Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Poem for the Tired

My Nightly Executioner

It is calling for my head, and
I think I must obey.
It will surely mean my demise
as I fall and know
no more.

I fought to escape its grasp
just this morning, yet here again
I must see its face, which can be
a terrifying comfort
to a mind seeking an end.

For there is a serenity in surrender
and a softness in defeat,
one that sounds too sweet
when heard by ears
that long for silence.

I will fall again tonight
to its gentle scythe,
as the fight is lost again
because darkness seems more soothing
than before.
the pillow shall have my head.


I wrote this poem when I was trying to stay awake and be productive but also really wanted to sleep. As I finally succumbed to my tiredness, I thought about how sleeping is like a temporary death that we willingly go to every night, making the pillow a kind of executioner. I also thought that since people enjoy sleeping but fear death it would be interesting to make sleep a sort of metaphor for death, creating a complex emotional reaction to it for someone who has to sleep every night. The result was this poem in which the speaker fears sleeping every day because it erases thought but also welcomes it because it offers peace.

If you want to make the poem a little less dark and serious, change the word "pillow" in the last line to "pillow pet." It made me giggle because I pictured something like this.

Killer Pillow Pet!

On an unrelated note, I'm a big Lord of the Rings fan. I'm also currently reading the book Water for Elephants. Therefore, I would not be opposed to someone writing a parody book called Water for Oliphaunts. I just wanted to put that out there...

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Winter Adventure

Around this time last year, I was preparing to go on a trip to the Boundary Waters in Minnesota. The highest temperature during that trip was 0 degrees Fahrenheit, and the lowest temperature was -35 degrees Fahrenheit. Despite the chilliness, it was a really amazing experience, and I wish I could have done it again this year. I got to go cross country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, and dog sledding. I realized recently that I never posted anything about this awesome trip on my blog, so...

My friend cross country skiing 
When snowshoeing, do not try to write your name in the snow
because you might fall on the last letter...
Beautiful landscape
Dog sledding
Other people dog sledding
Where the dogs were kept (aka HEAVEN)
Puppy scratching himself
Puppy being cute
Saying goodbye!

On an unrelated note, I just finished rereading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green because I hadn't read it in a couple of years and my friends have been raving about it recently. I remember really liking it the first time I read it, but I don't remember loving it, which I should have. I was able to appreciate the humor, symbolism, and themes better upon my second reading, so I'm glad that I revisited this novel. It made me laugh and cry and contemplate the complexities of life in new ways. It's a pretty quick book to read, and I would recommend it for anyone who is a person and is wanting to read a book. (I apologize for excluding animals who want to read a book, but the line has to be drawn somewhere.)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Resolving to Make Better Resolutions

This is the fifth day of the New Year, which means that 53% of the American population has broken at least one New Year's resolution already. I, for example, just broke my resolution to stop making up fake statistics. I think many people struggle with maintaining New Year's resolutions, not necessarily because they are weak or lack commitment, but because they set themselves up for failure. The types of resolutions that people give themselves are often too drastic, unrealistic, or ambiguous. Instead of giving a lecture about how goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely... Wow, I guess I did learn something in health class), I'd rather just give some brief examples of different types of resolutions.

Bad Resolutions:
(resolutions that are unrealistic and easily broken)
- Eat healthy (too vague)
- Exercise everyday (too impractical)
- Lose weight (too vague)
- Read 50 books (I only made it to 23...)
- Cure cancer (start with the common cold)
- Become president (aim lower, like vice president)
- Train squirrels to fight crime (because obviously this would take more than a year)

Good Resolutions:
(resolutions that are realistic, doable, and may improve your life)
- Workout 3-5 times a week (if you're into that kind of thing)
- Eat a fruit or vegetable with every meal (I hear those are good for you)
- Drink less soda (try only having one per week)
- Write a letter to a friend once a month (everybody likes getting letters!)
- Read a new book (hopefully more than one, but start with one)
- Tell someone that you love them (preferably not a complete stranger)

Guaranteed Resolutions:
(resolutions that have a ridiculously high success rate)
- Walk a mile over the course of the whole year
- Do not rob a bank
- Do not sleep while performing brain surgery
- Breathe
- See a bird
- Say the word "kerfuffle" (wasn't that fun?)
- Do not tackle a rhinoceros

On an unrelated note, this is what Wisconsin winter looks like.

Before lots of snow
After lots of snow

Needless to say, we had a white Christmas.