Friday, May 25, 2012

Adventures with Stew the Stye

So I had an "unnoticeable" zit on my eyelid. The reason why I say "unnoticeable" in quotations like so, is because, to me, it is this blaring red angry thing on my eyelid that apparently no one notices! I told Christian about it and he said, "really? I didn't notice." =O Anyways, I found out this zit thing has a name; it's called a "stye." But I also gave it its own little name. You might even call it a persona!

His name is Stew. Stew the Stye. No, I did not pick the name Stew simply because of the alliteration involved (although that heavily factored in.). But for some reason it reminded me of the dad on Nickelodeon's Rugrats.

I've been trying to get rid of Stew. Needless to say (as getting rid of any normal zit much less a zit with a weird name in an even weirder place.), it has been slow going. Mom kept telling me to use hot compresses to draw the puss out. So I was doing that as best as I could.

We went to the doctor earlier this week (for other reasons; we just had him look at it.) and he decided it needed to be popped with a sterile needle. He was even nice enough to do it for me(!) It hurt SO BADLY!!!! I cannot express to you the pain of it. There are only two things I can say about it.

1. It hurt so bad, my eye was twitching and I was afraid he would accidentally poke my eyeball.

2. It hurt so bad and I was so traumatized by the aforementioned fear that I never want Stew or any of his little cousin friends to come back again.

AND, after he poked it with his needle, we still had to squeeze it and apply pressure to get the puss out! I wrote a mini rap about it. It goes like this:

I'm a stye in your eye,
And I make you wanna cry,
And the pain is insane,
I can't take this anymore,
I gotta get this zit out the door,
Gotta make it go away,
and if the zit could talk, 
I know what it would say,
"I'm a stye in your eye..."

At this point, the rap would fade out into nothingness and the rap would end. And I am aware of the fact that I am a terrible rapper, but what can I say? I'm a Christian white girl and I was having fun with it. (Until I started thinking in "rap mode," that is.)

THEN, this morning, I woke up and Stew was practically gone! It was like magic! Except it wasn't magic because I actually found a trick on the internet! (This is the part where you should be scared.) Here's the trick: you take a bandaid and you put the adhesive part on the pimple and leave it on for a long time. (Yes, I put a bandaid on my eyelid--I kept it on overnight.) When you peel it up, it's supposed to get the puss out or open it up or something- I don't know the science behind it.

So I peeled off the bandaid this morning and it hurt SO much! But it worked! Stew the Stye looks much much smaller!

The crazy things I do... But at least now you know, that it's really true that bandaids make everything better. (An old standby of mine that totally has a new meaning!)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Poetry Slammin'

 For those of you who do not know, Spoken Word Poetry is probably my latest and greatest....obsession. (I need a better word for these things.) ...Latest and greatest hobby. And it is really just poetry that is written to be performed. (Meaning, it is often more dramatic in nature.) Then, there are competitions called "Slams" in which poets perform their poetry amidst much applause, cheering, and audience judges. Rules include: the poem must be original, 3 minute time limit, and prohibition of props. Other than that, there are virtually no limitations on the poem's content, style, form, or tempo. It's pretty cool stuff.

My friends Kristin and Sabina introduced it to me earlier this semester, and I fell in love with it. I looked up poets on YouTube and started crafting my own and practiced my poems in front of a camera or my family or the old folks at Hundred Palms and the homeschool group...

Well, last night, I competed at a poetry slam for the FIRST TIME EVER!!!!! It was so exciting! I'm still replaying all the poems that were performed, in my head. Kristin and Sabina were out of town so I invited Melissa and Nicole, but they bailed on me last minute. And I thought, "you know what? I've been trying to go to one of these things since February and I'm going! Friends or not!" So that's exactly what I did. I went by myself. O_o 
The first ten minutes were the scariest. I was alone. I'd arrived early and the student committee was still talking. Those not in it, were mingling with one another--in a circle. It was a closed group to me. I sat by myself. I started to question whether or not I should've come. But after the committee finished, a couple girls- Megan and Kay introduced themselves to me and everything was brighter from there. 

I was there for a workshop and we talked about community. How we bring something to every community we enter and it is up to us to decide what we are going to bring. And we talked about TYPS as a community; what were we bringing to the TYPS community today? Then we did an exercise, answering questions and passing a long rope to one another. There were only four questions, but they brought us together in a way that I have never seen before.. We talked about our siblings, what poetry means, someone we've lost, and someone who makes us laugh. The third question in particular was profound. In sharing our pain, we were brought closer together. It was awesome! At the end of the questions, the rope had criss-crossed the circle, creating a web of connections. We talked about how it's those connections that make up a community. 
Then we did a free write on community and hung out. A few people practiced their poetry, asking one another for feedback. (this is about the time that I began to second guess the quality of my poetry, but I'd already signed up to compete.) I mingled and talked to a lot of people. They were friendly...and comfortable with each other. They were really touchy feely (not in a sexual way, but they just touched each other a lot. A lot more than homeschoolers do.)- which is something I've had little exposure to.

When the competition began, that's when the nerves sunk in. My stomach was doing backflips. I was fifth. I drank water like it was going out of style. But when I got up to the mike, I just performed. It was just me and my voice, and that's all that mattered. I performed, "Are You Happy Now?" first, and the poets were snapping almost the whole time. I watched the video of myself performing and I realize I could've paused more, but I was getting into it. Everyone cheered so loudly afterward. They all said it was great. Poets I deeply respect as better than me said it was really good. My new friend Meghan said she didn't cry a lot, but that almost made her cry. That it described her life exactly. Strangers in the audience- people I didn't even know told me it was beautiful. I was stunned. I scored really high as well. An 8, three 9's and a 10. I was so surprised and grateful for everyone's words. It was very validating.
The poem in particular (which is the one in the video above) is not a poem specifically about me. But it echoes my struggles with food over the recent months. The first time I performed this poem, was at Hundred Palms and it was difficult because my family and friends were there. I have put significant pieces of myself into this poem and it can be scary to lay yourself vulnerable before others. (Which is probably the reason why I chickened out and performed a different poem for CHET-SE's talent show in March) But it is a poem that is dear to my heart.

I ended up going to round two, in which I performed the train poem. It didn't score quite as high as the first, and it wasn't enough to get into the final round, but it was so satisfying to perform, I didn't even care. Except now, I have an impossible reputation to keep up. >.< They all said it was good the second time too, though their enthusiasm might've been a little less. I heard Meghan whisper a sweet low, "Darn." when they announced I hadn't made the top three. But I was too happy to worry about it. The other poets were outstanding; it was just as magical as watching videoes, only this time, I got to be part of it.

Afterwards, they had a rap battle in front of the cafe. It was so epic. Juanye was beatboxing, insults were flying, and teenagers cheering saying, "ohhhh!" with every great burn. It was cool. It almost made me wish I could freestyle rap. (almost!) When I got home, I just felt so...overstimulated, I guess. I needed to decompress, but not in a bad way. I just wanted to think. And I did. I couldn't stop thinking. *sigh* it was the most wonderful type of exhaustion I've ever felt. I felt encouraged, invigorated, inspired! It was such an amazing opportunity and I'm glad I didn't let my fear of being alone keep me from going. I realize now, that if I had gone with friends, I probably wouldn't have branched out to as many people.

I am so glad I took advantage of the opportunity to enter this community and be part of their family and I promised I would be back. It felt so amazing to just be accepted without having to prove myself,  (I think I did prove myself with my first poem.)  and I'll be working on some new poems for the next slam!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Playing Catch Up

Well, I am back from California, and still trying to catch up on publishing posts and pictures (ppp! I love alliteration) from the trip! Please please please (ppp!) don't freak out if everything's a little bit...discombobulated. =)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Blue Popcorn!

Food can even bring siblings together! Like so:

Cam saw this blue popcorn at the grocery and we simply had to have it! I mean, what could possibly be more awesome than BLUE popcorn?!? (It reminded me of Blue's Clues all the way.)

And it turned our mouths and fingers blue! I feel like a child again! <3