Thursday, February 24, 2011

I like this 61: Think of the Children.

Dear Globlets,

I like this:



Don't have kids. They'll ruin your life. Sure, they're super-duper cute sometimes, but so are puppies. Get a kitteh if you need something cute and exciting in your life. Get a puppy if you want to spend a lot of money feeding something that will make a mess of the food and then not be very grateful; they're just like children. For instance, a dog will eat its own poop, as if to say, "Thanks for the $200 bag of dog chow! Now, if you excuse me, I believe I left a delicious hot steaming pile of excrement in the yard." Not that a child will eat its own poop, but it will probably fling its food across the room, showing how much it cares about the expensive food you got it. And remember, pets don't usually go through the stereotypical teenager phase that children are likely to eventually go through. Plus, humans last 80+ years on average. Do you really want to commit to that? I don't think so.
Don't have kids, Globlets, have pets.

Purse Logic.

Dear Globlets,

Kn posted this link on Facebook the other day:


It's not very funny, but it got me thinking...

If I had a big ass purse, I'd get myself a leprechaun, just so that when people look at my big ass purse, thinking, "Fuck, bitch, that's a big ass purse," I can look at them and say, "Please, fool. I gotta keep my leprechaun somewhere!" And then it would jump out of the bag and attack them. Haha! Yeah...

But until then I'll stick to my small/medium-sized purses. Wallet, keys, phone, lip balm, lactase enzyme pills (you know, to combat the whole vomiting post-milk-consumption thing), and a pen.

And the big-ass-pursed fools will look at me thinking, "Damn, she must have a mighty small leprechaun."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Rage, Rage, Never Gently.

Dear Globlets,

This is an entry I made for Creative Nonfiction. The assignment was to write about yourself in the third person.


She was different from the other kids in elementary school: a makeup-free airhead who was anything but cool or trendy. She wanted blue streaks to frame her oval face but she never got it done. She tried to fit in by getting Pokemon cards, but she traded based on how pretty the Pokemons were and not by their strengths in matches. She never learned how to play Pokemon. For the longest time she wasn’t even aware there was a game to be played with the trading cards.

How disappointed she was when Thomas beat her in a race. It wasn’t a real race; nobody had counted down to zero or determined a finish line, but, according to her, she had been defeated. She used to be the fastest kid on the playground – running away from icky boys used to be serious business - but while she stood on the sidelines out of breath, Thomas was already in mid-field. She hated P.E. after that and never tried to get the ball when they played soccer, even at recess. Somebody else would get the ball. Somebody better. “Get in the game!” her teacher would shout. She would run towards the action on the field but do nothing once the ball was in reach. How could she get the ball from a boy without touching or hurting him?

She wanted to be a doctor when she grew up. She would always help her grandparents check their blood pressure and apply Band-Aids to those wounded from falls on suburban sidewalks. When she was younger and a babysitter was taking care of her and her brother for the night, she would tell Aki that Mommy and Daddy wouldn’t be coming back just so he would cry and she could comfort him.
“What happened!?” the babysitter would ask.
“I don’t know!” she said, rocking Aki back and forth in her arms. “He thinks our parents won’t be coming back. But don’t worry; I’ve got it under control.” Once Aki started to catch on and she had matured a little, she stopped that. Whenever someone got hurt on the playground, she’d be the first on the scene. Whenever someone was crying, she’d make sure they were okay. This was more satisfying than being around the cool kids who would roll their eyes and pretend they didn’t see her whenever she walked over to them. The few times she stupidly spoke up, she was promptly put down, put back in her place.
“Actually, I don’t really think there is a god,” she said, even though she sometimes prayed before an exam.
“Yeah? Well, how do you suppose the earth was created then? Somebody had to make it. How do you suppose you were created?” a cool kid replied.
“My… mom and dad?”
“You really don’t know anything, do you?”
She learned it was better to just keep quiet; anything that came out of her mouth could be turned against her.

Her family moved to Santiago, Chile in 2002; her grandparents and friends cried but she did not shed a tear. There, she learned Spanish, the meaning of “sexy,” and the intentions of boys she liked. There were no cool kids or uncool kids at school; classes were much too small for that. She had the three greatest friends she could ever hope for and family at every corner of the city and beyond. She fell in love with Chile and never imagined herself leaving. She fit in. She belonged. Her height, body type, and dark hair and eye colour proved that as well. She was happy there. Leaving to start a new life again, this time in an old place, old Canada, pleased her friends and grandparents but made her cry. There was nothing she could do.

There was nothing she could do when her father decided to leave her mother either, which was just over a month after their return. They had come back because of him. But after he left, she and her mother became best friends.

She studied at home while her friends went to high school and her mom went to work. The stories they told her reassured her that the choice to homeschool was the right one. It was not always easy to be motivated when she was home alone, but she hated the feeling of doing nothing. She felt like she had to do something. She had to learn. She enrolled for distance education and moved painfully from course to course. Had it not been for studying at home, however, she might not have been able to have the same kind of focus on the arts as she did. She wrote excessively –chapters of her novel, poetry, or words to accompany music she had created on the piano. Photography was an interest she became passionate about too. For years she did not know which direction to go in – writing, music, or photography. Somehow she could not do all three to the extent she wished she could.

Not Back To School Camp in Oregon was where she met people who either affiliated themselves with, or were un/home-schoolers like herself. Going somewhere alone like that was completely out of her comfort zone but somehow she got the courage to go. She made numerous friends, learned about different ways of life, and at the end of each yearly one-week-long session she attended, she went home with self-confidence and inspiration. Leaving was always so hard, not only because it was difficult to say goodbye to her friends, but because people in real life were not as happy, friendly, safe, supportive, accepting, loving or randomly-huggable as NBTSCers.

That’s where she met D, where she stayed up until 5 in the morning talking to him almost every single night. D was her first kiss. D was her first real love. D was her first. Perhaps to continue on with the tradition, D was also the first to break her heart, which still sounds like an understatement to her. To this day he has no idea what kind of damage he caused, but she won’t ever tell him and she won’t ever let him back into her life.

It was because of her deeply religious, Seventh Day Adventist boyfriend who had temporarily moved in with her for four months when he left home, that she discovered a new love. It was a love, not for this boy, but for arguing, especially with creationists. It was a love for standing up for what she believed in and backing it up with facts and strong arguments. It was around this time during which skepticism, rationality, reason and logic were becoming her passions. Soon, a blog was born. She studied the bible - her boyfriend’s bible. She refuted each and every passage she could and every one of the claims made by her distance education peers, and she did so with sweat on her brow, heart beating fast, a smile on her face, and, of course, concrete evidence. Without even realizing it, she often blogged creative nonfiction. It was more than incoherent ramblings of a teenager. It was coherent. It was well written. It was entertaining and thought-provoking.

Finally, she decided on a career path. She would be a writer. She’s good at it, but knowing this makes her afraid that she might get cocky about it one day. Two of her artist friends are great at what they do, but they never let a person forget it. She can’t stand that. She knows it’s probably what will get them ahead in life, but she would rather write for months on end without anybody knowing about it than step on other people to lift herself up from the crowd. That's how she knew this was the right career for her. Even without support, a computer, or readers, she would still write. During the zombie apocalypse, she would still write. If an alien invasion occurred, she would still write. She would not go gently into that good night without a pen in one hand and a pad in the other. With these tools, she would rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Where's Buffy when we need her?

Dear Globlets,

Angel eating an apple

In my Nonfiction class, the prof suggested to look to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly for some of the best examples of dialogue. Then she held up Twilight and the class moaned a nearly unanimous "NOOO!!!" and some said, "Please tell me we're burning that." Many of us were worried the prof would say something good about the novel. "You can open this book to any page and find absolute garbage," she said. A communal sigh of relief promptly followed.

I've read the book. I picked up that book after much deliberation, not because it was well known (it was anything but at the time), but because it seemed interesting and had a cool cover, although it did cost a whopping $25. Could I really spend my well-deserved babysitting money on this giant hardcover about vampires? Somehow, I came to the conclusion that yes, I could, and yes, I would.

Back then, I had no idea what to look for in a good book. Now, of course, that's changed since I've been studying writing and literature. I must say, it's come in handy. I can now look at the writing in Twilight and confidently say, "This is total shit." It is total shit. If you have ever found yourself in a situation where you were forced to listen to a group of stereotypical teenagers SPEAKING, if you know just how painful that is, then you already know the pain that comes from reading Twilight, for it is the same.

From Buffy:
Spike: Isn't it a fantastic day? Birds singin', squirrels making lots of rotten little squirrels, sun beamin' down in a nice non-fatal way. It's very exciting. Can't wait to see if I freckle.

Xander: I'm exhausted just lookin' at those two. All the splashing and jumping and running. Shouldn't relaxing involve less exertion?
Anya: Absolutely. Exertion can lead to sweatiness.
Tara Maclay: Oh, which can cause the, um, pain and heartbreak of stinkiness. Better to just stay put.
Willow Rosenberg: I think we've just put our finger on why we're the sidekicks.



From Twilight:
"Do you want to walk down the beach with me?" I asked, trying to imitate that way Edward had of looking up from underneath his eyelashes. It couldn't have nearly the same effect, I was sure, but Jacob jumped up willingly enough.

As we walked north across the multihued stones toward the driftwood seawall, the clouds finally closed ranks across the sky, causing the sea to darken and the temperature to drop. I shoved my hands deep into the pockets of my jacket.

"So you're, what, sixteen?" I asked, trying not to look like an idiot as I fluttered my eyelids the way I'd seen girls do on TV.

"I just turned fifteen," he confessed, flattered.

"Really?" My face was full of false surprise. "I would have thought you were older."

"I'm tall for my age," he explained.

"Do you come up to Forks much?" I asked archly, as if I was hoping for a yes. I sounded idiotic to myself. I was afraid he would turn on me with disgust and accuse me of my fraud, but he still seemed flattered.

"Not too much," he admitted with a frown. "But when I get my car finished I can go up as much as I want—after I get my license," he amended.

"Who was that other boy Lauren was talking to? He seemed a little old to be hanging out with us." I purposefully lumped myself in with the youngsters, trying to make it clear that I preferred Jacob.


Something tells me Stephanie Meyer has never taken a writing course in her life; she breaks every rule in the book. Rule number one is Show, don't tell.
"I purposefully lumped myself in with the youngsters, trying to make it clear that I preferred Jacob"? Really?
"He amended"? "He confessed, flattered." Saying much more than "he said" is frowned upon when it comes to dialogue. If this is told from the first person, then how could Bella know he felt flattered? What about the rules of not entering another's mind if you're only supposed to be in one? Ugh. UGH. And this is an excerpt from a page promoting Twilight.

Buffy, help us all.

No, seriously, you're a vampire slayer. Slay those fuckers and spare us... Please?


Like those awesome comebacks you think of an hour after the incident occurs, it's a good rule to write not what you would say, but rather what you wish you had said.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Racist jokes are not funny.

Dear Globlets,

I love my racist ______.*

I told him, "Today, I saw a black kid running away from a much slower white fat kid, and I thought of you."
"Aww, that's so sweet! But are you sure the fat kid wasn't a cop?"

Quick as a whip, that one. I'm still laughing, globlets. Still laughing.


Wait, isn't it Black History Month? Oh shiyt.


*Identity withheld for purposes of preventing a communal stoning of someone I care about.

Don't Stop Me Now.

Dear Globlets,

I remember getting so angry whenever I heard someone play the piano better than I could - not professionals, but people my age who could play "Light My Fire" by the Doors like it was the easiest thing in the world to do. I was envious. I had played the piano for so long and I could not play like she could. It hadn't been long before I heard her play "Light My Fire" that I realized I could choose to play non-classical pieces and move on to playing music I liked. Who knew classic rock could be played on the piano? (It's a lot easier with three hands, but hey... Not that she had three hands...) When I heard her play it, it was not the first time my body reacted in that way to talent envy. I felt tense, shaky, and hot, like something uncontrollable was boiling in my chest. Even just thinking about playing music - either on the piano or the guitar - makes me feel like crying when I don't play. Knowing that I don't play enough makes me want to cry. I don't know why I have such an emotional reaction to playing music - I really don't.

I'm a pretty competitive person. That might be why it's easier for me to be envious of someone's hard-earned skills. When I saw Sk's photography, that same feeling of envy rushed through my body, except it was less intense. A lot of what makes her work so much better than mine is her editing. But it makes sense for her to be that much farther ahead of me. She's been shooting a lot. She has done so much work since we "broke up" that all her practice has noticeably paid off. I haven't been able to practice much at all. I have very few models. I've done 2.5 photo shoots in the last six months, and they would not have happened had I not met Tb when I worked at the cafe for a while and asked her if she would be willing to model for me. I had a mini, not very successful shoot with Rc, too - that's the 0.5 shoot. Before August 2010, I had two shoots with Hs and one with Jd. So, for 2010, the total number of photo shoots I did amounts to four. That really isn't enough to improve as a photographer.

I published 140 globulations in 2010, including a 20 page short story as well as close to 50 pages-worth of shorter short stories in one semester. That's quite a bit, and I plan to write even more this year.

I knew I would never become a musician. As much as I would love to, as big a part of me as there is that still would like to attend Juliard, as deeply-rooted my passion for music must be if I can cry about it so easily, I know I didn't/don't have what it would take. I didn't have the kind of support I felt I needed from people around me to really excel. It's weird, and I don't like that I needed it, but I know I did need more ... more something from people. Encouragement? Interest? Faith? Something. I didn't know how to ask for it and I didn't want to. I'm mostly content now, I think, because I've come to terms with the fact that I will play music only for myself.

I've signed up with ModelMayhem.com and hopefully once I'm accepted, I might get into photography more. My mom has offered to go over some Photoshop techniques with me, too, so my editing abilities will improve once I learn a bit more about it. I can't say I wish I had more support from the people I know because I do get feedback from them. It's easier; my pictures are online whereas my music-playing is not. I think I would have a harder time, mentally, receiving critiques on my music than I would on anything else.

My photography is the easiest thing to critique. It is the easiest thing to look at and say, "This is shit," or "This is awesome," or "I like this. Have you thought of trying this?" I'm grateful to be able to get those kinds of responses to my work. When it comes to writing, however, the one thing I feel I do best, I get very little back from my readers. I don't actually know how many I have. I don't want to sound ungrateful for the feedback my mom and Tw give me because I value it. It makes me want to keep writing, keep improving, keep doing what I love to do. It gives me confidence. I don't have confidence in my music-playing. I have some confidence in my photography, but nowhere near as much as I do in my writing. Getting grades and comments from the prof for my writing was encouragement. When my friends started commenting on my Facebook notes, I loved it. It was like, Yeah, people are reading my shit. Yeah, I am not just sending these globulations out into the blogosphere only to be seen by no one. Yeah, my messages are being received.

The thing is, reading something I write takes a lot more work than it does to just look at a picture and say, "It's not bad." However, at this point I would be more than happy if someone Liked a piece of my writing on Facebook. They don't have to comment; just knowing that someone actually gave enough of a shit to read it is nice. Every single time I get a Disagree/Agree/Funny/Good/Bad response here on Blogger, it makes me feel good. For those who aren't aware, there are "Reactions" buttons at the bottom of each post - that's what I'm talking about.

I suppose it's thanks to my confidence in my writing that, even without approval or support from many people, I am still able to produce something that satisfies me. I am still able to soldier on, and I think it's this that has led me to desire pursuing a career in writing.

Globlets, I'm going to be a writer. I'm going to be a writer and there's nothing you can do to stop me.

Even if only a couple of Globlets will actually read this, it feels good to say that, Globlets. It feels really fucking good.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Teenager for a Brother.

Dear Globlets,

This is a blog assignment I did for Creative Nonfiction. I'm thinking of turning it into a formal essay sometime in the near future. The "ladder" bit was slightly modified because I didn't want to use my brother's real name.

-----


Dressed for the 50s - Grease Night!

Sometimes we call him Child, and other times we call him Poppet (or Poppetino) thanks to Sexy Pirates Pirates of the Caribbean. I am Oppet to him and our mom is Mommet. When he was a toddler and couldn't pronounce his or my name, he was Aki and I was Nani.

Right now, we're watching 1000 Ways to Die and Aki is responding to an incident with an idiot and a wood chipper. I don't think I need to give you the details. Yesterday we practised our aim using Wii remotes and the foreheads of very angry zombies: Resident Evil -The Umbrella Chronicles. Speaking of umbrellas, a sword-swallower on 1000 Ways to Die is about to swallow an umbrella and the umbrella will open inside of him. Isn't that lovely? Adrian says he can't look but he does anyway. This is what we do on weekends. This is our bonding time.

Neither of us has any idea of what the point of The Umbrella Chronicles is. We hit (A) furiously whenever the characters start speaking and we yell at them, saying, "Shut up! Hurry up! We don't care! Can we get to the zombies yet, please?" We just want to kill things, not be engaged in any kind of plot or storyline, or get attached to any characters. Why there are tiny, savage, abominable snow-monkeys that attack us is beyond me, but we haven't the patience to figure that one out. Shoot first, ask questions never.

There are times, of course, when he drives me absolutely nuts; he is my little brother, after all. I recorded an incident that occurred last Friday:

I was taking down a sheet I had hung up on a wall for a photo shoot and I couldn't reach the last nail so I asked him to bring me the step ladder. I was holding the sheet because I was afraid that letting it go would make the weight pull down on the final nail and it would tear. He was in the other room listening to a song by Andrew Bird and he called back, "What?!"
"Can you bring me the ladder, please?"
"What?"
"The ladder! Can you bring it, please?!
"What?"
"Bring me the goddamn ladder, Aki!"
The music got louder.
"What the hell? Seriously, Aki! Please get me the ladder!"
The music got louder still.
"Aki, I swear to god! Bring me the ladder or you shall die!
"What?"
"Aki, damn it, the ladder! LAD-DER. STEP LADDER. A LADDER ON WHICH I CAN STEP TO REACH A VERY HIGH OBJECT!"
The music got louder.
"A STOOL! A STOOL! GET ME A FUCKING STOOL, PLEASE!!!"
Then Aki appeared. "Did you want something?"
Aki finally brought me the step ladder. "Hey, why did you want the music a step louder?" He asked knowing perfectly well what I had meant.

I was ready to kill him.

I never went through the OH-HELP-I'M-A-TEENAGER-WHAT-DOES-IT-ALL-MEAN/MUST-ACT-LIKE-JERK phase; I was usually just pissed off that I had bothersome hormones that made my skin look bad and my eyeballs leak with every sappy commercial that played on TV (Damn you, Lowe's Home Improvement!). Okay, I'm still pissed off about these things, and although Aki's skin is no longer flawless as it once was, he isn't showing symptoms of that phase either.

He is four years younger than me but he's taller even when I wear high heels. So, he's like 4'8 or something. He loves to bug me about this now. He often walks over to me, straightens his back and looks down at me; grinning, he'll say, "How's it going down there?" He's been waiting to be tall for ages, especially since his friends were all 5'9+ by the time he was 12. He's 15 now, and according to stereotypes we see in the media, his mind should be deep in the gutter. He should be rude to adults and girls, and always acting out, doing illegal things, being emo, getting moody, trying to fit in, trying to be cool, trying to figure out who he is and why he is, but he's not. He just doesn't really care. Although there are times when I think to myself that he will be the reason I move out before I can afford to, he really is the kindest teenager I have ever known. He holds the door open for people automatically; he takes his plate, as well as everyone else's, to the kitchen after dinner without being asked to; he doesn't make a fuss when he's asked to help around the house; he has followed me from his bedroom where we were watching 1000 Ways to Die to the living room, where I'm not distracted by disgusting candidates for the Darwin Awards, and he is now reading an IKEA catalogue with Lucy curled up on his lap. He didn't have to follow me, but now he's with the whole family. He isn't locked in his room alone. Is this normal behaviour? Should we be concerned? Should we be grateful because one day he might snap and turn into a rotten, sleazy prick? Maybe he's just... nice?

One thing I cannot ignore, however, is his unfaltering ability to be incredibly annoying at least once every single day of his life. In fact, I can't remember a day when I did not threaten him with an ass-kicking or a black eye. I've only ever punched his shoulder, of course.
"If you sing the 'Trolololo' song one more time, I'm going to punch you in the face." - That usually does the trick. (He's taller than me but my threats still work? What?)

I cannot ignore his complete and utter obliviousness to 96% of his surroundings either. He jumps into the middle of conversations that begin even when he is in the room at the time and asks what the speakers are talking about. Not only is his hearing selective, but his memory is too, except when it comes to cars. He will tell you the make of any car on the street and what year it was made, and when you ask him how he knows he'll go on about how they changed the headlights in 2005.
"Do you see how the headlights are like this?" He motions with his hands. "Well, now they're like this and the previous model was completely different. Do you see what I mean?"
"No?"
He can't remember how to conjugate certain verbs in Spanish (he forgot all he learned when we lived in Chile), but he knows every detail about every car in existence. If you ask him what he wants to be when he grows up, he'll say, "Richard Hammond" - a co-host of Top Gear, the best car show known to man. There isn't an episode of this show Aki hasn't seen at least twice.

Together, we sing Blue Swede's "Hooked on a Feeling" while we wash the dishes, we recite Eddie Izzard's "Death Star Canteen" by heart, we team up and kill undead beings on a regular basis, and, of course, we piss each other off beyond belief. And I wouldn't have it any other way. He's my brother and I love him; he loves me too, even though he won't ever admit it out loud.

He's also my model sometimes:

July 2009

Photo of Punta de Tralca.

Dear Globlets,

Here's a picture of me in Punta de Tralca:


The dog I'm "sitting on" is Lady, the dog of the owner of Las CabaƱas Barrachina (Pancho).

Friday, February 4, 2011

A Step Louder.

Dear Globlets,

I hate my brother.


I was taking down a sheet I had hung up on my wall for a photo shoot and I couldn't reach the last nail so I asked him to bring me the ladder.

He was in the other room listening to "Ratitat/Peter's Wolf/Oblivious Reel" by Andrew Bird (lots of fiddlework) and he says, "What?!"

"Can you bring me the ladder, please?"
"What?"
"The ladder! Can you bring it, please?!
"What?"
"Bring me the goddamn ladder, Adrian!"
The music gets louder.
"What the fuck? Adrian!!! Please get me the ladder!"
The music gets louder still.
"Adrian, I swear to Lucy! Bring me the ladder or you shall die and you and everyone in this canteen. Death by tray it shall be!" (or something)
"What?"
"Adrian, damn it, the ladder! LADDER. STEP LADDER. A LADDER ON WHICH I CAN STEP TO REACH A VERY HIGH OBJECT!"
The music gets louder.
"A STOOL! GET ME A FUCKING STOOL, PLEASE!!!"
Adrian appears. "Did you want something?"

Later, Adrian finally brings me the step ladder. "Why did you want the music a step louder?"


I hate my brother.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Punta de Tralca.

Dear Globlets,

This is an essay I wrote for my Creative Nonfiction class... about "a place." I haven't received feedback from my prof yet, probably because I still have to submit the good copy. I'll keep you posted. I was to focus on the different senses, make it seem a bit like a movie, and make sure that there is some kind of theme. The prof showed us some movie intros and endings to give us an idea of some really great cinematic techniques:
No Country for Old Men
Lawrence of Arabia -
Shawshank Redemption (Now I REALLY need to see it, doggamnit.) Might be my favourite one. I love the way the camera goes up and down and all around and in the head of one guy and then into the heads of others without actually venturing there. You know what they're feeling. It's quite beautiful. Those ten seconds between 4:17 and 4:27 say so much, too. That's what got me the most.

There was also this amazing ending scene of an old black and white film; its name escapes me now. Five minutes were spent on this woman walking from far off in the distance towards us, towards a man (or so we think) who is leaning on his car. Five minutes, and he just stands there looking at her. She's smack in the middle of a long road. She starts off as a speck, her footsteps consistent and constant. Slowly, she appears - a young woman, no longer a speck, no longer just a figure. She looks straight ahead the entire time. She walks and she walks and she walks and finally she's right in front of the guy, but she doesn't look at him. She looks straight ahead still. She looks straight ahead and walks past the camera. The end. Frakkin' amazing. Five minutes.

Back to me now... What I've got might not be quite so dramatic.

Feedback/critiques welcome! As always.

For context, I kind of lived in Chile for two and a half years. Huh! Who knew?


Punta de Tralca

Headlights shine far ahead, illuminating the uneven path that four wheels follow. The crinkle and crackle beneath the tires echo into our ears; it’s the only sound apart from the engine that can be heard. A stray dog several metres away perks its ears up, its eyes eerily reflecting the light and watching us arrive. Doors open and slam shut, tired bodies stand and stretch, and shoes crush the small jagged rocks beneath them. My brother’s head is lifted from my shoulder, his mouth still hanging open. My eyes are sleepy and I rub them until I see stars. Chilean voices fill the ocean-scented air, and firm handshakes and warm embraces are exchanged. I stumble out of the vehicle. My dad calls me over to meet some people I can hardly see. Our bags are taken towards our cabin. As we begin to follow them, my mom gasps and covers her mouth, but lets the words, “Oh my god. Look at the sky!” escape her lips. We look up. Countless sparkling specks of gas and dust heavily sprinkle the black sky above us, in a similar way a young child might over-sprinkle a gingerbread cookie or art project. Only two hours west of Santiago’s smoggy skies and not a cloud pollutes our view here. We stand staring upwards for several minutes and I am reminded of the pictures of the Milky Way I had seen in my book about outer space. I have to bring Catalina, Melisa and Cristian here, I think to myself before a cool ocean breeze startles me back to Earth. We have to go inside, but none of us really want to.

Once in bed, I squeeze my eyes shut and make the Milky Way appear again.

Bright sunshine tries to sneak in through the windows from behind the curtains. Our cabin smells like a forest – fresh, crisp, and earthy. My family is shuffling out of bed, getting ready for the day, and lining up for the bathroom. Once we are all dressed, we pull back the curtains and unleash the sunshine into our cabin. We sit together in the kitchen booth eating breakfast and decide to explore the beach once we’re finished.

Now I can see what the place is really like. Several log cabins create a quaint and friendly complex to my right. To my left, next to multiple picnic benches sits a big red brick fireplace that invites barbecues and evening get-togethers. Straight ahead, past the open gate of the cabin complex, the ocean can be seen. We are on top of a hill where a small, splotchy, yellow dandelion infestation resides, not unlike the splotchy star infestation of the sky I saw last night. I know better than to pick any dandelions, for an unpleasant white liquid would leak out of their stems and my fingers would get sticky. We begin making our way down to the beach, passing a few stray dogs as we go. None of them are cute enough to take home. After a short but steep downhill trek, the smell of ocean water is much stronger than it was before. Almost unexpectedly, as if I’d crossed some sort of boundary, I hear waves crashing, gulls crowing and dogs barking. Within seconds, I see the creatures that match these sounds. My friends would like it here. I have to show them someday.

Facing the south part of the beach, I see an enormous rock (Piedra del Trueno) glaring fiercely at the sea. Its walls are frequent targets for ambitious waves and tourists; it seems we will be targeting it today as well. I am concerned that it might rain since it is overcast, and I am not thrilled with the fact that the wind will certainly make painful knots in my long brown hair. Everything is grey like a boring black and white photograph and I am not very excited about this trip to see a rock. I can see the rock from here; do I have to touch it too? Why can’t we just stay at the cabin until the sun comes out? Despite the cold, I take off my shoes and socks, deciding that there is little point in wearing them if sand is going to get inside anyway. The sand is fine, light and beige, except where the water has managed to reach it and there it is thick, heavy and dark. A few twigs poke out and I must be careful not to step on them. As we walk further along, the grains of sand become larger and larger. By the time we reach Piedra del Trueno, the sand between my cold red toes is no longer micro-granules of stones, but tiny, round, multi-coloured pebbles. I let a wave wipe them from my feet, yet some cling desperately to my skin. I wonder if the three of us would play our favourite games here and then carry sand on our feet back to the cabin. My brother begins to race me up the path to the top of the hill and I can’t let him win. He almost does.

I put my shoes back on and we make our way to the rock. There are more people here than I thought there would be. There are serious rock-climbers equipped with water bottles and fanny packs, and they are dressed much more appropriately for this kind of activity than I am. At least my jeans are 3% spandex. The way we are going is not as tricky as the way the professionals go, but I am still worried that my mom might slip. I am worried that my dad will twist his ankle on uneven bit of stone. I am worried that my brother’s feet will not move as fast as the rest of him and that he will fall. At the same time, I must be careful too and I follow my mom’s steps, although for every one step of hers I must take two. I spend more time looking down at the rock beneath my feet than at anything else around me. I look back to see my brother and father are a bit behind but my dad’s bald head appears just past another rock; it’s my signal to carry on. Finally, we reach a high peak of the rock. I stop and look up at my surroundings. From here, I can see the entire beach we had walked along and beyond, plus what seems like the entire South Pacific Ocean. The sky had cleared up since we left and it is now a bright blue with the occasional white fluffy cloud: a perfect sky. The sea reflects it, making it no longer seem like the dreary background of a white and black photograph but like the kind of sea in which mermaids tempt sailors and pirates fight alongside crocodiles. They would love it here. I will bring them and show them.

On the way back, with tangled hair and my shoes thrown over my shoulder, I scan the sand for smooth or pretty rocks. I pick some up, and they either go into my pocket or get tossed back into the sea. Sometimes I wonder if the ocean gets mad when I pick rocks from its beaches and I hope that when I throw the ones I don’t like back in, it forgives me. However, if I find a really flat rock, even if it’s smooth and pretty, it must be skipped. I try to make these rocks skip as many times as possible. When I bring Meli, Cata and Cristian here, we’ll skip rocks together.

We sit on the fine sand and I dig my feet into it. After removing the bottom half of his pant legs thanks to a zipper that converts pants to shorts in seconds, my brother digs his entire legs into the sand. I ask him if he wants me to bury him. He giggles and accepts. Soon, I can no longer see his legs, and instead I see two big grey sand-mountains that make him look like he has huge muscular legs that are attached to his tiny torso. He thinks it’s hilarious and he tells our parents to come see what happened to him. A dog prances by and my brother gets scared, but I assure him that he’s not going to bother us since he’s probably just looking for his girlfriend. He wiggles his big toe and some sand falls, exposing his skin. When I notice, he laughs and wiggles it more. I dump a heap of sand to cover it up. He wiggles his other big toe and it appears out of the sand. I dump on more sand. He shakes his legs beneath the sand and the mountains crack. I pretend I’m angry and he laughs at me again. I extend my hands out to him, he grabs on to them tightly, and I pull him out. Sand falls off his scrawny body. He complains that it’s cold now. When I come here with my friends, we’ll bury each other in the sand too.

At the end of the day, I promise myself that I will bring my best friends to this place, to Punta de Tralca. I imagine all the activities we will do together. I think about how we will bring a soccer ball and play on the beach, and how we will bring cards and stay up late in our cabin playing Guerra (War). I want them to see the funny-looking mutts that wander the beaches. I want them to see the big waves that crash on the shore when it’s windy. I want them to be surprised like I was when I show them the view from Piedra del Trueno. I want them to see everything, and with them I want to explore the rest. I want to share this place and create new memories with my friends. I want to stay up late with them just to stare at the stars – stars like they’ve never seen before.

***

I never got a chance to do that. They didn’t get to go on a trip with me for a couple of days in Punta de Tralca. I didn’t get to show or share or experience all the things I wanted to with them. They still don’t know how beautiful the ocean is there, how cozy the cabins are, or how calm and quiet the salty air is. Eight years separate that day from now, and over 10,000 kilometres separate me from those friends. A lot of things were left undone due to what I consider a premature departure from Chile back to Canada, despite the original one-way tickets, and a lot of good relationships had to stay behind as well. It might not be soon, it might take a lot of hard work, but I have no intention of giving up on the promise I made to myself so many years ago – the promise that one day I will bring my best friends to see my favourite place in the world.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

LOLWTFOMGNOWY

Dear Globlets,


Yesterday I started to get my sit-up routine going again and today I found my mom sharing a link to this website... and going through the content of the site is excruciating.

But then I came across this one:



What the fuck? What am I supposed to think about this? This is weirding me out, globlets. I globulate. These are globulations. Whowhyforwhatpurposehow is there the word "globulate" in someone's iPhone spellcheck? o.O

But apparently I might have the power to ruin Christmas! Woohoo!

Scary times are these, my globlets. This probably has something to do with the government controlling and watching everything you do. Everything has to do with the government watching you for their secret extremist agendas. You have no privacy. The IRS, CIA, NBA, NRA, NHL, FIFA, and even NASA all know when your bowel movements occur. They're controlling your bowel movements by applying taxes to the things you know and love! Like bran.

What.