Posted in poetry

#Haiku- Yearning

Image by Jills from Pixabay

Subtracting complaints
To get what you desire
Express what you want

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #79 – subtraction
Posted in Books, Culture, Events, flashback, Music, poetry, Quotes

Waiting for the Dust to Settle

Alexander Hogue, “The Crucified Land,” oil on canvas, 1939
Reference: Russer Tether Fine Art Associates LLC

“And I know now that all the time I was trying to get
out of the dust,
the fact is,
what I am,
I am because of the dust.
And what I am is good enough.
Even for me.”

Karen Hesse, Out of the Dust

Good evening! Please forgive me for my absence, everyone. It’s been a whirlwind, and I’ve been waiting for the dust to settle, but it seems like it going to pick up again soon! Recently got back from Las Vegas travels filled with personal development nuggets, and I have fun Halloween adventures to share. I also had an enjoyable collaboration with Joey on Writing with Strangers which resulted in a Grimm inspired poem, “A Boy Named Gullible“. I’ve also been learning how to navigate the world of solicitors touting their products and services in my new job. Discerning what is really the best value for what my boss needs is… a process. 😉

Karen Hesse wrote a verse novel called, “Out of the Dust”, which is set in Oklahoma’s dust bowls during the time of the Great Depression. Billie Jo, the 14-year old protagonist, must cope with the tragic losses of her family members and forgive herself for some devastating mistakes.

I was 13 years old when I first read it, and stepping into Billie Jo’s world was an eye-opening experience. This book was the first time I encountered a full length written in poetic format. The quote above makes me wonder about the symbolism of dust in the story and how it shaped Billie Jo’s identity. I wonder how the proverbial dust in my life has affected my character.

I’m hoping taking more breaks and relaxing my mind will help me find a few answers to my homework and work responsibilities. I decided to pass on the Brain Focus supplements in the pharmacy aisle. I like to think I can naturally release the fog in my mind and wait for it to gradually clear so I can find my way ahead…

Image Credit: Tang Jiao @ Pixabay

Though, I wouldn’t mind a metaphorical leaf blower to speed up the process of blowing the brain fog away! 🙂

In response to:

  • VJ’s Weekly Challenge #71: wait
  • FOWC with Fandango: tout
Posted in Dance, flashback, Food/Recipes, Makeup, Quotes

Waiting for a Persimmon to Ripen

Good evening everyone! VJ’s prompt about ripening has me thinking about quite a few things today. With fall looming around the corner, I couldn’t help but think of persimmons with its bright orange color! It is a mighty fruit packed with some powerful benefits:

  • Aids in weight loss & its fiber promotes a healthy digestive system
  • Can help regulate sugar in blood for diabetics
  • Rich source of phytochemicals which helps in warding off inflammatory infections
  • Anti-hemorrhagic properties which helps control excessive bleeding
  • Helps with hypertension because of its low sodium levels
  • Source of vitamin C to strengthen immune system
  • Source of vitamin A, shibuol, betulinic acid to help fight cancer
  • Source of a complex vitamin B which helps improve eye health
  • Source of copper which helps iron absorption and produces red blood cells
  • Source of potassium which helps retain significant minerals
  • Natural energizer relieving stress and exhaustion
  • Has some anti-aging properties as seen in some soap and this beauty blogger review of Amalie Beauty Persimmon Anti-Aging Nightcreme

My thoughts begin to wander onto some quotes, however…

“Age is not all decay. It is the ripening, the swelling of the fresh life within that withers and bursts the husk.”

George McDonald

My father used to grow some persimmon trees in our backyard. They come in two varieties: astringent and non-astringent. When they’re not ripe, biting into one leaves a bitter taste that lingers in your mouth taking its time before it leaves your tongue. With a little more patience, you can taste a wonderfully sweet fruit which makes the wait worth it.

“The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.

Eden Phillpotts, author

A rather interesting analogy to segway into some new events in my life. I recently got hired to be a technical writer at a cybersecurity firm! Very excited by this new development and chapter of my journey. Yet, it took me a while to get to this point. Many times I felt rather impatient with my own growth, but in hindsight, it took some time for my knowledge and information gained from my studies to mature before it was finally ready to be put into action.

“Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers. It may not be difficult to store up in the mind a vast quantity of facts within a comparatively short time, but the ability to form judgement requires the severe discipline of hard work and the tempering heat of experience and maturity.”

Calvin Coolidge, Former U.S. president

It’s been a few days since I’ve drank from this firehose of this major life transition – a constant outpouring of new ideas to take in, process, and from that immense gulp, I’m responsible for creating a grand tool that can unlock a whole new world of possibilities for my coworkers and myself.

“Nothing is finer for the purposes of great productions, than a very gradual ripening of the intellectual powers.”

John Keats

I should really slow down though as the quote above reminds me of the fine potential that can be derived from a gradual ripening. 😉 That said, I feel like a giddy metal worker dancing amidst the flying sparks as I’m in creation mode!

Posted in awareness, Concepts, Culture, Events, flashback, Food/Recipes, Quotes

A-to-Z Challenge: Quest

One challenge that I enjoy participating in is VJ Knutson’s weekly challenge. Her blog is named One Woman’s Quest II. I too feel like I’m on my own quest as I explore her topics and wonder what I may discover along my journey.

Scene from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”

What Does this Number Mean to Me?

Last week’s challenge was on numerology which actually caught my attention last year when I suddenly started to see palindromic numerical patterns in my life such as 1221, 5225, 4224. I try not to think too hard about it, but sometimes they’re impossible to ignore especially since I notice these details in my environment quite often.

I feel like the fictional character Milo in the book, “The Phantom Tollbooth”, where he’s mining for numbers as if they are jewels buried deep in the earth. What kind of meaning can be derived from this treasure? Various authors such as parapsychologist, Kate Sebring, explore the meaning behind these patterns.

Life Path Calculator

Who would have thought a life calculator would exist as life gives so many twists and turns!? Curious by the link VJ provided on Token Rock, I input some data and here’s what it told me:

The Harmonizer
The Life Path 6 looks for ways to make harmony with everything you encounter. Whether it is art, music, or relationships, no other Life Path can make things coalesce as naturally as you can. Your magnetic personality draws people in and can lead to you being the center of attention. 
You will find that your life will revolve around your family, and friends. You have an innate ability to nurture the people around you. As the person who usually takes charge of a situation you tend to be, or are on the way to being, the head of staff. 
Don’t let your innate ability to lead go to your head, this can lead to you trying to control every situation, and that is not what being a 6 is about. Learn to balance ‘leading and nurturing’ so as to raise up the people around you, instead of ‘demanding and controlling’ which will alienate people.
Some notable Life Path 6 people you may know: John Lennon, Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Thomas Edison, Stephen King.

What an interesting group of individuals that share my life path! 🙂

Travelling Back in Time

This week’s challenge is on anniversary in which you can explore an date in the past. So, in the spirit of numerical patterns, I’ll think about May 5, 2005 (05-05-05). I was in high school and my Spanish teacher was teaching about Cinco de Mayo holiday. She also decided to assign a project where each student would create a dish from a recipe from a South American country. We had a delicious show-and-tell potluck presentation! I was assigned El Salvador, so I made popusas!

Photo Credit & Recipe: Blue Apron

Cinco de Mayo will be coming up in a few weeks and I will continue to think back to my teacher’s historical lesson about how this date impacted the American Civil War in the midst of the bright colorful celebration that will take place in the streets downtown.

Photo Credit: The Echo

Numbers in Pop Culture

For curiosity’s sake, I became more fascinated by TV shows and movies that explored a world behind numbers such as Numb3rs, Touch, The Imitation Game, The Man Who Knew Infinity hoping they might shed some light as to what I might be experiencing. I think I was more entertained and enlightened by the drama.

Previous Posts in 2019 A to Z Challenge 
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Posted in Books, Dreams, flashback, Quotes

The Transition Past a Fog

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Hope all of you enjoyed New Year festivities! On the last day of of 2018, I opened the front door late at night to check out the early fireworks after I popped my small champagne poppers. We have some eager neighbors who are ready to start the new year with a bang! There was some heavy fog that swirled together with the smoke creating a dense screen of opaque gas.

As much as I like the mystical nature of fog (when I’m not driving), I couldn’t help but feel that the fog symbolically represented the concealment of transitioning to 2019 this time. It was as if the fog was teasing me, “Na-na-na Sa, you are not allowed to peek ahead quite yet! There’s something I want you to pay attention to first!”

At least 2019’s fog seems more playful than the 1980’s killer fog from the horror thriller flick! 😀

I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.

Thomas Jefferson

Hold on Thomas Jefferson! I know you’re waving your translucent hands impatiently waiting to get to the meat of the issue, but I’m going to indulge in the past just a little bit before jumping to my dreams for the future! I invited you here because I heard that various educators and editors were taking you out of school textbooks in our region. Interesting debate! You are such an enigmatic founding father in American history!

Anyway, the foggy weather reminded me of a novel I read as a young girl called “Fog Magic” by Julia L. Sauer published in 1943. Greta, a young girl living in Nova Scotia, is able to travel back in time every time her village is covered in fog.

I’ve been looking forward at everything in my life through my front windshield to avoid crashing into anything and enjoy the present. Since it’s foggy outside, I’m just going to park in the woods for a moment and enjoy my warm order of “acceptance, courage, and self-love” venti potion from The Sunshine Artist’s garden cafe.

Part of self-love involves forgiveness of myself for the things I felt like I couldn’t do. There’s an acronym floating around the blogsphere: FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Comparing yourself to others is a harmful habit. Sometimes, I’m in awe of what someone else is doing and wonder if I should being doing that too like say… rock climbing for instance.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

So, it’s time to look at my rear view mirror and reflect back on the highlights of my year, bullet journal style!

Photo credit: Laura Bailey @ All the Shoes I Wear

Overview of 2018

January:

  • Elected Secretary of the Justice Society, Vice-president of Chapter Operations for a business fraternity, Treasurer of Guild of Geeks at my school which simultaneously scared and excited me because I’ve never been elected for so many student officer positions
  • Started a more rigorous fitness and nutrition regimen to help me maintain energy for all those new responsibilities

February:

  • Began planning for several community service projects
  • Learning “Infor: ERP Cloud Software” and COBOL programming language that is causing everyone in my class migraine headaches

March:

  • Happily grew some squash, flowers, lettuce and maintained my garden patch during spring break!
  • Organized a clothing drive for the Battered Women’s Shelter for women’s history month

April:

  • Organized my first video game tournament which gave me many lessons in project & event management
  • Organized speaker series for World Water Day and Earth Day for Environmental club

May:

  • Graduated from a bachelor’s program with a major in information technology, project management and minor in English
  • Humbled to be awarded “Student Leader of the Year” along with other distinguished honors

June:

  • Preparing to be bridesmaid in my best friend’s wedding
  • Served a homeless shelter
  • CISCO, CCNA, CompTIA+ cyber security training
  • Participated in a summer reading club

July

  • Started my blog, “Culture Shocks” where I enjoyed writing fiction, taking photographs, and interacting with many bloggers around the world. THANK YOU! It’s been a pleasure!

August

  • Began my year long commitment with a local youth literacy reading buddy program

September

  • Participated in San Japan Convention, cosplayed as Monkey D. Luffy from One Piece anime, and enjoyed time with boyfriend before our 3 month separation as we focused on our studies.

October

  • Started studying graduate admission testing workshops. I was thinking about practicing my essay questions here…

November

  • Handled busiest retail season for Black Friday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years!

December

  • Participated in a fun song challenge on my blog which hid my incredibly packed holiday schedule. Believe me, it helped tremendously! 😀

Goals for 2019

After that bullet list, you’d think I’d just want to find ways to relax for 2019! Now that’s an idea! In my last Q&A, I said I wanted to remove some clutter. One evening, I noticed that Netflix featured a show with master organizer: “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”. Guess my goal is everyone else’s! I will ponder on these quotes while cleaning and trying out a few things from the #KonMariMethod.

For my blog (same, some tweaks)

  • Book/Movie/Restaurant reviews
  • Crafts/Art/Drawing/Painting/Sketch
  • Fiction/Poems/Stories
  • Questions/Responses/Thoughts
  • Photographs/Challenges/Prompts

For my personal life

  • Transitioning to a new job/career
  • More studies- Tech certifications
  • Read at least one book each month
  • Spending more time with family and friends
  • Sleep more often. Make sure I get enough rest.
  • Dream up new dreams throughout the year!
Photo Credit: Pixabay
Posted in Concepts, Culture, fiction, poetry, Technology

Wintry Virtual Reality

Photo Credit: KUKASMUU.COM

My friend knew that I was intent
on exploring a stimulating new hobby
so she gave me a gift of virtual reality for Christmas
and helped me strap on the goggles over my eyes.

Anticipating a special adventure,
I wake up in a red telephone booth
which transported me into a kind
of magical wintry masterpiece
in the snowfall of my mind.

I was taken aback by a set
of yellow eyes staring back at me
through the foggy window
with its brilliant iridescent fur
coruscating against the snow.

I suddenly remembered that
the game maker added a nice feature
where this mythical canine
will serve as a sapient cynosure
for the rest of my journey.

The quest involved finding a golden tree
in a labyrinth made of holly bushes
guarded by the Ice Queen
who spoke in riddles and resided
in a sacred temple outside the entrance.

Grateful for my linguistics background,
I felt like it would be fun
to have some tea and chat with the queen,
but little did I know of what I 
was going to encounter in this reality.

In response to… a lot of words and phrases this past week! Thank you for your inspiration! 🙂

Posted in Culture, poetry

My Unlived Life

It didn’t matter
that her mini black leather skirt
was flying in the wind
revealing her fish net stockings
or that her black boots with spikes 
were covered in
dandelions and dirt

She was engaged
Passionate about her art
Guided by the lyrics and beats of 
Avril Lavigne, Blink 182, Green Day
Running with her boyfriend
Jumping over fences
in the starry night

She was free to do
whatever she wanted
Spray painting her masterpiece
on the side of an abandoned building
Wearing her gas mask to filter out the fumes
Desiring to leave an impact
People will finally listen
They will understand
this crumbling world
and rise from
the ashes

Reality check: *sigh* 😉 As a teenager, I was intrigued by the punk aesthetic. There was a fearless, rebellious, mindset affiliated with the culture. Although there were several Gothic cliques in my school, I never actually participated in wearing the clothing. I might have been a graffiti artist I wasn’t disciplined by my parents. I don’t see myself climbing fences in the middle of the night. Any running I do is in the daytime. Most of my nights are spent studying.

I share these two videos of Avril Lavigne at different ages of her life to illustrate how much she has grown. Although, I never did the things she did in her teenage video, my mind and spirit was right there with her. In her later video, she talks about how her voice becomes a driving force. She asks God to keep her head above water and not let her drown.

In response to:

  • Dark Netizen’s Wacky Weekend Challenge: Black
  • VJ Knutson’s Weekly Prompt: Unlived Lives
Posted in Concepts, Events, flashback, poetry

Dark Night of the Soul

Shaken by the
deviation from plans
shifting the ground I stand on
tearing open a rift

I fall into a black hole
Attempt to grasp the colors
that will bring me back into the world I love 
but it slips between my fingers

Sense of reality shattered
Futile to glue back together
the shards of countless pieces

I’m lost in this dark place
So I rebuild myself
Fashion a new identity
that propels me back outside

Time has passed
I’ve walked around
and lived in this new skin
As I’m listening to a new friend 
he says trigger phrase
which breaks the dam

A river of tears flow from within
Reminiscing the loss of my former state
Hanging on for dear life
Friend becomes the life jacket
Keeping me buoyant
Rooted in the present

In response to:

Posted in fiction, flashback, Food/Recipes, Nature, Quotes

#VJWC: If I was an Ice Cream Flavor…

Thinking yourself as an ice cream flavor is a quirky way to describe one’s character.

Feeling inspired by Chiru’s post on ice cream and Ice Cream Magazine, I wanted to share with you an old entry that I wrote for Unigo’s Flavor of the Month scholarship a few years ago. I wrote it in the perspective of the ice cream. 🙂 You can check out previous winning entries are here.

If you were an ice cream flavor, what ice cream flavor would you be?

“I’ve failed!” A young lady is sitting on a bench outside the classroom sobbing about her recent college exam. She stares at me appreciatively with so much gratitude that I keep her company at a pivotal moment in her life in which she will consider changing her major.

I peer into her soulful brown eyes and see a reflection of myself sitting gracefully on a waffle cone peering back at me. I see a light brown complexion, a tone that even people are envious of, on my cloud-shaped body sophisticated styled with rich golden brown accessories.

My overall gentle expression will permanently reassure others that whatever the situation is, we will make it through together. She gushes with a genuine enthusiasm as her mouth warmly greets my creamy surface, “Why, Butter Pecan, you’re just a heavenly delight!”
I have a couple of lively surprises nested within this soft scoop for this lucky gal. CRUNCH! You see, I’m not just a sweet and soothing stress-reliever. I’ve got some substance in which my character can be discovered.
I’m packed with the healthy nutritional benefits of pecans such as incorporating key minerals and vitamins that stimulating hair growth, strengthening the immune system, and reducing the risk of breast cancer, stroke, high blood pressure. After all, I like to care after my friends’ emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being while creating delicious memories when times get tough and when life calls for difficult decision-making.

Conclusion of My Meandering Thoughts about Character

I wonder if the development of character is partially dependent on paying attention to the characteristics of another thing or person. I wonder if your role models are a factor in the development of character. When we look at a tree, why do we often make the metaphor of “putting down your roots” so that you can be strong? If we can visualize it, does that make it easier to develop?tree2

I thought the quote you gave here was interesting to ponder about:

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. – Abraham Lincoln

I recently skimmed a book called “The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson” by Robert A. Caro. John F. Kennedy, Johnson’s rival, was recognized to be the golden man of America. He had situations in which his character could be compromised due to the position of power he was in. The political environment he placed himself in influenced his actions. Lyndon B. Johnson realized this as well when running for office. Wielding such power requires responsibility and accountability which leads me to think that character is influenced by the environment in which he/she plants down their roots. So I’ll end with this quote.

It takes a village to raise a child. – African proverb

In response to: