productions as well; he had begun to believe the hype and wanted to take full writing credit from Mankiewicz and Mercury writer John Houseman who had in collaboration with Mankiewicz writing the first draft of the script that would become Citizen Kane.  Houseman, who had worked with Welles previously on Broadway and in Radio, succumbed to Welles, however Mankiewicz with threats of legal action, would not be bullied.  The character of Charles Foster Kane is loosely based on the newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst, and arguably the movie would not have had the believability of this character had Mankiewicz’s personal knowledge of Hearst had not been employed.  Mankiewicz had a relationship with Hearst, which included personal knowledge of him and his life, having spent a lot of time on Hearst’s ranch in San Simeon California.  This knowledge and the character development would have been unachievable without Mankiewicz’s first-hand knowledge of the subject.  The film did such a wonderful job portraying Hearst, that Hearst managed to have the film blacklisted for a long period of time, which he would not have done if the character of Kane had not resembled him in such an intimate way.  While Welles did bring his creativity to the script, this personal knowledge and experience would have been unattainable without Mankiewicz.

“I’d far rather be happy than right any day.”

I’m not sure if this is what my instructor was looking for when writing a film theory, but it made me happy to write it.


Deadpool is the latest gem in the lucrative Marvel stable of movies and characters, Marvel, and all of its incarnations over the last decade, owe their popularity and profitability to the tenacity of Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige.  Feige has taken risks with the Marvel franchise that have paid off tremendously.  The entire enterprise is built on the back of Iron Man, and one actor in particular, that no one really wanted at the time.  Robert Downey, Jr had been in and out of jails and drug rehabs for years and most other studios would have passed on taking a chance with such a problematic wildcard.  It is now, however impossible to imagine any other actor in the starring role of Tony Stark.  Instead of rushing into a compilation, he began introducing characters in their own movies that would eventually become The Avengers.  2008’s Iron Man was soon followed up with The Hulk, Thor, Captain America and ultimately the first of the Avenger movies in 2012.  The enormous success of these popular characters allowed the studio to take chances with more risky projects such as Guardians of the Galaxy, Antman, and Deadpool.  Why then has Marvel hit such a successful chord with the viewing public?  Screenwriters for the Captain America franchise have stated that the super hero movies are akin to the Westerns of yesteryear.  When questioned about the popularity of Marvel, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely responded:

“We’ve become a genre that you can do well now given the world of computers and perhaps it’s also just a time in the sun. You went to the movies in the 50s and 60s you went to a western. So at this point, you’re going to a superhero movie. It’s taking over that same black hat, white hat myth-making surface. I don’t have a much smarter answer than that” (Romano, 2015).

It is, however, Joseph Campbell, who penned the “Hero’s Journey”, a twelve step narrative process found throughout narrative history for masterful storytelling, which you can find throughout the Marvel universe and beyond.  George Lucas has even credited Joseph Campbell as being his “Yoda” (BANCKS, 2003).

Like so many movies before, Deadpool while consistently being an anti-hero story, still follows the same formulaic hero’s journey, which Joseph Campbell so easily recognized throughout history.  The story uses this to great advantage to create a sympathetic character that audiences can enjoy and cheer for, regardless of the main character’s crassness and vulgar nature.  The protagonist, in true Joseph Campbell fashion, begins his journey in “The Ordinary World” (step one).  He is a mercenary with double-edged characteristics of both virtue and vice.  The audience sees Wade Wilson doing a favor for someone by using his mercenary skills to deter a girl’s stalker.  So, even though the character tries to convince the viewer of his selfish nature the audience is shown a glimmer of integrity to give them a worthy candidate for their adoration.

The second step in Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey” is “The Call to Adventure”.  This is put into motion in Deadpool after Wade Wilson collapses and is diagnosed with cancer.  A recruiter approaches the character to a secret program that is billed as a “superhero program” that can cure Wade’s condition.  Wade initially refuses the treatment, which is Campbell’s step three: “Refusal of the Call”.  Sitting up with his fiancé still asleep in bed beside him, he decides to do what is best for her, and accept the super-hero path to salvation.

Deadpool is a non-linear movie, so Campbell’s fourth step is actually revealed much earlier in the film than in the actual timeline.  The audience is introduced to Colossus, who at first tries to force Deadpool into the role of hero, but Deadpool is single-mindedly intent on retribution.  It is not until Wade’s fiancé is kidnapped that Deadpool accepts help from his mentor and becomes the hero everyone knew he could be.

Through Wilson’s transformation from mortal to mutant, the viewer sees Campbell’s fifth step, “Crossing the Threshold” fulfilled.  Wade makes the decision to become a superhero for salvation, but it does not quite work out as planned.  During the transformation, the audience is introduced to the antagonist of the film Frances (aka Ajax) who reveals through the transformation that he is not becoming a super-hero at all, but rather a super slave.  Amid the metamorphosis, our hero becomes horribly disfigured, and Frances alludes to the fact that he could fix his disfigurement but will not.  Instead of submitting to becoming a slave, Wilson burns the building down but due to his restorative mutation, is able to survive the fire, and thus begins his journey of vengeance.

In the non-linear world of Deadpool, Campbell’s step six “Tests, Allies, and Enemies” is revealed very early on in the movie.  Before the audience even knows why Deadpool is trying to kill his adversary, he is thwarted in his efforts by the character who will eventually become his mentor.  This is also, where the viewer first learns the extent of Deadpool’s regenerative powers, which have made him immortal.

When Wade learns that his fiancé is in mortal danger, Campbell’s step seven the “Approach” unfolds.  Wade must face his fear of rejection from the only person on earth that he truly loves.  Unfortunately, he is more fearful of rejection and he fails to warn his beloved of the threat on her life before it is too late.  His cowardice allows his nemesis the time he needs to kidnap Vanessa putting her life at risk.

Through Wade’s transformation, Campbell’s eighth step, “the Ordeal”, is additionally presented.  The beginning of the movie is finally explained and the audience now understands why Deadpool is so intent upon revenge on Frances/Ajax.  Since the timeline of the movie is not in chronological order, neither are the steps of the “Hero’s Journey”. Wade escapes his prison by setting fire with a stolen match.  The two adversaries fight and Wade is impaled and literally trapped inside the building, Due to his mutative abilities he survives the fire and sets out.  Unfortunately, he realizes that he can never return to his fiancé because he has become a monster outside as well as inside, and he does not want to face Vanessa’s rejection.

Step Nine, “The Reward”, in this case proves to be a double-edged sword.  Wade is cured of cancer, in fact, he is cured of everything, but he has lost his true love.  Therefore, the reward is also, what pushes him towards payback and restitution.  Ironically, his desire for retaliation only sets in motion the events that will lead to his fiancé being kidnapped.

Step Ten “The road back”, occurs in Deadpool when his fiancé is kidnapped by Frances/Ajax, Deadpool, against all of his efforts to avoid it, must now become the hero that he is destined to be.  He finds himself forced to join forces with an annoying but powerful sidekick and the mentor he did not want.

Wade finally faces his fear of rejection, because ultimately his fear of losing the one most special to him is far greater.  This is where Campbell’s eleventh step “The Resurrection” takes place.  Wade knows that he must save Vanessa before Frances aka Ajax harms her.  In doing so, he finally faces his fear of rejection, and instead wins the heart of his true love who reveals that she still loves him regardless of what his current appearance is.  Wade learns through this ordeal that to be a hero he does not have to be heroic all the time, just “4 or 5 moments”.  Even though he kills his nemesis, the seed is planted for him to become a hero.

Finally, Step Twelve “Return with the Elixir”, comes to fruition when Wade gets the girl.  The movie is left open for additional movies and establishes his alliance with the X-Men, further continuing the Marvel franchise and the chance of another conglomerate movie.

The writers of Deadpool, like so many before them, have taken a proven formula and produced it for wide audience consumption.  While Deadpool may not be likeable to all moviegoers and is a movie that definitely has its opposition, he is still a hero that through Joseph Campbell’s Twelve Step Hero’s journey,   whom audiences can support and cheer.  The Hero’s Journey has a proven record of accomplishment of success and Deadpool, like so many movies and stories before it has cashed in with its ultimate success at the box-office.

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

BANCKS, T. (2003). “Beyond The Hero’s Journey.”. Australian Screen Education 33, pp. 32-34. Retrieved April 19, 2016

Romano, N. (2015, April 1). Why Superhero Movies Are Popular Right Now, According To Superhero Screenwriters. Cinema Blend. Retrieved April 19, 2016

 

 

 

“Ford!” he said, “there’s an infinite number of monkeys outside who want to talk to us about this script for Hamlet they’ve worked out.”

The reason I picked this particular quote to represent my writing today, is because sometimes I feel like that monkey stuck in a room typing random characters that accidentally hammered out Hamlet.


In my film class we were asked to write a review, a critique and a theory regarding a new movie that was released during the same time frame as our class.  I have chosen to write about Deadpool because I didn’t see any other movies this semester.  This is my attempt at a Film Critique revolving around Deadpool.

Deadpool was released to theaters on February 12, 2016.  It is a comedy/action movie directed by Tim Miller and adapted for screen by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick from a comic book written by Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefeld.  The film stars Ryan Reynolds as the protagonist, Morena Baccarin as his love interest, and Ed Skrein rounding out the film as the main antagonist.  This movie is definitely categorized as a blockbuster with a 58 million dollar budget and, so far, the film has grossed 355 million in the US alone.  Deadpool is the newest installation of the Marvel Comic brand, which has had strong roots in the past decade, reviving a franchise made popular through comic books in the 1960s.  While Deadpool has its roots in Marvel comics, it is definitely not its bright shining diamond (or in this case, it’s bright shining gold and red ruby (Iron Man)).  Deadpool if anything is the under-belly of Marvel Comics universe.  It is the dirty uncle that you try to keep from coming to family gatherings even though you want to hang out with and party with that same uncle on Friday nights.  Deadpool is irreverent, witty, extremely dirty, and cinematically a great movie to watch.

Based on Marvel Comic’s anti-hero, or “Merc with a mouth”, it tells the origin story of a former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson.  Wilson, in an attempt to cure his life threatening cancer, subjects himself to a forced mutation that leaves him horribly disfigured, but with extraordinary healing ability.  His mutation is similar to another Marvel comic’s anti-hero Wolverine mutative healing abilities, however the mutative cells also allow his cancer to regenerate, leaving him disfigured, which is why he dons the mask of Deadpool.

The movie Deadpool opens with the song “Angel in the Morning” playing with a slow-motion fight scene showing complete destruction with a montage of 360 shots and irreverent credits mixed in.  Instead of the normal credits, which most films present, the director Tim Miller used this exposition time to hint at what will come.  He uses these cheeky credits to represent not who the characters are, but what they represent.  Miller pokes fun at not only the characters, but also the writers, the actors and even himself.  For example, the opening montage presents the character exposition by crediting “Some Douchebag’s film”.  Miller introduces the star as “God’s Perfect Idiot”, at which time it cuts away to Ryan Reynold’s People magazine’s cover of the “sexiest man alive”.  The credits go on to describe each person in the film, “a hot chick”, “a British Villain”, “the Comic relief”, “a moody teen” and “A CGI Character”.  He introduces Stan Lee as “A Gratuitous Cameo” due to his appearances in every Marvel comic movie.  He continues to lampoon the producers, the writers and himself with comments like “Produced by asshats”, “written by the real heroes here” and “directed by an overpaid tool”.  The only groups that Tim Miller did not parody was Twentieth Century Fox and Marvel Comics, who he chose to name in traditional fashion.  Everyone else was fair game, including himself, showing that this movie is not concerned with ego.  In fact, it really is not concerned about anything.  The ending scene of the montage shows Deadpool giving some person a Junior High style wedgie, while in the midst of a car flipping through the air, a scene that clearly demonstrates Deadpool’s immortality.  These details combine to perfectly introduce the character of Deadpool to an audience who may or may not be familiar with the Deadpool of the comic book era.  In all, Tim Miller used the credit manipulation perfectly to introduce all the characters to the audience, and to give an idea of what the movie was going to be about which perfectly executes the exposition of the film.

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“Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?”

In a recent writing class I read a very moving poem about addiction, which was quite poignant and touching.  I don’t regret my past, but I do have one – doesn’t everyone?  Things in our past that we’re not especially proud of?   So, I was thinking about her poem and I thought….hummm, I could write about my past, about the pain I felt growing up.  What I had forgotten when I started writing from my 14 year old self was that I had forgotten what it truly felt like.  Most of the time if I talk about my past, it’s almost as a detached observer, it’s like it didn’t even really happen to me for how much emotional connection I allow myself to feel to that past.

I was not a happy child, I didn’t have a happy childhood.  I came from a good family, but went through a period of horrible depression and self hatred that lasted for the majority of my teen through my early twenties.  This story wrenched my soul, reminding me of just how bad I was mentally before years of treatment and professional help.  It was a very dark place for me to visit and the experience has left me feeling raw and emotional.

 


When will the Screaming Subside – original song lyrics

When will the screaming subside

How much of myself do I have to hide

Can you not see the pain inside

 

I went to church, I went to school

I was such a good girl too

Can’t you see, I’m just like you

 

Can’t open my mouth too wide

or they’ll hear the screaming deep inside

and somehow know that it’s all been a lie

 

When will the screaming subside

How much longer do I have to hide

Why can’t you see the pain inside

 

How am I so different than you,

I bought the same clothes as you

How bout her, she’s different too

 

I kept my mouth closed when anyone came near

Forever hiding what I didn’t want them to hear

The madness in my head that won’t disappear

 

When will the screaming subside

I can’t continue to hide

Why doesn’t anyone see the pain inside

 

I’m not so different from you,

I have feelings just like you,

Don’t worry, I hate me too.

 

Is it the freckles or the color of my hair

That made you hate me so much more

Did you think I didn’t notice you point and stare

 

When will the screaming subside

When will I not have to hide

Nobody bothers to see the pain inside

 

For a second I let you glimpse my pain

I broke down and told you I had cut a vein

You didn’t care you told me to try again

 

I see you standing quietly over there,

You call to me, take me if you dare

Amber bottle of relief, please take me off somewhere

 

I can make the pain subside

I can stop the screaming deep inside

No-one cares about the pain I hold inside

 

 

“We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!”

During my Fine Arts Appreciation class we were asked to write a review, a critique and a theory about a movie that released during the time frame of our semester.  The only movie I had time to see this semester happened to be Deadpool, so this is my twisted review of said movie.  At least it’s not boring or typical.


Deadpool is a typical love story, with heartthrob Ryan Reynolds playing the part of the down and out protagonist Wade and Morena Baccarin playing the part of the love of his life Vanessa.  After being diagnosed with cancer, Wade tries to save Vanessa from the pain and suffering by leaving her to pursue a very aggressive form of chemotherapy.  Through the course of the aggressive chemotherapy the film’s antagonist Frances cures Wade’s terminal case of cancer, but leaves him horribly disfigured.  Fearing Vanessa’s rejection, Wade turns his frustration to vengeful pursuits of the man he holds responsible.  In an attempt to compel Wade to see reason, Frances kidnaps Vanessa necessitating a confrontation between himself and our beloved star Ryan Reynolds.  This forces him to see that his long lost love Vanessa still loves him, regardless of his horrible disfiguration and they live happily ever after.

Deadpool is a screen adaptation of the comic books of the same name written by co-authors Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza for Marvel Comics.  It was adapted for the screen by writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.  The film was directed by Tim Miller, and released on February 12, 2016 just in time for Valentine’s Day big movie date night.  It is a story with action enough for the boys and a love story reminiscent of An Affair to Remember for all the true romantics, a story where love conquers all.  Instead of Cary Grant finding out that, Debra Kerr’s character cannot get up because she is disabled…Vanessa finds out that Wade didn’t come home because he was disfigured and scared of rejection…but they all still love each other in the end.

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“For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen.”

In writing class we have prompts that we’re supposed to write about, this is a particularly long rambling basically about the difference between first class and coach on a plane.


 

Walking through the airport, trying to avoid getting hit and avoiding kneecapping someone with her rolly bag, annoyance would be the least of Ann’s feelings at this moment.  The two women run the gauntlet that is the airport, and are having a very heated conversation.

“I can’t believe you didn’t tell me you weren’t even going to sit with me on the plane” Ann said to Beth as they try to break through the red robin style line of people blocking the walkway waiting for their morning coffee.  Admittedly the smell wafting through the gates was enticing, the sound of the beans being ground and the milk being frothed almost enough to set your mouth to watering, however that line would suggest that they were putting more than just coffee in those cups.

“You could have at least told me, beforehand…maybe I could have cashed in some points and joined you”

“They upgraded my ticket without me asking, what was I going to say….no?  Yeah, I prefer sitting on top of other people….really?!”

“It’s only a 3 hour flight, and we would have been sitting next to each other, it wouldn’t have been that uncomfortable” Ann said as she plopped down heavily in the closest chair to their gate “The flight attendants aren’t even nice to you in coach

“More reason for me not to sit in coach” looking up from her rummaging through her bag looking for various power cords to obtain that last bit of charge before the three hour flight.  Because, lord forbid you run out of power on the plane and have to rummage through the air mall catalogues for the latest and greatest things you never knew you wanted to buy.

“Did you notice if you get a meal on this flight? Because I know I won’t” as she searches the vicinity for a shop to buy a snack “Watch my bags for me for a second would you”

Ann arrives back with an assorted bag of goodies expensively procured at the nearest shop, convinced that the only reason you can’t bring liquid through security is so that you are forced to buy an $8.00 bag of crackers, and a $5.00 bottle of water, she picks up the conversation where she left off “Well, at least you didn’t pay for your flight.  That would have been ridiculous”

“Do you even have enough points that you could have upgraded your ticket?  Since you insist on driving everywhere you probably don’t have the points”

“Why, how many points would it take?  Maybe I can upgrade my ticket now”  Knowing she’s probably correct, Ann grabs her phone and logs into the airline’s website to see exactly how many points she has, and how much it would be to upgrade her ticket.  After navigating the rather user unfriendly website she sees that it would cost every single one of her hard earned flight credits to upgrade her ticket, and to upgrade with cash would cost an additional $1000.00 dollars….

“Seriously…ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS?!??”

“Well, they are really comfortable seats?  Beth answered

“Are they ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS more comfortable than mine?”

“And, food – don’t forget the food”

The gate attendant comes on the PA system and announces that the flight will begin boarding soon.  The rather harried looking gate attendant proclaims the boarding order for everyone to hear, apparently not only does first class enjoy the luxury of larger seats and a meal, but they board the plane long before the miscreants in coach do.  So, Beth begins packing up and wrapping up her cords and puts everything away, and begins lining up for her first class seating boarding group.

After waiting for her boarding group to be called, Ann walks down the miserably long jet way whose collapsible walls look like they may just collapse on you.  There are cheery cheesy photos of airline employees on the walls thanking them for their choice in airlines today.  As Ann walks through first class to get to her seat, she notices that the passengers already have a drink in hand and almost apologetically refuse to make eye contact with the passengers headed further back in the plane. Ann sees Beth, comfortably cocooned in her not impeding anyone else’s space reclining first class seat while on the rest of the plane the seats are 6 to a row, in first class there’s only 4 and much more space between the rows.

She stows her suitcase in the overhead, grabs her tablet out of her bag and tries to get comfortable in her aisle seat, knowing that at any moment she’ll have to jump up to allow the other two passengers into her row.  She logs onto her tablet, and accesses the airplanes Wi-Fi and immediately opens Facebook to continue her argument with Beth.

“Hey, you there?” Ann types in a private Facebook message.  After watching for the little dots that indicate someone typing for a prolonged period of time she receives a 3 word response.

“Yeah, what’s up?”

“Well, if you’re not going to sit with me, the least you can do is talk to me”

“Ouch” exclaims Ann as someone who didn’t realize that they were supposed to remove their backpack before walking up the aisle and who has suddenly forgotten that they have increased their body size, as they turn and slam their backpack into the side of Ann’s head.  Because of the extra seats shoved into such a small area, the decreased size of the aisles makes walking without side stepping through the aisle like a hermit crab almost an impossibility.  That’s the disadvantage of having an aisle seat, while you don’t get sandwiched between either another person or the wall of the plane, you have to contend with inconsiderate travelers who apparently don’t realize that the object they’re hitting with either their suitcase they’re trying to roll up an incredibly narrow aisle when they should have picked it up to make the crab walk up the aisle easier, or the incredibly large travel bag that is hanging off their shoulders and swaying with the movement of their body gives a little when they hit it.

“Wow I can’t believe how inconsiderate most people are, I just got hit in the head with someone’s rather large backpack” Ann types in as she rubs what is surely to be a goose-egg sized bump on the back of her head caused by the bricks the other passenger had apparently packed in their laptop bag today.

“I’m so sorry, are you ok?”

“I’d be better if I had a nice cold frothy beverage like you” as Ann hits send, she notices a woman trying to wrangle a small child up the aisle while toting a bag that looks bigger than the toddler herself.

“I believe these are our seats Channing” Ann hears the woman proclaim as she nears her row, and she just hopes that it isn’t

“Yeah honey” as her mother puts her roller bag in the overhead Ann barely is able to dodge the swinging bag that appears to weigh more than the toddler who has decided not to wait for her to get up and scrambles over Ann’s lap to get to the two seats beside her.  “Channing, no” the unnamed lady proclaims to her toddler “I’m so sorry”

“That’s ok” seriously what was Ann going to say, please keep your small human off me?  As she rises from her seat to give the little girl’s mom access to the remaining seat.  After allowing them to sit down Ann rummages in her purse for her headphones, at least she can pretend she can’t hear the toddler now sandwiched between her and her uncontrolling mother who apparently has every toy from the toddlers toy box in that massively large bag because now the majority of those objects have magically appeared in the toddler’s lap.  Seriously, how did that happen one second no toys, next second every toy….children are magicians producing toys in record time.

“There’s no more room in the overheads” an announcement comes from the airplane PA system “all bags will need to be checked at the front of the plane”  Which doesn’t help half a plane full of people with their rolly bags still headed up the aisles of the plane.

“What do they expect, they charge extra for luggage making every single person on the plane feel the need to try to get all their week’s necessities in to the overhead” Ann types to Beth and hits send, just as she sees a very rude flight attendant with a bag hefted above her head and a passenger in tow trying to navigate up the already small aisle while people try to lean over other seated passengers to get out of their way

“Excuse me, I’m trying to get back to the front of the plane please” exclaims the very rude flight attendant as she almost hits numerous people in the head with the luggage she’s got hoisted above her head.

“Did you see that flight attendant come barreling through” Ann types to Beth

“Yeah, you should have seen her with the passenger, she just rolled her eyes at him when he asked if he could get something out of the bag” Beth updated Ann with the latest and greatest on the rude flight attendant.

You see about 5 people turn around and follow the flight attendant and the bag hoisted in the air to return their bags to the front of the plane, because it’s somehow now their fault that the plane’s overheads are full before they’ve had an opportunity to sit down.  Now, it’s their turn to try to paddle upstream through the throngs of people shoved into the 17 inch wide aisles.  So, not like it was bad enough with people, suitcases, shoulder bags, and backpacks you now have people and their suitcases heading in the opposite direction mowing down whatever is in their path.  As she’s watching and trying to avoid getting hit with multiple people coming up and down the aisles and all of their earthly belongings that they have shoved into small airplane sized bags, Ann feels a heel slam into her unprotected and unguarded leg.

“Ouuuuch” Ann proclaims glaring at the mother of the small child who is now swinging her legs back and forth like two little grandfather clock pendulums in time with apparently whatever show she’s currently watching on her bright pink entombed tablet with toddler sized handles.

“A child just kicked me” Ann types furiously to Beth “I’m going to need a drink for this flight I think”

“It’s only 8am” Beth types back

“I don’t really care what time it is…I’m going to need a drink.  I’ll have a bloody mary and pretend it’s breakfast” Ann types back furiously

As people try to make their way back up the aisles and to their seats from the front of the plane where they deposited what was supposed to be their overhead luggage, which will now be stowed under the plane free of charge.  You hear a flight attendants voice come over the PA system “Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Brandon and I’m your chief flight attendant. On behalf of Captains Guevara and Horga and the entire crew, welcome aboard American Airlines flight 232, with non-stop service from George Bush International Airport to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta with continuing service to Raleigh Durham International Airport. Our flight time will be 3 hours and 15 minutes. We will be flying at an altitude of 10,000 feet at a ground speed of 540 miles per hour.  At this time, make sure your seat backs and tray tables are in their full upright position and that your seat belt is correctly fastened. Also, your portable electronic devices must be set to ‘airplane’ mode until an announcement is made upon arrival. Thank you.”

After this announcement Ann sees the flight attendant unfasten the very thin curtain that separates comfort from cattle pen, luxury from austerity, heaven from hell, and she catches a glimmer of a smile as the flight attendant separates herself from the mewling cattle in coach.

960

“Arthur blinked at the screens and felt he was missing something important. Suddenly he realized what it was.”

In Arthur’s case he was thinking about tea, but in most of our lives I think what we find we’re missing the most is love.  This is a sonnet I wrote to commemorate the renewal of vows between two very good friends of mine.  They had asked that people stand up and speak about their relationship, and in fear that people wouldn’t…I wrote this to recite:


 

Beth and Daniel

We are here today to celebrate

the second stating of their vows

Let us join together to commemorate

Daniel and Beth’s renewal now.

 

Fifteen years have hence past

Since they first walked down the aisle

Their union the first and last.

Of their love there’s no denial

 

Oh, but what Daniel didn’t know

Fifteen long years ago

of Beth’s particular quid pro quo

with Puppies and Kitties their home they would outgrow

 

But even with the animals galore, Daniel’s love is STILL there

So let’s give a big hooooray!!! for a never ending love affair

“This must be Thursday”

“This must be Thursday,’ said Arthur to himself, sinking low over his beer. ‘I never could get the hang of Thursdays.” – Douglas Adams

This is the beginning of a story that I will probably never use, however the first part of the story – the descriptive beginning I love, just not where the story is actually going.  It was part of a writing assignment.  “Write the opening to a story or play about a character who is about to go over the edge.  Introduce another character who is the perfect antagonist to do the pushing.”


 

The Sangre de Cristo

The sun was setting on the Sangre de Cristo casting a fiery red glow on the mountains, turning the valleys into rivers of blood flowing down from the peaks.  The sky in the east having already succumbed and given its last breath to the night.  The safety of daylight already surrendering to the sounds of night, the yip-howls of the coyotes filling the night air, and so with the ebbing of light comes the influx of the degenerates whose cat-calls and yells fill the night air like the coyotes calling and answering in the distance.  Every night has been the same for the last 3 weeks, walking to my car after work I catch my disfigured likeness in the cracked reflection of my driver’s side window, lift my hand to the greenish yellow bruise across the top of my cheek that I was only just able to touch without cringing.  I got the phone call from Jules down at the courthouse, Jimmy was released today.  I can almost feel him circling me now as I fumble for my keys and unlock the car, as a coyote howls in the distance circling his prey.  I feel in my purse for the preloaded bit of security, and feel that it’s still there the weight heavy against my hand.  I never thought to own a gun, but then I had never thought that I’d be in a position to need a gun.

I should have taken Jules up on her offer to stay the night, but during the light of day I wasn’t as terrified of Jimmy coming after me.  With the bright desert sun shining down and chasing off my fears, I didn’t want to impose on her.  As I come to the red light, the ambient light of the street lamps shining in my car window, I feel in my purse again for my little bit of security stashed safely away and feel the weight as I take a deep breath.  The weight sturdy enough to scare away the trembling of my hands.  Surely he won’t come after me….tonight.

“Don’t Panic.”

For me, panic is when I can’t get outdoors for long periods of time.  I’ve gone back to school after…let’s just say a prolonged absence from school and the majority of my classes are online.  So, my life consists of work (on a computer connected to the internet), and school (on a computer, connected to the internet).  I do travel for work quite a lot, but the majority of my life seems to consist of a computer connected to the internet.  So, when I need a break, when I need to get away, I crave the outdoors.  Somewhere I can unplug, unwind, and just slow down, with the stars shining down on me as I swing quite contentedly, cocooned in my hammock and sleeping bag.

Some of my favorite poets speak of the outdoors so lovingly


I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
By William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.


The Path Through the Woods – an original poem

It’s the solitude I long for
I long to feel the wind against my cheeks
I long to hear the small voices that whisper through the leaves
I long to feel the dirt beneath my feet

It’s the solitude I long for
the twilight full of the songs of the creatures of the night
the chatter amongst the pups answering their mothers’ calls
the small voices in the night hailing each other

It’s the solitude I long for
at daylights inception the morning birds I long to hear
the dew glistening on the grass
the awakening with a song

It’s the solitude I long for
a place where thoughts unfettered
are allowed to follow their own paths

It’s the solitude I long for, that solitary path through the woods


The Way – an original Haiku

The Way is calling

Whispers in the night

urging my thirsty feet forth

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