The Blog

Snapshot 5/17/19

Update post!

Currently listening: “It’s Been a Long, Long Time”-Helen Forrest, Harry James
Currently (re)reading: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Currently watching: Fruits Basket (2019)
Currently playing: Rune Factory 4

I’m glad spring is here. That means summer is right around the corner. But I’m not rushing, because light jacket weather is a MOOD right now. My mom gave me her old denim jacket and every opportunity I get to go outside I slip that baby on. It looks one that Usagi wears but like in the 90’s version of Sailor Moon. So do I feel like her a little bit when I wear that jacket? Yes, yes I do. Does that bring me joy? Yes, yes it does.

The past few weeks have been pretty rough. I was super sick, and I’m still not 100% yet but I’m getting there. I had plenty of time though to watch a few episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal. So far I like it, but I’m only on episode 13. It more closely follows the manga. Although, the original 90’s anime is still my favorite. It brings back so many memories. For example, the numerous times when my family went to the video store on the corner and I would rent all the movies on VHS. Not going to lie, I have probably seen Promise of the Rose a hundred times. True facts. I also started the new Fruits Basket series too. It started just when I needed it. All those nostalgic feels.

Schedule wise, my goal is to post one Living Life vignette every week. It is a series based on scenes I witness or am a part of IRL turned into an interesting story. So probably any day between Friday and Sunday a new post should be up. I’ll also try to do a Snapshot post every month (just like this post you’re currently reading lol) just to give a personal update and probably ramble on about Sailor Moon and Fruits Basket. I LOVE THEM BOTH SO MUCH.

Here are some of my posts since the last Snapshot update if you’re in need of reading material:

I know I rambled on about my denim jacket, but are there any clothes that you have a special attachment to? I’d love to talk in the comments!

Living Life #5 (a collection of vignettes)

The Pancake Lady

Every Sunday at 11:00 AM when Ms. Kerry would open her kitchen window, there would always be a line. It was an ordinary window, nothing special, in an ordinary yellow house, in an ordinary neighborhood with daisies in the garden and a little porch out front. Yet, it was still the most popular place on Flour Lane. Today when I arrived, with fifteen minutes to spare, I was second and Waff, of all people, was ahead of me. Needless to say I was peeved.

“How’d ya beat me?”

He curled his lip. Waff liked to curl his lip when he was feeling good. “I never went to bed.” To that even I allowed my eyes to widen, but then shrugged it off and scuffed my sneaker in the dirt. I didn’t feel peeved anymore. A little impressed even, but I couldn’t let Waff of all people know that.

Instead I let my habits get the better of me, and the snark, that Mama said I needed to stop letting out, slipped. “Your eyes are real puffy, Waff.”

“I’m a little tired.”

“Ya know, ya should have just woken up early.” I wasn’t very good at containing it though.

Waff’s lip uncurled. He pushed a hand to his head making all the blond hairs ruffle, and he reminded me of the old dog that wandered around the gas station looking for the scraps, his fur always mussed and his stare always droopy. Easy was what everyone called him because of the way he would bite all the hands that tried to feed him. Waff got bit twice before he learned, and I quickly learned to give Waff any bits I had for Easy.

Waff’s mouth hung open like he was looking for the right words and those were hard to come by for him, despite the fact that he loved to talk. He could go on and on about anything.

“I didn’t think of that.” he said finally. “For an eight year old, you’re pretty smart Frenchie.”

“Mama says that too, but she adds another word after smart.” I said and then added, “And she only says it when she’s mad at me.”

Waff laughed and bumped his shoulder into mine. “It’ll be worth it. How much longer?”

“Ya don’t have a watch?” In Waff defense, I don’t think many eight year olds did. Mama only gave it to me though so I would always be home on time for dinner.

Waff shook his head. “I asked but my Pa said I’d only lose it.”

I felt a bit bad so I told Waff the time, my snark on a tight leash. Only ten minutes left. Ten minutes though felt like a long time. “How long have you been out here Waff?”

He threw his hands in front of him. “Dunno.” He scratched his head. “But sometime before the rooster.” Miss Kerry had five chickens and one rooster, I could hear them clucking from behind the house.

“That’s a long time.” I swung my arms out and crossed them against my chest. Then put them down again because it was too hot. I leaned my head back against the house instead with a thump. Waff thumped too. But we both jumped when the window opened. It was Maple, Miss Kerry’s daughter.

“Will you two stop making a racket.” Maple took after her papa, which was why her hair was brown and longish. Miss Kerry had yellow hair that only reached far enough down to tickle her ears. Though if Gold wasn’t both of their last names, I wasn’t sure I would have thought they were related. Ya see I had never seen Maple’s papa. Or Mr. Kerry for that matter.

Maple was ten and therefore her words meant more than mine or Waff’s, at least that was what Mama said. Respect your olders. So, “Sorry!” is what I said. But Waff…

“Are the pancakes done yet?”

“Hush.” Maple scolded. “They’ll be ready at 11, like always.”

“How much longer?” Waff could keep the whine out of his voice as easily as I could keep the snark out of mine. Maple took a deep breath, and snapped the window shut.

“Ya made her mad.” I said, point blank.

To which Waff answered, “I always make her mad.” It was true. He did. It was part of the Sunday routine. The line behind me was getting even longer as well. Om had gotten behind me, and behind him was Cere, and behind her was old man Oats. He never missed Miss Kerry’s Sunday pancakes. You see Fast Break was so small a town, everyone knew everyone else, and everyone knew Miss Kerry made the finest pancakes in town. So, after receiving so many compliments she decided to share. Every Sunday she promised to make enough pancakes to feed whomever wanted. Even Easy was lingering near the end of the line that was now starting to wrap around the back to the chicken coop.

Waff thumped his head again. Probably because he was bored. I wondered what he had been doing before I had come. Again, he thumped his head.

“Ya’ll only give yourself a headache.” I whispered. “And then ya’ll give Maple a headache.” Waff looked at me, stock still leaning against the house. “And then… ya won’t get any pancakes.”

Waff’s mouth dropped open like the broken door hinge on my back porch. I tried to keep my smile in but it was hard. Until the window snapped open again. Then I lost that smile quick.

“Someone’s hungry. I never thought I’d see the day when you were first Waffle, son.” came Ms. Kerry’s sweet voice. Both of us jumped and turned around.

“Is it time?” I asked. I was hungry too ya know.

In answer Ms. Kerry brought out the first plate of pancakes and Waff took them into his open arms.

“I dreamed of this moment.” he said, because Waff said dramatic stuff like this even when it didn’t make any sense.

“Ya didn’t get any sleep last night.” I broke in, taking my dish next. I didn’t wait a moment longer to sink my fork in.

Living Life #4 (a collection of vignettes)

“The Red Bird”

She wasn’t sure if she saw the red bird first or if it saw her. It was one of those questions she would never have the answer to. Unless of course birds miraculously learned to speak English or she learned to tweet in bird. Since both circumstances seemed unlikely she left it at that. In the end it really didn’t matter. What mattered was that the red bird was there.

The first time she had seen it, she had barely acknowledged its existence. Instead she was more apt to sit and read than look out from the window next to her. Headaches didn’t cure themselves, only distraction and relaxation. So, the red bird had only got a passing glance.

The second time had been a few days later. It was raining profusely and the world outside was bathed in the dark stormy gray of the clouds and the vibrant green of the grass. She noted that the grass only looked that deep a color when it rained and some part of her wished she could see it more often. Then she remembered she really wasn’t fond of rain.

It was then that she had spotted the red bird again. It was huddled on the lawn, directly below her window. It’s contrast was so bright compared to the rest of the world. Autumn apple red wings, smudged dark shadow of a face and candy corn orange peak. It was looking right up at her.

“I’ve seen you before.” she had said.

And in answer the bird had flown away. It had been his turn to leave first after all.

This was the third time, a week from the last meeting. It wasn’t raining but it was cloudy. Her headache had eased but never left. There wasn’t much she could do. A different book was clutched in her hand, but it wasn’t open. Instead all she wanted to do was stare out the window, because she hadn’t tried that yet and she was too tired to do anything else.

The red bird didn’t take long to show up. It sat on the edge of her window sill just like the first time. “What took you so long?” she asked.

The bird bowed its head at her.

“I see. Well, I appreciate the company but if you’re busy I understand.” The red bird fluffed its wings and perched more snuggly onto the sill. It wasn’t going anywhere. She crinkled her eyes and smiled, the first in quite a bit. “Okay, then. If you’re keen on staying… I’ll tell you a story.” So she did and the more she spoke the better her head felt. So you see, it really didn’t matter who saw the other first.

“Hell Fire”

I never got to meet you.
You with a number of lives
I couldn’t ever dream
of reaching.
Ancient and knowing,
otherworldly you.
What things you’ve seen.
What moments you created.
How many lives you touched.
So many red strings tied to you.
The threads stretching,
and tangling,
and tying us all together.
Though we have never met.

And God knows
I wanted to
badly.
Four years ago, in the spring
just like now,
I had been close.
Though life had other plans.
Your home wasn’t home then,
and me,
miles away with no ticket
only a pen.

The world said no
to us.
Though my heart
screamed
yes, yes, yes.

Those spires so high
you kissed the sky.
Now wrapped in holy fire
and me, trapped,
watching you burn
at the pyre.

The fire ate me too.
Even never meeting you.
Why this way God?
Did you ask him too?
Oh, Notre Dame
To the next life, anew
I will one day
stand right next to you.

Living Life #3 (a collection of vignettes)

“The Grape Eater”

It happened in aisle two.

The atmosphere of Shop Smart was bustling and all around there was movement. In one corner an overworked mother was pulling her son into the cart, while her son was pushing himself out of it. By the melons a tall girl was comparing one mango to the other, weighing each against her chest and no doubt looking for the best buy. To the left an elderly gentleman was clenching his fingers upward to the ceiling and shaking them back and forth complaining about clumps in the grated parmesan cheese. So, just another day… until I saw you.

Right there in aisle two.

I was minding my own business, as one does when grocery shopping. I had a small list: bananas, Oreos, and Mocha Swirl ice cream. All major food groups, and all scattered in their own habitats in the store. It was at the exact moment I had spotted the most yellow of the bananas when I saw you a few feet away, hovering over the red seedless grapes. At first my mind skated over. Grapes, sure they were good, but not on my limited list. Besides the drinkable version to me was more preferable for the cost, despite it being nay 12 in the afternoon… then it happened.

You. You in that maroon colored overcoat, in those black bell bottoms, in those disgusting gray tennis shoes which must have once been white reached into that bag of innocent produce and plucked. Plucked. I was so stunned all I could do was watch as you popped that innocent orb of juiciness and vacuumed sucked it into your mouth, leaving no trace of evidence behind…

The bunch fell straight out of my hand and landed with a crash onto its other brethren below on the stand. Looking around to the other patrons of Smart Shop’s finest I found no one else paying any mind. No one had seen. But I saw. I know what you did.

There must have been a look on my face. At that moment I had no control over any of my emotions. You though, Grape Eater, were spared my revulsion by swiftly pivoting away to deeper into the recesses of the store. The others weren’t.

“Are you okay?” Melon girl asked, holding two watermelons now in each of her palms. I didn’t know how to answer. Was I okay? Physically, yes. Mentally, maybe. Emotionally, no. No, I wasn’t. But I was in no mood to explain all of this to her. For some reason fate had willed this burden to fall into my hands and not hers. So I would spare her.

Giving a quick jerk of my head that was neither a nod nor shake, I grabbed my fallen bunch of bananas and scooted out of aisle two. Maybe I was just overreacting. I mean if the Grape Eater was planning on buying the bundle then it didn’t matter, really, whether one was gone or not. It wasn’t stealing. Just eating, preemptively. My synapses calmed at this thought. Any leftover abhorrence I pinned elsewhere. For example, Grape Eater, don’t you know you have to wash fruit first before putting it into your mouth?

But that was Grape Eater’s issue and not mine. Mine was on finding the Oreos. That was easy enough, my Double Stuf Oreos were waiting nestled in between all the other cookies of choice. I grabbed the pack and forced a smile. When I got home these would be well earned. I turned from the display and I stopped. At the end of the shelves was Grape Eater.

You were munching merrily and it was with trepidation that I looked into your basket. Behind the Chips Ahoy and jars of marinara sauce I saw the half eaten bag of grapes. You were trying to hide it, I know you were. Those cookies were placed so carefully to block any onlookers from looking deeper. The marinaras’ label were bright red and distracting to divert any other attention straight to its “Delicious!” marketing campaign. But I knew what to look for. I wasn’t fooled.

This time I followed you, walking right out of reach, as we entered the frozen food section. Grape Eater strolled casually by the peas, by the boxed pizzas and then paused at the ice cream. I swallowed. With grimy hands you reached in and pilfered a container out of the display. I felt my heart lurch when I saw the Mocha Swirl. There was no way.

You coasted by again as I bolted to the freezer and scanned the labels. Mint, Salted Caramel, Butter Pecan…. but no. No more Mocha Swirl. I looked again, and then again. The aisle was empty and you were gone by the time I let realization take hold. This was personal.

I didn’t know what I was going to do, but I was going to do it. Punching the heels of my boots into the tile floor I strode out into the wilderness of the store. The mother and son watched me wearily and the elderly gentleman sidestepped out of my way, each had to just take one look at my face.

The Grape Eater was waiting. Right in front of the tower of Barilla Pasta, on sale for $1.29 a box. It was as if you knew what you did with that smug bloated smile on your face, and you were proud of it. You, Grape Eater, chucked that empty grape bag to the side with a quick, purposeful flick of your wrist, then finally, met my eyes. So you had seen me, just as I had seen you.

As I opened my mouth, it happened. Melon girl, appearing from around the corner, now with two apples in her hands and a menagerie of other fruit in a cart nearby never saw the empty bag. It slid from right under her foot and flinging her apples she in turn reached out… and knocked down the whole tower of pasta.

Grape Eater never stood a chance. The boxes came tumbling down in an avalanche of linguini, penne and farfalle. After, when the dust settled I seized my moment. While everyone was distracted by the spill and Grape Eater floundering on the floor, I grabbed my Mocha Swirl from the forgotten basket.

No one paid me any mind. And it was satisfying.

Snapshot 4/10/19

Currently listening: “The Last of the Real Ones”– Fall Out Boy
Currently (finished) reading: We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett Currently (re)reading: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
Currently watching: Friends (Season 3)
Currently playing: Devil May Cry 5

Music is good. Books are good. Friends is surprisingly good. Why didn’t I start this show sooner? (Because you take your sweet time savoring everythinggggggg). I get it all done. Eventually.

If you are looking for a book that is packed to the sheets (are we making up expressions now, really?) with strong female characters who are not afraid to REALLY get things done but who also have the relatability of normal human beings We Rule the Night may be the right call. At times the story did slow and the ending was a bit abrupt (leaving an opening for a sequel?) but the strong feminism ties that are the framework of the book really do make you feel empowered and ready to take on the world. Which is always a nice feeling. Especially since the book is based off the real story of the Night Witches of WW2. So, if you have a need to be in that very specific niche of a mood… I recommend.

I also am re-reading the Grisha trilogy because let’s be real, Leigh Bardugo is writing goals and I just preordered Joan He’s Descendant of the Crane the other day because all I have been hearing is good things. I’m really setting my reading goals high this year. Last year I read 25 books and this year I’m hoping to set a personal best (at the very least 26, SMALL STEPS JAI).

I do have a habit of trying to do to much at once. Though, to my credit, I always follow through (just my sleeping patterns tend to suffer). The thing about habits is that if they are good they are GREAT, and if they are not good then they are most definitely not great. Are you picking up what I’m putting down?

In other news I find I am enjoying blogging. It’s kind of relaxing! Which is good news for any of you who enjoy reading my dribble. Writing the Living Life vignettes helps me too. When I write it just feels like all my feelings have a place to go. Before I just kept them to myself, and that was fine but when you share the stories and you share your experiences I don’t know it really does just make your world feel a bit better. It’s like when a painter paints or an architect builds. The world gives us all these feelings and we need to get them out. And if we show others these feelings and they get it, it makes you feel more understood in return. Do you know what I mean? And you get one heck of a picture or building. Or story. 🙂

Why didn’t I start doing this sooner? (Oh yeah, because I take my sweet time to savor everything. Duh.)

Living Life #2 (a collection of vignettes)

No one was looking at her.

It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. There were no stares she had to match, no snarky smiles she had to contend with, and no direct bullshit she had to stomach with a straight face. Not a bad thing.

Not a good thing either. If they were looking at her that would at least give more hope that they were paying attention. All these words that were falling carefully out of her mouth were being said for a reason. The reason being she needed them to believe her. Still, they didn’t look up.

The woman on the left had glasses and wheat colored hair. The glasses in front of her eyes made her look studious, smart. Important. Her hair though was bland, lifeless. Scattered. As if the woman had more pressing things on her mind than listening to what the girl had to say. As if the girl was just another problem that needed to be solved.

The man on the right had dimples and a round face. Every time he smiled, which was more often than the girl would have liked, the little indentations appeared in perfect holes on his cheeks. In that round face those holes stood out where the rest of his features glazed over. They appeared every time the girl said something ridiculous, something that was true.

It took the time of three inhales and exhales before they realized the girl was finished. The woman kept typing away at her computer. The man kept scribbling his notes.

All of the words had fallen out of her and still they did not look.