Thursday, December 22, 2011

Unjournalling, Day 19

Create five different descriptive phrases that all equivalent "like looking for a needle in a haystack".
1. Like trying to make a slinky actually tumble down a whole flight of stairs.
2. Like trying to say the alphabet backwards.
3. Like trying to find your keys in the place they should be...
4. Like trying to find the right receipt in your purse.
5. Like trying to remember what you were thinking five minutes ago... (and this is oh, so true! What were you thinking five minutes ago?)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Unjournalling, Day 18

To viewers, the painting "Polar Bear Eating Vanilla Ice Cream in a Blizzard" looked like blank canvas, how would the artist of that painting describe a blue canvas and a black canvas?
For the black, I think (if I was said artist) it would be... A crow on a black oak gazing at a darkened house at midnight.
Blue is substantially more difficult, but here goes! Swiftly, a blue-jay swoops through a cloudless sky, chasing a shimmering dragonfly over a pristine lake.
That last one actually sounded rather poetic, although the painter would have to be five for all of those colors of blue on a painting to be the same... None the less, at least the child would be using art!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Unjournalling, Day 17

Elaborate on the sentence "The dog barked" by making it as interesting and detail filled as possible.
Barking softly under it's breath, the moose sized dog twitched in it's sleep.

Well that was easy (ooh, Staples, what now?). I would like to wish everybody a happy Hanukkah, may the festival of lights shining brightly reflect your hearts! Now, I do need to say that I *am not* Jewish, but I do enjoy participating in the Jewish traditions that so fervently influences my own faith. Yeshua was Jewish, not Christian, so there doesn't seem to be any reason to me to part from the ways He doubtlessly followed. Obviously I do not perfectly follow the Torah (nobody can really...), but I do make a decent effort with what tools I have available. Since I am still learning, as we all are, I may make incorrect statements from time to time. Feel free to correct me!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Unjournalling, Day 16

Writers can describe the character, at least to some extent, through how they speak. I have to tell how each of the following would turn down an offer to a fishing trip:
1. A teenage boy turning down his grandfather
2. A business man eager for promotion turning down his boss
3. A wife just back from her weekly spa trip turning down her husband

1. Sorry Gramps... I, uh, I have some, uh, stuff to do. My mom, like, wants me to do some lame chores and stuff!
2. Sir, I would absolutely love to go with you! I love fishing! You see, though, it's my anniversary this weekend, and if I didn't take my wife to dinner she would be very upset. Maybe next weekend? I don't get to go fishing as often as I would like, and the opportunity to do so with you would be a pleasure!
3. Really, honey? Me, fishing? My hair just got done, and fish smell bad. Take one of your drinking buddies. Oh, and don't drown!

Unjournalling, Day 15

I have to pretend I am the writer for a clothing catalog who has to describe a brown, beige, red-orange, and purple sweater using two word descriptions for each color.
This long sleeved, v-neck sweater is a beautiful combination of woodland shadow, dessert sand, sunset orange, and dark lilac. It's length and diagonal stripes make it attractive on practically any body type. Made of 100% wool, this sweater is perfectly suitable for this damp and chilly winter climate!

Unjournalling, Day 14

Write a sentence that makes sense reading both forwards and backwards. Oh gosh, I don't want to do something like "Bob liked Mary and Bill", so how about this: I was lurking in the home of the free, (yay for Yoda speak!). Or maybe: Sally and Josh hated Andrew! That is almost a carbon copy, but at least it makes sense. It must count for something!

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Recently my life has just been run, run, run, all day long. On Friday I got up early, went to the boyfriend's house, and was there until midnight. Yesterday I went to the closest big city with Byron and another friend for his birthday. After I got home, I went out with my dad bowling and to get some ice cream. That was another long day, till about midnight. Now today I was woken up by James walking into my bedroom, it was rather embarrassing. He's never seen me before taking a shower and brushing my teeth before! We hung out all day, went to a Christmas party, and he just left a little while ago.
By this time, I am just so worn out that I'm thinking of canceling my morning plans with Byron and just sleeping in. That, in other words, was my long excuse for slacking on the daily posts. Tomorrow afternoon I shouldn't be doing anything, and will be getting caught up. Sorry about the delay, but soon things should be back to normal. The holidays justs ruin everything, ya know?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Unjournalling, Day 13

Creatively producing a "sentence" consisting entirely of multiple syllable dialog excluding: "a", "an", "the".
That sentence was... special, and a failure, so lets try this again!
Surprising the Elephant, a beautiful lioness sneakily ambulated, fearsomely adjacent.
Not exactly prise winning as far as... word on tip of tongue... structure! However, when you read it out loud the words chime together in a rather pleasing way. When I read a new book, if the words sound beautiful together regardless of the meaning then I'm pretty much a fan for life.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Unjournalling, Day 12

This time I am going to describe someone who looks bored, without using the words yawned, stared, or sighed.

The boy was about five, with shorts stained from playing in the grass and shoes to match. As he sat in his doctors office, waiting for his check up, he fidgeted. Rhythmically he would bang his shoes on the chair leg, wiggle from side to side, and eventually slouch over in dejection. Just to watch him made other people in the room come to notice how bored they were as well, though they responded in more adult manners such as toe-tapping, blank faces, and poor posture.
After twenty minutes or so, the boy finally gave up on his antsy behavior to curl up into a ball in his chair, rest his chin on his knees, and pout. In an effort to get his mothers attention, a little tear dribbled down his cheek. When his mother noticed, he said in a frustrated child's voice "I'm so BOOOOORED", but his mother merely instructed him to be patient. Once again, the boy started to wiggle with barely contained energy.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tell Me a Story

This afternoon I had a "final" with my English teacher. Actually, all it was was a conference where we discussed my writing and where I was going from comp 1. It went very well, and she turned me on the the website (really cool site, definitely worth going to!). Tonight I went there, turned in a few 6 word memoirs with back story, one longer memoir (it was ok, didn't bother with too much editing though), and had a good evening.
It's all I can hope for that my memoirs and writing gets noticed, I should probably edit them more in order to legitimately hope though! When I have that new memoir fixed I'll post it here and fix it there. Impatient me though couldn't wait to edit.
Sidetracked! I know not many people read this, but as a person who is curious about everything I'd love to know your stories, or at least one of them. Give me a six word summary, a six page story, or a whole lifetime, it all sounds fascinating to me. We all deserve our thousand words, and sometimes it's easier to type or write than to speak.
I found a cool picture, what does this evoke to you?

Unjournalling, Day 11

In one paragraph I have to describe a scene from any sport using these words: bounced, struggled, collapsed, and giggled. I am choosing to describe when my sweetheart got racked with a soccer ball a year ago, and I just want to make clear that at the time I didn't actually giggle...

The ball flew through the air, and bounced toward the Viking's goal. A member from each team spied the ball, and they both struggled furiously to gain control. The apposing team landed a harsh kick on the ball, but it was stopped, unfortunately, by a Viking defensive player. He fell to the ground in pain. After a moment, the audience realized what had happened, and they roared in shock. Being the horrible person I am, I couldn't restrain my giggles at the fallen player's bad luck.

A few things must be clarified now: his dad "giggled" more than I did; and since it was November, 30 something out, and raining there wasn't a big enough crowd to actually make a roar. Regardless, it was a pretty intense scene for those who were there and were paying attention. The Vikings didn't win, but they fought hard all evening. Even better news was that James took no permanent damage!

Monday, December 12, 2011

My Kitchen, Finally, Is Clean! (to me...)

Due to how short that last pathetic little unjournalling post was, I think I'll share my life story. Not really. Just a segment, like how amazingly clean my kitchen is. Check this out:
Now, I realize to all the neat-freaks out there (for whom I have the highest respect, I might even sell my soul to join your ranks) this might look filthy, but for me this is the product of 3 hours of labor. The sink does not shine like a Fly-Lady sink, the floor doesn't sparkle, but to me it is beautiful in almost every way. I am proud. The countertops do not have food on them, no dishes are coated in mold. There is even usable space available for cooking!
It suprises me every time I clean how easy it is to keep that way. For about two weeks or I spend time with friends anyway! Hopefully (I do pray this now with all my heart), I can make this last for a whopping three weeks! Dreams do come true, right? Especially when you pay your best friend to do it for you... he's just cool like that.

Unjournalling, Day 10

I have to create a sentence with each word beginning with the next letter in the word "sentence".

Secretly exposing the evil, nobody cared; ever.

That deserves a back story, I'll write it down sometime.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Unjournalling, Day 9

So much shame! I was out all day studying for finals with a friend, but here I am, with still 32 minutes to go. Never again shall I be so late in the day, hopefully tomorrow I'll get this taken care of before noon.
This assignment was an activity to learn tone. I have to write a letter to the owner (Ms. Applespot) of the non-existent store, Widget World, to ask for a raise. However, the owner hasn't noticed how well I do my job and I must use tact as well as be to the point.

Dear Ms Applespot,
Throughout my five years as manager of Widget World, I have fully fulfilled all responsibilities as well as increasing productivity. All of the employees are happy, and the store receives very few customer complaints. I would like to address at this time therefor, the state of my pay.
In the past few years I have not received very high wages for my position, but none the less have continued to serve this store diligently. I would like to request a pay raise of $1.50 an hour for my services and continuous loyalty to the store.
Thank you for your time,
*insert name here*

I can't imagine how it would be to request a raise like that in real life, the thought terrifies me! Hopefully I will never have to do so. Oh, and *insert name here* was because I do not feel obliged to present my own name, not just because I tend to be uncreative in that area! When me and Byron play life we have to get out his mom's baby book to figure out the children's names... We were a tad crazy about that game for a few weeks.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Unjournalling, Day 8

Today I had to write 10 ways to say no without using the word "no", one of them I had a bit of fun with, so I wrote 11.
1: I'd rather not...
2: Negative.
3: Of course not!
4: When pigs fly.
5: You couldn't pay me to.
6: As if!
7: Absolutely not.
8: When said by a parent- maybe
9: That isn't happening.
10: I refuse.
11: Because 9 was joking, here's my extra- I would if I could, but I can't so I won't.

Those were actually more difficult to come up with it than it seems. If you can think of anything else, let me know!


May the picture below of a wadded up hoodie chilling on my bed set the tone for this post. That's pretty much how it'll go, just bummin'.

Just have to say, tight writing kills my soul a little when I use it so much. Since it's midnight on a Saturday and I have nothing to do, I think I'll roll up my sleeves and have a little fun. Loosen the metaphorical corset that makes my writing sound like I have a stick up my bum and dress down my writing to a sweatshirt.

What to say what to say... In class, my English teacher always tells us to "Cut all the fluff from your writing! Any extra words just sound like hiccups that trip the eye, it's distracting and not a good form of writing." She would be so ashamed of me! On the general road of quotes here, my mother has been getting onto me to post about my real life, and not just prompts or tight essays, humor is difficult for me though, being the perfect child I am! As if, of course, however, this is going nowhere...

Tonight my dad came over, every Friday we have a "date", you know. The general routine is dinner, movie or TV show, then he leaves. Recently, however, I have successfully coaxed him into playing wii games with me (those games are never fun by yourself). On this lovely and cold evening, I got the privilege of gently laughing at his epic failure at golf, tease him about tennis, and help him not to throw the ball into the crowd in bowling. We give each other a hard time, and that's usually the best part.

Out of all the games we played this evening, Dance on Broadway (or some similar name, I have no intention of getting up to find out, it's 50-something in this house) was the best. Of course, me being the star at heart that I am, went all out. My hands hit the ceiling fan in my sporadic jumping, I grinned like an idiot, and laughed with all my heart; that's the nice thing about family, you can be stupid and still be loved. Even better than the time I had, was watching my dad. Picture this: a six foot, heavier, tired, 40-something man with grey hair dancing around a dirty living room to the song Supercalifregilisticexpialidocious (a couple letters wrong, but my point is made). It was a sight fit for kings! No offense to my dad of course, after all, I was just as silly.

One would think that after that mild exercise, long week, and long day that I would be tired, but no. At least I have the benefit of reading my Bible without drooling on it for once (no, I've never actually drooled on my Bible, but I have come close). I have a few things to study that were given to me by my pastor as well, but that requires such heavy thought... My brain wishes to swoon at the very mention of effort!

There, now I have shown my true colors. The past week of posts, while genuine, were my academic self; not the self that wears cuddly shirts with a mug of tea. Honestly, I want with all my heart to teach, to have what I write respected, and to feel the glow of success. Don't we all? Darling English teacher, once again I quote thee "What makes the difference between good writing and great writing is depth. When you reach down into an experience and pull out the fundamental universal truths and show your humanity". This is my humanity I suppose, the realization that I am still a child at heart, but my hope for using its flamboyancy to pursue my dreams.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Research Essay

Most important of all my papers this semester was the 4-7 page research essay. Worth a whopping 120 points, this one concerned me. However, I believe it turned out well (as is attested to by my grade!) and that it is worth sharing here.

Slang Unites, Slang Divides

Recycled, Innovative, and Collaborative

The slang that is used in standard American English separates and unites social groups such as ages, economic classes, and races. Slang is often recycled from generation to generation, high collar individuals use different words than the homeless, and African American Vernacular English is clearly different from Chicano English. As a result, the average 16 year old will most likely understand other people in his or her age group better than they would, say, a 70 year old grandfather. The same concept can be applied in turn to each of the other concepts mentioned.

Slang is Creative

This raises the question of what slang actually is. Slang can be eloquently defined as, “…the start of fancy, imagination and humor, breathing into its nostrils the breath of life’” (Dalzel). In other words, slang invites new and creative ways of self expression into language, allows both embellishment and simplicity into all forms of communication, and gives new windows of possibility into satire and impels ecstasy in living. It is often created, quite simply, by reusing words from previous generations. Research asserts that very fact, as demonstrated by past research and documentation, “At North Carolina in 1851... to study hard at the last minute was to cram” (Eble) and, “The appropriation of ‘fly’ as a prime piece of the vocabulary of hip-hop and rap in the 1980s was no more than a salvage operation from the slang of jazz musicians of the 1930’s, which in turn drew from the 1870s” (Dalzel).

The definition of a dialect, as asserted by Eble is “any regional, social or ethnic variety of a language” (Sociolinguistics Basics). By that definition, slang could be called a dialect. In the south people put groceries in sacks rather than bags, the average student will not speak the same way as a professor, and of course there is the slang more commonly used in African American Vernacular discourse rather than in the dialect of the Boston area. Although, some forms of slang are pouring out into other areas of speech. For example, Eble also states that “White adolescents might speak approvingly of the style of a peer by saying she money or he be jammin’” (Sociolinguistics Basics).

Together, Descriptive!

Practically everybody, in one social circumstance or another, will use slang. People from every walk of life go through their day inadvertently saying words like ‘yo’, ‘sup?’ or even ‘fo shizzle!’. Slang is often enjoyable to use as well, can be illustrated as “by design, slang is wittier and more clever than standard English” (Dalzel). By it’s very nature, slang is fun!

Quite often slang is more effective at describing sex, sports, and alcohol/drug related experiences, as is also alluded to by Tom Dalzell. It also shows allegiance to a specific group, this can be demonstrated as how “When slang is used, there is a subject to the primary message” (Dalzel). In other words, only members of the assemblage will understand the slang that is being used. It creates a sense of commonality amongst the speakers and forges intimacy of speech.

Bias Towards Slang

With unmitigated frequency, those people who use informal English regularly can be unjustly classified or even prejudiced against. Code-switching (alternating between two languages) while they speak, or just their using rarer dialects, can also be contributing factor to the misunderstandings. This problem can be concisely summarized as “Often, children who speak non-standard dialects may be inaccurately classified as ‘not knowing much English’ or even ‘having a speech defect’” (Fought).

More dangerous than the changes brought by slang to communities and even America as a whole, is the bias against those who speak differently than the established norm. Often it is assumed that if speech is broken then the speakers mind must be as well. This is attested to by Amy Tan, who recalls how she herself believed that because her mother’s speech was “fractured” her mother’s thoughts were as well “…because she expressed them imperfectly her thoughts were imperfect” (Tan).

Together in Slang

Just as much as slang separates people, sparks debates, and angers those of older generations or different races, it also brings people together into a complete unit. Slang is not just conjunctions, linking vowels in new way, or dropping consonants. It is a dialect all of its own. As such, those who speak it have something in common, a way to belong. One creative way to view this bonding amongst people can be pronounced to be “Because ‘tribe’ identity is so important, slang as a powerful and graphic manifestation of that identity’s benefits” (Dalzel). There is safety in numbers, and expressing your belonging to a group is something both accidentally and intentionally done by everyone.

Needless to say, there are specific groups of people who use the same slang; it is not uniform all over America. “...youth is the most powerful stimulus for the creation and distribution of slang” (Dalzel). Naturally then, of course each generation will speak its own individual dialect. There are also varieties of language spoken within an ethnic group. For example, there are two predominant varieties of speech spoken by African Americans: the vernacular African-American English, as well as a standard African-American English.

In bilingual situations (such as might happen in a Hispanic community), there is even more room for creativity within language. Far more forms of slang are available to them. The bilingual can code-switch between two languages, making them not inadequate in either, but very fluent in both. Sometimes, however, in immigrant families a new dialect is created because of how tightly knit a community may become. Some families may be segregated from the outside world by language barriers, and thus have their own dialect of “standard” as well as slang. This can be demonstrated by Tan, who found that those communities became more “insular”.

Slang is Fun, Funky, and Functional

Overall, slang is beneficial for social groups. It allows us to feel unified with other people, enhances some descriptive modes of speech, and practices recycling! Everybody uses it, although not everybody understands it. This concept could not be demonstrated better than as “Of all the vernacular, slang is the most spectacular. Slang Swings. Slang moves and grooves. Slang rocks, slang rules.” (Dalzel).

Works Cited

Dalzell, Tom. “The Power of Slang.” National Endowment for the Humanities, 2005. Web. 16 Nov. 2011.

Eble, Connie. “Campus Talk.” National Endowment for the Humanities, 2005. Web. 16 Nov. 2011.

- - -. “Sociolinguistics Basics.” National Endowment for the Humanities, 2005. Web. 16 Nov. 2011.

Fought, Carmen. “Watch Your Language.” National Endowment for the Humanities, 2005. Web. 16 Nov. 2011.

Tan, Amy. “Mother Tongue.” Patterns for College Writing: A Rhetorical Reader and Guide. Comp. Pine Tree Composition, Inc. Ed. John Sullivan, Ryan Sullivan, and Karen S. Henry. 11th ed. Boston: Bedford/. Martin’s, 2010. 477-482. Print.

I feel as though this was very repetative, but for an introduction piece to sociolinguistics it would be adiquate.

Unjournalling, Day 7

Describing the gunk at the bottom of a sink was nasty, telling the story of a cowboy was long, but this I think was by far the most difficult. The task was to write a paragraph (about anything I wanted, at least there was that kindness) using 20 words containing double vowels (needle, cool, room, etc).

At the center of the room sat a drooling poodle. The poodle had a horribly bad rap, which generally was well deserved. It peed on carpets, bit children, and stole food right off people's plates! Not even a beetle or flee would dare to land on it. A baby crawled into the cool room, and cooing all the while, made its way up to the devil poodle. Its mother ran in and snatched up the child, she was no fool to leave it be. She felt woozy, and set the baby down right outside the door. stepping out of its pool of drool, the poodle slowly walked up to the kid. Reaching out with soft hands, little babe wiped some of the drool off, and in surprised the evil poodle wagged its tail. It ceased its looming, stooped down, and licked the baby's face. When the mother came back, she nearly swooned! Even to this day, the child and poodle are the best of friends.

Wow... just wow is all I can say. It does sadden me so that "poodle" was the only noun I could think of to write about that contained a double vowel. However, cuteness has been attained. Or I think it has...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Unjournalling, Day 6

Today I had to write a story about a big bad guy walking into a bar in the old west, only give it a happy ending. I had thought about trying to make it only a paragraph, but that wasn't exactly possible. At least not for me!

The Saloon doors slammed open, The Cowboy entered. Rumors held that he once killed a man just for givin' him the wrong kind of beer. The Cowboy rode his big bay stallion across the west, and never stayed in one place very long. No sheriff would arrest him, no posse hunt him down; any feller with any sense stays clear of this one-shot-dropper. Nobody even knew the man's name. He was just "The Cowboy", and ever'one understood.
I started to hyperventilate, The Cowboy sat down next to me! Beside me, a skinny 16 year old boy who wasn't even good with a gun, he seemed like a giant. However, one thing struck me as odd: when I let our eyes meet just for a minute, they looked just like mine. I thought I was looking into a mirror! Groaning under The Cowboy's massive frame, the bar stool he sat on sounded like a shrieking Indian as he turned to face me. My heart lept in my throat, I could already visualize him reachin' for a gun, maybe a knife, killin' me dead right there in my Ma's bar...
When my Ma was fresh married a year, just had me, we was both carried off by the Indians. She used to tell me how when I was a youngun that the Indians would dress me up in their garb and let me play with the wooden tom-a-hawks.
'Course, I don't 'member none o' this, but it's a funny tale anyway. Anyway, one day a band o' men came on horseback and freed all us white folks the Indians was keepin'. Ma figured Pa was dead, and hadn't seen him in years anyway, so she married one o' her rescuers. Jack was his name, he was a good man, but he died last year o' the brain fever. All that was left was the Saloon that Ma runs now.
Staring right into my soul, that's what it felt like when The Cowboy looked me in the eye. In a hoarse voice that was somehow gentle too, he asked "Lad, where's yer ma?". I was scared he wanted her for unholy reasons, so I dropped my gaze to the floor and lied "Don't know". Firmly, he grabbed my shoulder and told me "Boy, when I was yer age I lied the same way, you can't fool me. Now, where is yer ma?". All I could do was pray that Ma wouldn't come out from the kitchen and the The Cowboy would just leave and seek another lady. Just as those thoughts was going through my head, Ma, in her black dress o' mourning, stepped out with a fresh pie in her hands.
For a moment when their eyes met, time seemed to stand still. The black magic holding them still halted when Ma dropped her pie and the dish shattered on the floor. In response it seemed, The Cowboy lunged toward my Ma. Out o' fear for her wellbein' I tried to stop him, but it was too late. The Cowboy scooped my Ma up in his arms, and to my surprise, Ma started laughin' and kissin' the man! I hadn't heard he laugh since Jack died, and she never kissed him in such a vulgar way.
Shocked, the whole bar had fallen silent. Eventually, Ma unwrapped herself from The Cowboy's arms and walked up to me. Softly, like only a mother can do, she hugged me and whispered "Meet Tom, yer Pa". I was dumbfounded!
Ma closed the Saloon early, and "Tom", The Cowboy, started to tell us about his ventures in search of us. He had traveled all across the west, interrogatin' Indians, talkin' to sheriffs, and killin' anyone who got in the way of findin' his wife and son. Not all that shocking, all the killin' had scarred him, changed him. Now, though, all Tom wanted was to be with family, learn to love, work, and fear God again.
At first, I hated Tom. Now, five years have passed and I have my own wife. These days Tom and I git on good, Ma's never been happier, and the Saloon hasn't ever done so well, My wife is even expecting, and I'll git to try my own hand at bein' a father by the end of the month.

Not exactly short, or well written, but this was a ton of fun. Maybe I'll try short stories more often now!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Multimedia Memoir

For my finall essay in Comp 1, my teacher gave my class a really easy assignment. It was to write a 2-4 page pager about a strong memory, write it like we talk, and to use a picture, song, poetry etc to enhance it. Overall it's a really easy assignment, but I chose the death of my dog Oreo. I cried while I wrote it, but I think it turned out pretty well.


Rainy Day

His eyes were open while he lay on the cold metal table. They moved slowly, dragging as he watched me with nothing but trust. It was all I could do to stay calm, to whisper softly over and over that everything was all right, nothing bad would happen now. The worst had come, and he had been such a brave and good boy. To many times, in order to make up for it lacking in the past, I choked out how much I loved him. Apologies poured out of my mouth like the heavy rain coming down outside. It was a lonely day to die, even if it was in someone else’s arms.


Just a week before Oreo, my dog, got sick, he was a bouncing puppy. Oreo was about one and a half, a black and white cookie pooch. By nature he was a herding dog, and was used to country life. Energy and playfulness and love made his every action glow with vitality. When Oreo would run, it was the gait of a gangly teenager, not yet used to the proportions of their own body. It was sheer joy to watch him play with other dogs, to play tug-o-war, or fetch. Watching him move, it would be easy to imagine him as human. Oreo would be the clueless type, the comedic guy, the one who everybody cared about and considered a friend. While he only lived with me for about two months, it would have been impossible for me to not fall in love.


Oreo was gone long before his time, immune diseases can do that. For some reason that even our vet couldn’t identify, his doggie sickness struck hard and fast. In a mere three days he went from a bouncing, bubbly, belligerent dog, to… well, gone. On the first day, he had difficulty walking, didn’t want to eat, and jumping got harder for him. By the second day Oreo wouldn’t jump at all, barely moved, and every breath sounded like agony. On the third day, he fainted from the effort of vomiting and couldn’t even make it to the back door to relieve himself... Later that morning, I took him to the vet.


I waited with Oreo in the tiny vet’s examining room for a few hours; I had hoped to stay while they ran all the tests. Everybody had been kind and understanding to us both, I’m glad we took him there. Eventually I had to go though, and was forced to trust that Oreo would be treated well while I was gone. Just before 1 o’clock I got a call, and his euthanasia was scheduled for an hour later.

After my last class that day, I walked into that little examining room for the last time. The vet gave me a few minutes alone with Oreo, and in that time he gave a final burst of energy. He picked up his blocky little head, perked his ears, and even wagged his tail at me. I cried and cried, but eventually realized that even if my pup couldn’t see what was coming, he would see my pain. Oreo deserved better than to die worried, which he would have done if I kept sobbing into his soft and shiny fur.

When five or ten minutes had gone by, the vet poked her head in and asked if I was ready. I told her I was alright, and they should do it. Gently, the vet and her kind assistant lifted Oreo onto a cold metal table. They let me stay with him, and so while the vet searched for a good vein I stroked his floppy ears and held a paw gently in my hand. He wasn’t curious for long about what was happening with the vein search, and instead just basked in the love for a while.


I couldn’t stand to watch the blue liquid being shoved into his bloodstream, or tolerate having him watch either. My hand rested next to Oreo’s eye, blocking his view, and slowly his head dropped to the table. When the vet calmly announced “He’s gone,” I didn’t believe her, and when she left the room I listened for his heartbeat. There was nothing, it was like holding a soft log. I tried to close his eyes, but his eyelids just came back up. It seemed so undignified to me… Somehow, he was dead, unmoving, gone, and so hard to understand.


That night as I sat in my living room, tuning out the T.V., I thought about it all. Holding something so young and beautiful, watching it fade to nothing, it all made me question God. The innocent shouldn’t have to suffer, the child shouldn’t die, flowers shouldn’t wilt, why must it be part of life? I realized how sheltered I had been, and didn’t understand how other people could cope with how messed up this world is.

Eventually, a week or two later, I came to peace with Oreo’s death. I still don’t have many answers to my questions, but losing him made me value what I have. Suddenly, my other dog Gigi, my family, my friends, even the ridiculous amount of crazy socks in my drawer became more important and easier to appreciate. Sometimes realizations can be harsh, but it made me see that we as humans don’t truly “possess” anything, because everything can be gone in a flash.
Even if it isn't the best bit of writing ever, it means a lot to me.

Unjournalling, Day 5

Today my assignment was really... revolting. To be honest, I didn't have much of an idea of how to do it, and I'm not exactly pleased with the result. In following in good faith, but do not expect much from me.

I must describe the gunk at the bottom of a sink without using the words "disgusting" or "gross", not in of itself that difficult, but non-the-less unpleasant.

At the bottom of the cleanest sink, at some point has been caught a stringy mass of dead hair, skin, and soap. Every hair seems to congeal  to the others, almost in a jelly-like fashion. The chunks of soap and miscellaneous detritus of the average sink give variety to the texture. While nausea often attacks the who attempts to remove it, some have the stomach to taught the damp, moldy, and furry mass. It frequently smells.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Unjournalling, Day 4

Today I shall attempt to write a paragraph about a cat attacking something, only I will not use the words "hiss", "scratch", or "pounce".

Slinking its way across the floor, a young cat eyes its newly found prey. A few feet in front of the cat's delicate paws, a string twitches, agitated. The cat leaps! Its wild eyes dart around the room, following the string. Digging its needle-like claws into the clean, white carpet, the young cat chases the string. Suddenly, the string vanishes! Now there is nothing but a large hand stroking the cat's silken fur, and a lingering echo of laughter.

Doggie Poem

For my comp 1 class I had to write a 2-4 page multimedia memoir. I chose to write it over holding my dog Oreo while he died. As the multimedia I chose a picture of Oreo, and a poem. The poem I found was so beautiful I thought I'd post it here as well. At the end I will list the website it came from.

Do not stand at my grave and weep,

I am not there, I do not sleep

I am a thousand winds that blow,

I am the softly fallen snow

I am the gentle showers of rain,

I am the fields of ripening grain

I am in the morning hush,

I am in the graceful rush

of beautiful birds in circling flight

I am in the star shine of the night

I am in the flowers that bloom,

I am in a quiet room

I am in the birds that sing,

I am in each lovely thing

Do not stand at my grave and cry,

I am not there, I did not die.

This poem was taken from 
It would be a good site to go to for any of you who may be mourning for an animal companion recently lost, it has lots of beautiful poetry and I believe some other things as well.

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Little Creed

For my Comp 101 this past semester I had to write about something I believe in, with all my heart. On that assignment, I should have recieved an F, because I completely failed. In the effort to write something good, I completely cast aside the need for honesty and instead just wrote what I wished was true. I now own-up to my dishonesty, and should my fraudulence to the world: this is what I don't believe in, at least not entirely.

Never Ashamed

Ryan Conover

English Comp 1


I believe nobody should ever be ashamed to cry. This is a belief I have held for almost a decade, but not always followed. When this belief first started to circulate in my mind, I was about eight years old. It was Christmas Eve. Sometime near two in the morning, I had snuck downstairs to see what was in my stocking and under the tree, but there was nothing. As I drudged back upstairs to my bed, I started to cry remorseful tears for looking; for daring to think that there would be something there. Other tears were shed for my humiliation-feeling so weak for crying-even though there was nobody to see. After a while my parents came up and consoled me that it was ok I had looked, there would be something for me the next day, and I did not have to be ashamed about my hysterical sobbing.

That night I learned a few important things: my parents really did love me, I would be taken care of, and emotion is not something to be covered up like dust under a rug. The first two have frequently changed through the years, but the last one has been engrained in my mind ever since. Now when I see someone mourning a loss, celebrating a victory, or anything in between; it does not make me feel uncomfortable. Not unreasonably so at least!

This is not to say, however, that I think it is acceptable to let your feelings hang out all the time. Emotions are beautiful and marvelous things, but how could we accomplish anything if they ruled our lives? This is also something I’ve learned from experience; the hardest way.

Last year I started my first job, and I really loved it; at first. It started well; I “prettified” the shelves of a local grocery store and made coffee there, it was a relatively fun job, especially if you have someone to talk to! However, it’s difficult to keep chipper when you’re getting sick, it’s winter, and your whole day has been rough.

One that particular evening I was fixing up the shelves of the freezer department, beauty products, and meat section. Due to my budding illness, I was working slower than usual; and ended up staying a quite bit later than scheduled. Now at this point I had two options: let my emotions take control or do my job and “git ‘r dun”. Sadly, I made the wrong choice. Naturally, I chose to get angry and frustrated, but this of course never helps a bad situation! At the time, it seemed like the only option. Although, looking back, I understand if I had reacted better it could have made a lasting impact.

Often times, Especially when I am feeling down or emotional, I anticipate with more vigor the good things I would like to happen. In my past, it was seeing my Dad for a couple days. In the present it’s things like going to some awesome sushi restaurant with my Mom, or seeing my boyfriend on his college breaks. Many times when I do not get to do such things, I’d let my emotions grab hold of me. It was horrible for a while; I was even medicated for a few months. Just the tiniest things would throw me over the edge. For example, at camp this past summer I had hysterics. It was humiliating, and I hated feeling so out of control. It was like someone else had taken over my mind and body.

After a few months of being medicated though, I noticed no difference; so I stopped taking my pills. At this point I had decided to finally take control of my emotions on my own terms, to be my own person, and not let other people mandate how I feel. Thus far I’ve been coping well, and realized that out of this as well there is something to learn. Everything I felt- pain and anger and hysteria-they are mine. They are a part of me! I have nothing to be ashamed of about myself-because I’m human-and we all struggle with something. There is always room for improvement, but why feel shame if you learn something and make the initiative to change?

Obviously, there are times when it is a great thing to cry. Maybe a funeral for a close family member or friend, when someone you love hurts you, or even for something good, beautiful, spiritual, or all three. Tears are part of the mourning process as well as experiencing great joy, and both are acceptable to anyone. Whether they be male or female, child or adult.

About a week ago at church, I stood in front of the congregation and told them about a vision or epiphany of sorts. After I was done, I went back to my seat. Not surprisingly, I was shaking from the nervousness. Once the sermon was over a lady from a row or two forward came up to me with tears in her eyes. After a moment though, I realized they were tears of joy. At first I was dumbfounded! Never before had I seen someone cry for a positive reason. She was crying because she was so touched that I overcame my fear and spoke. It was flattering, but it still amazes and astounds me that they weren’t tears of sorrow. It wasn’t embarrassing for her; it was just an expression of emotion. She was fine with that, and that takes strength. The kind of strength I strive for!

There was a time on my mission trip to Arlington, Texas this summer that I also cried for the right-yet different-reasons. It was sometime during the middle of the week, and my group had been in a poor apartment complex playing with and teaching some kids there. All week long I had been praying and hoping God would give me someone to help. Finally, I got the opportunity to bond with a little girl; her name was Gretchen. She told me about her life, and it broke my heart. That night I cried for her and her brother, her sixteen-year-old brother who can’t even talk anymore. There is never any shame in crying over a loss like that, especially when that little girl was being so strong for her family.

Even through the positive and negative ways I’ve reacted to emotional situations, there is always a ray of sunshine; this is another reason I believe you should never be ashamed to cry. All of life is a learning experience! Through the people I have seen and the way they show their feelings, their strengths and weaknesses: the things I have felt myself and the way I have shown them; I have learned. The way we react to any situation can impact us forever, but if we learn, if we grow, it’ll all be okay. No matter what things may seem like at the time, never, ever be ashamed to cry. This I believe.

Oh, now, I wish that I had written with truth in word and thought. That every tap of the keys weren't a strike against man and God. I am a liar, a sinner, a hypocrite, and a work in progress: this I actually believe.

Unjournalling, Day 3

This exercise was to write a paragraph using at least 10 words that rhyme with "be":

There was once a tiny butterfly, flying free. Its motion was flighty, yet it never missed a date with destany. The bubbly butterfly wafted down by the sea, into a tree, on past a bee, to land at last on the rim of a cup of ice tea. Frightened by a looming hand, the butterfly sped away, past even so far as an owl could see.

Unjournalling, Day 1

Recently I happened upon a book entitled: Unjournalling. My Mom purchased it for me several years ago for some basic writing exercises, and I think that I shall finally endeavor to use it. The first assignment listed was to write a paragraph about a girl named Dot without using and i's or j's.

Dot was a beauty, she had a heart of pure gold. Every week she would volunteer at the local food pantry, not to say her generous offers of labor to her local church. Sadly, her pet cat recently passed away. Now Dot be as crazy as a lark, and shall spend the rest of her days at a home for the helpless.

Unjournalling, Day 2

The second assignment was to list three creatively silly things:

Silly is the small corgi who is afraid of spoons, loud noises, and hair dryers.

Silly is the blonde who's hair gets darker as she ages, so she bleaches it so that nobody will find out.

Silly is the little kid who runs around with balloons in hand, trying to static other people's hair, despite the frustration of his parents.