one time, in college.

sugar glider pillowcases
and tattoos acrylic
heave on a futon,
a breath from the ground.

quivering, in February
abandoned
Maruchan.

we settled for Domino’s at 8
that night,
and fought over five documentaries
that all touched upon
the same damn thing
across cities and slums
and suburbs and farms.

pheromones roam.
a path global.

you tell me I’m
the insensitive one
with the tasteless jokes
that litter your floor
like rotten saltines
licked by pigeons
that yes, have capacity
to enjoy the truth
of a Tootsie Roll Pop
that you so loathe,
and so I sit
with my bag of hearts
atop my knee
as I wonder
when exactly
did I learn
to be such a bitch.

you placed a rag on my forehead
and told me to calm down
while a bottle of lime conditioner
said goodbye to its
mild repute,
spread on tiles
where spiders cry.

DIY: Another Paper Crane Bookmark Tutorial

It’s pretty clear here that I have a fixation. Refer to my other DIY on crane crafts for a video on how to make paper cranes, if you don’t know how. Also, I continue to put old magazine paper to use with magnetic bookmarks.

Today, I touch upon what to do with old coasters, rather than remaking them while keeping the same purpose. I’m unashamedly loyal to paper books. Send me a PDF of a work you want reviewed, and I’ll most likely print it out and keep it in a 3-ring binder for future reference. I like to flip through what I read, and yes, I don’t feel guilty with highlighters and pens. However, I’ve recently learned that it’s probably better to write your notes on Post-It notes instead of the page itself.

For your paper crane bookmark, you will need:

Ribbons

An Exacto knife

A cork coaster

Acrylic paint

Origami paper

Pen

Mod Podge

So I returned from a friend’s wedding with a bag of paper cranes. I usually don’t say no to not re-purposing paper. Here’s what I did:

1. I got a cork coaster I wasn’t using anymore. It was an ordinary brown one with a picture of an anchor stamped in the center. It was already stained and losing its appeal.

2. I laid out newspapers on my floor and painted the cork coaster with acrylic paint. Any color works. That day, I was feeling pink.

3. I got out a crane, already folded, and flattened it out. I made sure it was void of extra dimension by wedging in between the pages of a dictionary. I proceeded to pile several heavy books on top of the dictionary, for a good 4 hours.

4. I Mod Podged the flattened crane onto the painted coaster. I made sure to cover the entire crane and coaster surface with 4 layers of Mod Podge. You can do this with either a sponge or paintbrush.

5. Let it dry! An hour and a half prevents disappointing mess-ups with a sealer that may still be sticky.

6. I got out the Exacto knife, outlined a circle to cut out at the coaster’s edge, and made the slot for my ribbon (the page marker, more or less). Be careful. Do not cut the circle to where there is very little space between the coaster’s actual edge and the edge of the ribbon slot. You’ll end up having a really flimsy end and the coaster, if made of cork, will break apart. Be careful, and take your time.

7. Take some ribbon. I chose to use blue and red, of equal length, slip them through the slot, and tie a neat knot. You may choose to make a bow and add beads to your page marker. It’s entirely up to you.

IMG_0442

8. I then took a pen to outline the flattened, pasted crane. I should mention that I painted the flattened crane after Mod Podging it as I wanted the bird to match the colors of the ribbon. Of course, this is also optional.

IMG_0441

*For added fortification, you may consider spraying acrylic sealer over the piece before slipping ribbon into the slot.

(Let me know of what you’ve done with household items, paper cranes, and bookmarks! Happy reading and crafting, friends.)

Be calm, be kind, be quiet.

“I understand you’re not a psychologist, but you’ve got to help me out here.”

The browns of my eyes flicker, and I feel my lids twitch as the vertices of the office grow longer, wider, then compress without warning. I grab the arms of my chair, telling myself, at all costs, WebMD’s not an option today.

“No worries,” I sip my $1.24 half-and-half cup of white chocolate mocha and hazelnut creamer.

“I’m old enough to know that love is illogical. And love makes you do, uh, things that are a bit crazy. And this man, he was a good man, you know?”

“Uh huh.”

“And we were on good terms, so when he called me to say he got engaged, I was thinking, ‘Fantastic, I’m glad, move on with your life!'”

A brief reel of Deschanel and Gordon-Levitt frolicking amongst the sterility of IKEA bed sets keeps my mind off sudden death.

“But I guess he has his senses, you know? After all, it takes way more for a woman and her kids to move down here, but so much less for one man to up and move to that far off country. The one up north.”

“Greenland?” I shrug, and gnaw on my pen.

“No, not that one. I uh, she’s, she’s, oh my Lord…”

“Ma’am, are you alright?”

“Oh God. Just, let me catch my breath.”

“Take your time.” Brevity buys time for prolonged laments to follow.

“Alright. She’s, she’s a whatchamacallit. A, oh God, she’s – ”

“Ma’am?”

“She’s a Canadian. Is that what you call them?”

“But Ma’am, he’s already moved?”

No matter who you are, wailing upsets me like doors closing on bubblewrap cased in styrofoam. As a child, this was one of those things I heard siblings confess to on talk shows, along with wrapping their little brothers in thick Persian rugs, leaving them hotdogged for a good three hours.

“Honey, I’m, I’m so sorry. The whole thing is crazy. And as I’m sure you know, love makes you do crazy things. Mind you, I’m an educated woman. I know how it all works, but here I am, talking to you, calling this girl that I’ve only met once mean names. I shouldn’t be using racial slurs, Jesus, oh, forgive me.”

“Ma’am?” For years, I’d always get, “But where’s your accent?” after I disclosed where I grew up. After a decade of failed mimicry, “Ma’am” was the only word I could say in mastery of the drawl.

“Yes? Dear, I couldn’t tell you where he’s at. But he’s moved to that country.”

“Canada?”

“Yes. I can’t even say the word anymore.”

“Ma’am. Canadians are people from Canada.” With the butterknife of forced patience, I lace my words with maple syrup.

“So it’s not a derogatory term?”

“No.”

“Good.”

“Where does he live?”

“I, I couldn’t tell you. But the Canadian, she speaks French. A little English, but French.”

“Quebec?”

“Where’s that?”

“It’s a province.”

“I couldn’t tell you. To me, she’s a Canadian.”

Stagnation.

Thoughts, from Careful Crane

To All Who’ve Offered a Strip of Tape to the Wings of Tired Cranes,

I’m reading more blogs that touch upon the tug of war between posting and writing, with a focus on longterm projects. On my homepage (or I guess they called it The Guestbook in the yesteryears of Xanga), I had a brief conversation with Therapy Journey about writing spurts. She mentioned hers last a good four weeks. I would say mine are similar. Personally, coming up with what to write while maintaining focus is a bit challenging. For this reason, I have a little pink journal that I’ve labeled “The Writing Goals” book. Of course, it’s a book of lists. Tables of contents for prospective books, paragraphs summarizing a novel I’ve always wanted to write. And like dozens of bloggers I’ve gleaned inspiration from, I’m thinking:

Is Crumpled Paper Cranes keeping me from meeting my 2015 writing goals? 

No, not exactly. In honesty, I never thought feedback from others would mean so much in pushing me further with this formerly dormant hobby. I thought of myself as “the boring writer” who had my interests and wrote about them, but was too shy to attempt creativity. Before giving attention to this blog, my hours after The Day Job consisted of copywriting, editing, and little research on subjects of my intrigue. While supplemental income was great, and solidified my self-presentation as a staunch pragmatist, writing creatively makes me quite a bit happier.

I do not think, that in absence of Cranes, I’d be able to adapt so well to a new job in a drastically different environment. Take a bunch of acrylic paints swirled together in an empty coffee bottle. Set that bottle next to a cardboard box, with the same acrylics stored in cylinders sealed for years. Therein sits the contrast.

If anyone was curious, most of my essay-ish entries are written with the assistance of writtenkitten.net. I found flash writing was a great way to organize thoughts and construct a narrative in a way that wasn’t too overwhelming for both myself and readers. Pick an increment, and every so-and-so words, you get a kitten. For me, it’s more effective than a basket of puppies, although I’m sure there’s a website for those who aren’t so fond of what seems to be the Internet’s favorite domesticated animal. I carried the kittens to the longer entries, and I think the website will be increasingly helpful as I approach the potentially daunting task of the novel. Or novella. The ideas of both have been outlined.

Ostensibly, I’m a handful of marbles dropped on the yucky asphalt of a crowded playground. I’m trying to gather all my pieces in one fist, though I know that’s not feasible. So I’ll take the marble I find the prettiest, try not to find a reason “why,” and polish it the best I can.

I’m shooting for the novella.

Learning the steps to a plot’s crisp dance.

Best,

The Careful Crane

Runaways

This piece, by Rusty Garner Smith, is one of the best things I’ve read the past two weeks. I share it with all of you in the hope that someone can relate, and find hope in the bleak. Truly raw, but a fulfilling read.

My Blog News And Blues Reviews

I could hear my Step-Mother yelling and hitting my sister. The house was small. you couldn’t, not hear what was happening anywhere in it. It was an old place, put on the side of a salt water creek. When it was a new house, it was probably just a fishing shack. A place to get out of the weather.

We had a small room near the street side of the house. The house sat back 300 feet off of the road. The three of us shared the same bedroom, and my step-mother and my dad had the other bedroom. Their room was at the view end of the place, with a big picture window looking out at the creek, and Mt. Tamalpais. The mountain was only a mile away to its base, and rose to a height of 2571 feet.

We had been in that house now for over a…

View original post 4,985 more words

Haikus for Dulled, Stray Pencils

IMG_1368

weaving a homely
beauty amidst grassy blades,
defying the cold.

IMG_1377

laughing in loud grays,
with scary technologies
to rival my friend’s.

IMG_1379

diving in mealtime
a quarter after seven,
always, simply, crazed.

The Dreaded Childhood Diary

Courtesy of Rei-Hikaru.

I’m sure readers have noticed that a lot of my posts revolve around nostalgia and a longing for how things used to be, even when all I wanted to do at the time was pull that string of yarn to make the days end sooner.

I’m sure that some have noticed a theme of creepiness. Or, in my case, kreepiness.

“I really don’t know why you never went through with becoming a private investigator,” said a friend. “I mean, yeah, you could ruin so many lives, but you could really help people too. And, you’re creepy enough for it!”

Thank you?

I mean, sometimes I have a tendency to stare when I don’t mean to. But if you’ve got some residue dangling from your nose, or a sliver of romaine lettuce wedged between your teeth, I’ll tell you so, but nicely. No one gets angry, but once, a coworker ceremoniously wiped his nose with a lilac Kleenex and chased me around the cubicle threatening to stick it on my forehead. I eventually received a reprimand, as I screamed like a child and tripped on my heels in front of the Keurig. And at the feet of my disapproving boss.

But I’m no stalker. Although, for a long time, I’ve had a preoccupation with maps. I remember the 2002 edition of Rand McNally my family kept in the glove compartment for a good five years. You couldn’t find our neighborhood, as our house was only the second one built on our street at the time. But a few streets over stood childhood memories, the flair of the nineties, and the charm of siblings who had the same teachers from kindergarten to high school. After all, the first high school here was born as a trailer in 1953.

I lived two miles from school, and rode my bike everywhere. Sometimes I’d go down to Walgreen’s to buy an Arizona tea with the money I made from cat-sitting. But at the time, I was pretty much surrounded by nothing.

A crush did swell within my chest. Something I couldn’t contain. I won’t expound too much on this, as I’d only repeat what others have said about writing their names with Jerry’s last name and dreaming of serving casserole to a table of ten children.

Here’s what I discovered earlier today, with last names omitted. My stomach still hurts from laughing so much.

2/25/02: Dear Diary,

School was great today! I made a 100 on my adjective test and an eighty on my math homework. I got really nice grades. The whole day of school was nice, but it got even better when me and Samantha chatted about David, my major sixth grade[r] crush! David is so cute, but most of my ffriends think that he’s too smart for me. I think he likes me a little, by the way he flirted with me last Wednesday at spelling practice. I sent him a love letter once and ever since his friends pick on me. On the way home, James asked me if “I was going out with him”. And when I was at my door, I could swear that James called me David’s little pumpkin. I guess for David to like me I’ll just be my own self, not an overfashioned prep!

3/1/02: Dear Diary,

Oh my gosh! Sammy likes Brent! Samantha thinks Brent is cuter than my David, but I know she’s boasting. The good thing is she’s not announcing my love to my crush. Nothing in school was really fun, except for our wild substitute.

3/8/02: Dear Diary,

I went to a pizza party and guess who was there?! David! I would have sat next to him if it weren’t for Nathan. Nathan is so nasty. I had a fine time. This weekend I’m going to look for David’s house. Then I’ll be totally satisfied!

3/9/02: Dear Diary,

I tried to look for David’s house as best as I could. He lives on a cul-de-sac called Twin Branch. My friends have no idea where he lives. I guess I’m going to have to use a map!

3/11/02: Dear Diary,

God bless Dominique! She showed me where David lives!!!!!!!!!! His house is so big. I love his front yard too! No weeds on his grass! I love the way his hedges are cut! I was so loony when I saw that mansion of David’s! I just need to ring the doorbell…

***

While I’ve learned to suppress my fascinations with certain people so as not to scare them and others involved, I’m still hiding my head under fleece blankets and an old comforter. As for the map, I guess you can say I’ve always been somewhat resourceful. But never could I explain why I expressed myself the way I did. What you’ve just read actually matches the way I talked at age eleven.

Somehow, I actually feel bad for my parents when they attended conferences to discuss my development with teachers as unnerved as my friends.

And in fifth grade, the nicest teacher I knew was the one who gave me that diary. “For all your thoughts, frustrations, prayers, and wishes.” She gave me a hug, and pinched my cheek.