So it looks a lot like I disappeared, but actually I have just been writing paper, upon paper, on paper. So now I am done, and I am excited to share some small pieces from some of my papers from my non-fiction class. So here are the excerpts, and pictures (cause everything is less boring when you put photos with it.)
This is the first paper I wrote on bees/ yellow jackets:
(I made this cartoon awhile ago and felt like it fit.)
The yellow jacket chew wood fibers and make their nest with the paper-like substance they create. This member of the wasp family builds their nests in trees, shrubs, attics, hollow walls, and flooring.
When I was seven I had this reoccurring dream. I was lying in bed and when I looked up a gumball machine sat in the middle of my room. It was taller than me and was a glowing beacon in the dimly lit room. I would walk up to the machine, put in a quarter, and spin the silver knob. The gumball would twist and turn down the tubes and when I would open the metal flap a bee would fly out. Not a gumball at all.
I had this dream for weeks. My mom and dad brushed it aside as irrational nightmares. A week later, my mom was doing laundry and washed my bedding. Between my mattress and my sheets lay a small collection of pellets. Upon further inspection, it was noted that these were dead yellow jackets.
They had entered through a small hole in the floorboard, where they must have built a home. The solution, courtesy of my father, was to stuff a piece of the newspaper into the hole. It solved the problem. I never found anymore yellow jackets dead in my bed, and the dreams of the gumball machine became less frequent, then just stopped. Although the yellow jackets no longer entered my dreams my feeling of safety had been shaken. I was paranoid and suspicious and no amount of newspaper could change that….
So yeah, that was about yellow jackets. This is another one about a childhood nightmare:
(I put this picture of my cat, cause I mention his green eyes in this.)
I am an information withholder. I am skilled at taking valuable, pertinent pieces of information and never mentioning them again. In my case, I do it for my own personal benefit. I can’t handle the stress of telling anyone anything. I do it because I am sensitive to others sensitivities and I dare not throw possibly damaging or depressing information into their personal lives.
I used to have a reoccurring nightmare. I would be in my house in search of attention from some family member. I would first trot down the stairs into the dining room of our house. There my dad sat at our round pink table, reading the newspaper. I could only see my father’s fingers and a small tuft of gray hair peeking out over the top. When I greeted my dad, he slowly looked over the paper. His eyes weren’t his usual pale blue. Instead they were a sharp piercing green, the same color as my cat’s. He would stare at me for a few seconds, his eyes filled with anger and aggression. He would look back at his newspaper, while I scurried along, trying to find my brother.
Brendan sat at his computer, staring deeply into his big bulky CRT monitor. I began asking him if he knew what had happened to Dad’s eyes. He turned towards me, scowling, his eyes a matching set to my father’s.
Next, I went to my mother who was in the kitchen cooking over the stove. I began crying, asking her what had happened to the eyes of my brother and father. She stirred a large pot, then looked at me with the same intense green eyes that plagued her husband and son.
I ran out the back door on to the deck, and dashed down the three steps to the brick walkway. When I turned around, taking a last look at my home, I saw my dad standing on the porch only a few feet away. In his hands was a large shotgun pointed straight at me. I stood there stunned my gaze shifting from my dad’s green eyes and the barrel of the gun. I would awaken to a gun shot, mid-scream with sweat pouring down my face.
Fully conscious I would walk to my parents’ room with tears still filling my eyes and quietly snuggle underneath my mother’s arm, keeping her awake with my constant squirms. My dad lay on the other side of the bed, sleeping deeply.
I never told my family the details of this dream. When I would try to explain the nightmare I would tell them of the green eyes and their distinctive tasks, but I never brought up the gun. Cause the gun was scary, and no eight year old should be dreaming of their father shooting them. It doesn’t seem to say the right thing about a father-daughter relationship. So controlled by fear of my families sensitivities I withheld my dream….
My cousin has always been cooler than me. And not just like, “Oh she is popular in school and I’m not.” But more like “Wow, I didn’t know people could do that many cool things in one lifetime.”
My cousin was a model. She travelled around the world doing photo shoots anywhere and everywhere.
Every time my mom and I would enter the supermarket we would search through the hair dyes with the green labels to find her face. She would be between Sangria and Chocolate Caramel or Truffle and Almond. Her deep brown hair glistened in the fluorescent light.
Being a model sounded like a nightmare when I was around eleven, and there was nothing I could have wanted less. I was deep in my awkward phase. My bangs curled up into something the kind referred to as cowlicks. It was also at that time that I vowed to never wear a dress ever. The idea of people taking photos of me sounded like some form of prostitution, and I wanted nothing to do with it.
But when I hit sixteen, I felt differently. I had lengthened and had also gained a new appreciation for dresses. But most of all I saw America’s Next Top Model. Every week was a new challenge: walk across a tightrope— while looking good; run on a treadmill— while looking good; pose with a snake— while looking good. It sounded like a dream adventure all done while looking good. I wondered if my cousin had ever had a photo shoot in the middle of the desert like Tyra did. I would clunk around my room in my one set of heels while practicing my audition tape in the mirror.
“A Sim’s facial features are customizable and unique, and Sims can smile, frown, and blink. The player can adjust a Sim’s features in the in-game Create-a-Sim tool; for example, noses can be made to be very large or very small.” (wikipedia)
This new ability to make Sims with matching characteristics to myself appealed to me. I made my family, and had them live in a house I built to look exactly like my own. I had simulation me marry a simulation of my high school crush and our Sim doubles had kids. My bedroom turned into the nursery.
Simulation Kendra, had one child, quickly followed by triplets. Simulation Kendra, ended up having sleepless nights and in a short amount of time became crazy. She was in an aspirational failure and she would see the mirage of a therapist. A fire burned down the kitchen, and there was barely enough simulation money to pay for the damages. At the same time the simulation relationship between her simulation parents and her simulation self was on the edge. Soon her simulation parents reached their 90 days and both died. Leaving her alone at home with a collection of children while her husband worked. In my simulation life the feminist movement was in retrograde.
I never made the Sims be me again. Watching my parents die, my house burn down, and my sanity squelched was enough to turn me off the game for a while. When I returned I carefully noted the line between real life and fiction.