Sunday, July 17, 2011

Child Discipline, part 1

My sister and I would fight a lot when we were little, just like all the siblings of the world. My mother was a smart woman and would separate us if the situation was dire enough. One time, before I shared a room with my sister, she sent us to our rooms for an hour. My sister and I had been given walkie talkies a while before. Which means a few days or months, because I can't exactly remember.

My sister and I spoke softly to each other. Her room was upstairs and mine was right next to my mother's desk,which is where she pretty much lived. We didn't fight and were very kind to each other. My mother went to each of us and told us that the time was up and we could leave our rooms. Whichever one of us was notified first told the other before Mom had traversed the stairs.


My sister was eleven and it was my eighth birthday. For almost a month, my sister had been locking herself in our play room and avoiding me. I had tried to go in with her, but she always made me leave. Needless to say, I was not happy with her, but that all changed when she gave me my birthday present from her. A stuffed kitty. It wasn't just any kitty either. It was a hand sewn and stuffed kitty with fabric that did not match. My very own sister had painstakingly created a friend for me from fabric, thread, cotton, and a piece of her heart.

His name was Growltiger. She had made him based on the description of Growltiger in the song sung about him in the musical Cats, a VHS that played at least once a month in our house. Fabric was bunched up where his short legs met the body to fit with, "he was baggy at the knees". One ear had a part cut out of it, because, "one ear was somewhat missing". Then he had a patch over his right eye for, "he scowl upon the hostile world from one forbidding eye". My sister had also tried to embroider a belt with a sword in it. Admittedly he wasn't the best made stuffed animal, but, for an eight year old, it was a work of art.

I loved him. Every night he slept with me and my panda. The panda had always been with me for as long as I could remember. Soon Growltiger had a story that tied into that of my panda. The panda was a waitress and Growltiger was a pirate that fell in love with her. She would have nothing to do with him, however, until he gave up being a pirate. Being deeply in love with her, he did give up piracy only to find that her family (I had a lot of stuffed pandas and they were all related to my favorite in some way) had engaged her to a tap dancing panda (a marionette). He then dueled the panda and, being an ex-pirate, won. Growltiger then married his love and helped her run the seafood restaurant.

Even when I reached the age that most people consider "too old" for stuffed animals, I slept with Growltiger and his panda love. My mother had often patched up his arms when the stitching came undone, so he had a few "scars". Growltiger still became an old cat. The paint rubbed off of his button nose, the eye under his eye patch came out and broke, his left eye lost some gold paint, and worst of all his fabric wore down, so that it had holes in it that could not be fixed. I still slept with him and the panda. Then one day, I woke up and found cotton in my bed from Growltiger's stuffing. I had two choices. I could throw him in the trash or put him somewhere safe. It was then that I put together my memory box that grows heavier with time. Growltiger had survived eight long years with me. I cried the night after he was put into the retirement in my closet. His girlfriend stayed with me where she always had been.

I took my box down from the shelf today and opened it. One button eye that had lost most of its paint stared up at me. I scoped him out of the box and held him in a hug. He stayed there, limp in my arms. I wanted to cry seeing how worn he was. I will always love this cat. He has been such a big part of my life.

HERE is a link to the poem Growltiger's Last Stand from Ole Possum's Book of Practical Cats, my sister's inspiration for my stuffed kitty.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

50 Uses For a Brick

This started as something to keep me occupied in my free time. If someone hurts themselves or others using these uses, it's their fault and I'm not to blame. Just want to make that perfectly clear. Also, please remember to cite if you uses these.

Obvious Uses

A bookend

A paperweight

A doorstop

Something to hold things down outside

A blunt weapon

Building material


Hide and Seek: The seeker has a bag of bricks, which makes them slower and easier to run away from. However, when the seeker sees someone that is not on base, not already out, and playing the game, the seeker throws a brick at the player. If the player is hit with a brick, the player is out. Last one standing and not the seeker wins.

Jacks: This is a two player game. Player One throws the brick at Player Two and picks up as many pebbles as possible before hearing the brick make contact. Remember to take turns.

Stack the Brick: Build a tower with bricks. See how high you can make it before it falls on your head.

Brick the Bucket: Throw bricks at a bucket until it has been properly demolished.


Pet brick: You don't have to feed, clean up after, or groom this lovely pet.

Painting canvas: Paint the brick. Six different surfaces included.

A tool for fixing computers

A tool for creative writing prompts: Not that I have ever heard of a teacher asking for 50 uses for a brick. (hehe)

False cell phone: Paint on a few buttons on and attach an antenna of some sort.

Soap: Scrub hard enough and all the dirt will come off.

A projectile: Just find or build a catapult.

Instant messaging: Write your message on the brick and throw it through the recipient's window.

Tool for making paint: Gather plants, berries, and/or bugs and mash them with a brick. Different combinations will make different colors. Poison Ivy makes a beautiful green.

A stage: ... for bugs.

A taser: Carry this around in your purse and hit creepers with it.

Wind gauge: Place a brick outside in view of a window. If the brick doesn't move it wont kill you to go outside. If the brick flies away, then it probably will.

Small child entertainment system: Seat a small child before a brick and tell said child to scream when it grows legs and walks away.

False chocolate: Cover the brick in mud, let it dry, put it in tin foil, and give it to your younger sibling. For almonds, peanuts, etc. add rocks.

A plate: Okay, a smallish plate, but it's still a plate.

Musical instrument: Different kinds and sizes of glass make different sounds when you smash them with a brick.

Art: Put a brick on the bookshelf, mantelpiece, or some other place where people will notice it. Say it is art and no one will argue.

A therapist: Dress up, draw on, and paint the brick until it looks trustworthy. Tell it all your deepest sorrows.

A dentist: Why pay a bill to get rid of that sore tooth?

The ideal boss: Mr. Brick never yells at, docks the pay of, or fires his employees.

A form of currency: Why not?

Shoes: Attach straps and you have sandals or flip-flops (one size only).

Reusable spider killer: Just remember to wash afterwards.

Remote control: Point a brick at someone and tell them to do as you say. Chances are, they will.

Anti medication: Powder the brick and ingest in order to be sick. Enough brick powder may kill you, but not if you put it into the tomato soup you gave your noisy neighbor.

A writer's block breaker: Hit anything hard enough with a brick and it will break.

The perfect gift: Who doesn't want a brick?

A coaster: Larger than a normal coaster, but does that really matter?

A doodily-whooper: Whatever a doodily-whooper is, I am sure a brick can be applied to it.

Instrument of persuasion: If you hold a brick menacingly enough anyone can be persuaded to agree with you.

Student discipline: This needs no explanation.

A weight: Sometimes you just need something that weighs the same as a brick.

A candle: Attach a sting on one end to a brick and light the other end on fire. Keep away from flammable objects.

Emergency brake: When a small(ish) person comes careening towards you on a bicycle (this is clearly an emergency situation),throw a brick at the child. It will stop advancing. Remember to leave swiftly, before a worried/enraged mother arrives on the scene.

A friend: You won't fight with it and it will never betray you or think you're stupid.

False book: Disguise a brick to look like a book and give it to a friend. Watch them try to open it.

Warmer: Heat the brick and hold it in your frozen fingers or rest your icy toes on it.

Cooling device: Put a brick in the freezer for a long period of time then apply to something that needs to be cooled. Example: a sick child's forehead.

A nightlight: Coat the brick in glow-in-the-dark paint and leave it in the light for several hours. Once it is dark where you would like to place it you can put it there and enjoy it's light.

Growth stunter: Attach a brick to the head of someone you don't want to grow. If they continue to grow add more bricks.

Smiley Faces

People are always making faces using letters and symbols. It happens in texts, facebook, and a couple other places. I sometimes make up my own. The following are of my own imagination and if someone else has already made them before me, I was unaware.

someone in a hat

in my crate

:| >--
someone in a tie


upside down

must... not... smile...

I've got a pointy nose!

: || )

look to the side...

sleepy puppy

[ ] :)
out of my crate


Oooooh! Sparkles!

Killing the Darkness

I wrote this last summer and why I did not blog it is beyond me. Nevertheless, here it is.

Watching for meteors, I saw the Milkyway for the first time since I moved last summer. A light smudge against the dark. Stars I hadn't seen for a year danced, and I was happy.Then I saw one: a meteor. Its shape somewhat resembled a bird with a ribbon trailing behind. It was brighter than my stars, but lasted only for a few seconds before vanishing. I was afraid to step out into the grass to see if I could spot more. We have snakes. The stars sparkled and I left the porch. The view was not very different and I saw no more meteors. I went back to the porch and laid down to stare upward.I found comfort in the stars I had lost so long ago. They reminded me that I am ever so small. Calm followed and I let my thoughts roam. I had missed the comfort in the dark. People aren't afraid of the dark, but what is in the dark. Stars kill that fear. They give us sight where we see not. Another meteor zipped by grabbing my attention. My eyes searched for more, but only found an airplane that from below looked remarkably like a flying Christmas tree. That night I only saw three meteors, but was satisfied having seen the stars again. Knowing I'm not a big thing makes me feel so much less stressed than normal. I was glad to see my old friends that kill the fears in the dark. That kill the fears. That kill the darkness.

Andrew the Armadillo

Once, in a little wood, lived a little gray armadillo. His name was Andrew, and all day long he would dig around looking for food. One day Andrew was continuing his search by the lily pond. Now Andrew knew never to go on The Big Black River, because his uncle Ferdinand had died there, but it was so cold that Andrew would do anything to warm up. He had heard that The Big Black River was always warm, so despite almost certain death he headed out. Andrew skirted the pond, crossed the field, and at last reached The Big Black river, where he sat down right in the middle
Suddenly a big shiny beast came roaring towards him! Andrew was so surprised he jumped straight into the air. Andrew landed just in time to run away, and from that day on he never went to The Big Black River no matter how cold it was.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Attack of the Killer Migraine

Monday I spent all day on the computer. That was not a smart idea. I left the screen to eat my dinner and noticed a small blur that was vaguely lemon shaped in the corner of my vision on the right side. It grew and grew until I was robbed of my right peripheral vision. It's called an aura. They usually show up before you have a migraine. I took medication, took the thickest blanket off of my bed, moved the fan as close as possible to the bed, and turned the fan on high, before I went to bed. I tried to sleep, but I couldn't. The migraine mercilessly commenced to keep me awake and in great pain.

Ever since I was little I have kept a plastic bucket beside my bed. I still do. This bucket is called my Barf Buddy. Barf Buddy came in handy Monday night. I sat up and opened my mouth over the bucket I clutched in my hands. Barf does not need help coming out. It never has. The most you can do is open your mouth and hope it doesn't get everywhere. Between waves of barf, I made my way to the bathroom, lifted the toilet lid, and redirected the vomit from my bucket to the toilet. I continued to barf and at one point it came up so hard some went out my nose. When my body had decided it was done, I tried to flush it down.

The toilet did not want to swallow my stomach contents. I could relate, but never the less, I grabbed the plunger and commenced to force it down the porcelain throat. There was one part of my former food that really did not want to go down. After consulting my sister, it was discovered to be a tomato skin or at least part of one. I cleaned up my Barf Buddy and went to the kitchen for some ice water.

My father came up the stairs and asked if I was okay. I told him I was. We stood there for a moment. Him, looking at me in the concerned way fathers do and me, drinking my ice water. I eventually went back to bed and finally fell asleep. I don't know what time I fell asleep, but I woke up around eleven.

I spent the day on the recliner with my sister watching me. For the first half hour it was nice to have her do stuff for me to spare me from the sudden throbbing pain quick movement caused me. In the middle of the movie Labyrinth (The volume was down low because if it was loud enough my brain would melt.) I stood up to fetch myself a glass of ice water. My sister protested, gently pushed me back down, and went to get the glass herself. At that moment I decided that a bowl of sandwich meat would be tasty. I stood back up and went to the kitchen. As soon as my sister heard the bowl clinking against the others, she spun around and glared at me. To put it simply she tried to force me back to the chair and I refused, shouting, "I'm an independent young woman!". She, of course, responded with, "You're not a young woman!" I still won and ended up with my meat. Considering my battle won, I let her be my slave, but only because she wanted to be and my head was hurting.

When my father returned I had had a bowl of lunch meat, a glass of chocolate milk, several glasses of water, and a package of saltine crackers. I was not allowed on the computer all day in case it triggered a relapse. I am now allowed on the computer for short periods of time.

Let me describe to you what a migraine feels like. If you have had a migraine then you don't need to read this to understand the blog post tile. A migraine will usually start with a subtle sign. Some people (like me) have auras, which are little shimmery things in the corner of your vision. Others have other signs that I don't know about. Once you have noticed your sign you need to take medication. Do not tell yourself that you can tough it out. I thought I could in eight grade and it was NOT pretty. I threw up in a trashcan during a presentation about unicorns. If you take your medication and lie down in a dark quiet room to sleep for a couple hours, like my mother made me during my first migraine, it will pass a lot easier. Now we get to the migraine itself. I'll just describe it with medication, but still awake.

Saying that a migraine is just a magnified head ache is not a good description. Close your eyes and have someone read the following aloud to you if you want, it might make it easier. Imagine a thick black wall from overhead. Inside the wall is light. Outside is a pale pink mist with red tendrils floating in it. This is your mind normally. Now the red grows. It becomes solid and pushes against the wall with all of its strength. The wall cracks. Light spills out of the cracks. The red doesn't stop there. It forms large daggers and pushes them through the wall. In some places the wall shatters. Pain. Hot searing pain is all your mind can recognize. You will not be able to tie your shoes as thoughtlessly as normal. You have to put all of your focus into it and watch where the strings are going and what they're doing.

That is a migraine.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Link To An Awesome Blog Post By Someone Else

Recently, I have been trying to be a good little blogger and blog frequently. Unfortunately, I am a procrastinator and prefer to spend my hours listening to music and reading blogs and webcomics all day. Thus I present to you a post from a blog that I enjoy immensely :

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Gurgle's Justice

Once there was an alien. It lived under a bridge. It had been content to play Tetris, but one day a meteor landed on top of his bridge crushing it. Thankfully the alien had been paying his electricity bill and had not died. Gurgle, the alien, was not happy to come home to a ruined bridge. Aiming for vengeance he struck out to find the beings that had sent the meteor into his peaceful home.

He rode in planes, sailed in boats, and tunneled through the ground until he reached the home of Burgundy the fish. Burgundy told him that Jiggle the beetle had gained mysterious powers over the cosmos. Thus Gurgle traveled until he reached the log, beneath which Jiggle lived. He then left, went to his spaceship, latched onto the moon with his gravity beam and dropped it on Juggle's house. Justice now served, Gurgle rented and new bridge to live under, but before he could unlock the door he fell asleep. It had been a long day/night.

The Prince of Bananas

Once upon a time there was a banana. Only this was not any banana, it was the crown prince of bananas. Everyday the prince banana, who went by Rupert, would watch over his people. As the kingdom (which admittedly had only eight citizens) turned from green to a vibrant yellow it was magically transported away from the cool shelf on which it had been to a basket somewhere far away. Throughout the years (banana years)his citizens vanished and Rupert became old and brown. He was visited frequently by small bugs, but one day a large hand picked him up and threw him down a chute. A grinding, whirring sound was heard and that was the last anyone knew of Prince Rupert of the Bananas.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Letter to Brown Recluse Spiders

Dear Brown Recluse Spiders,

I would appreciate it if you would live the full of your lives in the walls. It really scares me when you walk on the ceiling, dart across the floor, hang out in my pile of clean laundry, and/or crawl around in my covers. The covers are an especial no no when I am in them. Please refrain from standing on the back of my bedside table/card bard box. It makes me nervous to know you're there.

If you could stop being venomous that would be a bonus too. I would ask you to stop existing, but that's hard to do. Instead can you move across the country?


Monday, July 4, 2011

Deviled Eggs And Cupcakes

Happy Fourth of July!!!!! I personally count the fourth as one of my top holidays. It's right up there with Christmas and Thanksgiving, just above my birthday. This is because the Fourth is on of the few times when my mother makes deviled eggs. I've done the math (what little there is to do) and she only makes them twice a year. For someone who is a great fan of her deviled eggs, this small but true fact is pure torture. This year she also made cupcakes. Yes, cupcakes, those glorious little cakes shaped like cups!

My town celebrated the fourth last night. My family chose to celebrate on the same day. We converged to devour the food that our households had contributed to. For some odd reason, I have a reputation involving the disappearances of several deviled eggs. I have no idea why. This year however, I decided to help my mother in the preparation of these eggs of deliciousness.

Around noon yesterday, my mother announced that she was going to take a nap and would prepare the deviled eggs when she woke up. Seeing as the eggs had already been boiled and I had nothing to do, she informed me that I was to shell the eggs while she napped. My mother, being the kindly woman she is, showed me how to shell the eggs in case I had forgotten. She liberated a few from the confines of their shells and retired to her room.

I eagerly cracked the shell of one egg until it was covered with little lines, and began to tear the shell away. Unfortunately, a great deal of egg white peeled off too, so that, when I had finished, the egg was considerably smaller than and not as smooth as the eggs my mother had peeled. Valiantly, I continued on with my work. I finally began to shell the eggs rather well, so well in fact that I decided to do it with my eyes closed. The first blindly shelled egg seemed to have survived, pleased, I began the next one. When I had finished that egg, I looked down in dismay. Due to my longish fingernails and my lack of attention, I had exposed the yolk. I placed the egg with the others, horrified at what I had done to its innocent white protective layer. The rest of the eggs that I shelled survived with considerably less trauma.

My mother slept on while I arranged all 24 eggs on a tea towel to dry. I was going to do a 4x8 rectangle, but I decided to sort the injured from the perfectly shelled. I ended up with two 3x4 rectangles. Obviously, my technique needs work. I retired to my father's arm chair and read until the time my mother had informed me to wake her.

I slipped through her doorway and heard a faint snore. I smiled. She wasn't even under her covers. Instead, she had pulled an extra blanket from the foot of the bed over her. I looked at her for a moment, at her hair strewn across the pillow, and the rise and fall of the blanket covering her while she breathed.

"Mom." The words echoed around me so soon after I had uttered them. I was filled with memories of sneaking downstairs late at night and going to her room. The single word, "Mommy," would wake her instantly and she would open up the covers for me to climb in with her, the warm blankets closing around me, protecting me from the vicious shadows.

These days, as she no longer needs to fend off the monsters of nightmares, it takes a little more than a single word, quietly spoken to rouse her. I walked over and sat down on the bed next to her. The shift in weight on the bed woke her and she opened her eyes and looked at me. I informed her of the time and she nodded her head wisely. I left her to finish waking completely.

The back door was soon opened and closed to allow me to escape the confines of the house. I sat on the stairs of the porch. The cats, Sir. Shed-A-Lot and The Lady of Shed-Lots, both sauntered up to me and demanded attention. I happily did as ordered. By the time I thought Mom had gone to the kitchen, I was wondering if you can get fur burn. It is much like a rug burn, only one gets it from petting a cat or other furry pet for long periods of time.

I returned to the kitchen in time to see my mom put something in the blender. I looked at the eggs. She gently reminded me of the procedures (last time I made deviled eggs I was eight or nine) and showed me which knife she thought was appropriate. We merrily went about our work. Mom working with the cupcakes and me cutting the eggs in half and dropping the round yolk into a largish bowl. Two halves were too badly damaged to make suitable deviled eggs and had to be sacrificed to the monster that had cut them in half in the first place.

We finally came to the part where my mother and I made the center stuff. One deviled egg split and we hurriedly thrust it into the hands of my father, who was innocently passing by.

"Eat it fast!" My mother cried.

"Whoa!" My father had taken the egg and finally registered that the filling was spilling into his hands. The whole egg disappeared into his mouth quite quickly.

The rest of the evening went by rather uneventfully. We met the rest of the family (that could come) at the normal spot. There were a few stories told, including the time my sister made lemon bars that tasted like chicken, and we watched a movie before heading home.

That brings us to this morning. I woke up and decided that I didn't want to sleep anymore for the night. Little kids aren't the only ones with nightmares. It was 6:21. I usually wake up several hours later during the summer, but I didn't want to risk having anymore bad dreams. I rolled out of bed and stumbled into the kitchen. My breakfast consisted of a glass of chocolate milk and three deviled eggs. I curled up in the recliner and read a book after consuming the most important meal of the day.

My sister came by, gave me a curious glance, and passed on. My father didn't even fully notice me until the third time he passed. When my mother came by for the second time I sweetly informed her that I had eaten breakfast and inquired how long she thought my father would stay in his room with the door closed. My mother is a wise woman and knows me well. She asked what I wanted to do that I didn't want him to know about. I said one word, "Cupcakes?" and my mother nodded, informed me that I could have one and that if my father came out of his room I could go hide in her room and that was it. She went to her lair and I choose a cupcake.

No sooner had I sat down, then my father's door opened and he emerged. I leapt to my feet, held the cupcake behind me, and giggled. I do not know why I giggled, as I had not even put my nose close to smell the icing yet. My father went into the bathroom. I wasted no time in dashing to my mother's room. I perched upon her bed and separated the wrapper and cupcake with surgical precision. Once the cupcake was no more, I returned to the livingroom where I found a traitorous act in the making.

My sister was talking with my father and telling him that I had gone to Mom's room with the cupcake and that I had my mother's permission. I hurried to my mother and told her that my sister had sold us out. Mom and I went upstairs to confront the sister. I confronted from behind the mother as older sisters are something to be mortified of. We relaxed after a moment and and my mother reminded me that I couldn't have another cupcake until after lunch. I couldn't help it.

"I don't need another one. I'm sweet enough already."

After my mother and sister finished laughing, my mother informed me that I got that from my father.