Snow Globe

I want to rummage through stacks of books with you.
Dirty, musty books
so when we rustle their pages we choke with joy.
I want to sit on the floor, legs crossed
and pile adventures in my lap.
You’ll stand on a stack of encyclopedias and reach for
that perfect copy of Don Quixote
while I flip through Robinson Crusoe
until you reach down and say, “I found this one for you.”
I want to be lost with you inside a fiction more beautiful than the
huge snow globe we inhabit
always shaken by someone else til we’re displaced
tiny flakes in a fish tank.
So I think if I have to get lost, I’d like to be holding your hand
when my dreams for this life
seem so broken
like this damned snow globe
because aren’t they supposed to make you smile
and turn the sky white?
The sky was grey today. This snow globe’s defective.
I want to be poor with you
but only with you
because poverty isn’t romantic
unless all the riches in the world exist in the gold flecks in your eyes.
I want to be anything with you
because you’ll be anything with me
and that could stop this snow globe shaking.

With this, I revamp my current poetry series from one about my childhood to a poetry series about anything, because…why restrict myself? Poetry is freeing, and I need to be freed right now. Cheers. Let’s all work on making this snow globe a little better.


I’m Nine Again

I was that kid who literally shoved her nose in a book and didn’t take it out until she’d flipped cover to cover. Most of my childhood memories are centered around lying on my couch, feet up, reading a book. On sick days, I’d make blanket forts in the living room and hide away, reading Zoo Books or Ranger Rick magazines.
I think we all lose a little of that as we grow up. Our day demands more studying and working, and allows for less free time. We get caught up in ourselves and our relationships, good or bad, and we forget that what really made us happy was that time alone, practically upside down on the sofa, reading Harriet the Spy, Tom Sawyer, Harry Potter.

And then this weird thing happens. We somehow come back around to those simpler times and remember how full our life was with them. Books fill that void, stop that gushing sorrow we feel in our heart, as a cork would stop a leaking rowboat in some terrible cartoon.
I accidentally found that 9 year old inside of me today. It took the end of a year-long relationship and a trip to the ocean to coax her out, but it’s been a long time coming, really.

That little girl is my personal Jesus. Because where some pray frequently, as I have occasionally, to find comfort and calm, I reach for stories and memoirs to pull me into their world and out of mine. But the escapism I get from books doesn’t lead inevitably to a denial of my problems, but more to a solution. Somehow, by forgetting them for a few hours, I work them out in the back of my mind. It feels good, lately, to let that happen.

As a child, I rode the bus 20 minutes home from school, then walked 3/4 of a mile to my house. I would read a book on the bus and, not wanting to put it away for even ten minutes, continue reading as I walked down my street. I lived out in the country, and rarely had to worry about cars driving past, so I could walk without incident. I have to admit, though, my walk would take twice as long when I had a book in hand. I barely noticed and definitely never cared.

I hadn’t done that in at least ten years until today. We’re staying at a house by the ocean, about a 15 minute walk from the beach. We had a beach house in the Puget Sound until I was about 10, and coming back here is so wonderfully nostalgic. The air smells briny, so much better than in California or Hawaii, and the water is too cold to enter but I always do anyway, like I’m still that little kid who didn’t care.  My mom, sister and I went wore our swimsuits and brought towels and books down to the water this afternoon, but I got cold after about an hour and decided to walk back to the house. It was nice to have some time with my thoughts, but after a while I really wanted to keep reading my book. So I did. And it felt wonderful. As if that little girl, so impatient to find out what happened next, just jumped out of me.

I don’t ever want that girl to go away. She’ll hide, maybe for years, but I’d like to think she’s here to stay.

How It Went Down

Once upon a time, there was a little boy named Amazon, and his big brother was always watching him…

In 2009, Amazon remotely removed 1984 (along with Orwell’s Animal Farm) from customers’ Kindles. The books were removed after Amazon realized that they did not have the rights to digitally publish the books on Kindles, and the company refunded customers. Many customers were angry, saying that Amazon didn’t have the right to remove something they’d already bought (and some were pretty freaked out, as they were unaware that such a thing was even possible).

Was there a board meeting about this? I wonder what it would’ve looked like. I admit, I’m probably the last person who has wondered this, but I’ve been busy and haven’t had time to write about it. Calm down.
The (possibly imaginary) meeting undoubtedly involved some twits, but…isn’t it a prerequisite when you work for Amazon that you’ve actually read some books? There’s a pretty good chance that someone in that room had read 1984. Maybe they didn’t understand the Big Brother scenario well enough to know how completely ironic (not to mention a little scary) it’d be if they just reached into people’s Kindles and pulled 1984 out without a word. Perhaps someone read the book when they were four years old and thought that Big Brother was actually Winston’s big brother…

If they haven’t fired their PR person yet, they really should.

How it should’ve gone down:
Dude 1: We have to pull 1984 because we don’t have the rights to it.
Dude 2: Um, hello, do you know how many educated people will laugh at us for that? It’d be like a memory hole. It’d be a disaster. You’re fired!

It’d be like erasing Voldemort from the Harry Potter series because you decided his name was scary and then expecting the story to make sense without him there. Okay, well it’s not exactly like that, but I can’t think of an appropriate analogy because it’s just too unbelievably ridiculous.

But hey, if Orwell was right at all, in 50 years Amazon could remove as many books from Kindles as they liked and nobody would notice (or care). Maybe we’d even like it.

The Costco Theory

Before I begin, I would like to say a few things:
1. Thank you all so very much for the lovely comments you left on my posts these past few days. The holidays don’t feel so lonely when I know you’re all out there with amazing stories to tell. We’re like a big family that doesn’t fight and probably doesn’t look very much alike…so maybe not that much like a family. Also, a huge thank you to those of you who took the time to use my Invisible Children SocialVibe dealio on the sidebar. It helps raise money to send Ugandan children to school, so your support is appreciated! It takes like 5 seconds and is free, so you all should do it. Go.
2. The idea behind this entire post came out of my friend Chloe’s extremely awesome (dare I say attractive?) brain. From the girl who brought you quotes like, “Did Cappy’s dad just put my Christmas present down his pants? I think so,” comes…you guessed it…The Costco Theory:

The question behind the Costco Theory is this: how long could you live inside a Costco? No supply trucks would come in; it’d just be you (alone) shut inside a Costco for as long as you could last. We’re pretty sure we know the answer…you could live forever inside a Costco. And you’d probably have the time of your life.

You could start a business or go to university online. You’d have your choice of some pretty awesome computers (and all the software you can shove in them…plus you could probably play Dora the Explorer computer games or something). And they probably even have “How to Start a Business While Living in Costco for Dummies” books that you could study with. You’d have printers, ink cartridges, and cameras (for those days when you’re considering photojournalism as a major). They even have nice collared shirts if you feel like dressing up a bit for the office.

You could be a huge couch potato, eating chips all day in front of those 6 giant TVs that are always on display. You could have a barbecue/salmon feed/crab night/anything because they sell barbecues, have a gigantic bakery and another gigantic kitchen (and that’s not even counting the food court), and all the food you’d need is right there in the freezer/snacks section. Did someone say yakisoba noodles? I think so.

Once you felt guilty for eating every potato chip on the shelves, you’d be able to work it off on a treadmill or trampoline…I bet they have Shake Weights. Actually, if you put some effort into it, you could get totally ripped inside Costco.  

If you felt like it, you could have a snowball fight in the produce freezer. I say this wishfully, because I’m not entirely sure how you’d get snow inside Costco, but once it was there you could totally keep it in the freezer. Maybe you could get a snowcone maker or something and grind ice into snowballs. I like it, I like it!

You’d stay totally sane inside a Costco, because you’d have the entire book section to read through, plus all their movies and video games (for those lonely nights when you don’t have a Skype date). Do you know how much fun you could have with the passport photo area? It’d be like your own personal photo booth.

And you could be so attractive! You’d always have nice skin-care products to keep you looking lovely, and you could crack open the jewelry display every once in a while when you wanna get bedazzled. These options would probably be more appealing if you had someone else inside the Costco to actually see you, but that’s a minor detail.

Once you’d been inside for long enough, your eyesight might start to fail you. Well, have no fear, because there’s an entire eye-care counter. Get yourself some glasses! Or a magnifying glass…I’m sure they have those somewhere.

I’m Accidentally Delusional

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I’m the girl who shouts at people for saying Harry Potter is fictional (he isn’t!). I’m the one who, after reading Harriet the Spy, hid in bushes wearing green and brown and spied on my neighbors. I want to be Peter Pan, but I wouldn’t mind settling for Robin Hood. At night, I dream about riding dragons and saving the world. Mr. Darcy is my husband, except when I’m an elf.

I “blame” this imagination on too many books. As a child, I just sat in a corner and read…all the time. I couldn’t ever fall asleep during nap time, so while my mom thought I was asleep I’d read all the storybooks in my room. I read every Peter Rabbit book known to man, memorized Uncle Remus stories, and begged my father to read The Three Little Pigs just one more time (with voices). Every Christmas my dad would read A Christmas Carol to me while we sat in front of a fire, and I’ve got it so engrained in my mind that every time I say “come along,” I mentally follow it with “Ebenezer.”

I like that my mind is constantly somewhere else. I like that no matter where I am, I feel happy because of the stories I carry inside myself. People get frustrated sometimes because they think I’m not paying attention (and sometimes I’m not), but I don’t mind because I’d rather be making up adventures than talking to them anyway. My life is extended into stories others have written (and some I’ve created myself), and I think that makes my life richer. There’s no point in living if life doesn’t feel magical.
 I like that every Christmas I read Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. I’m glad that if I have children, I know I’ll be able to pass on some amazing adventures in story form. I want to read them all my favorite books, even if they don’t understand them just yet. And I want to be able to write amazing stories that other people will read and think about the way I think about The Scarlet Pimpernel.

I got accepted to my first choice college the other day, and in between jumping up and down excitedly and crying with my mother I thought, “What am I going to do without all my books?” I don’t want to leave them all behind; they’re my security blanket. But I doubt I’ll have room for twenty books in college, so I’m attempting to stay in a dorm close to the library. Libraries, by the way, are Buddah’s gift to mankind…really.
Because it’s Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for the snow and I’m thankful for the books I’ve read, the books I’ll read in the future, and the books I’ll someday write.