Category Archives: Literature

History

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There are some things by which a person should not be judged; race, gender, sexual orientation and religion to start with.

I humbly submit a criterion: Google search history.

With such a wealth of information at our fingertips and basically the whole internet easily parsed and sorted for our convenience and instant gratification issues, one should not be held accountable for the random things that become necessary to Google. Naturally I say this purely in defense of my own recent use (or perhaps abuse) of Google.

Due to various writing projects I had going at any one point the following search terms can be found in my search history.

  • organic food
  • Oklahoma bee keepers
  • killer bee
  • Africanized bees
  • honey bees
  • pesticides
  • natural pesticides
  • pollination

Ok, so first go-round it seems normal. They are at least partially related and though I can’t get a plant within 50 feet of my apartment without it shriveling and dying, its not too far fetched an Oklahoma-girl might Google those things. But it keeps going.

  • deaths by killer bee
  • bee lethality
  • bee toxin lethality
  • needle gauges
  • serial killers
  • sideshow performers
  • circus freaks
  • birth defects
  • backwards knees
  • horror film directors
  • psychopathy
  • mental defects with deformities

Now we’ve wandered into creepy. Maybe just a bit past creepy. We soldier onward.

  • torture house Chicago
  • torture methods
  • torture chamber
  • hallucination
  • fantasy
  • sleepwalking
  • waking dream
  • murder in sleep
  • sleep walking crime
  • heroine addiction side effects
  • delusional paranoia
  • schizophrenic murderers
  • schizophrenia symptoms
  • Pizza Hut

Taken out of context I should be institutionalized. And Bryan should be very, very worried.

But when you understand I just wrote on article on the startling declination of the honey bee population and its subsequent effects on Oklahoma agriculture, the first bit of my search history make sense.

A quick look at the science of being scared and why humans seems to enjoy is being developed into a magazine article, starting with the first version of “horror films” available in the form of circus sideshows.

The last parts are research on a new novel idea I’m toying with. Except the Pizza Hut bit. I was hungry and didn’t feel like cooking. Constructing character outlines for psychologically troubled girls is hungry-making work…

Ok, so even in context its a little troubling that of all the happy, fluffy, sane topics I could write a novel on I chose severe mental disturbances but again, people like to be scared. I know because I found it on Google…

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Lexicon

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The blog title may be slightly misleading. While what follows is, in fact, a list, it is difficult to classify the contents as words. At least for me. This list contains words that I hear on a regular basis that are not ACTUALLY WORDS! Yes, I went Billy Mays there for a moment. But it is every ounce of self-control not to physically twitch when the following words are used. Mostly because they are NOT WORDS!!!!!! (Now look what you’ve made me do. I’m violating grammar rules for punctuation because of this.)

Polk-ee-dots

Polka dots, I get. What the hell are polk-ee-dots? This one is particularly problematic as I work in an arts and crafts industry by day and polka-dots are sort of thing for these people.  As are, apparently, polk-ee-dots.

New-cue-ler

When President GW Bush did it, it was sad. When anyone else does it given the extreme amount of backlash, ribbing, and downright cruelty that emerged from President Bush’s mispronunciation of it, it is sad and ridiculous.

El-oh-el

As in saying LOL in verbal communication. For the record LOL is actually supposed to be a typing shortcut for Laughing Out Loud. Admittedly it is now used as an indication of being mildly amused and rarely means the sender has actually laughed out loud but has really just blown more air out of their nose than normal. But when physically talking with a person, using the term el-oh-el is ludicrous. JUST LAUGH! Or giggle or chuckle or make that weird guttural “hungph” sound humans make when mildly amused by something. Do not say el-oh-el.

bee-are-bee

On a related note, BRB and Be Right Back have the same amount of syllables. It literally takes the same amount of time to say the words as it does the letters. I understand abbreviation & acronyms. I grew up a military brat where acronyms are a way of life. I have a love affair with NASA (itself an acronym) who I think make up names just for the sake of applying cool acronyms. (Case and point: DAFT, or the Dust and Aerosol Feasibility Test. Really, NASA? Really? I get the need for the research. Dust is bad. Dust without gravity is worse, but DAFT? That’s just daft.) But the point of an acronym is to save the trouble of spewing out long strings of words. Be right back is not a long string of words. It is, in fact, the opposite of a long string of words. Go right on ahead and display your mastery of the English language if you find you must momentarily excuse yourself from present company.

I-deer

Unless Apple has strayed into the production of hunting gizmos, the word is idea. I-dee-uh. Not an ‘R’ in sight. Stop it.

Stew-pihd-er

If this is a word you find yourself using in any other context than making fun of people who use the word stupider, get out.

A Poem

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I’ve never been a poet. Although I’m a voracious reader I admit that I never got into poetry. I definitely have poems I enjoy, mostly because they sound pretty or because I heard a fantastic reading of it, and like any writer I’ve dabbled in a poem or two, primarily for my own collection and expression. My poems are mediocre at best. Most fourth graders could produce the same kind given the appropriate breadth of vocabulary and a rhyming dictionary. My favorite poet is Shel Silverstein for heaven’s sake. If you’ve never been introduced to the world of Shel Silverstein, welcome to the world and I’m glad you’ve come out from that rock, first of all. Second of all, he is just a touch more complicated and mature then Dr. Seuss. Less made up words, equally ridiculous topics.

I think my biggest problem with poetry is that I just don’t get it. Not the elemental stuff. The basic elements and structure of poetry I understand just fine. I did pay attention at least half the time in my English Lit courses in school. Meter, rhyme, half-rhymes, alliteration, onomatopoeia; those I get. It’s the second and third and fourth meanings buried within the stanzas that stump me. If the poem is about a tree then I’m going to go ahead and believe the poet was particularly moved by an actual tree. If this poetic tree is supposed to represent a commentary on the inner struggle of the poet attempting to deal with losing respect for his mother after she backed over the family cat with the mini-van, you’ve completely lost me. What was wrong with a poem about a tree? It was pretty until we got into all that. Now it makes me mad and I simply don’t care anymore. Tree, cat, mother, bah. And at any rate, how do we know that what the poet was talking about, particularly if said poet is dead? Maybe it was just about an ever-loving tree.

I also struggle with defining what poetry is. In my head, ignorant it may be, poetry has a rhyme scheme and is normally grouped in stanzas with a predictable meter.

I heard a fly buzz when I died:
The stillness round my form
Was like the stillness in the air
Between the heaves of storm.
From “Dying” by Emily Dickinson

You show me that and I’ll likely say “Oh, that’s a pretty poem.” Several of my friends who claim to thoroughly enjoy poetry (and whom I believe actually do and don’t for one minute doubt either their intelligence or veracity) tell me that what follows is also poetry.

It’s wonderful how I jog
on four honed-down ivory toes
my massive buttocks slipping
like oiled parts with each light step.
From “Animals Are Passing From Our Lives” by Phillip Levine

Ok. I don’t see it. Now this does not mean that I’m saying that isn’t a poem and that poems written like that aren’t good poetry. I’m saying I don’t understand it. I also don’t understand how my car works. Doesn’t mean I’m going to stop driving it. Lots of things I don’t understand serve to improve my life in unspeakable, unknowable ways and I appreciate them. I just don’t get them. So you’ll have to pardon me if my expression goes a little blank if you insist I read this “poem.”