25 January 2008

The Genius of Billy Collins

Lately I've been enjoying a good daily dose of poetry. Most recently I've been indulging in Walt Whitman and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I also read some great modern poetry. Billy Collins has quickly become one of my all time favorites. Going to a live reading featuring this man will now be added to my list of things I must do in my lifetime. Check out this poem:


The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,

something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.

Whatever it is you are struggling to remember,
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.

It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.

No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted out
of a love poem that you used to know by heart.

20 January 2008

Appreciating A Good Hockey Fight

I went to a Grizzlies hockey game Saturday night. There is nothing like sharp blades scraping the ice and muscular, sweaty bodies hurling into each other at top speeds. I can't get enough of it. Quite a few fights broke out during the game. There were three major multiple person fights with helmets being ripped off and blood spilling. And there were about 10 less-significant, forceful shoving fights, with many a dirty word being said. I didn't actually get to hear the profanity, but the Jumbotron overhead made for some good lip-reading. The Jumbotron also displayed some of my booty shaking skills while we were doing the Hokey Pokey. I really shook it all around, if ya know what I mean. 'Cause that's what it's all about! Later, while I was walking out of the arena, someone from work saw me and told me that they liked my little dance. That's not embarrassing at all.
Remember those ESPN commercials where someone would innocently be standing on the street gazing into a store window and suddenly a hockey player in full gear would come up and bodycheck them into the glass? Yeah, that was cool.
Sometimes I wish that bodychecking or throwing off the gloves were more socially acceptable. I mean, we could have a rule that someone would deserve a bodycheck for when they do something really dumb, such as taking up two parking spots in the over-crowded work parking lot for their huge diesel truck that they don't use to actually haul anything. Or when someone is in the left turn lane and before actually making the turn they swing really far to the right and into your lane, forcing you into the lane next to you, which makes the others to your right angry and thinking that you're the stupid driver. Or for snowplowers that create an incredibly high snowbank behind your car that you have to spend 20 minutes clawing at with your flimsy driving gloves because there is no shovel at hand. Or for those people that pick the locker directly next to yours in the gym when the entire locker room is empty, making it extremely awkward as you try to change into your sports bra. We could start with those circumstances and work our way out from there.

17 January 2008

I Should've Been More Careful

You know those emails that have been forwarded 300 times and promise to curse you and your children if you don't send them to 8 of your closest friends within the next 10 minutes? Well, I think I've deleted one too many of those. A hex is upon me. I feel it. One person shouldn't have to endure such a long string of bad days like I have.

16 January 2008

I'll Take A Punch to the Head, Please.

So everyone has been freaking out about my black eye. It doesn't hurt one bit. I can't even tell you exactly how it happened, except that I got it sometime last Friday night at Absolute. What people don't realize is that I get injured more from everyday stuff than I do training in martial arts. For instance, I was cooking dinner on Saturday night and sliced the top of my thumb off whilst cutting an onion. I cut right through the fingernail. I was trying to stop the bleeding for almost an hour. I would rather take a shot to the face than go through that pain again.
Another example is moving the furniture around in my bedroom. I just have a cheap metal bed frame and when shifted gently, it will fall apart. And it did. Right on my foot. Mercy.
Also, I went ice skating tonight with the youth in my ward for our Wednesday night activity. I'm a pretty confident ice skater. But you put me in rental skates on a rink with 200 other kids all between the ages of 12 and 17 and I really, really suck. There were so many kids on the ice not paying attention to where they were going. They were grabbing on to me whenever they lost their balance, pulling me right down with them. Some punk kid plowed into the back of me at a fairly high speed which caused a serious faceplant. My butt and knees are throbbing.
After all that, a bony elbow to the head doesn't sound too bad.

My Dad is Cooler Than Your Dad!

My dad never gives Christmas presents to us kids. He lets mom do all the thoughtful stuff like that. This year was different. He might be softening in his latter years. I received this Christmas card:
You can't top that advice. This is the best Christmas card I've ever received. And i love how he writes in all capitol letters. It's always been like that. For the record, I can't remember one time in my life when he has actually called me Vanessa. It's always been Vaness. He will not say the A at the end of my name. The only time has been when he has given me a blessing or something where a full name is required. It's amazingly endearing to me now.
For my present, he got an old cardboard box and put a week supply of Snap-On Tools socks and a Snap-On Tools beach towel in there. No wrapping paper over the box. I love those socks! I think I blogged about those socks once before. I mean these socks are definitely noteworthy. What a thoughtful man. Who would've thought?!