Monday, October 31, 2011
Where is the time going? I am sort of glad we were not home for Halloween. The past two years only two or three kids even came around our neighborhood. Hubby buys bags of candy, and then we end up eating it for a few days, then I take it and give it away.
While we were on Jeju (known as the Honeymoon Island in Korea) we had the opportunity to visit a place I dare not post on facebook, because hubby's family might be offended. Since this is TMI, I get to post a few pics over here. The place is called Loveland. They are stuck in the 1950's era as far as relationship thinking over here, or so we have been told by local twenty something friends of my son and his girlfriend.
They meet the opposite sex by introduction, no public display of affection, they get engaged after a long courtship, unless they get pregnant, which we were told happens at least fifty percent of the time, rarely divorce, and visit a Love Motel for some privacy. Because many families all live together, due to affordable housing and lack of money. But....and there is always a but.
For some reason they have to parks where sex is openly displayed- Loveland and Penis Park. Go figure...
Okay, so far I have spared you the racy sculpture pictures. And hubby took lots and lots of them, why? Who knows. Well, here goes...I will share...just one racy picture...
I RACED to get in this swing with hubby. The park was crowded.
This is one pose we have not been in for a long while.
We are not sure what the sign above us said in Korean, but I am almost certain it may say 'Suckers'...for love that is.
Here is a sneak peak at their idea of art...
A giant mechanical...something or another...
I am also pretty sure whatever it is does not lift off or take man to the moon...or could it?
Friday, October 28, 2011
Our trip is going well, and we just got back to Seoul from Jeju Island, off the coast of South Korea. We adjusted to the time change well. Food is so so, I am growing tired of Kimchi and Banchan for breakfast lunch and dinner.
We are walking walking walking every where, and surviving. My son has gained some weight, not wanting to admit it, he still continues to eat everything you put in front of him. Although he got food poisoning from our last Jeju meal of pork. Thankfully I only ate french fried in the airport, and Robert ate bibimbop vegetarian.
Now we are off to Samcheok and to experience Love Motels, a Penis Park, and caves. Sound homo-erotic? LOL We went to Love Land in Jeju, since it is known as the honeymoon capitol for Koreans. Funny eh?
I have written some, and got an invitation to do another contributor series on 'Finery'. It will go well with the photo graph of this elderly couple who came to the romantic falls in Jeju to renew their vows. So much love. The people are not easily swayed by our western swagger here. Its been hard to break the language barrier, and thankfully my son and his girlfriend speak their native tongue, enough.
Hope all is well with you, and I will catch up when we return.
Photos belong to moi, E Stelling- Above, the grandfather who guards all from evil spirits, and always made from the lava of Jeju Island. Four inactive volcanoes to visit and climb. Bottom- Korean couple in traditional ceremonial garb, worn for weddings and other celebration.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Did you know Picasso wrote poetry? Most people do not, unless they have studied him. My kids loved his work when we would visit museums during school field trips. I took them when I home schooled, art was a big part of their lessons.
I have abandoned sculpture engraving and painting to dedicate myself entirely to song.
— Picasso to Jaime Sabartés April 1936, he was fifty four years old.
Poetry became his alternative outlet after divorce, and a few other emotional trials.
My children took an art camp one summer and enjoyed learning about Picasso and three other well known artists. I still have those paintings in storage, if the NJ bugs haven't devoured them.
dogs eat at the night
buried in the yard
they chase the moon in a pack
the white of their teeth
compared to stars
the windows close against them
iron bars in transparency
life closes against them
the morning will crush them to dust
with only the wind left
to stir them up
So many of them inspire me to write and sketch...
Jessie Carty spoke in a post last week about how we can go periods without writing. Often our lights are turned off in one room so we can move into another area of creative endeavor. It's how I roll.
Sadly on my trip there was no cooking. I was invited to cook in a friends house when we return from Jeju this week. He is fond of certain things I can teach his new wife and has a much larger apartment with all the updates. My son's kitchen is an eight of a galley, smaller than a small yacht galley would be. My body is sore, and I posted some photos on Facebook.
(photo above belongs to moi- Seoul South Korea night life area, Gangnam-gu, where I was held captive until 3 AM. I was the only sober one in the group. We had dinner with my son and Andi's engaged friends, Jeff and Cindi, whom is Korean)
Monday, October 17, 2011
If you think about it, being a zombie is in some ways is a lonely life. If you don't then you probably have a life and do not live in my fantasy world. Can they be lonely? Even though they run in packs. Because you know when one smells fresh meat, the others come limping. Maybe they do find a friend and hang out? Hmmm
Which brings me to the fact how do they have senses if they are the undead. Like smelling. Why is it they still have brain functions and heightened smelling and can eat if their bodies are decaying? Not sure, but in my stories they live the undead life. Pain is a normal part of there story...
Zombies Can’t Love
Light streams in from high-rise neon signs off side streets. Flashing on and off through window blinds. Red illuminating and mingles with the yellow blanket and dingy stripped walls. I can see a glimmer of the sign’s reflection off the bathroom mirror as I come in and out of consciousness. Dried blood mixed with my fresh wounds are on my hands and arm. Burning and pain come from my groin area. Where is she? I remember her lifting me from the floor, like a dream, and somehow we made our way to this place. You could hear noise coming from the streets, so the living must still dominate waking hours.
I lift myself up from the bed and stagger into the bathroom. The urge to throw up is strong, as my stomach begins to churn. Reaching to turn on the light my eyes cannot take the outside bright and burning illumination, so I change my mind. I can see as my clearly face as it rises up to the mirror. A change is taking place. My skin is beginning to turn pale. Gray skin matter mixed with streaks of blood, but yet I am still as human as I was waking up this morning. Was I hurt enough to seek help outside these walls? What had she done to me?
Stumbling back into the main room I began to think of things, taking my mind off of this pain. Funny how cheap hotel rooms can have a horror film feel about them. The wallpaper looks like werewolves have clawed their way out of cereal boxes and into a bowl of clotting milk. Paintings that look like Vegas boardwalk prizes after you shot over four or five moving targets. Targets. Yeah, I was a target and the star of a freak show alright. Targeted by a creature who walked right into my life and I couldn’t even lift my weapon. Was it so hard to take out a few others along the way, so I could go on with my life. No. I had to fall hard for the bad ass bitch of them all.
(photo- Zombies Can't Love, NYC Zombie Crawl 2011, I felt it made for a great micro-fiction. The sequel to 'Crush')
Saturday, October 15, 2011
After watching Oprah Winfrey's 'Lifeclass' show, which I admit years ago, maybe fifteen or more, I watched her show on a regular basis with friends in the salon (break room). Eventually I grew tired of being tied down to the television, like in the past. I was more of a get out of the house person. Walking or other things, just staying active. So why now? Because Rosie has a new show on the OWN, Oprah Winfrey Network and Oprah comes on afterwards.
When I write T.V. often is left on as background noise, like now. But her show today has brought tears to my eyes. She is so thoughtful, genuinely giving, and wants for everyone to discover her road to happiness. It has also reminded me of how I wrote Oprah a few emails back in the day. Being a mom of a terminally ill daughter and healthy son, and a husband who couldn't keep a job, I felt the urge to ask for help. What kind of help? I wasn't exactly sure. So I never wrote another email.
Most of you know my life went on. I raised my kids, lost one to heart disease and let the other go to the Gods of maturity. Thankfully he has begun his own altar, and hopefully leaving plenty of trinkets for them. I often find myself selfishly wanting my life to go back to the times when we were carefree (and young). Woke up to those two lovely faces of joy each day. Feel their hugs, even if it was chilly or overly hot in our meager rental property owned by their dad's parents.
I am not saying I didn't feel cheated somehow. There were lots of moments wishing I could give them (kids, family and friends) more, find a cure for what ailed us, literally. Along with thoughts of how could someone like Oprah have so much money, be so lucky, and yet she gave it away to so many, and I could not get some of the pie. A piece of the sweet life. Yes, don't we all. But I have been told and maybe guess, money can create other problems. It would be nice to go out and pay for things when one feels like it. Face it, and be honest we all feel this way.
The years go by and I am learning to enjoy the simple life. Cleaning the clutter out of the closets. Yes, I would give anything to have a moment of Anelisa in my arms, but I know it is just how life rolls. We are not here forever. This is only a small fragment of life as we know it. As Oprah continues to give what she has to others. Even if it is more advice now than cars, homes, and twenty minutes of running through toys-r-us when kids go without. She did give me something tonight. A moment to realize that I have 'Come Alive'.
Thanks Oprah. And thanks to all of you who share my most intimate thoughts week after week. I hope your life has those precious moments when you realize money has no value against the best gift of all...loving yourself. I am blessed.
I worked my rear end off and was provided for in so many ways.
Now, I have to pack for a wedding and Korea, planes wait for no one. Yikes, where do I even begin...
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
When things come your way...
We received a few packages last week, obsessively enough we get packages a few times a week from amazon.com, and often are hubby's. This time they were for hubby and he was out of town. Most of the time I leave them for him, since he seems to thrive on two activities after returning home from work each day. Well three, but we won't go into the kissy noises I hear as he comes through the door. They are going to the mail box and opening up his packages.
Overwhelmed with curiosity now and then I on occasion open a few of these boxes, after rattling them to see if I can guess, a book or a gadget. This was no different. He was not around, so why not? Shake shake shake, shake shake shake your booty, wait I drifted. What could be in this box? It was light weight, didn't really rattle much? Not a book, a gadget? No, something I forgot about.
Hubby told me a few weeks back, he often tells me of what he feels are cool finds on the net, that he had been unhappy with his hat purchases over the years. He feels they don't cover enough of his neck and ears. His father and many relations have died from cancer and have had skin cancer, so it makes perfect sense he is concerned. But he just bought a new hat barely a few months past? Go check out 'What's More Dangerous'. Another hat to add to the already population that falls out of the coat closet. Yikes.
Things could be worse. I could have too continue putting up with the expensive 'snotty' clubs we used to belong to, or belong to a country club, which I am not knocking, I had fun at times (psst, it was more about the food), and golfing was cool to learn. He felt it was a good thing to get into since his bosses at the old Texas job were into it. But we like to travel and eat well, and do not spend much on other things. Of course I am writing about my husband's obsession with Amazon.com. I wish he was into classic cars or dancing clubs, yeah that again.
"The box, what was in the box!" I can hear some of you now. A hat. Yes, I opened it up and thought my goodness he has bought another hat! Then I remember him telling me a few weeks ago, something about snaps and sun protection. But did they have a photo of it on the website? Because it's obvious what came to my mind when I snapped it together? No? You don't get it? Hmmm
The French Foreign Legion. My husband has joined the French Foreign Legion! I grabbed my cell phone, and....took the above photo, of course! I text my sister first, because she gets my sense of humor, then I sent it on to the love of my life. With of course the question "What's with this hat? Did you join The French Foreign Legion?"
He eventually came home and said nothing about my text. But he did look in the box, he took it out, he tried it on in front of the mirror and then said "This is the wrong color. I ordered the blue one." What did I say? Well...I informed him that no matter what color it was, blue, black, or green, the fabric texture and look of the hat screamed 'The French Foreign Legion' and when could I expect him to pack up and leave for his journey into the world of gun toting, linen wearing, and sand constantly in his crotch life on the desert.
Or maybe he was surprising me by gearing up for the Zombie Apocalypse!
Luckily he gets my sense of humor or we wouldn't be married for the last fourteen years this past Tuesday, October 11th. I however do love telling the story to my friends who come over and see it displayed on the table still. God bless this man whom I love so much. I hope we have many more years of mystery boxes on the porch to open and explore our obsessions together. Our journey is always a fun one.
By the way, we have a trip to Korea to visit my son, who is teaching in Seoul. We are excited about this trip, and I will post photos as we go along. I am sure there will be a few of hubby in his 'TFL' hat.
Happy Anniversary My Love, keep those boxes coming, I am always up for more jokes...if you can take them for fourteen more!
Sunday, October 9, 2011
It's time for the sequel, and since my whole purpose of writing the previous post started with a thought of my childhood after reading a Peanut post over at ShrinkingTheCamel.com, Shrewd As Snakes and Innocent As Doves. It reminded me of a time in music class, maybe more of an all around 'Artistic' class in the day (before funds were cut). You can check out Part I before reading this post.
Mrs. Ball, I cannot really remember if she wasn't a Ms. Ball, well she ran a top notch class. We were all probably scared to death of her, because I remember pulling up my socks, combing my hair, pulling my skirt down and tucking in my Catholic like uniform before walking into her music room.
She announced we would be learning to dance, and she was going to make it a competition. She taught us a few steps, then she played piano, we attempted the steps. She taught a few more steps, played and so on. Till we learned the whole routine. I was a visual student. No problem. However, during those times I was also a bit on the shy side. Who me? Yeah right you are saying, many people find it hard to believe, but I was.
My second grade teacher tried to talk my parents into holding me back a year. She told my mom that I never displayed much interaction in her class with students or the work. I was too quiet to be smart. My mother knew better. At home I was a thriving eight year old. I talked. I interacted with the family. I even fought with my siblings on a regular basis. My sister Mary and I kicked my brothers butt on a very regular basis. Sorry Alton.
Well they did not hold me back, but after raising my own son who is a pea in my pod, they should have listened to my teacher. I struggled academically. I did excel in physical activities- like day dreaming, drawing, writing (my hands moved), and what ever else came my way, outside the class room. I loved swings.
Back to the competition...once I get going, you can't stop me. There were a few people in Ms. Ball's music class that verbally bullied me on occasion. And today was no different. I was proud of myself this day, because this was something I could do well. No one could or would stop me. Even if it meant I was going to get my rear end kicked in gym class later on.
When the dance competition began it was like the Kentucky Derby, or at least the carnival version. Ms. Ball's fingers touched the keys...we were off! Five of us lined up, legs begin kicking, feet moving, our bodies were reeling. A few slip, a few fall down, and then it's me and another girl. The bully girl. But she didn't have a chance. I stood proud and received my wreath and trophy, well in my imagination. My father always said I was his horse even if I never won a race. All I really got that day was on Ms. Ball's good side and a boost of self confidence.
I ran home and proudly announced to my dad about winning the dance competition. Ms. Ball had also announced I was going to be in the Christmas Pageant that year. I felt so good I asked for a guitar and lessons. A stretch on my father and mom's budget, but hey, it doesn't hurt to try. The high fives from fellow students were always plenty in music class that semester, at least until Ms. Ball pulled my brothers ear for something he said, or didn't do and my father marched down there and pulled hers back.
The roll of royalty was short lived. My parents also decided to move us to another suburb of Dallas. Way north. Carrollton. I remember thinking Where the hell is Carrollton? It had to be a city of Zombies right? Or worse, full of Zombie bullies I had to fend off for years to come. I was sure moving there wasn't going to be a Footloose kind of experience.
I didn't get to be in the pageant, nor did I teach my new found bullies in Carrollton how to dance, at least until much later. But I learned to play guitar, found 'Spoken Word' and open mics, married a fellow music lover and we will dance in our hearts for the rest of our lives.
I retreated back into my shell after we moved, and eventually lost it somewhere between here and eight grade when I slapped a boy in the hallway for calling my friend a not so nice name. I got respected in high school, the real bullies left me alone. Another story. I am not too proud of that.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
I got skillz...
Come join us on facebook, if you haven't already...find Z-composition on my page, Elizabeth Akin Stelling
Before the decay sets in...
I set up our facebook 'Like' page. Working on the website. Trying to learn some PhotoShop skills. I admire ToonGuy's talent. The photo above was done by me, then layered by a friend of mine in Texas. I started it in MSPaint, and she smoothed out my rough edges, then I added some here and there!
Lots of hours can be spent doing this stuff, but it's fun! I don't have the heart to tell her that zombies do not have blood shot eyes, or do they? Looks more like a skull and bones kind of character, but I will take what I can get!
Some haiku for Pearl!
Human flesh is warm
the blood drips like summer rain
then they get up again
Let's celebrate my fellow Zombie fans!
(Photo used by permission- Zombie Run in NYC, September 2011, The Zombie Hunter)
Open call for submissions for 'Z-composition Magazine @ ZombiePoetry.com'.
We are a fledgling literary site looking for obscure, necro-style, organic phenomenon, decay and fragmentation of reanimation, sci-fi, dream like, fantasy, horror, dark, comedy, mainstream, all/most styles of poetry, prose, and flash fiction (450 word min). Artwork and photography excepted. Z-composition wants to publish quality writers and authors. Unpublished authors welcome.
Z-composition will be a monthly on-line e-zine, with yearly October book in print beginning 2012.
Z-composition accepts original submissions or previously published pieces (only if author retains copyright) for consideration. Authors may retain copyright; however, if work published here first is published elsewhere later, please cite Z-composition as the source of original publication.
Z-composition does not charge a reading fee and does not pay for contributions.
Monday, October 3, 2011
If your car breaks down in the middle of the night, let's hope it is not a neighborhood with bars on the windows. (Yes, every house, store, drive-thru, etc had bars on the windows) Like me at midnight on a Sunday.
My van was diagnosed with terminal death a month ago. We have been shopping around for me a new catering van and a family car. I know two cars, but hubby's car is getting old too. He wants to keep it, so we barely drive it. It's like vintage car to him. At one time we had four cars, but my son took one to college; it was totaled by some kid late at night, then my son came for a visit and drove the other car back home (many states away). That was my favorite, daddy left it to me, but he needs to finish school before he commits to car payments.
So we found what we want, but are waiting till the last minute. 2012's will hit the lots soon, and they will want to give away the 11's. However as I said we took mine on the road thinking we had some months left to drive it before ditching, for the new van. Nope, it decided I pushed my van too far and maybe it wanted to go in the Meadowlands and go out like Hoffa. Did I say how smelly that place was?
If I sat there long enough, which was already three hours till the tow truck showed and took us to our hotel. After the first one broke down, yeah a tow truck even breaks down. I think we might have started to decompose from the smell seeping in.
What was I doing there you ask? I was asked to perform my work in another direction. Which was a success. I read some pieces from the new book, new poetry, and old classics. Good age group for this genre. I was asked to get up again and went into a funny persona I do from time to time. "Ladies raise your machette's, wine glasses, and cocktails...to the fact men...yada yada yada". Got lot's of laughs. Hubby even came. A rarity he goes to many of my performances. He had his Ipad, but actually said he loved the performance. He hears me practice at home, but not in actual crowd observation.
Well we got the van towed, found out it was 'the' problem we knew about, and then I had to tow it back to Princeton yesterday evening. I was exhausted from no sleep and sitting all day. Money, it flies in, and it flies out. I still managed to go to my clients tonight and work. Now I am up late, and have to get up early. Why would anyone want to get into my profession at this age? I ask myself. Its for the young. On your feet all day. Oh sorry, I drifted off for a few seconds.
Parts of New Jersey are really cool, but there are the parts that are not so nice...if they find Hoffa someday and he was covered with cement in NJ, I have a feeling he made out like a zombie and headed to fresher ground...so he could clear his nostrils...smelly Meadowlands, and no mask...
I figure if I continue with positive reinforcements, things will stay positive...
Sunday, October 2, 2011
This was our first real day of cold in New Jersey, with a side of clouds and drizzle since Fall's official date nine days ago. It all makes for a great plate of inspiration. I have been indoors the past three days writing. Hubby came home Friday from work and as I greeted him at the door, dinner ready, the cool change of weather crept into my bones. I had been huddled up on the sofa with my lap top and no idea what what lay just outside my patio door.
Today I decided to take a drive down a long slow road. One I love to visit. Most of it is preserved land. Old farmsteads, battlefields and more line the stretch. Great inspiration for me. I can pull over at most points and think. Imagine what a poem is going to say or what a character might do in certain situations. I call it the hunt. Discovery. I do not care how many times I come this way I see something fascinating. Today was no different.
I have reached my first 100 pages of my latest book. From what I have heard and read it is the point you want to share with editors and peers to see if the story has potential. I am nervous but excited. The pressure is on and I am game. I have already begun to think about the second book and even the third. When the inspiration hits I have often written pieces for all three. Thinking of the past, present and future for each person.
My survival is at stake. Writing is saving my sanity. I have found myself isolated at times due to pressures of work, family, and my own needs. At first it was harder for me to deal with little social engagements. Many people I know here found themselves out of work and have had to take whatever they can get, so their time outside of work and home has no precedence. Money is tight so we stay close to home. In the long run it has been the best thing for me. I have learned to use my time more wisely. Once upon a time, work and family took so much time I found my self tired and unable to think.
Today, I am the hunter, not the hunted. I prowl the landscape and look for inspiration and when the time is right, I strike! Even this corn field made its way into a poem...
There, see them
upright on the horizon
tall leafy stalks, a-maize-ment
swaying in the breeze of October
silk fidgeting back and forth over their ears
marching forward as decay mingling with moisture keeping death at bay
we are children in wonder, drawn to hunger
don't be the armies victim, a second longer you will see
nimble prey rushing advances on soggy ground