Sunday, February 27, 2011

Thanh's Rant on Place 5

My mom told me never to get my shoes dirty. When it rained, she always told us to stay on the cement. She hated muddy footprints, especially on a cleaned floor. If my mom saw my shoes right now, she wouldn’t let me step foot in her house. She probably would’ve made me sleep outside in the rain just so I could learn my lesson.
I’m going to have to buy new shoes. You can see half of my sock with my left shoe. I got these shoes for Christmas. I bought it for 15 dollars. This is the first where my shoes didn’t last me for more than a year. Pittsburgh’s weather wouldn’t allow such a thing.
When I’m at my place, the thing I’m getting more in tune with is the weather, Pittsburgh’s weather. I had lived in Erie and Ithaca. Both places I’m used to getting 12 inches of snow in one day. The cities still functioned like it was another day. True, driving in the snow is a pain, but the roads were always plowed. I knew what to expect when I was living in these cities: cold, snow, and non-cancellation of schools.
I’m at my spot at 8:30 AM because no one is at the Political Science Department. The doors are usually opened by 7, but on this Tuesday it is not. I checked to see if the entire school was shutdown. It wasn’t. The commute to the school from Dormont was close to two hours. It usually takes me 40 minutes on a good day. Still I made it on time for work and no was there.
I could barely hear any of the cars outside. There’s about six inches of snow on the ground. Last week, it was sunny with some people wearing shorts.  I went home to Erie last week to bring some spring clothes back to Pittsburgh. I dropped off some of my winter clothes in the process to save room in the closet.
I wish I was  wearing a scarf right now. A winter hat would be nice as well. I don’t see any chipmunks or rabbits. There is nothing but me that is alive in this field. I don’t know why animals live here. How do they know when to come out from hibernation? Pittsburgh’s weather is a killer of animals. They trick them into believing it’s spring, and when they come out, six inches of snow are thrown into their faces.
I can’t feel my feet. I hate you Pittsburgh Weather.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Prompt 4 Russian Tortiose

As a kid, my favorite cartoon character was Donatello from the Ninja Turtles. When I was six, I asked Santa Clause if he could send me a turtle for Christmas. I remember giving my parents 25 cents for a stamp. I got a t-shirt instead. 13 years later, I told one of my best friends this story. For my birthday they bought me a Russian Tortoise. At first I called him Donatello. Then my friend told me it was a girl. Female Russian Tortoises tend to have flared scutes on their shells. I didn’t want to give a female turtle a male name; I thought it was kind of sexist of me. I changed her name to Donatella instead.
I’ve read The Turtle and The Hare, and I want to say my turtle could beat the hare in a foot race. And the hare doesn’t need to take a nap. My tortoise is fast. She can cover a half a mile in a day.
There is a concern of survival for the Russian Tortoise in the wild. Humans are destroying their natural habit. However, they are very durable. They are usually found in Central Asia. During the winter months, they would burrow themselves deep underground and come out when the temperature has risen to suffice their needs. A Russian Tortoise has four toes with claws to dig. I’ve lost my turtle in the backyard for days just because she would burrow herself in the corner of the picket fence. I’ve also seen her climb over logs and rocks. I don’t know why they want to climb. Maybe they want to get closer to the sun. I would say it’s for food, but I’ve seen my turtle eat grass, daffodils, and four leaf clovers. They’re pretty common in my backyard.
Still, we humans, after destroying their habitats found out they made great pets due to their size. The female Russian tortoise can grow up to eight inches, while the males grow up to six. My Russian Tortoise is about 5 right now. She’s quite heavy. She has to spend most of the winter indoors, which I know she hates. During the summertime I like to train her. I create obstacle courses that test her intelligence, agility, and strength.
She loves climbing over things, so I would create two different kinds of blockade: one made of rock and the other of wood. The blockade made of wood has food behind, while the one with rock doesn’t. It took her a while to figure out, but now she always climb over the one that is made from wood.
I also time her to get to point A to point B, which is usually the length of my backyard. It is roughly 12 yards long. I don’t know if Donatella knows I’m timing her because halfway through, she sometimes stop and burrow. It takes her about an hour to do the whole backyard, but I’m sure she can get it all down to 20 minutes.
You may ask me why I’m training her. The first tortoise in space was a Russian Tortoise. I want my Russian Tortiose to be the first one to Mars.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Place 4 and It's Hot

I have Bieber fever. That’s my reason on why I’m so hot at 7 in the morning. I’m wearing the same jacket that I wore when I could spit and it would turn to ice before it hits the ground.  The same jacket I want to put on the ground, but I’m afraid it might get dirty. I’m not stepping on squishy land. It’s firm. It feels like I’m transported 2 months in the future.
The grass is calm. I wonder what it looks like when it’s angry.  It’s been dead for the past couple of months. Now, without any indication, it has risen. I guess you can call it a zombie now minus the whole eating brains thing, like The Attack of The Killer Tomatoes.  Wait, this reminds me of a different movie: The Happening, a stupid movie about the environment killing humans by being airborne and making the humans killing themselves in grotesque ways.
I’m Mark Wahlberg. I figured it out. The plants had enough. They want to take control of the situation. Every year, acres upon acres of plants, trees, and land are taken away. Scientists must’ve figured it was going to happen; the earth is fighting back. I’m slowly getting overheated. 62 degrees during the Pittsburgh winter season is unheard of.  I want to lie on the grass, but I’m afraid what might happen to me. This could be a mirage. A mirage only happens when it’s really hot outside and the heat starts playing tricks with your mind. This could be a mirage during the winter time.
I snap out of it. It must be the fever talking.  I walk away from this place trying to make sense of the whole thing. I wave my hair and start singing baby, baby, baby, ohhhh…

Monday, February 14, 2011

Prompt 3

Intimate. When there are hundreds people around me and I see none of them. I’m searching for loneliness. Not the type of loneliness when breaking up with a loved one and eating a bowl of ice cream by yourself while watching Lifetime movies. That loneliness never helps anyone, unless you’re anorexic. The loneliness I’m talking about is the people look for. It’s when you have so much on your mind and need to get away from it. It’s when you have 8 kids, and they’re all under the age of 5. The loneliness I’m looking for is something people need, but hate asking: space.
It smells like spring. It feels like spring. I’m a little overheated from the walk here. This is the first day of this year where a jacket isn’t necessary. I’m waiting to see all the animals run around to search for a mate. I can’t help to think of Bambi. Love is in the air. Those male chipmunks are going to get some.
Then I realize something. The birds aren’t chirping. Kids aren’t playing Frisbee. People are still wearing coats. Chipmunks aren’t getting any.
It happens every winter. One day where it hits 50 degrees after being in single digits just last week. The groundhog did predict spring was going soon. He is usually right half of the time. The ground is making splashes. I have to step slowly if I don’t want any of the mud sticking on my jeans. Oh, darn too late.
I’m sure during the summertime this place is crowded. This might be the only chance I have to actually enjoy this place without worrying about frostbite. It’s times like these I wish I was a poet. I’ve read other people’s blogs and they’re putting up a stanza here, a couple of lines there.  I’m sure if they were in my spot, they can write how wonderful it feels to be alone in this place.
I can’t. I never got poems. Probably never will. I can tell you a poem right now would be perfect to describe the feeling I have.  The first line would probably set up the location. Something like, “And the sky was blue, something I wasn’t used to seeing
That line doesn’t work. The sky was blue. The grass wasn’t green. It was brown and watery. It’s not spring. Today was a deceptive day. I know tomorrow will be muggy, maybe a chance of rain. The weather is deceptive, but I don’t care. It makes me happy that I’m alone.
However the poem wouldn’t make sense if I started out with something positive. It’s not positive whatsoever. And I thought this poem was about loneliness, but the different kind of loneliness. How about the actual place? When does that come in? That’s why I have problems with poems. I just don’t know where things should go.
At least I know what the last line of my poem would be. Something with chipmunks.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Place 3, It's Cold

I used to love the cold weather. As a kid, every day after school I would play in the snow. My mom was against it, but she couldn’t resist the sad faces of three boys.
Now I’m getting sick and tired of it. I want to move somewhere warm. Hawaii is nice this time of year. Once I stop running, I get cold instantly. My sweat starts to turn into ice, which makes me even colder. I try to make this work. In the cold, I try to have fun. I pretend I’m smoking a cigarette. I never smoked a cigarette before in my life. I kind of wish I had one right now. Breathing in the smoke might raise the temperature of my body. It might also get my heart to beat faster.
I breathe in the cold air. It’s a stupid idea I know, but I just pretend it’s really hot. I heard that’s how lava feels. You touch it and for a brief moment you think you’re touching an ice cube. Then a few milliseconds later your hand melts. I don’t want my organs melted. I want to be able to blow rings of smoke. My little brother can do it, he’s a smoker. I try to pucker my lips and blow. I see my breath frozen in mid air. Then it disperses itself with the other gases. It looks like I’m blowing cold fire.  I try a couple of more times.
I left all my warm clothes back at home. I’m wearing three long sleeve t-shirts, gloves, and track pants. I don’t have a hat on. My ears are turning red. Well I can’t be too sure of that. I can’t really feel them. Maybe they’re blue and purple.
I just want to curl up in the fetal position. I remember once when I found a bird in the snow. I thought it was dead, but it just flapped it feathers and flew away. Maybe I can do the same thing. There’s not much snow on the ground, but I’m sure I can burrow the ground enough to make it a suitable sleeping place.
How long has it been? Four minutes. Sigh. Ok. I’m going to close my eyes and pretend I’m in Hawaii.