Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Poetry on the Brain

Alternate titles include: Nothing to do with Spain, Reminiscing, Ill-fated and Star-Crossed...

But I will say one thing about my life in Spain. Some guy was angry that he missed the bus and threw a rock through the windshield, causing everyone on the bus (including me) to be late to work and fear for our lives for a minute. It was the craziest thing that has ever happened to me. 

Alright, so, today is the last day of National Poetry Month in America. THIS IS MY FAVORITE MONTH. And while I was sick, I decided to play "What is this document?" while getting rid of old Microsoft Word files. I don't get rid of anything in Word and have a slough of poems, short stories, character sketches, etc. So, basically, opening any document on Word is a trip down Memory Lane for me. 

I opened one document titled Milton Bradley Poems - poems about a crush I used to have. (I can't explain my mind or weird references). Now, I did a bit of research for this blog post. The nickname for this crush of mine came from the board game designer Milton Bradley. Before an hour ago, I didn't even know there was a baseball player with the same name. Also, before an hour ago, I didn't actually know anything about the game designer, so, I took the time to educate myself. 

He gained some success by printing advertising for Lincoln's campaign. He then created "The Checkered Game of Life," which was the springboard for the still popular "Game of Life." Back then, it looked something like this:

But with more squares. These days, there are spaces like "Get a Flat Tire. Lose a Turn." (I may be making that one up, I can't actually remember...) Back when Bradley invented it, there were bad vices and things on it such as gambling. I'm not sure how to play, but you had to collect 100 points in order to win the game. 

Enough about random history, let's get back to my Milton Bradley. Like I said, this was a boy I had a crush on and, therefore, the subject of a number of poems including a sestina, which I will share with you.

But, first, a bit of background on this crush. I sat next to this girl in one of my classes who knew him and one day she came to class and was like "I ran into [him] at the gym. And then he was talking about this really cool girl he'd met. And then I realized it was the girl I sat next to in English!!" Before that moment, the girl didn't even know I knew him. And to a teenage girl, the fact that a boy you think is cute talked about you at the gym is some of the most exciting news in the world. Him and I became sort of friends throughout the years, but nothing beyond casual flirtations and cute moments. 

This poem is for the Milton Bradley.

It's a sestina, in traditional sestina form and I have played around with it a little bit since I found it in the word document. Not the best, definitely feelings of a teenage girl (at this point in my life, I'm like, "Wow, looking back, I didn't think I felt so strongly...." ) but I like it and wanted to post a poem for National Poetry Month. 

Working title: Mercutio

We watched the sky for hours
as our hearts tempted fate
and we fell carelessly in love,
wandering through life
not knowing our watched stars
had pain in store for us.

We never meant to be an us.
in those first significant hours
we just sat in the light of the stars
thinking we were exempt from their fate.
Exempt from the human-ness of life
and safe from the pains of love.

But it turned into love.
And, horribly, turned to an "us"-
-a "we," ampersanded in life.
We whispered nothings to pass hours
and pretended not to be ill-fated
but rather crossed by stars.

My hand in yours watching stars
made me feel more wildly in love
wondering if meeting you was fate
wanting to be more of an "us"
watching for seconds, minutes, hours
wondering if I could be lucky in life.

But I wasn't lucky in life,
was I? Day broke and the stars  
faded, breaking my heart. Within hours
of my be-all, end-all love
I half-heartedly watched us
crumble and give up faith in fate.

Before you, I didn't believe in fate
but now I live a different life.
I hate that there won't be an us
as I sit and watch the stars,
alone, wondering about future love,
hoping next time for more than hours,

but if it's only hours aligned in my fate,
then I hope for more loves in this life
than stars that stretch the miles between us. 

Milton Bradley, if you are reading this and you know who you are, smile because you were such a good friend of mine. Even though we weren't close, you were always there for me, even when the going got rough. I used to love our conversations about obscure music and sharing earbuds with you to listen to music and just our conversations about everything. I also loved later when you used to ask "How is what's his name doing?" when you knew perfectly well what my then boyfriend's name was. I liked that a boy I was dating could make you jealous. Also, thanks for always keeping on my toes and calling me out on my bullshit. 

If the girl who sat next to me in that English class is reading this, come on, it's not like you didn't know. I'm pretty sure you and I have had conversations in which all we talked about is that the Milton Bradley was sooo hoooot, as teenage girls are known to do.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Bed-ridden, Medicine-induced Blog Post, or, My Parent's Visit

Hey guys! I write to you from the land fo sinus infections/respiratory infections/bacteria. It's not that exciting here. My life hasn't been super exciting lately, which is a big reason for the lack of blog posts. All I have been doing for the past few weeks is listening to the "Book of Mormon" soundtrack (and "Rent," "Avenue Q," which segued into "Dreamgirls" and "Jersey Boys" and now I am on a 60s Motown (mostly The Temptations) and a Dusty Springfield, Lesley Gore, The Shangri-Las, women of the 60s kick). Although I did make a trip to Valenica - blog post to come - and, oh, ya, MY PARENTS VISITED. So, since my mind isn't at its greatest, this blog post will mostly be pictures of their visit and my brief (or wordy, probably wordy) explanations.

Templo de Debod - I may have another picture of this somewhere else in my blog. Sorry about that, I think this sight is absolutely marvelous and I took my parents here for the sunset. It was absolutely beautiful. Another day, my father and I went back and I took him inside the temple. It was quite interesting. If you are wondering, this temple is 2200 years old and was donated to Spain from Egypt because Spain helped efforts to preserve the temples in Nubia. It's been in Madrid since 1968.

Madrid's Palace (Palacio Real) - A marvelous building! I got to do this one with both my parents and they both enjoyed it. It might be one of my favorite tours I took while they were here. Mostly because there wasn't over 1100 paintings like in the monastery in El Escorial. I like art and have a modest appreciation of it, but 1100 is too much...

The Cathedral of Segovia - it actually has a much longer name than that, but, as it is Segovia's most famous cathedral, it does get called Catedral de Segovia. It has a bunch of beautiful chapels and a wonderful courtyard and the outside is lovely too.

A candid photo of my lovely parents outside of the Castle in Segovia. Aren't they cute?

And a posed photo of them - still a beautfiul couple, huh? With such beautiful kids...

And here is my mom and I outside the castle. Beautiful place, beautiful town, even after three visits. I cannot get enough of Segovia!!

Every time I go to Segovia, I have to get cochinilla - roast, suckling pig (sorry, Andrew). Mostly because whenever I go to Segovia, I usually go with someone who has never been before. They ususally give me a cut of meat rom the center and nothing that actually resembles a body part. As morbid as it makes me, I was quite excited to be served an arm... It was also some of the best cochinilla I have ever had - although I haven't had much....

The beautiful Avila. Almost the entire city has these walls around it. I don't quite know the correct history behind that, but I remember it being interesting, so, I encourage all of you to use a good search engine (I recommend google) and search the history. It was to protect them from enemies in medieval times, but I don't remember which enemies or who was ruling or anything. Beautiful place though.

Entrance to the walled part of the city. 

Another view of the walls. Just because they are so interesting and beautiful and history (even if I don't exactly know what that history is...).

Another photo of my parents inside the cathedral. My mother has a look of "if you are actually taking a picture of us right now, I'm going to kill you..." She (obviously) didn't though. I think my father was in the middle of asking me what I was doing.

The viewpoint from which you can see the entire walled part of the city.

Here is a "selfie" (ough, I hate that word, but I sure take enough of them) of my father and I on the Madrid City Bus Tour. My mother was unfortunately sick that day, but I promised her photos. And seeing that I already have quite a lot of Madrid, I took a photo of us for her instead.

Last, but not least....

We went to a restaurant fittingly titled "Van Gogh" to celebrate my sister's birthday. My sister couldn't be with us last week because of her stupid important movie industry job (which is really awesome and not stupid at all....Proud of you, Jess!), but it was still important to me that we did something for her birthday. So, we got carrot cake! Happy Birthday, Jess!!!

This post has been written while on a few anti-biotics and without spell-check. I apologize for the mistakes this may have caused.