9a to 1p
i write to feel the rhythm of the keys dance under my finger tips. to hear the clicking that marks the release of thoughts that have hung heavy in my head waiting for the sweet and sacred moment were they flow through my hands and mark a moment of pure exploration that frees the mind of the weight that weighs so heavy on every action it makes. i write to state the things that i can't say the things the lips will not move to express. it comes out in an easy pouring motion sloppy at first until the mind settles into the pattern a flow a grove that gives the sense of purpose or meaning. a connection of the mind and soul that creates a picture not with paint or pen but words that mean nothing but everything all at once that drives ones to the point of joy and sorrow which each passing word. the joy that the meaning that you have been searching so hard for draws nearer to you with every key that you hit but the sorrow that it will all come to an end and may remain as words that the world many never understand but meant so much to you that you shake to the point of explosion. writing leads one to the point of insanity having to find a way to express hours days years of though into short simple sentences that take only small parts of your soul which you have put firmly into these some time meaningless thought. it then leads you on a roller coster of ups and downs through the inevitable writers blocks, distractions and trials that lay in the path to true expression. i write to make to the impossibly far away feeling of completion. the feeling that everything has been said and nothing has been left unsaid or explored. my simple true is that i will never reach that blissful release i search for but i write for if the one day comes that i can find it i am there to greet it with pure passion into my arms and accept my truth, my writer identity. this is why i wrote, write and will forever continue writing…
Writing can be a very challenging subject for some people but for others, it is the easiest thing in the world. Writing for me has always come easy because always know what I am going to write before I even start. I think that these are one of the reasons why I am so attached to writing, since it comes easy to me. I also write because it is also a way for me to express my feelings and emotions. Writing is like an extension of myself because I can see myself in everything I write. It can make me feels better because the pen and the paper always listen to what you say. I also write because I can escape to a world where I can be whoever and whatever I want to be. I can write a poem about Jamaica and then I can picture myself there with my family and friends. This is one of the most important reasons why I write. When I first heard my sixth grade teacher tell me this, I did not believe her until I experienced it for myself. Every time I write a 2fer, I am happy because I get to write in a different way in the form of a more informational and unbiased way. I don’t get to state my opinions but instead, I used outside sources to prove a point. This is different from when I write about my own personal experiences. I write because it comes easy to me and it is just an added bonus when I get to sure my writing with my teachers and my fellow students.
Why I write ?
I write because
What is in a NAME?
A destiny, a person
A truth about whom
You will become
Is it the red of
Rose petals falling
The green grass
As the wind caresses
The skin of a new
Who is called . . .
By a NAME
Is it the life lived?
By and by scrapping
To prosper yet falling
Failing not reaching the
Top of the pyramid of
Success, but in return
Dying at the bottom of
The abyss, that cold
Breath that touches you
Just as you live your last
Heart beat, and
How your family
And friends mourn . . .
A NAME is
Merely letters in
A singular purpose
It was given at
And reused after
Original to you
So a NAME is only
It is important how, you,
Make people remember it
But I also write because
I wish . . .
I wish I could call you
To tell you how I feel
To speak you name in whispers
And let my love be real
I wish that you would hold me
And tell me all is right
To hold me close in warm embrace
With in your arms all night
I wish that I could love you
And tell you all about me
But some things are meant for secrets
And our love just isn’t to be
I wish that you would love me
And say my name with care
And sit by me as the sun goes down
As I play in your hair
I wish that there were no boundaries
Between both you and I
And that your love could life me up
Until I reached the sky
I wish that I could tell you this
With out a care our doubt
But as it is this little voice
Stays in me with out a shout
I wish the little voice would scream
“I love you more and more”
But it has been hurt many times
In the past before
I wish you knew how I felt for you
And would tell me that you’re the same
Because my heart is waiting for you
With a fire that can’t be tamed
So I wish that love could prevail
And could set us all free
But honestly, I wish that your love
Was mostly, meant for only me
I write because I love poetry
I bare all of my soul
It helps explain me
And have my story told
I write because no one listens
To the story of my life
So instead I create a story
Of another welding a knife
I write because it let me live
Through the characters I create
And then the life I wish I had
Is now fully sedate.
There are over a dozen other states that have laws regarding missing/stolen firearms, and to get a national law passed regarding missing/stolen guns would be impossible because of the pro-gun lobby. In a recent poll of Pa 83% of the public supports a missing/stolen gun law. There are many anti-gun lobbyist groups would support such a law. I could not find any law currently proposed on the state level but below I attached an example of the Philadelphia's laws on missing/stolen guns that were pasted after a surge in gun violence a year or two ago. I think that it would benefit the state to pass laws similar to Philadelphia's.
§ 10-838. Failure to Report Lost or Stolen Firearm. 242
(1) Prohibited Conduct. No person who is the owner of a firearm that is lost or stolen shall fail to report the loss or theft to an appropriate local law enforcement official within 24 hours after the loss or theft is discovered.
(2) Penalties. Any person
who violates the provisions of this section shall be subjected to a fine of not less than three hundred dollars ($300) and not more than seven hundred dollars ($700) for each violation committed during calendar year 2005; eleven hundred dollars ($1,100) for each violation committed during calendar year 2006; fifteen hundred dollars ($1,500) for each violation committed during calendar year 2007; nineteen hundred dollars ($1,900) for each violation committed during calendar year 2008; and two thousand dollars ($2,000) for each violation committed thereafter.
§ 10-838a. Failure to Report Lost or Stolen Firearm. 243
(1) Prohibited Conduct. No person who is the owner of a firearm that is lost or stolen shall fail to report the loss or theft to an appropriate local law enforcement official within 24 hours after the loss or theft is discovered.
(2) Penalties. A violation of this Section shall be deemed a Class III Offense, subject to the penalties set forth in Section 1-109.
(3) Repeat Offenders. Any person who commits, on more than one occasion, a violation of this Section, shall be guilty of a separate offense of Repeat Violation, and for each such Repeat Violation, shall be subject to a fine of not more than one thousand nine hundred dollars ($1,900) for any violation committed in 2008, and not more than two thousand dollars ($2,000) for any violation committed in 2009 or thereafter, or imprisonment for not more than ninety (90) days, or both. A person shall be guilty of a Repeat Violation regardless whether the second or subsequent violation occurs before or after a judicial finding of a first or previous violation. Each violation, after the first, shall constitute a separate Repeat Violation offense.
I currently live in the 1st district, which is under the city councilman, Frank DiCicco. DiCicco is and has been a resident of South Philadelphia and began serving as a Committeeman in 1967. He then went to serve in Traffic Court and after 1986 he became a Budget Analyst for the state Senate. After several other jobs that contributed to his experience, DiCicco later became the councilman that he is today. He is the author of the 10-year tax abatement program, a program that has in fact helped redevelopment of various neighborhoods in Philadelphia. According to a short biography on councilman Frank DiCicco, he believes that in order to change/improve the community, the community itself must be involved.
It is believed from his plans and his statements that he stands for lower in the city wage tax over several years. According his website, one of his "accomplishments" as a councilman is that he is, "Teaming up with Councilmember Kenney, battled to lock in long-term wage tax deductions." Whether this is true or not, it relates directly to my lobbying topic of Philadelphia city wage taxes. Also on his website, there is his personal short autobiography in which he writes, "After 11 years in office, I am proud to have the reputation of a consensus builder. This skill has enabled me to maintain all of our fire stations, and our neighboring libraries, enact long term wage tax cuts…" Basically what is being said here is that he has several accomplishments under his belt and that he is fighting against city wage taxes by trying to have them reduced over a period of several years (possibly a decade if his 10-year tax abatement relates to wage taxes).
I can relate to DiCicco in several ways: We both didn't care about politics or the political system when we were young and never really had anywhere to go when we were young. I can relate his situation to someone I know when he talked about being unfairly being placed in jail in his biography. I noticed that the system was harsh then and extremely poor and when I look at it now, it hasn't changed much. If I could change my lobbying topic, I would change it to lobby against the system that we have now (the justice system/criminal or suspected criminal treatments). It is really interesting how I can relate to DiCicco, but I can only wonder if his efforts, if strong efforts, are really towards the things that he says he wants to change or accomplish for the city.
I don't know
It's a way to save my ideas,
my make-believe stories of worlds that live in my head have a home on paper
It organizes my thoughts,
Those family trees of my characters, their ages, interests, secrets, dreams.
I write to remember,
So my ideas won't be jumbled up in the every day thoughts that occupy my mind like a nebulous shroud.
I write to give information
I write so a form of my ideas can be shared with others
That is why I write.
The beauty of writing, thats another reason.
The scratching of a pencil
The swoosh of a pen
the click clack of keys
For some it sounds right, similar to the sound of a cleat hitting a soccer ball or the swish of a ball going through a basket.
That beauty is something that cannot be replaced
That is why I write.
I write because I love it
It feels right,
My gut tells me this is what I was meant to do
It is one of the oldest forms of communication
yet through the years it has never been replaced by any other technology.
No one can upgrade writing
for it's strength and stubbornness
I revere it.
Thats why I write.
Life issues haunt us all
So instead of picking up a bottle
I pick up a pen and
Let my story begin...
I write to free my brothas and sistas
My story isn't the only important one
So I will tell the story of June
Suffering from post-love depression
She was never taught this lesson
So she slits her wrist to pour out a confession...
Or for my brotha from another momma
Who never had a poppa to tell him
How a real man is supposed to act.
It's hard for a mother to play father
And keep food on the table..
So little David sold a brick got locked up
And now by the government she is labled
So when I write I tell their true stories
Like they are fables..
I write to tell a story
It's funny how many people could actually relate
Your fate isn't just your alone..
You would be surprised how many lives
Your pen could save.
I write because this is what I love
No matter what I've gone through
My pen has always been here
My poetry book is my soul
I put my right hand on it
When I tell the truth..
Writing tells the story of the life I live
I am constantly faces with quandaries that stretch
The boundaries on my tight-knit life.
You can validate my soul by reading my poems..
My book pass no judgement
My pen keeps all my secrets
My mind brings these things together in unison.
I create a 3 dimensional world
On a 2 dimensional surface
This is why I write..
It’s hard to say why I write. I write for a variety of different reasons, some of which I probably don’t even recognize. I might have some reasons on some kind of psychological level. Psychology is everywhere, after all. Not the Freudian variety of psychology, but definitely psychology. Regardless, I feel as though for once in my life I should stop merrily skipping around the question like a politician (or, if you prefer, a mischievous boy who coincidentally enjoys merrily skipping), and actually come up with an answer: a very vague answer, which I can explain in several paragraphs.
I write because I do. Simple as that. Or not so simple, since as you can see this essay continues for quite a few more paragraphs that will, rest assured, completely stray from the original point by the end.
My writing is just something that happens. I have almost no control over my writing. I’m as in little control of my writing as I am of natural disasters (to clarify, I am not some sort of deity and I certainly have no control over natural disasters. Probably. At least, last I checked I had no control over natural disasters). I have sometimes described it as being a bit like method acting. I tend to get into the perspective of my world itself: the story I am presenting is something that happened (at least in my fictional universe), and the plot has a certain direction it wants to go in. I often go into a short story with a number of ideas and plot points. These all tend to get thrown out of the window while I’m writing, of course, because I’m too passive and my writing is too aggressive. The characters and events themselves influence the direction the plot wants to go in, and I’m just along for the ride. Like I’m riding a roller coaster that decided to say, “No, you know what, I quit, I’m just gonna jump off the rails and fly through the sky like it’s Dukes of Hazzard before dropping to the ground to our inevitable fates, but at least it was fun, right?” I am but a vessel for my stories. I’m fine with that, of course. It’s what I want to do, otherwise I wouldn’t want to write. And I do, because I am writing now. A lot, actually.
I am a student, so not all my time can be spent writing my own stories. I need to write essays and papers and such too. How do I treat these assignments? Just like everything else. I think my style when it comes to assignments can best be described as stream of consciousness. I just write whatever is on my mind and that’s how it goes. With my fiction, the characters and plot decide how the story is written. In papers that are not fiction, I tend to just ramble on about things that are sometimes only vaguely reminiscent of the original topic or at least in the neighborhood of the original topic. It’s like my topic is that one suspicious house on a rather nice street, the kind that suspicious people go in and out of at all hours of the night, and the other neighbors sometimes contemplate calling the police because they feel as though illegal activity might be going on in this house, but they are a bit too afraid of retribution. But it is still in the neighborhood of the original question is the point I am – or was – trying to make, but I have admittedly forgotten that original point and this is mostly speculation.
As I said, stream of consciousness. There is literally no structure to this thing that I am writing now. I’m letting my fingers do what it is they do best: type while I try to be at least somewhat amusing with varying levels of success. That was a bit of a hyperbole. My fingers are also plenty good at other things. Or at least they probably are. Typing tends to be one of the few things they’re exposed to nowadays.
Should I choose to submit this to the contest, I might actually clean it up just a tad. My stream of consciousness tends to flow peacefully most of the time. It’s not too off-the-wall. Fish can peacefully swim through this stream and do the things that fish do, like swim and be enticed by shiny things and be eaten. But when very short on time, my stream of consciousness tends to flow about as well as… about as well as… something. Like the speech of a person who stutters. And the fish in the stream can’t swim because…
I sort of lost steam around the end there. Whoops! At this point I have to wonder how much I’ve strayed from the original topic. I would say this works as something of a self-demonstrating essay that, by virtue of even existing and being written by me, shows exactly why I write. Or rather, it tends to answer how I write. I’m really going to have to rethink this!
It’s important to play up one’s strengths and talents. Writing is, arguably, my only strength and talent. So it’s what I play up the most. I think I should make that more clear throughout. For the sake of posterity, I’d rather keep all of the inane and ridiculous rambling I did up there. I love my nonsensical writing as much as Napoleon loved himself. Should I choose to submit to the contest, that’s when I need to actually fix things and change everything. But for this blog post, everything’s staying! I kind of answered the question at least. Not enough. But I did.
I think it’s also important to note that I write for myself, mostly. Even with school assignments, it’s not worth it if I don’t entertain myself. I certainly don’t not care about my grades and education and future. It’s just that I don’t think writing essays and having fun absolutely have to be mutually exclusive. It works for me, so I figure, why not? Might as well enjoy myself through all of this. Sometimes I forget I’m writing for school. Writing to entertain myself and writing so I don’t end up homeless tend to blur together sometimes for me. [I’m going to post this now. I’m nearing the bottom of the second page and ignoring the lesson for the sake of incoherent ramblings is sort of rude! These brackets indicate that this part is separate from the rest of the essay. Just a note that hopefully explains why the essay seems to have been cut off.
Additionally, I like the enormous mood whiplash between everybody else’s essays and mine. They all seem to have deep and introspective ones. Mine is… well, this.]
Over the years, writing has evolved into a major aspect of my life. As a young child, I would look at books and newspapers, astonished with the amount of words that one had written. Initially I couldn't understand the significance of writing so much. Why do the writers of textbooks care so much about the information it contains? How do authors of novels not get tired of writing so much after 100 pages?
These questions weren't answered until I began to explore writing in my own way. I often found myself digging deep into my imagination when i read stories. Looking at some of my favorite story lines like "X-Men" and "Star Wars" and thinking about how I could develop my own. I would then take those concepts to write alternate story lines for some of the stories I read, and even incorporate my own ideas. This process revealed the captivating aspects of writing and built my confidence in the subject.
In my teenage years, I found myself approaching writing from a different perspective. Instead of writing the fantasies in my imagination, I wrote more about the reality of my life. I discovered music as being an effective outlet in my life. Being able to turn my thoughts into lyrics and then mix them with other melodies. It's like being able to manipulate the thoughts that you can't control in your brain into a product that you know like the back of your hand.
Writing has changed me as a person, but more importantly, has allowed me to change it, morphing language into my own thoughts, and my thoughts into something tangible.
I write because I want my ideas to spread beyond word of mouth. It's easy to tell a person what you want them to hear but truly allowing yourself articulate a point worth real consideration requires ample thought. Writing gives the outlet to devolop my words and choose how I go about a point. Its means to portray the most elaborate idea into simple elegance or turn a hardened belief into a thoughtful persuasion. It acts as a filter that both refines but better explains myself while still carrying a my original thought with it.
I’ve always believed that home is important because home is where my heart is. Home is where my memories are. Every happy and sad thing that has happened to me is brought back to this place. I’ve lived here almost all of my life. If I ever moved away from this neighborhood and my memories, I would be a disaster. It’s where I can go and I won’t be judged. I can come here after a rough day and be greeted by my family. While everything else in my world is spinning around, this is the one thing that never changes. It’s where I’m safe.
I can go back to when I first walked into my house when I was 5. I was down the basement and I couldn’t find my way upstairs. My dad was bringing things into the house since our basement door is next to the driveway. It’s easier then dragging things all the way to our front door, which is on the side of our house. When I saw him I ran over and said “Daddy! I can’t find the door! Help me!” He laughed and then said, “Turn around.” As I turned around I saw the door to walk up into my living room. When I got upstairs there was almost a ton of change in random spots in the rooms. I was so excited; it felt like a treasure hunt, and so I ran around the house collecting any change that I saw.
I love looking back on that memory and thinking about how easy things were. The biggest problem that I had was that I couldn’t find the door out of my basement. Now I have to worry about what people I trust, what my grades are like, not letting things get to me, along with a hundred other things. Nevertheless, every rough time there is, a hundred great memories that come along.
One of my favorite memories in this house took place after a concert my friend and I went to, she came over my house to sleepover. We ended up staying up until 3:30 am, hanging out in my bedroom. Most people don’t like staying in my room for too long. Everything in my room is pink, my bedding, lamp, desk, walls, rug; even my ceiling is painted pink. It is very bright, even sometimes I don’t like being up in my room for too long. There are also a lot of pictures and posters. It was one of the funniest nights I have had though.
we first got home from the concert, we just hung out and talked for a little.
As the night carried on we got extremely hyper, because we were both
tired and we each had a can of Mountain Dew. About halfway though the night I
brought in my little brother’s Yamaha keyboard. Neither of us know how to play
keyboard so when we tried, it ended up sounding like nails on a chalkboard. I
felt really happy because it was fun and neither of us has to try to act
perfect. Later on, we decided to randomly call people and play the keyboard
while on the phone. Every time we would dial a number and listen to the phone
buzzing as we waited for them to answer, we would laugh hysterically, thinking
about the reaction of the person we were calling. When someone would pick up,
we would shout “Hello! Hi! Hey!” in funny voices and then slam random buttons
on the keyoboard. People thought we were completely insane, asking, “What is
wrong with you? Why are you calling me?” Every person that we called hung up on
us within 5 minutes.
About an hour before we actually fell asleep, we turned on my old, bulky, silver television that my grandmother gave me. We started watching That 70’s Show, one of our favorite television shows. We were also quoting every line that a character would say and cracking up. After a while we got really tired so as we were still watching That 70’s Show, we both fell asleep.
That night was just fun and that’s the night that I realized why home is important to me. It is important to me because it’s a stable place in the world. Everything changes, but this place never does. I have grown up in this same house and my bedroom has grown along with me. From my princess room, to just all pink, to how it is now. Now it is exactly how I want it, it has pictures all over my walls; there is just enough space all of my belongings and me. It’s organized perfectly for me, not too neat but at the same time its not too messy, and I know where I want everything to go.
I remember when I got my room the way it is now. It was a Saturday, 2 years ago; the movers said they would at my house any time between 1-4 pm. It was 3:30pm and I have been staring out of my window for the past 2 hours, impatiently waiting for my new bedroom-set to be delivered. I had my room completely cleared out, except for my television. Other than there was just pink walls and ceiling, both windows with their curtains pulled up, and an open door. I was completely ready for my new bedroom, so over excited that I couldn’t even go 10 minutes without running towards my window to check if the movers have finally arrived. Every time I would hear a car rush by I would run outside and be greeted with disappointment.
At 3:45 I heard something, it was the pounding of large tires on a road. I looked out the window and screamed downstairs to my mom “THEY’RE HERE!” as I stormed down the flight of stairs that was separating me from her. I stared out of the window as the movers checked their paperwork to make sure it was the right house, slammed the trucks doors, and started walking up to my front steps. When they finally knocked on the door, it was like a symphony. “Hello, we have a bedroom set delivery for the Flite family.” They said when we opened the door.
When they were upstairs putting the furniture together, it felt like life times were passing by. They finally finished and left the house at 4:10. When they left I raced up my steps into my room to see how it looked. I loved it. It looked so different then before, instead of a cleared out room of nothing, my room now had a queen sized bed, and a matching dresser, They were each a light washed wood color with 2 rows of silver wood panels at the top.
Home is my place. It’s where I am free and happy. My little brother was born three months premature and for about 6 months I had to live at my grandma’s house. It just didn’t feel the same. Her house is nice and it’s big, but it’s not my house. It has a different feel to it. Home gives me a feeling of safety and security. It’s the one thing that never changes, while people and life does. I love my house and I love the feelings that come from it.
Setting- Jake talking to his best friend Mike on the phone.
Hey buddy, how have you been?
That’s good I haven’t talked to you in centuries. By the way how has the job search been going for you?
That sucks. However, when you do get a job, I hope your last resort isn’t to work at a crappy oil refinery like me.
So you are telling me that you have not heard about the health risk while working in an oil refinery? (Surprised)
There are too many health risks to keep up with. I have to deal with keeping myself safe while working in the disgusting gloomy environment due to chemical polluted air. Also, my ears are being damaged every time I go to work because of the industrial noise. The impact of the noise is 5 times worst then having my IPod turned up to maximum volume.
Who are you telling? I feel bad too because my wife and three kids worry about me everyday when I go into work. Seeing the looks on my baby’s faces when I go off to work is heartbreaking. (A sad toned voice)
Aw shut up man, I’m serious! If you were here to witness you would definitely be on the same boat with me. (Serious)
Listen man, the health risk is only half of the issue. You have to worry about fires, explosions, and water waste. I have to rely on other people to do their job to prevent those things from happening. It’s mind boggling because when I am at work, that’s one of the only things I think about.
I know, this is a very dangerous job.
No man… It’s my pleasure because I would not want you to go into working in this profession if I had a chance to stop you.
Alright man, have a good day. Oh yea, and don’t be a stranger!
Setting- 69-year-old Maddie is being visited by her oldest daughter Amie while in Departments of Corrections in Washington D.C. Maddie is a Washington D.C White House protester that was arrested.
Amie what did my lawyers say?
I would never think that I would be counting my days in jail at the age of 69 for trying to help my society and the people that took me into custody. They had the nerve to do that to a little, hunched back, elderly lady that was doing no harm. I mean, I have gray hair for god sakes Amie!
After all this justice is served how much do you want to bet that Obama still won’t have an opinion on any of this. This is preposterous! I didn’t vote for him so he could sit his “hiney” down in his swivel chair and not have opinions. I voted for him so he could do everything he said he would, one of the things being to help change the Earth’s climate and environment.
The protesters including me were not there to cause any conflict, but to surface this whole pipeline situation. We spent hours in the church training for this event and where did we end up? I even remember one of the chants. (Stands up and presents her chant) Obama Stop the Pipeline- Yes he can!. (Guard tells her to sit down because she was being disruptive and her visitor had to leave in the next 5 minutes because of her outburst).
Amie you have to promise me one thing before you leave.
You have to promise to try your hardest to put your two cents in to help stop this 1,700 mile Keystone XL pipeline full of oil traveling through 6 states that is very dangerous.
That’s my girl! I love you.
Setting- Tasha is talking to her best friend Maxine outside of Mitchell Hall. They are about three minutes away from protesting about the Keystone XL pipeline.
Max are you ready this is big!
You are nervous? Max snap out of that its time to put your game face on.
Yes I did get arrested two weeks ago when protesting in front of the White House. However, I am ready to get my point across again. I am overly excited that Joe Biden is going to be here. That just means another person in the government can hear what I have to say. I will get arrested 5 times if that means stopping this 1,700 mile hazard.
Maxine just do what we practiced in the dorms. Every time you go to think about what to say or how to say it just think about all the lives the pipeline risks.
Just trust me… Nothing feels better than holding up a sign and standing up for what you believe in.
October 15, 2011
I got my first camera when I was seven years old on a cold wintery day. I was at my grandma’s house when my mom and dad called me to the sofa and they handed me a plastic box. At first, I thought it was a Hello Kitty key chain, but when I turned it over, it was a camera! It wasn’t a camera that came in a fancy glossy box like my cameras come in now but it was a simple five mega pixel, battery operated, silver plastic camera from Kohl’s. I roughly cut it out of the plastic case, so I wouldn’t get cut by the thick plastic and pulled it out in slow motion. There it was, with this quarter pound camera, I could hold all of my memories here. I could pause time for half of a millisecond on a 2-inch screen and keep that forever.
All of my cousins ran up to see my camera and the first thing that they said was: “Why does it look and feel like a toy? Are you sure it’s real?” I didn’t care what they said but it was the best thing my mom ever got me because it started my love for photographing my family and my life. And with one press of the hand and a faint capture sound from the camera, my first picture instantly appeared on the two-inch screen. My first picture…an outlandish view of my monkey toes. With that camera, it started my collection of my wide array of cameras such as my silver Canon 8 mega pixel, then to my Canon 10.1 mega pixel, and now I currently use my asphalt black Canon Power Shot SD780 IS, 12.1 mega pixel camera.
All it takes is one little camera to start my hobby in taking pictures. I take pictures of everything and anyone I know. All I want is to remember everything I do in my life. This once in a life time moments that you can’t always remember on the top of your head. Yep, those are the moments. Like the time I jumped off of a forty-foot tree-pole or that other time where I stuck my hand inside of sixty year olds’ leg and then picked it up. It was supper heavy. Wait…don’t believe me? Well, sadly you can’t take a picture while your examining a body, now can you but that moment is forever engraved in my head. Simple days like those are the days I want to remember. I constantly take pictures and every so often people get annoyed but I think of it as a: “Hey, I’m helping you with your memories too.” People don’t understand how powerful pictures can be.
Except my family, they cherish every moment together and we never let go of any “Kodak moment” opportunity. Well, figuratively because we use Canon brand cameras. In every part of my family’s houses, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, there are framed and polished pictures on the wall, four by six pictures hanging off of the mirrors, taped on or stuck in a little corner, and frames scattered through out the house, on the mantles, tables, and some times even the floor. My mom always says: “Say gnaw day gal gaching gal sung seen” and roughly translating from Cantonese that would mean “Wash the pictures of your family only”, and translating from roughly to clean would be: “Print out pictures of only our family.” But I always sneak a few of my friends without her knowing it.
Weeks later, to my utter surprise, while cleaning out my hamster’s cage, my dad, in the blink of an eye, appeared at the back yard door and he told me: “TURN OFF THE WATER and come to the basement.” Being myself, I stubbornly asked what was wrong with cleaning my hamster’s odor-filled cage – which I hadn’t cleaned for two weeks, with a childish smirk. After that one question, he gave me the death stare and blatantly across his face read: anger, frustration, and impatience. This was the second time in fourteen years – This was the second time in my life of fourteen years.
The first time was a complete blur because I was six years old and wailing at the top of my lungs. I think I yelled at my mom and dad about how I was smarter than them and how I could do anything and everything I wanted because of my intelligence. My stubborn, spoiled intelligence. My dad did not stand for that so he picked me up and threw me out of the door – not literally, more so placed. Standing barefoot, on the “beat up” welcoming mat we had out side of the door, my three-year-old sister opened the door for me and she: “Say sorry to mommy and daddy. So they are not mad.”
I wasn’t going to go against that look again, so I shut off the water, leaving the cage out side and Alfred in his ball. Usually, when I go down the stairs I listen to my feet pit-pat but this time there was another sound. What was it? The dryer? No, it sounded watery and leaking. The washing machine? No, that sound isn’t the same. The water sounded free, flowing wherever it wanted too. I turned the corner and my feet got wet instantly, my mom was standing there confused and angry. We quickly evacuated all of our things out of that small room and I helped clean up the mess after putting away Alfred in his coconut-scented cage. After moving all of the beach toys to the other room, I found a pitch-black bag with the gray “EXPRESS” logo on it. In that bag, contained two of my mom’s twenty by thirty wedding pictures, framed up and now water damaged. I got this cold feeling in my cheeks like all of the blood just left my face and ran some where else. Just like the water running out of the photo frames, just like the preserved memories running out and only leaving behind wavy sheets of memories. Crease and wave, crease and wave, crease and waves EVERYWHERE.
I was the saddest of all that my parents’ twenty by thirty wedding pictures were water damaged. My parents didn’t seem as sad as I. How could they not be as devastated as I was? Their wedding pictures were ruined. That special day led to my sister and I and where we were today. So many stories were past around each other about that picture and all it took was water to cringe up the paper. I wasn’t going to stand for this so I promised my self that my first paycheck would go to their pictures. And lo and behold, I got my first paycheck!
There were so many things to do, to buy, and to have! I cashed in my paycheck with my parents at TD Bank. In my mind, there were so many things I could do with fifteen crisp, clean twenty-dollar bills. I could spend it all on clothes; spend it on a long wanted bag, or just save it. I could use all of this money on myself. But I was reminded of the ruined wedding pictures when I went to put all of the clothes into the dryer, one night. I knew what I was going to get. It was a long lost goal, promised years before. And what perfect timing, my parent’s anniversary was coming up. Dinner and two perfect frames for the big one-six anniversary.
Secretly with just one hundred and forty-six dollars in my hands, I walked in to the picture-framing store on 21st and Chestnut. In and out of the store with a nice deal was what I was aiming for. While walking in the store, I realized that this store was really hot and the pictures in this store all had a different story of his family in it, whether it was written onto the frame or the picture itself. I found the owner of the store in the back just finishing up matting a picture of the sunset to the engraved golden frame. The owner was a big man with a graying mustache and goatee. I introduced myself and with an unsure voice, told him I didn’t know what I wanted yet, so Mr. Allan escorted me to the front of the store and pulled out at least forty hundred different frames, twenty hundred different types of matte paper, and a list of sizes. It was like a never ending maze of frames and then he finally asked me after seeing that little frustrated crease appear between my eye brows:
“What’s the occasion for the two pictures?” – He asked like he already knew the answer.
“My parent’s sixteenth anniversary gift.” – I smugly said with a smile.
With that answer, he automatically knew what was needed. After a lot of questioning between the canvas print and the framed matte print, I don’t know if he wanted me out of the store or just gave me a discount for knowing me for such a long time, but we concluded the price of one hundred and forty dollars. So, two pictures: framed, enlarged, and matted all by Friday. I chose Friday because Friday was their anniversary day, sixteen years together. Mr. Allan handed me the yellow receipt copy and everything was done. With a wave, good-bye and a polite “Thank you, see you Friday!” I spent the half of my paycheck on restoring my parents adored wedding memories. I was going to give them back their special day with these pictures!
On every vacation, heaps of pictures are taken and hordes of pictures are printed out. Who wouldn’t want an eight-gigabyte memory card filled with pictures? Nonetheless every year, once a year, my family goes on one big trip together to Virginia Beach for a couple days which means one big family on one glorious beach. And every year that we arrive home my mom chooses pictures to print out but there is this one picture that will always hang on my wall. It’s a unique picture in a unique pearl color fish scale imitation frame. She told me, "Although this picture is dull and has almost a color-less gray horizon, my family and I are livening our surrounding up with our bright and vibrant personalities, shirts, and shorts."
Taking pictures on vacation hold the experience you had and holds it until the end of time. It’s all the matter of memory versus experience. The photographers in my family all know that. We seize the moment to keep hold of the past on every vacation. Pictures are something that will help us remember what we did down the road of life.
Day-by-day, I take pictures of anything from over sized pigeons and people walking their hairless cats to my friends and family. I never let go of any moment. Pictures are what trigger the past and shoot the memory back into the present. They trigger the repressed memory in the back of our mind. Everything memorable moment should be kept, big or small. Even in every moment you’re with me, pictures will be taken. That’s how it is; I stop the present to look back at the past in the future. Taking pictures gives us another way with which to share our lives and our loves with the rest of the world. I will ceaselessly take pictures, holding every memory in a book, and looking back to see what a picture tells me. I will show the world my life.
Eight years of taking pictures on my own, learning it all, day-by-day and still learning. With the average photographer, getting the perfect light and knowing which background gets the best of each shot. If you hand me a camera, I can get a perfect shot in a heartbeat. Pictures can give anyone so much power. The power to hold your past in a convenient four by six or an enlarged sixteen by twenty, your most prized memories, no matter how small the memory they hold. Pictures are taken everywhere, at home, on vacations, and…well, everywhere. All moments in life are important, but not all are special.
On the second shelf of the left side of the TV case, towards the bottom stands my eighth grade graduation diploma. Whenever I look at the certificate patched with a leather bound cover, I remember the when I first received it.
I was sitting on the stage with my fellow classmates. It was almost done. Just ten more minutes. She was halfway through calling all the names. Five more to go until my name was called. One down, my hands were sweating madly. Two down, I could feel my heart drumming. Three down, I began to feel dizzy. Four down, oh crap!
“Jasmin Husain,” called Ms. Knight, our school counselor. It was time for me to go and take my diploma from Ms. Sydnor. I slowly walked around the empty and barren stairs in front of me until the top of the glossy wooden stairs of the stage. I went down the stairs one by one carefully, holding on to the cold steel railing. I didn’t want to trip on these ridiculous heels and ruin my dress. After I made it down the stairs, I walked two feet over to Ms. Sydnor. She shook my sweaty hand and said, “Congratulations Jasmin, you’ve come a long way and you have a long way to go.” She handed me the navy blue, leather bound diploma. Carrying the thick diploma, I followed my friend out of the Gymnasium door.
This was one of the most important memories in my life. It was the moment in my life when I made the transition from middle school to high school. I felt accomplished, like I had just achieved a goal that I was waiting to reach my entire life. My diploma was a symbol of me growing up and moving on.
As I look back at the TV case, more artifacts start to bring back memories. On the bottom shelf of the TV case lays an old, dusty, black VCR with two missing buttons. I try to recall how many my family had to replace the VCRs that my little sister and I had broken. As I observe the absent buttons, another memory runs across my mind.
My little sister Tajnia was extremely naughty and
mischievous. She would trash everything that she was able to get her hands on.
This was like the hundredth time that she broke the VCR.
“Aah NO! Not again Tajnia! Did you really just break all of those buttons out of these holes again?” Yelled my dad to baby Tajnia’s slobbering, and glowing face.
believe we have to go out and buy another VCR, this one wasn’t even a year
old!” Dad continued to complain as we all filed in to the car.
This was the fourth time that we were going out to Wal-Mart to buy a TV since we had come to Philadelphia. The first time it was me. I absently stuck sugar daddy candies into the new cassette holder. At the time I was just a baby but currently I was a big girl. I was seven years old and I knew how the world worked. I had matured over the past two years. I knew all the specific things that made dad upset. So, I had, long ago, stopped committing those crimes. Tajnia, on the other hand still hadn’t learned the lesson.
This was another one of my very important memories. This memory this memory represents family. There are many different definitions of “family.” Family, to me, means a group of people who you can look up to. Family members are people who understand you, accept your mistakes, and help you to become the best person that you can be. In this memory Tajnia looked up to me, hoping that she would, one day, learn not to make the mistakes that made dad upset. She hoped that she would also mature and learn from her mistakes like I did when I was her age.
I start to laugh at myself thinking of all these ancient memories. My living room has many if the same layout as any other living room, but it holds memories that are very specific and special to my family and me. Every small detail in the room stands out. From the vase of artificial flowers to the knitted tissue box cover, from the stains on the walls to the spills on the carpet carries something out of the ordinary.
There I was standing on the second floor hallway looking at something ugly, black and sooty. Something horribly ugly! Disgusting, it made me want to puke I wanted to cry!
Wednesday afternoon. At school and I get a phone call from my mom saying that I needed to go over my friends house and spend the night. I wasn’t worried...I was clueless. I was around 10 or 11 years of age.
I get home the following day, not sensing that anything has happened. I run up the wooden stair case to my bedroom and before I could go to my bedroom I turn around and I see that the wall going up to the third floor was black and there was a hole in the wall. I could see my parents bedroom... There I was, standing on the second floor hallway looking at something ugly, black and sooty. Something horrible ugly! Disgusting, it made me want to puke I wanted to cry!
My house was filled with the aroma of burning sticks and paper in a campfire, but worse we had a fire.
I still wonder from time to time, why on earth was I laughing when I found out that my older brothers room on the third floor or should I say his “little apartment” that he just finished fixing up and putting surround sound system in just a couple days before, got the most damage, which meant for 6 months he had to sleep in my non damaged room...
I wasn’t laughing then...
“Have a great time , enjoy your self and work hard!” , “I’m so proud of you!” “I’m going to miss you so much!” That isn’t even half of the good-bye’s and the good-lucks or even the “I’m proud of you” , that my brother got before he left for College. My brother was so ready to leave and live his life with out my parents nagging him. He was ready to let go and party…I could tell.
I remember saying good-bye to my brother before he left for College like it was yesterday. For the first 2 months , I had to get used to not having my brother around to mess with or prank. The detachment took about to 2 months for me to get used to , because my brother and I were pretty close.. After a while it was like a vacation , I got spoiled once he left , it was the life! He wasn’t there to take up the t.v or eat all the food , before I could lay my hands on it. But before I knew it , one day the door opens and my brother is standing in the door way , I was pretty happy to see him , because I haven’t seen him for some time , then my brother tells me that he is going to take a break from college , and my smile turns into a solid face , I wanted to scream! Why me?!
I have been waiting for this day...forever!
For the past 6 months, my family and I have been trying to get our house back to normal and in better shape after the fire. We’ve been ordering mattresses, getting bed frames, picking out colors, getting contractors, and getting our floors re-done. So much! Oh, and I’m even getting my room remodeled!
I’ve been waiting for this day...forever! Here I am, in my new looking house and my new looking room, waiting for people to bring in my mattress, and then my room will be complete! They come through the door, up the staircase, up to the 2nd floor and to my room, and put my mattress in my new bed frame. My room is a granny smith apple green, with a white bed frame, and white desk, a wooden bookcase, white doors with black knobs.
That night I slept great...matter of fact it was the best sleep I’ve ever had, no more stinky brother in my room with his nasty socks, and now I don’t have to find socks and lotion missing! I finally have my space, my privacy back….my independence back! I take in a deep breath, smelling the new fresh paint, the new mattress. As I lay in my bed … I think to myself … now this is more like it.... this is home
When the fire happened, it made everything for 6 months an inconvenience, because my brother had to sleep in my room and we had to go and my family and I even had to stay at a hotel, and everything just wasn’t right. Everything wasn’t the same. I had no privacy , no one did! My else was limited because half of the rooms in my house was off limits because of the fire.Also because of the fire my brother and I became closer. Having a fire is somewhat disturbing, for me it was. You think everything is fine that day and you come home to find out that you had a fire, and now you’re back to square one. It’s like you just moved in to a new house and once you buy it, you have to fix it up, pick paint, get carpet, and get the essentials for a room, which is like a 6 month process.
For some reason when I had a fire, it didn’t hit me until the next day. I bursted in to tears, I wondered why. I asked myself why am I crying? I didn’t feel the tears coming, it didn’t feel like I had a lump in my throat like it usually feels when I’m about to cry, it just…came out.
Could we have stopped the fire early enough, if someone was home? Then again if someone was in the house they could of got injured. A bunch of questions come to my mind when I think about the fire, and they’re all unanswered.