Thursday, June 09, 2005

A Flurry of Words

Here is another story from my youth. The previous story (Grapes of Wrath) was written during my last weeks of high school back in 1993. This story was written in 1994 I believe. If I'm not mistaken, my friend and I had been reading a local independent magazine. A writer had a list of words and dared his readers to write a story including the entire vocabulary. There was nothing stating the words had to be used in proper context. That is when our story was born....

"Summerchild you freak me wild," Paul cried. Then he crashed through the ice, the sharp edge dragging down his arm, a nasty laceration. "There's a world down here, Boffo! I'm crazy for you and this ice is just a test. Sing me latitudes of your memory. Longitude is the dogma of man's disguise." He looked at his reflection in the smooth surface above his head. His aura was grodie. He would have preferred purple, in fact he yearned for it. He lived for himself now. #!@* the seqraciousness required up there. HAIL HEDONISM! "A-EEL EDONEEESM!" the moon Paul wailed. "So hey, I was thinking, what colour is your aura?" Maren questioned Paul as she was ardent for Pauly-Poo and his enigmatic aura. Paul unaware that Maren had been sensing his thoughts screamed "B-R-O-W-N. Brown, like a pumpernickel cow pie. Are you happy now?" "As a matter of fact, I heart this nautical wonderland," Maren replied. "Golly," Paul said, gazing deep into her soul with the X-ray lenses he had pulled from underneath his tuque. "I want you. You are a math goddess. Not to be irreverent, but you are the umbrage of my universe. I pay homage to my umbrage. Tungsten is my tulip. Look at that kelp. It's to feed the wyvern I will give to you, my betrothed." Paul lay just below Maren's feet. "STEP ON MY HEAD!" he hollered, "because I want you". "I would take your panleukopenis," Maren said. "You, you, you, oh no, no, no....panleukopenis is not in either of your systems so stop your whining and thank me happily," Melanie demanded as she slid down the, once ballistic, now defunct, missile tube into the slippery underworld. She watched Maren as Paul inserted his tungsten into their beautiful first kiss. Melanie plugged it into a nearby eel. "BZZZZ," they went. "Wow, what a charge!" they shouted, running off to the nearest sea bed. Total beatitude. Melanie looked dazed. She was happy for them, but damn, she was lonely. Mr. McDonald, come on down!!!" She smiled slightly as he came zooming down with tremendous velocity."Boy," he mumbled, "this polyester sure is slippery, eh?" Melanie fell into his arms, but as she was wearing satin, they slid against one another and she fell into the current smacking her forehead on the ice. She was out cold. Maren, happily unaware of Melanie's fermenting sexual repression, was also not aware of the resulting 'fumbling towards ecstasy' accident. She was more concerned with Paul's cosmic mumbling. Paul was whispering "What do I say when it comes up? What do I do? I'm so scared. Oh my misfortunes!" "Beatify me," Maren responded. "Oh, I can't, I'm too scared!" "No, dodo, that's what YOU say!" "OH! Beatify me!" Pauliam said. She did. Meanwhile, back at the disco-auqa, Melanie had recovered consciousness, and was doing her best to reach her zenith through Mr.McDonald, without seeming like a yucky yenta. The sky was xanthrous, the world was panthrous and Melanie had something to say. "I'm tired. Let's go to sex-us texas." "Yeah, okay. I'm in a lone star state of mind and my wiley wiggins is ever ready." McDonald Man replied. "Unfortunately my batteries are dead so we'll have to swim." "Rats, rats, rats, rats, rats, rats, rats, rats, rats, star......," and they were off.VROOMMMMMmmmmm Maren and Paul had found their comet. It had been a cosmic day. "You're the Queen of my heart,"" he said. Melanie and Mister McD. were...occupied. They were making stew for the pretty horses. They had missed their lucky star and were forever now in the underwater dish world until the first day of spring, when the Shinook brought the Big Thaw. Since they were magnanimous, they made it. Maren and Paul had saved them a room in their mansion under a strip mall just outside of downtown London and were patiently awaiting their arrival. The loons had arrived in town and they were anxious to eat the rice and beans.
To be continued on some other boring day.....

A Blast From the Past

I found the following story on my old floppy disks. Enjoy...

As We'd Like to Imagine
written by Melanie Birdsey and Dana Vanzanten
with the help of occasional guest writers
(Maren Dick)

"I don't think Melanie would approve." This from Vincent, ever concerned about the welfare of lustful fans.
"Melanie who?" enquired Chris, the lustful yet sexually repressed drummer.
"You remember" said Kevin, "she's friends with Dana and Lee." Chris still looked blank and puzzled.
"The menage a sept, remember?" said Kevin, jokingly elbowing Chris.
"Geez, don't you remember June 12, 1992? I mean Dana, man, and you." replied Chris's younger brother Tom.
From around the door, peered Melanie's lovely face. Turning back to Dana she whispered "Did you hear him. He's making fun of us. Do you think he was?"
Dana rolled her doe-like misty eyes back into her head replying only to say " I guess we'll never know".
Melanie began to cry, a single pearl-like tear rolling down her cheek. Light reflecting from this tear nearly blinded Kevin. Dana didn't even see the tear because her eyes were stuck in her head. Suddenly Lee came to where they were lounging. She was not wearing her glasses as she stated that she was having a good sight day. She sat down beside Chris after tripping over a chair and falling into his lap. Chris, smiling like a dog, thrilled from this intrusion of his personal lap space, questioned "Who are you?"
"Lee. Don't you remember?"
"Oh yeah, that's right. Don't you usually wear glasses?"
Lee, offended that she had not been recognized without her glasses, shrieked "Can't you see I'm having a good sight day?"
Meanwhile, Tom was busy slapping the back of Dana's head, trying to get her eyes to roll back forward. Dana kept falling over and getting back up but it was no use. They'd just have to call her Whitey.
Melanie, apparently disappointed of the lack of attention being paid to her, walked over to Vincent, innocently said "Hello, what is your name Vincent?"
Confused, yet sexually aroused, he turned the question around. "Vincent. Hello, what is your name Melanie?" Apparently the two were destined to be together as no one else could possibly be on the same wave length.
At the same time, Dana was discovering similar feelings for Tom, who had succeeded in freeing one of her eyeballs. Although the other was still stuck, she could see that he was quite good looking. With concern, and great deal of lust, he asked if he should take her to the hospital. Dana replied, with an equal amount of lust, that she would love to go to the hospital with him. Just imagine, their own clinically sterile room. What could be more romantic?
Lee had begun to realize that she was not having that good of a sight day. She was also thinking that Chris was rather, well, sexually repressed so she went to find her spectacles, with Kevin in tow. After asking for his assistance, he gratefully accepted. However, Lee forgot to mention that the two would first get their noses pierced so that while in tow, she could attach a fine 24 karat gold chain from her nostril to his.
Chris was now alone -sad, sick, crying. "Damn sexual repression", he screamed, beating his fists on a chair, "my father couldn't bother to play the kind of role a child required. Instead of trying he retired."
Meanwhile, Melanie and Vincent were staring deeply into ... a bowl of cream of leek soup. They discovered that they had that in common too. Melanie suggested looking for their future in the soup. So far it was creamy, very creamy. Melanie, believing this was a premonition, took Vincent's hand. Staring at his palm, she announced "we're getting married. It says so. It's in your palm."
Vincent said passionately "Okay. I love... your sweater, Melanie. Is it old?"
"Heck, my La Bamba tape is older than this." Melanie replied, secretly happy that he had been so taken by it.

From the Vineyards to the Spice rack: The Saga Continues

After the wedding, Melanie and Vincent rushed straight to the hospital. Dana had just had eye surgery and the prognosis wasn't good. It seems that her eyes had focused on her frontal lobe. When the doctors' had operated it became apparent that there was no visible reason for her eyes to remain stuck in her head other than that they were curious of her mind. Vincent was preoccupied by Melanie's newly developed habit of shoving mini marshmallows up her nose. Apparently, she had already set a province-wide record for jumbo marshmallows and was anxious to challenge Dana, when she was feeling up to it. It was apparent now that Dana was forever doomed only to see her brain. The government was now interested in using her for intensive psychological studies. Tom was crying, heartbroken. He had dreamt of the day when Dana would unroll her eyes and gaze longingly into his. He had especially hoped that day would be today as his complexion was very clear. He realized that Dana's regained sight was not a reality so he consoled her. He whispered quietly in her ear "I'll be there and I will care. Sometimes it's like I'm not but I am here".
A nurse, who strangely looked like Eleanor Roosevelt entered the room. She said to Tom, "Hey don't you work drive-through Fridays at McDonalds?"
"Actually, I had to change to Thursdays. We've been playing a lot on Fridays."
"Playing?" said Eleanor. "Who are you?"
Tom ignored her. One of Dana's eyeballs had begun to flutter. A hush fell over the room. Staring at Dana's batting eyelashes, their eyes made contact with Dana's. Miraculously, they had become unstuck. Her eyes slowly began to focus. Unfortunately for Tom, they focused past him, at the small table where her dinner lay.
"Ginger! There's ginger on my poached salmon! I love Ginger!"
Everyone clapped. At the same time Kevin reentered the room as he had excused himself moments earlier to relieve himself. Crushed that he had missed this monumental miracle, he ran out of the room in shame never to return. As he ran through the hospitals corridors his singing was heard, "memories kill me reminding me of you, reminding me of you". Their happiness over Dana's recovery dimmed. Kevin was gone. Their babe appeal was now diminished by 25%. "What's happened?" sobbed Melanie. "Has Dana gained sight only to witness destruction?" She fell weeping into Vincent's arms.
"No, my love. We will rise from the ashes like the mighty phoenix." He leapt to his feet, tossing Melanie aside. Silence fell again.
"We shall be ... GINGER!!!!"
Dana was experiencing eye strain and Tom wanted to be left alone with his love as he had heard that eye contact can strengthen relationships. Lee had already left in search of Kevin. She too never returned. Melanie and Vincent gave Dana and Tom congratulatory winks as they left for their honeymoon. The day had been a success. Dana and Tom decided to get married so they could join Melanie and Vincent on a joint honeymoon before Ginger became a reality. They decided to tour Canada in a Comfort Cruiser, beginning in St. Thomas and ending in Penticton. They were hoping to run into their old friend Shawn and his wife Deb. It had been rumoured that Shawn was Chris's long-lost twin, as well as being an excellent drummer.
After the first day of driving, they arrived in Stoney Point, Ontario. The locals had been very kind in sharing it's history. Melanie, abhorrent that the government had changed the spelling of Stony to Stoney, wrote a letter to Ottawa addressing the problem. Unfortunately, she did not double check her spelling and she accidentally misspelled Stony anyway.
With a glance upwards into the moonlit sky, Dana cried out "I' m not inspired!"
"Not inspired? With this moonlit night , these starry skies?", Tom cried.
"Dammit," Dana screamed 'BUGS!"
"I'll save you my love" cried Tom, flyswatter in one hand and a can of bug spray in the other.
"Melanie, are you all right?", cried Vince. A swarm of bugs had gathered around her.
"Oh, don't be silly. I was a camp counsellor. Insects are your friends. We have bonded." Melanie chortled. "Don't look so squirmish. They'll go away." Putting her arm around Vincent, she suggested, "Let's put out the porch light."
Vincent, fond of being in the dark with his true love, reached over to the red brick to turn out the light. Unfortunately, the wall was incredibly far away and he missed his goal. He and Melanie fell backwards out of their chair, violently striking their heads. Once again, a trip to the hospital seemed imminent. But no, Tom was studying to be a doctor and was ready to save his afflicted friends. Pediatrics was his dream, his goal. Melanie and Vincent, much like children, would serve him well.
"I'll take it from here," Tom said, pushing Dana aside. "Where does it hurt, bubba wubba?" Tom cooed.
"Nowhere!", Melanie and Vince cried in unison, leaping to their feet." We're fine. It's a miracle." they said softly, gazing into each other's eyes. This collision of the minds had brought them closer together. Not only were they married by spirit but also by the mental. Mentality is always the closest bond. After setting the chair back up, Melanie and Vince, decided to go look for the Dickee Dee boy. Since the asparagus truck had gone under, Dickee Dee was all that was left. [I cuss, you cuss, we all cuss for asparagus. thank you Gary Larson]
Ringing his bell, Chris yelled out "Space Jets! Drumsticks! Fudgesicles! All under a dollar!" As he yelled he saw Vincent and Melanie walking hand in hand towards him on the small dirt path.
"Vince, Mel!" he cried, all the while beating himself, as he inwardly thought "Damn sexual repression!"
"Chris!"they cried. [What's with this speaking in unison thing anyway?]
"Hey, guys want a free fudgsicle?"
"Hmm." they bent over the well-stocked cart.
"Honey, what do you want?"
They barely noticed a stick-thin figure coming down the street. But Chris's heart was fluttering. This could be it . As the figure walked closer, Chris nervously checked his hair in the reflection of the bell and wiped his sweating palms on his jeans. The young man, Jean-Paul (according to his name tag) asked Chris if he had any gum.
"What do you think I am, a convenience store?"
"Yeah, that's what they all say."
Jean-Paul stared at Chris as if he were a piece of chewing gum. "I didn't mean to offend but man you are a little high strung"
"No, REALLY, I'm not. My instruments are finely tuned. I'm more a travelling one-man band." With this, Chris disengaged the bell from the cart and pulled a foot-operated drum from the freezer. From his back pocket he produced a kazoo and a beanie with a propeller on top.
"Do you know how to play 'Au Claire de la Lune'?
"But of course" and with this Chris rocked into an utterly amazing techno/grunge/disco version of 'Au Claire de la Lune'. Jean-Paul clasped his hands in glee at this newly updated tune. Then sighing, he leaned on the Dickee Dee cart, closed his eyes and listened intently to the ethereal music. Vincent and Melanie began dancing, slowly at first, and then Melanie, began gyrating around Vincent, thrashing herself, in time to the kazoo. Vincent did too. Melanie wildly flung her Birkenstocks off, binging Jean-Paul off the head, whereby he fell backwards, lodging himself in the Dickie Dee cart.
"Tom!!", they all cried.
Dana, back at the bed and breakfast inn, heard their cries. With the hearing of a rabbit, she was able to hear up to a mile away. Nudging Tom, she dropped dead. Oh, no. Oops, typo. Let's continue.
Nudging Tom, she said, "Our friends are in danger. We must rush to their aid."
Tom's eyes glowed. "I'll bring the Children's Tylenol. They're now easier to swallow." He darted purposefully into the bathroom.
Meanwhile, Melanie, sitting on the grass beside Vincent, had a vision of a long lost love. He was hot and he was cycling, but deep in her heart she knew Vincent was the only man for her. Reaching for Vincent's hand, she reassured herself of her love for him.
Vince, feeling the death grip on his hand, came back from his vision too. He only thought he saw his mentor Elvis. But feeling the grip he remembered he hated Elvis. He turned and looked blankly into Melanie's eyes.
"Elv... Mel?"
She turned away, her doe-like eyes cast downward. Vince felt a lump in his throat and turned away. The moment was gone.
But a new one had just begun as they were interrupted by the running footsteps of Tom followed by Dana.
"What happened? Where does it hurt?" Tom asked, his eyes searching Melanie and Vincent for visible injuries.
"It's not us. It's him" Melanie and Vincent chorused, pointing to Jean-Paul, twisted and tormented in the spokes of the front wheel. The bell was still dinging, the bike handles swaying in the night.
"Ooh, look. Fudgsicles only 59c. Can't beat that now, can you?" Dana said, opening the cart and helping herself, unaware of Jean-Paul's mangled body.
Tom, seeing Jean-Paul, crouched down on his knees to get a closer look. "Seems that you've gotten yourself a little boo-boo."
Reaching in to his pocket, he pulled out a sucker. "Green lime. How'd ya like a little candy. It'll make the pain go away."
How's that for an unresolved situation? Well to tell the truth it won't do. Yes, we'll carry on, much to everyone's delight. Now where were we? Oh, yes ...Gladstone, Manitoba.
"Let's go to a movie" said Tom.
"Oh, yes I LOVE local culture!" said Vincent.
"Yay!" said Melanie and Dana, clapping their hands in glee. It was unanimous. Movies it would be. But first the four of them would go out for dinner at the local chinese restaurant. But which restaurant to choose? They decided to stroll around and decide. Chinese Buffet of Fu Lam City? No, too trendy. Trends suck. Once you get in them you just can't get out. Hmm. China Town. No ... too Oriental. Lucky Gardens. Well ... NO-LOOK_IT'S ...THE CHINERY! YES!YES!YES! The Chinery it would be. Yes, destiny was calling. It was saying "Table for four?
Melanie replied "Yes, but leave room for our spiritual friends. HA!HA!HA! (spirited laughter)"
The hostess eyed Melanie assuming that she was truly insane. The other three merely laughed. They understand Melanie and accept her for who she is.
to be continued at a later date
Future plot
In a small quiet village, Melanie spots her mentor, a Canadian author. She is a recluse. She wrote a meaningful teen angst novel and is now living in a cabin in the woods. She has a strict lentil, whole wheat, sprouts, etc. diet. Buddhism is her thing. Melanie runs up to her and she turns to her and says "I WANT TO BE LEFT ALONE" in a slight accent. She is wearing a purple scarf on her head and cat rim sunglasses. Chris is also in this village and he is fascinated with famous people. He has spotted the author and knows where she lives. Due to his identity complex, he has become a peeping Tom. Gripping Chris by the shoulders, Tom shakes him, yelling "You're not Tom. You can't be me. You're Chris. You are a peeping Chris." Anyway, that's the gist of what we've planned for you as of yet.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Living in a material world
And I am a material girl
 Posted by Hello

Communing with the Japanese

I walked around campus at lunch for lack of anything better to do. The heat was bumping into me and hugging me. I didn't mind. I compared it to Japanese summer which is stifling to a degree I care not to remember. Today's heat is no where near that extreme.

I checked out the price of educational versions of web designing software. Checked out the Japanese textbooks in the Used Book store. I'm still deciding whether or not to take a course in the fall. What do you think I should do? I worry there is no point in learning a language I have no real need to know. How useful is it? When would I get the chance to practice the language? I left the shop, and wandered over to a cafeteria in another building to get an iced cappucino. Everyone deserves a delicious treat once in a while! I got there and the Japanese fast food counter was full of you guessed it, Japanese people. There was one white guy, remarkably similar to a young Steve Martin, tagging behind them. I asked if he was with them. He was and confirmed that they were from Japan. I asked if he was too. Funny thing to ask, but I was serious. Turns out he is from Korea. Why he was with them, I am unsure. I think I was making this guy nervous. Maybe he thought i was trying to pick him up. Ha, I wasn't. I told him the only Korean word I know is kimchee. He laughed. I'm funny.

He left to pay for his food. I decided to order some rice with teriyaki sauce. I took a tray at the end of the line. Just then a Japanese man comes up and I realize I've taken his tray. I apologize and slide it over to him. I say "dozo". In english, he asks me if I speak Japanese. I assure him that I do not. Then I say "sukoshi" which means "a little". The rest of the people in line laugh. I continue having a conversation with him. He reminds me of one of my student's from the local government where I taught in Japan. He's been to Matsuyama (where I lived for a year) three times. We discussed the hot springs, Dogo Onsen. Then we parted ways as our food was ready.

Was this a sign that I should take the Japanese course? Or just a pleasant interlude between morning and afternoon?

It has been a long time, hasn't it?

The weather is hot. I'm the only one not complaining. I love it! Bring it on!

Today, I finished up everything at work. Imagine that! So, I'm enjoying this brief respite. I organized my cookbook (photocopies of recipes I like). I looked up vegetarian marshmallow & gelatin recipe info. I made a list of things to do at home (what an on-going mess!).

Yesterday, I was enjoying the greenness of June and heat of summer as I walked home. The scents and the memories they evoke were making me nostalgic for my childhood. I think it is true when some people say that many people desire to have children to relive their childhood. It is usually said as a negative thing. Why is that, really? I can't really explain the desire I have to become a mother. Is it just a mix of biological longing, maternal instinct, desire to love someone, and posterity? What about a person's need to make peace with or relive their own childhood through their children? Is that one of my motivations?

I'm not sure if I want to relive my childhood but I do believe I would love to have a rekindled appreciation for a simpler life. I want to shell peas, hang laundry on the line, and make sand art with my children. I want to see their delight in exploring the lawn for grasshoppers and toads. I want to captivated by the pattern of clouds in a sky. I want to be distracted by laughter rather than a ringing cell phone.

Which brings me to a whole other topic. I love having information at my fingertips. It's great being able to find out what Amber Tambyln's thoughts are on the demise of "Joan of Arcadia", to find an obscure recipe for Vegetarian Marshmallows, or to trace my genealogy. Marvelous!
However, the overwhelming and unsolicited barrage of media is exhausting me. The expectation that I answer every phone call, every instant message, every email, and keep up-to-date with all these contacts is paralyzing. Depressing really. No longer is a friendly phone call, or an unexpected letter always a pleasure. Instant answers are demanded. I want to hide. When did "media" become a bad word?

I'm babbling.

My point is that I'd like to return to a time, or place in my life, where I am free to enjoy the silence, to feel the breeze without having that constant nagging pressure to respond to the demands of this frenzied media world we live in.

That's all for now. And yes, I do see the irony in my using a blog to discuss my concerns. Hilarious... just hilarious.