Actually Mine

Poetry- “Bottles Aflame”

poetryMy biological father, Dave, was seeing, I suppose that’s what you’d call it, his frequent bartender who was also the mother of a friend of my younger sister. He was visiting the woman at work during part of my sister’s and my visitation weekends while leaving us with his mother. He began drinking (really girly alcoholic drinks) after his supposed recovery of his “attempted suicide” back in 2008. After the woman stopped talking to him and called off the “relationship,” he began drinking even more girly alcoholic beverages while my sister and I were at his house.  So, when the woman broke it off, he became more agitated and somehow even more reckless with his drinking. There were even several instances during the summers where he would drink when we would go to eat at Joe’s Crab Shack after a day at Six Flags Over Georgia with my sister and me, and he would then drive with us in the car all the way back to his house in Cherokee, AL. As you can see, he has been and is still a shitty father.

“Bottles Aflame” was inspired by this part of my history with my biological father. In the poem, it mentions him physically harming me when he really didn’t to my knowledge; he did, however, take advantage of me and use me to have someone take care of and pity him . It is also possible that he could have harmed me, because there are a lot of memories I have blocked out for some reason, but I won’t get into that. I hope you enjoy, and as always, please don’t use this without my permission.

“Bottles Aflame”

I’ve got all these bottles

of sadness, darkness, grief

And all of these bottles came from you

You put them all on the shelves inside of me

I drank every one and they kept coming

Because you kept bringing them in

I swallowed all of what’s inside them

Knowing all the while you are the one who wins

Later in the evening

When my heart is filled with flames,

Little did you know

I set every single bottle ablaze

Now you will always remember

My little ember and my blame

Will always be on you

I still live today

Telling all you put me through

And now I stand

Knowing that without me

You can no longer be a man

Unless you bring me down

And swallow me whole

Now you have no one to talk to,

No one to yell at or angrily hold

I live now without your bottles

of everything sweetly bitter

You no longer bother me

Nor make me full of your liquor

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Origami: An Until Now Unmentioned Passion of Mine

011I completely forgot to mention my love of origami. My sincerest apologies, readers. Let me tell you the story of how I came to make 1,168 origami cranes.

In eighth grade, I noticed paper cranes being made in the high school art teacher’s class. I approached her one afternoon, her already being the grandmother I should have grown up with and she and I being good friends, I asked her if she could teach me how to make them. She popped in the VHS tape in her classroom television and let me learn for myself. She’s one of the most wonderful and wisest people I’ll ever come to know.

The tape began with beginner’s forms of origami, like making a paper cup or a paper sailboat. It showed how to make this various shapes step-by-step. It progressed into more difficult forms, like a whale and a box. Finally, the crane came. It took a few tries, like every one before it did. I finally got the hang of it, and I’ve been making them ever since.

However, I only began counting them (putting numbers on the wings) when I became determined to make a thousand by senior year. It was then in the summer before my eleventh grade year that I set this goal. If you are not familiar with the legend of a thousand cranes, here is the story.

So, really, I don’t know how many I’ve actually made. But, since the summer before the eleventh grade, I have made 1,168 paper cranes.

When I say I shall do something, I mean it. I may not do it right then because of my not-so-long attention span, but I will eventually get around to doing it. It took me about two years to make a thousand. You may be wondering what I wished for if you read the above story. Well, I inadvertently made a wish for my art teacher/should-be-grandmother by giving her my thousandth bird. I wished for her to have a happy retirement for she was also leaving high school the same time I was.

I shall probably be making paper cranes for the rest of my life, and I am perfectly okay with this fact.

 

*photo does not belong to me

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Poetry-“He wishes he was my dad instead of what he is:an obstacle” & “Away from You (Once I’m 18)”

teaching-poetry-to-childrenSince I am in a poetry mood today, it seems, and this is helping my persistent headache, I would like to share more poetry, if that is all right. I would actually like to show a comparison of two works of mine, both about my great dislike of my biological father, Dave.

Dave is a man-child of sorts. He was happy only when he was brining my mother down by calling her names and manipulating her to his every whim. He was even less efficient as a father. He and the rest of his family never forced me to do anything I didn’t want to do. This greatly hindered my abilities to provide for myself and do things I hate and/or fear. For example, I do not have my driver’s license, my ears pierced, or even the ability to ride a bicycle, all because Dave could not be a true father. Instead he bought me whatever I wanted, be it toys or games or Gothic jewelry or animals, which only fueled my spoiled nature.

I very nearly hate the man, but I frown heavily upon hate because it leads to destruction of the soul and of civility and peace.

Now then, to business. First is a poem I wrote when I was 15. This was around the time that my stepfather came into my life and helped change my perspective for the better. It was written shortly after Dave realized I had changed his name in my phone to “Dave” and my stepfather’s to “Daddy”, as is the traditional term for one’s father. The clown reference was from lyrics of a favorite band of his.  What is depicted in this poem truly happened, despite him theoretically being a 35-year-old man. The poem is titled “He wishes he was my dad instead of what he is: an obstacle.”

When he gives me attitude

He becomes uncontrollably rude.

Because he cannot handle himself as a toad,

He takes his anger out on the road

As he drives as reckless as can be

While I smile at myself happily

Because he cannot affect me

Or make me feel down.

He is a “retarded, disfigured clown.”

Instead of bringing joy as he should,

He does the opposite of all that is good.

He attempts to bring me down with himself

But I’m so happy and content with myself.

I simply ignore him and his sorrow

As I look forward to tomorrow

Instead of backwards like he always has and will.

I’m so thankful I have a wonderful new family that makes each day filled

With joy, glee, bliss, laughter, all of the above

These things he will never be made of

 

Now compare that to a poem I wrote a couple of years ago, titled “Away from You (Once I’m 18).”

 

Where I belong isn’t here

I know this from my tears

All my cuts and wounds of heart

From me shall never part

 

Thank you for all this

 

You have taken me from my home

You never leave me alone

You never harm me

At least physically

 

You were always one of the mind

 

You will never be forgiven

I wish for you to be forsaken

I have finally returned to my safe place

Where happiness is always present on my face

 

Because I will never see you again

 

Much better, is it not? Thank you for reading 🙂

 

*picture does not belong to me

 

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Poetry- “Away from Home”

SignaturePoetry and I have always had an interesting relationship. I cannot make a poem out of nothing, or else it sounds dreadful and choppy. However, poetry has to strike me first. When poetry does strike, it consumes my entire being until I put whatever it asks of me onto paper. I know only what influences my works, but I know not of when and where it comes from.

I began writing poetry when I was about eleven years old. A quote from the wonderful Rubeus Hagrid (from Harry Potter, of course)describes that period in my life perfectly, “they were dark times,…dark times.” Everything was dark back then, my parent’s marriage, my real dad’s sense of humor, my clothing, my hair, and even my personality.

Thank God I’ve blocked most of it out. But I digress.

I was especially fond of a certain Edgar Allan Poe who talked of lost loves and Gothic castle ruins in his poetry and stories. I was quite smitten with the man, and still am today for literary purposes.

I never went through losing multiple loved ones to tuberculosis as Poe did, but you could not convince angsty, pre-teen Ashlynn that her life was not so equally melancholy. So, poetry became another outlet for me alongside drawing and singing. I mostly wrote of lost loves, triumphing over abusive loves, and wanting to have my own love of my life.

Not much has changed, poetry-wise. I still write of winning over abuse and lost loves, but I do feel my style will only improve as I continue to be spontaneously visited by the muse of poetry, whoever he or she may be.

A poem I would like to share with you now is titled “Away from Home.” I wrote it a few years ago as my biological father drove my sister and me to his hellhole of a house. I have always been dramatic, and my desire to return safely home isn’t as drastic as it is portrayed in the poem. Here goes.

“Away from Home”

I’m trying to reach home

I don’t know where to turn

I just run and run

This passion to be home burns

I’m trying so hard to reach you

You’re so far away

End this nightmare

I’ve done all I can today

How much farther must I go?

(Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis)

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Garrett: The Example of Malnutrition

As you may have guessed, I am very passionate about animals and their welfare, especially my own animals. I have not mentioned my leopard gecko, Garrett, until now. I feel I should bring him to your attention for educational purposes.

I obtained him and another gecko about 5 years ago from my biological father. This was after the divorce, so I only saw the geckos every other weekend. He and the other gecko seemed content with themselves, everything was going well. Then my father moved to a different house. In the process of moving, he left the geckos at his then-girlfriend’s trashy, worn-down, disease-ridden house. I worried about them but could not go and get them myself, nor could I reason with Dave (aforementioned father) to go and get them so I could be caring for them.

Once he had finally settled into his house, he brought the male gecko. The female had been given away. Garrett, the gecko, was severely malnourished, as you can see. I could see his ribs and spine a lot more clearly than I should.

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He was very thin, very weak. I apologized to him for his not being taken care of properly. Apparently, Dave didn’t feel it necessary to feed Garrett every week, just whenever he felt like it.

From then on, I made it my life’s mission to take care of him to the best of my ability. I cleaned his water bowl and habitat, made sure he actually had water and food (crickets), and I got him out any chance I could. I took him outside, let him roam, but not too far away from his mom. I cradled him in my arms when he got too cold or too weak. He had become a child of mine, and I would do anything for his safety and well-being.

On December 10, 2012, Dave asked why I didn’t like being at his house because apparently it took a year or two for him to notice my blatant hatred for the place and people there. Nothing I told him was taken to heart due to his not being mentally stable. So, he asked if I wanted to leave, I said yes. I packed my things, and I took Garrett and his new giant aquarium back to my home. My parents were confused about my sudden coming home and my bringing a lizard. We made accommodations for him soon after, buying him food, vitamins, a heating pad, a log-shaped hut, and sand.

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He is now very happy and fat, as seen to the right. At least, he hasn’t told me he isn’t happy yet. Since I can’t have him in my dorm, I am trusting my sister to take care of him back home. So far, he hasn’t been killed, so there is some hope for my sister to be somewhat responsible.

Leopard geckos can actually live up to 15 to 20 years if they are properly taken care. I hope to have him for a very long time, considering he is about 5 years old now.

I bid you all farewell for now. I hope you take Garrett’s story to heart and take care of all your animals and respect them. Garrett says bye, too :). He’s so precious 😀

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*all photos taken my me

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Dogs- The Sequel to Cats

Previously, I made a post about my current beloved cats. Everything in that post is true, but it makes me come off as an all-cat kind of person. This is very much not the case.

I’ve loved cats longer than I have loved dogs, but I love them equally, just for different reasons.

Cats can be playful and cuddly, but oftentimes that is a dog’s job. In general they are very loyal, sweet, affectionate, and very playful.

However, I have had a somewhat disturbing past with dogs. When I was younger, about ten years old, my biological raised and bred pit bulls. He has some hoarder tendencies since he was adding all the dogs to all the cats and all the snakes. I’ll never understand that man. Regardless, the dogs were very sweet and loving, but as you know, the males can be very territorial. The first killing occurred one day when I was at school. The bus dropped me off, and I walked up my gravel driveway to my porch, as usual. I noticed blood spots here and there on the steps and the wood of the porch. I went inside, and my father informed me one male had broken out of his kennel and killed another. A few weeks later, a male and female killed the female’s sister fighting over food. My mother tried to break up the fight, but it was too late.

Of the many pit bulls we owned, only two are surviving today.

Now that the sad story is out of the way, let me make it up to you by telling you about my two lazy yet loving dogs.

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The first dog is one of the two surviving pit bulls. His name is Boscoe, and he believes he is a lap dog who has to be touched constantly. We received him as a 6-month old puppy, and he is now an old man, gray-face and all. He was always the favorite of my mum’s during my childhood. When we moved to our current house in Tuscumbia, most of my animals were either deceased or thrown out by my biological father. We only saved two cats, my favorite of the two later ran away, and Boscoe. Now that she didn’t have a million other animals to feed, she could actually take good care of Boscoe and even train him to behave. He can sit, stay, and roll over. As he’s gotten older and my stepdad has spoiled him, Boscoe’s patience for treats has diminished. Overall, he is a terrific dog. He sets the perfect example to what pit bulls and other dog breeds could be if they are taken care of and properly trained.

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Lastly, we have Duncan, our Yorkie/Schnauzer mix. He is only a few years old. His story is an odd one, actually. He came from the mom of one of my best friends. We did not intend to keep him when she and my friend Hillary brought him over to our house. His original name was Zeus, but that did not suit him at all. He is very timid unless you’re knocking on the other side of a door; then, he barks and barks until you come in and greet him. He is only comfortable when he is smothered in pillows, as you can see to the right. No one did that to him as a joke, he digs under the pillows on the couch until he is completely or partially hidden. We kept Duncan with the intention of having a playmate dog for Boscoe. Since he loves pillow smothering, he and Boscoe are couch potatoes more so than ever. Every now and then, though, Duncan will get in these moods of running back and forth from the kitchen through the dining room to the living room where we all just sit and watch him go.

I shall leave you with the moral of this story: do NOT, under any circumstances, own more animals than you can care for.

They suffer needlessly because we find them “cute” and feel we need all of them.

You don’t.

Also, don’t fight dogs. Don’t train dogs to be mean. Don’t treat them like toys that you can just throw around.

Keep your animals happy and behaved. Spay and neuter them, too, if you can.

*all photos taken by my mum

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Cats

I love animals. I always have, and I always will. There has not been a day in my life that I haven’t had some form of an animal. I’ve had various types throughout my days, including snakes, hamsters, goats, dogs, rabbits, and even gerbils.

However, I will always have a special place in my heart for all of my cats.

My past family went through cats like used toys. The Maxwell members would run over my cats during my childhood into early adolescence. It honestly almost became a routine; my mother would sit me down, because she was the only one who cared about the cats like I do, and I would ask which cat. We would proceed with our mourning, the Maxwell members giving no thought to the creature they killed and focusing more on my “unhappiness.”

Anyway, my current cats are one of the small joys that keep me going. I have four, all boys, oddly enough.

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The first two cats are Prozac and Sue. Prozac came with that name, and he actually needs some. He acts like an old lady, always yelling at no one in particular about his being alone or just in another room from you.

Sue was named after the great Johnny Cash’s A Boy Named Sue and A Man in Black. Ergo, Sue is the black one, and Prozac is the gray one.

Sue is very alien-like. What I mean by that is he watches our movements and actions as if he wants to perform them for himself to somehow help conquer the world. He also gets on the counter and table and knocks things over to receive some form of attention from my mother. He’s somehow her favorite, despite being the one who messes up everything and makes himself look innocent when picking fights with the other cats.

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Next is Vincent. He is actually quite large, it’s not just the picture. My dad had him before he moved in with us. His new landlord didn’t approve of the cats he was oddly enough keeping for someone else, so he was soon after evicted. You know a man is a keeper when he brings his own cat when he moves in with you.

Sorry for the random side notes, they just happen.

Vincent is about 10 years old, and he is always grumpy. My dad had him since he was a newborn kitten, and he grew up with a Labrador as a friend. He is quite dog-like, often charging at people who ignore him. He can be cuddly every blue moon or so, especially with my dad in his man-chair.

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Finally, there’s Butters. He is basically younger Simba from Lion King. We actually got Butters from the local animal shelter in hopes of getting a different cat named Sherlock. Not that I don’t love Butters with all of my being, but how perfect it would have been to have that  beautifully-named cat. -heavy sigh.

Butters is an orange-creamy tabby who can go from super cuddly to “I wanna bite your fingers off for play time” within minutes. He is your typical kitten, playing and cuddling and biting everything. He is so very cute, and I may just take him with me whenever I move out for good. He makes this adorable chirping noise when he is sleepy and/or being messed with while trying to sleep.

This is said noise with my friend Hillary in the background.

To all the cats who couldn’t be in this post, you are fondly remembered and I’ll love you all until I join you someday.

Then you all can go back to ignoring me until I feed and/or pet you.

*all photos and video taken by me, except the last one being taken by my mum

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The Absolute Best Concert of My Life Up To This Point

I recently had one of the greatest weekends of my life so far. It was a terrific mini-vacation to make up for my recent random depression and stress surplus.

My mother bought tickets for a Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco concert in Atlanta, GA this past summer for my younger sister’s birthday. The concert was set at the end of September, and somehow my sister found the patience for that to be her birthday gift. The universe works in strange and mysterious ways.

Anyway, my mother called me last Thursday night and asked if I wanted to go to the concert with my sister. My mother is an English teacher, and oddly enough, hates grading papers. So, God love her, Mum suggested that she take us there, wait and grade papers in the car, then take us back to stay at a hotel and come back home Sunday afternoon. How, as a huge fan of both bands since early teenagerdom, could I refuse?

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The Golden Ticket

 

So I didn’t.

It actually turned into a family trip with my dad holding down the fort in our hotel room.

We left home Saturday morning, around 9 am, and headed toward Atlanta. We arrived to our hotel around 3 pm and rested for a few hours before the concert.

The time had finally come. The concert was a 20-minute drive from our hotel, but that just gave us more time to collect the exciting butterflies in out tummies.

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Panic’s opening banner

It was a rather high-quality, beautiful venue. It was amphitheater-shaped with seating arrangements in the back and a region of people standing in front of the stage, as protocol demands. The opening band was surprisingly decent as well, so this only heightened my sister’s and my anticipation for a wonderful evening of terrific music we both enjoy.

We would not be disappointed in the very slightest.

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Panic! beginning to ensue

I would post videos but won’t because the sound on my phone was not high quality (of course), I couldn’t stand still (another given), so photos will have to be a suitable substitute.

I also need to mention an odd association that I enjoy. I only enjoy the combined smell of alcohol, body odor, and cigarettes when I go to a concert. This smell is so unique in my repertoire of smells that it somehow ranks on up with favorites such as blueberry muffin candles and strawberries & cream shampoo. Psychology is such an interesting little thing, isn’t it?

I would have actually enjoyed a solely Panic! At The Disco concert more, but I do love Fall Out Boy as well. They are both such widely popular bands and do great concerts, but I understand their great friendship and wanting to promote music, be it a short set or not.

After much screaming/trying to sing along to just about every Panic! song, their set came to a close, the excitement in the air only building in anticipation for the final event: Fall Out Boy.

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FOB coming alive

Fall Out Boy has been one of my favorite bands since I was about 12. I know more than a few of their songs. My sister runs everything she loves into the ground (don’t notice my Sherlock obsession at this point), so she knew all the new songs they played since she got their new album a few months ago.

It was a terrific experience for my sister’s first real concert, and I’m happy to be the one who witnessed it. We also saw many, many individuals with Doctor Who and other mutually-enjoyed band shirts among the crowd. I made the comment to my sister that these are our people when they leave their homes.

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FOB saying goodnight

After FOB had their stupendous finale, my sister and I walked back to our car to tell our mum how terrific of a night we had. It truly was a wonderful thing for my sister and I to have bonded over, and I shall never forget it.

*all photos were taken by me, all the band logos belong to their rightful owners

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The Scale of the Universe 2

The planets, a blip in our universe

The Scale of the Universe 2

Okay. We all know I’m a nerd.

I love learning. I love learning random things about everything. Examples include Greek mythology, art, music, comic book characters, stars and planets, Disney trivia, and cat breeds.

Somehow, all of that defined my life right there.

Anyways, a year ago, my stupendous Algebra II and Pre-Calculus teacher came across this website and sent a link of it to my mother who works at the same high school. My mother and I viewed this website together, and we were soon quite awe-struck.

This website is called The Scale of the Universe. You use your scroll bar and mouse to click through the varying objects like animals and planets. It starts out with the smallest of objects like atoms and molecules, and it ends with beautiful solar systems and nebulas so you can fully grasp the concept of how massive our universe is. The website tells measurements like meters and nanometers of said objects to understand how small or gigantic things really are. To top it all off, you can click on each object to learn a bit more about it. For example, did you know that a sunflower is actually a flower head made up of thousands of smaller flowers? Crazy, right? 😀

This website is absolutely incredible, and it is full of interesting, weird facts about so many different things. It shows just how small we truly are despite how self-centered we become as the only known planet of life.

We just get so wrapped up in the little things, like a paper due tomorrow or studying until you can’t properly function anymore. Those things are important, but we forget to think outside of ourselves more often than we’d like to admit.

This incredible Scale of the Universe helps us see outside of ourselves, even for just a little while.

I hope you enjoy 🙂

*photo does not belong to me by any means

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Sherlock’s Homecoming: Fanart from Frustration

Sherlock's Homecoming: Fanart from Frustration

The past few days haven’t gone how I would have liked them to. The jobs I applied for over the summer aren’t available anymore, so I gather. The guy I like hasn’t texted me yet. My mind doesn’t stay happy for very long periods of time and brings up not happy memories. I didn’t do as well as I liked to have done on my math exam. I have just been depressed lately.

So, drawing helps. I have always loved to draw, and even in middle school I considered becoming a professional artist. I always battled with myself about what I wanted to do when I grew up, if I ever did, and I always wanted to make a career out of one of my hobbies. I was convinced that art would be my career, but now I know that isn’t going to happen. Granted, you can’t do much more with a psychology major than an art major, so some say, but I know that I’m in the right field now.

But I digress. Drawing calms my mind by shifting into “right brain” and helps me get out of reality for just a sliver of peaceful time. Since I am obsessed with BBC Sherlock, I figured some SH fan art would make me feel even better, and it actually did for a while.

If you haven’t seen Sherlock, I highly recommend it. If you are looking for a modern murder mystery filled with beautiful cinematography, terrific actors, and thought-provoking plot lines, Sherlock is where you need to be. However, be prepared to give your whole heart away even though you know doing so will damage it beyond repair.

If anyone would like to give me any ideas, that would be much appreciated. I do not claim to be the greatest artist in the world, but I do promise to give it my best shot.

Thank you bunches for reading 🙂

*BBC Sherlock does not belong to me, just the drawing . I would be in my dream windowsill seat inside an ivy-covered cottage in Ireland making some dough if that were the case.

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