Category Archives: Thinks I Like

IT’S ALIVE!!!!

I’ve been living an absolute nightmare. For TWO WHOLE DAYS!!!

But finally, after a weekend of anxiety-drenched trauma, I am back to tell the tale. It’s mercifully short, but not, I think, an insignificant one to any who has experienced the horror. Mary Shelley only dreamt of such nightmares as this!

Continue reading IT’S ALIVE!!!!

Artful Creations of Pain and Vision

Through a friend, I was invited to join fellow service women in an community-based artistic endeavor of a most mysterious kind–one with the thrill of possibly ending up shellacked and put on display!

How could I say “No” to that?

Continue reading Artful Creations of Pain and Vision

Walking Buck Creek Trail

Walking Buck Creek Trail

A Remembrance–by K. L. K. Salazar

There was no plan before we left.

We just took off together—as if lured by sirens singing.

Beneath the stars, you steered me to the places that you love,

Made mysterious by the flare of rockets red glaring.

 

Through the cemetery and down the hill

To where the waters waited,

And the path was still and free of people.

 

We walked along Buck Creek Trail that Fourth of July.

Chasing fireworks just out of reach.

The flash bang of concussions meeting us in the dusk.

As slick, silent waters slid past a fallen tree.

 

Fireflies flickered, semaphore signals, beneath a gibbous moon.

When I was younger, I thought it was called a ‘Gibbon’ moon.

I couldn’t help but wonder…

Do monkeys dance, bathed by moonlight, thinking it is day?

Or does the Man in the Moon really wear a simian grin?

 

And how that mischievous moon loomed large.

A low-hanging pendulum ticking in the tree tops.

Playing peek-a-boo behind Earth’s shadow

While the jealous sun searched for its lover.

 

And then, we saw it

…A glimpse.

…A spark.

A sky lantern floating in the dark.

A flickering emanation

The softness of a scene unmarred until…

***BANG***

Followed by an emptiness–ears ringing

Eyes straining for illumination.

Then the skies rained down in jeweled profusions

Firecracker constellations.

 

And as we walked through the humid musk

Of night smells and sulfur from plentiful explosions.

Every inhalation left an acrid taste upon the tongue.

Around each curve we anticipated the next cascade to come.

But we never quite caught the pattern of their detonation.

 

When the pyrotechnics paused

We waited…wondering…

“Was that it? The last one?”

But no.

 

A serpentine hiss trailed an invisible propulsion

Launching upward, arcing toward the vault of heaven.

Earthbound, we held our breath in expectation…

Will it wither, fizzle, die?

Or will it flower, hanging time itself upon a belt of sky?

 

Silver streaks descended

Causing seizures of joy in small children.

Cascades of tinsel dripping down

From a dark blue heaven.

 

You laughed and pulled me forward through the night

Following an ever-moving horizon.

You never caught them–the man-made stars you chased.

But then, that was never your goal.

 

You wandered the night in search of adventure.

Tempted by the golden monkey moon winking down

As if sharing a cosmic joke before we departed.

 

Back through the cemetery we went

Where the little chapel hides in hedgerows

Sparklers briefly crowning trees with red, white, and blue tiaras.

And there was no tomorrow yet to fear.

 

There was only the night and the steps we took

While the fireflies danced to a tune only they could hear…

…in the dark

…on the path

…along Buck Creek Trail.

*-*-*-*-*

Fireworks 2020

Every time I tried to insert the above firework image into the poem, it mucked up the formatting. So, I’m tacking it here at the bottom. Mentally place it wherever you like in the above verse.

Buck Creek Trail - 4th of july

The author’s son, walking and recording fireworks on his iPad. Fourth of July 2020

 

I GISH, Therefore I am.

I participated in a 24-hour fundraiser this weekend. You might not have noticed me other than by my absence.

I was busy…

Making this:

That is one cake topper, one pizza, and one edible tire constructed from rice crispy treats and homemade fondant. I may not rock, but I certainly roll!
The choice of Star Wars figurines was based in part on what I had on hand, and as an homage to my husband who loved both obscure musical tributes and tiny action figures.

I spent at least five hours constructing my homage to a famous album cover. I thought it was only a cake on the cover. I was certain. And then I looked at the actual album and said…”Oh, shoot.” (Or words to that effect.) But rather than finding something easier, I doubled down on the crazy.

I also took part in a Zombie Teleconference. You can check out the video link or here’s a picture of me on the couch with my son for evidence….of questionable parenting.

Zombie Mommy – Kinda says it all doesn’t it?

I also did this to demonstrate “camouflage in an urban setting with the goal of kid avoidance” skills:

Sadly, yes, that’s my actual laundry pile.

Despite my valiant efforts, the kid found me.

Totally caught! Drat!

The beauty of GISH is in how it pushes you somewhat outside your comfort zone. I didn’t set up a Zoom meet-up, but I participated in three. In addition to Zombie Conference calls, we had a sing-along to The Police classic: “Don’t Stand So Close to Me!” I am now much more impressed with those acapella groups that coordinate a sing remotely. Not one of us could keep time, nor pitch. Sorry Sting.

I juggled, quite badly, with some equally toss-and-catch-challenged individuals. But being good at things isn’t the point of GISH. It is entirely possible to go through a whole weekend and miss the point in the effort to finish just one more task. But I tried hard to pay attention.

For example, when I made this simple poster with my son, you might not be impressed unless you know how hard it is to get my kid with the program–any program. It felt like a Mom-Win. The kind you can feel good about.

This was quite an effort for both of us!

While I am proudest of my Let It Bleed album cover, I am also glad that I tried to do things I am not stellar at.

Drawing, for example. With about an hour left to GISH IT UP, I sat down with my son and he painted his ‘calendars’ while I drew a picture of what my soul would look like as a bird house–with a flame alight inside:

This was my third effort. This was the ‘good’ one.

I know I cannot draw well, but I’ve learned from taking part in GISH that it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to have talent to enjoy doing something. If it brings me a moment with my son, who lives in a hard-to-reach world even if he’s only a room away. It also let me connect with people in other countries and time zones. (This led to a momentary zombie conflict, but it resolved without any brains being eaten.) This is what victory can look like despite being quarantined.

If my shaky squiggles and flowers give me joy, that is reason enough. Art serves the soul. Creativity expands your horizons–even if you can’t leave your house. When we were little kids, we knew the power of a box of crayons and a blank sheet of paper. There are worlds to build and dreams to pursue.

But now, after getting four hours of sleep in 48-hours, I’m ready to “Take a nap. A good one.”

The picture I submitted to GISH.

And this is how I really look when sleeping:

You can understand my reluctance to share it…but it’s too funny not to!

Ordinarily I’d make an effort to wrap this all up with nice tie-ins, but I am literally falling asleep at the keyboard. Instead, I’ll let you know that I would do it all again…but probably not all in one day!

Tire–not as tasty as it looks.

Fondant: a French word meaning your floors will be sticky and covered in sugar, and your cakes will be beautiful but too sweet to eat.

Sundown – A Poem

SUNDOWN

by Kiri L. K. Salazar


Memory is the golden shore where summer waters lap.
Where sanded children shriek like gulls,
And mothers shade their eyes and search
The ever distant beach for tears or missing faces in the surf.

There the castles build and fall, where triumph tragedy becomes.
And sticky mouths suck greedy gulps of sugar-saturated pops—
Rainbow colors melting down.

See criss-crossed marks burned into skin which will no permanent memory make
To keep from repeating the mistake of measuring the sun by an SPF span.
Boiled-lobster faces whine and belated zinc is applied in futile effort to rewind time.

Gritted bodies, tired, worn but happy with a day’s respite,
Ride the chariot once more toward the sinking orb
Which threatens little from its perch on the lip of the world,
Leaving a flip flop token of remembrance behind.

You’ll find no ribboned concourse marking childhood’s end.
It is fleeting, passing, and no trumpet heralds its demise.
So, measure well those steps you take on burning sands
They will the hourglass wind down and scorch tender flesh
In haste to reach Lethe’s waters.

A picture of the author’s son, back when he was little…a hundred years ago.
Continue reading Sundown – A Poem

Think Pink

Right after finishing GISH, Kiri took a tumble in the hallway. She wrenched her ankle, her knee, and her hip. She cracked her head against the wall. She went camping and got vertigo. Obviously she’s under a curse. (Actually, this might explain more than a few things wrong with her…) Join her internal debate team in figuring out the cure!

Continue reading Think Pink

A Letter to a Friend

I began writing and was interrupted by life. This is an expansion of a letter I wrote in the time that came before and the inspiration that followed…

To my friend K____, who lies bored in a hospital bed waiting for things to happen. May the butterflies find you.

Continue reading A Letter to a Friend

Stupid Entropy

I have always wanted to be a smart person.  Or, at least, to feel like I was a smart person.

I have also been suffering lately from the certainty that I am not getting any smarter. In fact, there is evidence to suggest I may be regressing and losing my faculties altogether.

In other words, I am getting dumber.

How do I know this? I tried recently to be clever and failed.

I attempted to write a post. I wanted to be witty and erudite, to create a mathematical equation quantifying the values of parenting–like something you might see on a white board on The Big Bang Theory set. I wrote for hours. I struggled. I waffled. I flailed in my efforts to write what my brain kept telling me what should be a funny post.

At the same time, I have been trying to research what kind of cell phone or carrier to switch before my iPhone dies for good. The more I read on the topic, the less sure I am that I am capable of making a rational, informed decision.

To stave off complete digital death, I switched off as many features of my ‘smart’ phone so as to conserve the battery life past a nano-second. I turned off so many functions, my phone stopped receiving voicemails and texts. As a result, my ‘smart’ phone is now a dumb phone which is holding my information hostage until I turn my data back on.

Didn’t phones used to just work before ‘data’ was invented?*

Why is a phone designed to use data to send a message anyway?** 

*shouts into the abyss*

WHHHHHHHHHHYYYYYYY?

In my efforts to keep my phone running while not plugged into a recharger, I even deleted Facebook from my apps.

The entire next day I learned exactly how often I have been checking Facebook. Like, every fricking time I had a break…or had to wait in line…or stopped at a red light for more than two seconds. I wish I were kidding.

So, I’ve learned two things this week: I am not getting smarter and my phone is possibly making me dumber.

In my research for ‘smart’ terminology, I found a physics term that I feel describes my mental state:

En·tro·py, noun

/ˈentrəpē/

PHYSICS

  1. a thermodynamic quantity representing the unavailability of a system’s thermal energy for conversion into mechanical work, often interpreted as the degree of disorder or randomness in the system.
  2. lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder.

Apparently I am suffering from a terminal case of entropy.***

Let’s just hope it’s not stupidly fatal.

Asterisk Bedazzled Footnote:

*C’mon conspiracy theory junkies, give me your best explanation for why phones cost ten times as much to do half as well for less years than you’d like. And then tell me why we fall for it?

**GROUP BREAK-OUT SESSION: What exactly is DATA and why is it the new gold standard for the inequalities between the haves and the have-nots? Discuss.

***Additional proof of my stupidification is denoted by the fact that I have to use the second definition of Entropy to understand the meaning of the word.

*—*—*

The Image Stolen for this header comes from a site that did a much better job of actually explaining entropy–in case any of you are smarter and want to read up on it.