#OctPoWriMo – Day 2 – Poem: Free Verse – “Of Terror & The Dying” #amwriting #poetry #yegstrong #vegasshooting 


Welcome to OctPoWrMo Day 2 . I’ll be going back to Day 1. But today’s prompt was writing what we must. And this is what resulted, sorry to begin with the topic isn’t light. 

It’s inspired by two events the Las Vegas Shooting and terrorist events in Alberta, Canada. 

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Credit: Ian Dooley via Unsplash
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I wish you wouldn’t kill, 

I wish you wouldn’t shoot. 

I wish you didn’t feel the need, 

To take others with you to the grave. 

I wish you knew your pain, 

Was a problem that could’ve been helped, 

If wish you had only asked. 

I wish you weren’t indoctrinated

That morals halted your, 

Urge to kill and wound hundreds. 

*****
I wish you wouldn’t kill, 

I wish you wouldn’t shoot, 

I wish that you’d stopped yourself. 

Thought of the consequences, 

I wish you’d had empathy. 

Realized everyone feels pain as you did, 

That all people have things in their life, 

That wound and maim them, 

Throughout life’s winding road; 

We all feel internal pain, brokenness sometimes. 

But others chose better coping methods, 

Not to go about their wicked way, 

Taking global humanity to their knees. 

*****
I wish you didn’t kill, 

I wish you didn’t shoot. 

I wish you didn’t choose chaos, 

That you chose understanding —

Not violence. 

I wish you knew all the family’s hurting, 

How your pain became more than your victims, 

More than the wounded and the dead. 

I wish you knew how you maimed everyone —

On scene, through the online world. 

How guns are so destructive, 

When they’re attained so easily to murder. 

That blood flows, when gunshot wounds, 

Cause suffering. 

That men and women are lying dead, 

Having lost their lives too early. 

*****
I wish you wouldn’t kill, 

I wish you wouldn’t shoot, 

Because other people will emulate you. 

They will think your selfish choice, 

Is the right path for them too. 

I hate that you had to take, 

So many others with you. 

That you didn’t comprehend, 

The sanctity of life. 

It’s ever so valuable, beyond twisted beliefs, 

Your inner turmoil — whatever it was, 

More than the false reasons, 

You believed gave your actions merit.  

*****
I wish you wouldn’t kill, 

I wish you would shoot, 

I wish a place of celebration, 

A place of respite and vacation, 

Did not become a mass murdering location; 

But it did, all because of you. 

I hate that you can’t hear, 

The moans of the people you hurt. 

That you can’t look them in the eye, 

And see the their tears, their horror. 

I hate that you don’t see, 

Children who’ve lost parents. 

I hate that you did not realize, 

Your actions harmed and injured many. 

It makes me sick that you were okay, 

With this awful outcome, 

Of being a grim reaper. 

I hate that you probably, 

Wouldn’t have cared, 

Even if your cowardly death, 

Hadn’t worked. 

*****
I wish you wouldn’t kill,

I wish you wouldn’t shoot. 

That the pandemonium and suffering, 

Your victims felt and discovered, 

Is something you didn’t experience on earth. 

I’m so angry that men like you, 

Choose weapons too available, to harm others. 

I’m so angry you ruined so many lives, 

I’m so angry you made a place, 

That once felt safe, 

Into a terrifying war zone. 

I’m so angry that the country, 

You caused your mayhem in, 

Has far too many gun related deaths. 

And I don’t know how to stop men like you, 

How a right to bear arms, 

Oversteps someone else’s right to live,

I can’t comprehend; 

But I heard the screams, the peppering of bullets, 

And it makes me want to cry. 

So upset you were okay with, 

The consequences of a heartless choice. 

That your inner demons, 

Got the best of you, 

In such a malevolent way.  

*****
I wish you wouldn’t kill, 

I wish you wouldn’t stab. 

I watched a terrorist ram a policemen’s car, 

Saw the policeman soar into the air, 

But he hadn’t any wings, 

For he was merely human. 

I watched you stab him too many times, 

And he was only doing his job. 

While another mad man, 

Ran down others. 

Tried to hurt them too.

And I wish you wouldn’t slice, 

Let blood trickle and flow. 

I wish you wouldn’t use a truck, 

As a weapon to injure, cause pain. 

But I cannot see into your mind, 

And I don’t know that anyone, 

Could have changed all your minds.

All I know is you all didn’t listen, 

To the conscience inside your head. 

All I know is your method of damage, 

Was a choice to do evil. 

*****

I wish you wouldn’t kill, 

I wish you wouldn’t shoot, 

That you’d dealt with your own turmoil, 

In a vastly improved method. 

I know that many people think, 

All people are generally good. 

But few realize being a good is a choice;

We’re not made that way, 

We learn to be good people. 

And too many choose to twist what’s good. 

And commit acts that are selfish and evil.

To many acts of terror, 

By lone men or terrorists. 

Too many opportunities, 

With access to weapons, 

Knives and guns, 

Defend your family as you must, 

But make it harder, 

So random men can’t do their evil,

Wound hundreds with bullets, 

In blood drenched mass murder. 

I wish you wouldn’t choose to kill, 

So we don’t hear the screams, the suffering, the dying, 

So the images don’t haunt us. 

Because it’s sickening that ever day people, 

Who appear like me you and me, 

Have a monster residing within them, 

Have made the choice to murder.

*****
I wish they wouldn’t kill, 

I wish they wouldn’t shoot, 

But I can’t see what was inside their minds. 

Because they looked like everyone else, 

Not a demon, a Lord Voldemort, or a Freddy Kruger. 

All I can send is my prayers to the broken, 

Those mourning and terrified. 

All I know is that some people choose, 

To be good people, 

And I have faith in God and them. 

All I know is that in the end, 

God will give every person justice, 

Justice that is eternal and right. 

And that someday on earth, 

We must learn to forgive

Not to become monsters, 

So we don’t commit terrifying evil too. 

*****

——

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved 

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Photo Challenge: Fiction – “A Better Life” #fiction #amwriting #writing #vegas


This past week’s photo challenge was hosted by MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie

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Credit: Nekneeraj

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The lights assault my eyes, as they blur past me. Vegas is a beautiful city at night. I had had a table with my friends at the club with bottle service. Slowly, I remember us drinking the vodka shot by shot until the girls had enough.  

 “Were done, I’m already too drunk. I want to be able to shop tomorrow afternoon,” Megan said and her friend Kelly nodded in agreement. 

The other guys and I laughed and jeered, egging the girls on to do one more shot. They refused and went off to dance. After an hour or so passed, I saw them leave the club, removing their heels on the way. 

I noticed my good friend Ryan had passed-out on the cushioned bench around the table, parallel to me. I continued drinking, sipping my vodka shots, determined to finish the little vodka left in the bottom of the bottle. It was expensive after all to get bottle service. 

A concerned bouncer who had been watching me with deep dark eyes, set two glasses of water down in front of me. “Sir, you need to drink both these glasses,” he said. 

“Umm, no. I want more vodka. I’ll pay for another bottle,” I slurred. 

The bouncer shook his head, “You need to drink these glasses now sir. I don’t want you to get alcohol poisoning and die in my club.” 

I sighed grabbing both glasses, I downed them one at a time.”Gees, I was thirsty,” I told the bouncer.

 “I’m calling you and your friend a cab at the back door entrance,” he said nodding at Ryan. ” I don’t have to, I could just throw you out. But, I get this feeling you’re running from something, trying to drink it away. So tonight, I’ll be nice,” the bouncer said. “I get it man, but you’re a grown-up and even in Vegas, you have to have limits.” 

Another bouncer came to aid the first bouncer, guide us out to the cab. I leaned on the first bouncer’s shoulder and the other guy half-carried Ryan out the door. 

The cab driver looked nervous, “I don’t want anyone throwing-up in here,” he announced. But the bouncers ignored him. 

“Where is your hotel?” The first bouncer asked me.

I had to think a moment, everything was such a blur and it was difficult to think. I was so tired and mad at her. Why’d she cheat on me after ten-years marriage? Why’d she leave me for him?

“Um, we’re at Caesars,” I stammered, then reached into my pocket, pulling out a wad of bills; I tried my best to count out $100.00 exactly. I gave it the cab driver. He nodded, “okay where too?” The bouncers shut the cab doors and the driver took off down the Las Vegas strip.

The lights of Las Vegas were beautiful, brilliant, and blurred. But they also made me nauseous. I closed my heavy lids, and opened them as I tried not to sleep. But I couldn’t stop myself and I fell asleep quickly. 

——

Ryan was shaking me. “Come on Blaine, wake up. You’re 6’4″ and two-hundred-some pounds, I can’t lift you alone. You need to help me.” 

I blinked in the bright lights at the entrance to Caesars guest reception. It would take us forever to find our rooms because the hotel was so huge and neither of us were well enough to remember where our room was specifically. 

Ryan’s hands shook and his face was pale white. He ran and threw-up in a garbage can. He apologized five-minutes later to a man near by helping guests at the front entrance and gave him a twenty, and thinking this man would have to clean the garbage can up. 

I was slowly, stepping out of the car, but my legs nearly collapsed and I groaned in frustration. I reached into my wallet and pulled out eighty-dollars. I could count money now at least, though my head felt like someone was hammering my temples. 

“Here,” I said to a couple of men upfront working for Caesars. I gave them my cash and asked,”Help us back to my room, please.” 

Two silent men grabbed the cash splitting it and they smiled at me now. “Of course sir, do you have your keycard?” I nodded, pulling it out of my pocket. I gave it to the men and they called for two other men, one whom I leaned heavily against as we made an endless journey to my room. Sometime in there, I fell asleep. 

——

It was 3:00 pm when I awoke in my hotel room. Immediately, I went and threw-up in the bathroom several times before I felt better. I took a shower and washed away the smoke and putrid smell of vodka and vomit. I called room service to put some food in my stomach and help me recover. I ordered some French toast, coffee, and orange juice –two orders –one for Ryan as well, when he awoke. 

I saw him lying on the bed and I tried to shake him awake. I thought he only needed more sleep. He wasn’t a big guy, so perhaps the vodka hit him harder than me. 

A day later, Ryan still wasn’t up and I asked my friends what we should do.

“Well, sometimes you really need to sleep it off. We’re not so young anymore, hangovers can last two-days. He’s breathing so he must be fine,” Kyle reasoned and my other friend Maison seemed to agree. We went down to the casino to play poker. 

 On the third day we asked reception to call a doctor for us. It was expensive but my friends and I were worried about Ryan. He was cold and his chest barely moved, his breathing was so shallow. 

The Doctor was tense upon inspecting Ryan three-hours later. “I’m sorry gentlemen, your friend died earlier this morning, about the time I was called to your room. If only you’d called sooner and emphasized how badly he was doing,” the Doctor chided. 

“Ryan had alcohol poisoning so badly he went into a coma. He has no heart beat and isn’t breathing as you indicated earlier. It’s tragic but I guess you’ll understand me now when I say, watch your alcoholic intake; in Vegas especially.” 

I started to cry in front of the Doctor and my friends. I didn’t know how I could tell Ryan’s family he’d passed on. He’d been the one who said we needed a boys trip to help me get out the funk of my wife cheating and divorcing me. 

I remember him saying, “Blaine you need to get out and have some fun. Come to Las Vegas with me and the guys. Forget about your problems for a while. I’ll forget about mine too,” he said. He never told me what his problems were and I never asked, I thought regretfully. 

Now my good friend Ryan was gone. I closed my eyes imagining lights blurring past me. It wasn’t only how I felt when I was drunk. It was how I felt all the time these days. As if I had no control as all the pretty lights rushed by. 

When I did have time, I made the wrong choices. The lights were my escape, but I needed to pay attention now, to move on in my life as Ryan would have wanted. I couldn’t drink the pain away. 

I vowed for Ryan, I would live my life better. 

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

 

Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: Kidnapped


“What is this place?” Alec asked. 

“Oh, um, meeting someone here, is that okay?” Robert said.

“I guess, so man.” Why did you have to meet somewhere so deserted? Alec wondered. He  felt as if he was separated from the entirety of civilization in this empty parking lot. “Why is there a parking lot here anyways?” 

” Oh,” Robert said, he looked nervous and was fidgeting, “there is big concert near here every August. Big Valley Jamboree, have you heard of it? It’s actually quite fun, I’ve been a few times.”

“Oh, yeah?” Alec said. “What kind of music is it? Seems to me this is one of those huge music festivals that goes on for days.” 

“Exactly, man,” Robert  muttered, wringing his hands and rolling his shoulders,” it’s country music. This year I think Carrie Underwood is the big act, last year it was Lady Antebellum . . . oh here’s the guy I’m supposed to meet.” 

A black pickup truck parks haphazardly and a guy with dark sunglasses approuches.He looks at Robert and then at Alec. “This him?” The man asks. Two other men bald and large like bouncers are behind him. Alec begins to back away.

” What do they want with me, Robert?” Alec asks confused. Robert shrugs and smiles, walking away to his red car. The men grab Alec and blindfold him. A rag full of chloroform is put up to his mouth and nose.

When Alec wakes up, he is in a club, his favourite in Las Vegas. He is dressed exceptionally and all his buddies are around him drinking and being loud. 

Robert approaches Alec remorsefully. “Sorry to do that to you buddy, but we wanted it to be a total secret. I really wanted to surprise you. Happy Stag party.” Alec grins.

” You’re a dead man Robert!”

——-

http://www.publicdomainarchive.com
 

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

7. How Was Last Night for You: Screams


Read Chapter 6 here.

Chapter 7: Screams

Nina sat beside John at a table with some of his friends and clients while dinner was served. She had seen Rianne sitting beside Jasper at another table earlier but when she looked again she couldn’t find her anywhere.

Before dessert, Nina told John she needed to find Rianne. John whispered sweet nothings in her ear before she left him. Nina blushed feeling that magnetic pull she had with John. He made her feel fantastic inside and out. Wistfully, Nina left John to his conversations. She walked around the Country club searching for Rianne.

As she looked, Nina almost tripped over a shorter version of John who was half-drunk and holding onto a petite pretty black woman for balance. When he looked at Nina his eyes went big, “You must be Nina,” John told me about you.”But damn. He didn’t say how fine you looked.” He turned back to his date, “Not as pretty as you Carissa.” Then Jordan smiled at Nina and offered her his hand. “I’m Jordan the youngest Eric brother. I’m glad you came. John doesn’t often bring a woman around to work functions, especially with his issues.”

Nina bit her lip. “Well actually, I’ve only known him a little over a week. This is our third date.”

“Only third?” Jordan smiled and kissed Carissa’s cheek. “He needs to keep you. If you can put up with his untimely accidents and break his curse why not? He cares for you he says. He hasn’t cared for a woman since Tia. You never know you could make our lives normal again.” Jordan said barely conscious of Carissa who knew nothing of John’s problems.

“Good to know.” Nina said. Carissa hummed in agitation over Jordan.

“You better slow down Jordan. You look as if you’re going to pass out.” She used the back of her hand to wipe the sweat from his forehead. She smiled at Nina and said, “We’re trying to find Jasper and the lovely tall girl he was with tonight but we can’t seem to find them.”

Nina laughed. “Yeah, Jasper is with my friend Rianne. I was looking for them too.”

Jordan laughed. “Well maybe Jasper is getting some if you know what I mean. You’ve got to date again sometime. . . or even be with a woman, in his case.”

Carissa laughed and shook her head. “I’m sure they’re fine Jordan. But let’s help Nina find her friend Rianne. ” Nina was touched.

The three of them walked back into the large venue where the fundraiser was occurring. The band was singing “American Pie” while Silent Auction items were up for bid. Nina spied box tickets to several sports teams in the area. There were priceless paintings and nights out with local celebrities. There were also Ski or Snowboard trips to Banff and Whistler. The crowning item was a luxury trip to Las Vegas staying in the Pent House at the Cosmopolitan. Nina kept searching for Rianne as she looked at the various items up for bid. She should probably go find John as well.

Nina ran into John talking with some women who were editors and writers for  one of Mergers top selling fashion magazinesJohn put his arm around Nina and kissed her hair. He introduced her to the two women and they started to tell her about their latest articles that had been published. The magazine was a women’s magazine and their topics were on the latest looks for Spring and a feminist article on the state of women in the twenty-first century. Nina was intrigued but she wasn’t able to get a word in edgewise.

Suddenly, Nina heard a woman scream and she felt sick to her stomach. Nina was sure it was Rianne screaming. It sounded like her.

John grasped her arm quickly and they made their way to the large patio doors along one wall of the venue. Nina found Jasper and Rianne on the grass beneath the patio. Jordan and Carissa had also found Jasper when Rianne screamed.

Rianne was sitting on the grass holding her arm close to her chest. Her arm looked badly broken. It was bent at a weird angle. Jasper was trying to get her to stand up on the grass but Rianne was in a lot of pain. She had fallen off the balcony — a result of John’s curse, Nina thought sadly. It wasn’t a long drop from the patio. But the fall was enough to break Rianne’s arm badly.

Nina took her high heels off and slipped off the balcony edge onto the grass.”Rianne, are you okay?”

“Fine, I just broke me arm. I haven’t broken anything in a long time Nina.” Rianne was gritting her teeth.

“Yeah last time was when you stopped playing Volleyball in University. I remember Rianne. Can you get up so we can take you to a Medicentre?” Rianne arose slowly holding her broken arm gently and taking Nina’s arm with her other hand. There were some stairs around the balcony and Nina helped Rianne up the stairs. Jasper anxiously looked on and grabbed onto Rianne’s uninjured arm when she had reached the top of the stairs. “Rianne needs to go to a Medicenter Jasper. Her arms broken,” Nina said. Jasper nodded looking at the odd angle of Rianne’s right arm with alarm.

“I’ll drive,” he said to Nina. “Is that okay with you Rianne?” Rianne smiled and whispered to Nina:

“Don’t come Nina.” She winked and moved her body carefully into Jaspers.

“But you’re hurt,” Nina said.

” I want to be alone with Jasper,” Rianne whispered to Nina and winked again.

“Oh, I see. You’re sure you’ll be fine?”

“Yes Nina.”

Nina followed the group as Jasper tucked Rianne inside his fancy red Mercedes. After, Nina took ahold of John’s hand. She looked into his bright eyes and said: “How are you doing with this. I’m feeling a little scared because my bestfriend just broke her arm. It looked bad.”  John shook his head.

“Of all the things that could have happened, this isn’t the worst. But it’s not the best either.” John said distractedly.

“She could have been being clutzy.” Nina said. “She’s broken bones before doing much worse things.” John considered what she said and shook his head. “You know it wasn’t only an accident. It was my curse. Bad things are happening more often when your around Nina.”

” I don’t understand why,” said Nina. “But Rianne’s with Jasper. She wanted be alone with him, she told me. Rianne is fine. Everything is okay.” John nodded at Nina trying to look more cheerful.

” So, do you like our fundraiser?” John asked changing the topic. “Did you bid on anything?”

“Haha” Nina laughed. ” I don’t have that kind of cash floating around to bid on most of those prizes.”

John smiled. “But I do. What do you want to bid on?” Nina tapped her finger against her lip.

” I think an NHL hockey game would be cool. Maybe a Canuck’s game. I saw they were playing Edmonton one night. I haven’t been to an NHL game since I was twelve-years-old.”

John grinned at her, ” Good choice. You a Canuck’s fan?”

“No, I’m an Edmonton fan actually. My Dad was around in the days Gretzky and Messier played and won all those Stanley cups.”

John grimaced. “Edmonton, really?”

“Yeah I know. They haven’t done anything since 2006.”

John patted her arm as if he felt her pain and they went to bid on the box seats for the Canuck’s game. John could have easily procured tickets for Nina and himself but he chose to bid a large sum of money instead. He wanted to give a sizeable donation to the charities this event was held for. Nina gasped at the number he wrote down on the bid sheet. John only smiled and pulled Nina close to him. He kissed her lips hungrily.

“Let’s go have dessert” John murmured against her lips. Nina smiled.

” I hope it’s chocolate.”

Please Read Chapter 8 here.


 

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

 

Dealing with My Worst Qualities. 


Prompt: What is your worst quality?

 

It is a great deal easier to write about my worst qualities then my best. Mostly, because I am aware of my faults more than my best characteristics. There are two things I do that are my worst qualities:

My, first worst quality has to do with my ability to not be able to contrentrate long or be multi-functional anymore. I am not blaming my health for it; I am saying my health intensified the issue.

I can do one thing at a time and it is often frustrating when I am working on writing up a paper or blogging about a subject, and someone starts trying to have a conversation with me. It makes me angry because I can’t multi-task, the person talking to me is interrupting my ideas and line of thought. And you know how if you are a creative person, ideas often flow out of you when they do; you have to write, paint, or do whatever you do to get your burst of creativity on paper. Meanwhile, a person is still talking to you none-stop and asking you questions and it is annoying. At the same time, I feel bad about being irritated.

Often, it is my Mom who is trying to talk to me. Before, I was ever ill I remember being so mad because I would be researching, writing up a paper, or working on a spreadsheet from work and she would pepper me with questions. But I knew she only wanted to talk to someone after a busy day at work about what went on good or bad. She wanted to talk to someone who wasn’t involved in her office life and get my opinion or view on a situation. She wanted to be able to talk about the people at her work, honestly. She wanted to ‘take a load off.’

I want to be able to talk with my Mom and others. But if I am busy or worn out after doing activities all day, I will brush people off. I will tell my Mom to stop bothering me. I go to my room and finish what I’m doing or sleep if I’m tired. I want to be chatty and happy but I feel bothered and drained by people talking at me and asking countless questions at times. So my first big flaw is I am irritable and single-minded. I am working on actively being a better listener. But it is hard at the time of day everyone gets home from work because I am worn out from the day and my medication is wearing off. I want to listen more and be involved in the conversation and not tune it out or walk away. Sometimes I able to be a better listener and sometimes I’m too irritated to pay attention.

The second flaw I have is something I try to attend to before it becomes worse. I have a tendency if I get mad or angry to let the issues I’m upset about build-up inside me. I get stressed-out when this occurs. I will sort through issues in my head trying to solve them. “Problems to solutions that don’t even exist,” I was told once. But the issue is my problems are real and bothersome. And I attempt to be a nice kind person so I don’t usually tell someone off or ask them to stop doing something unless they are especially bothering me.

An issue arises, however; if someone is repeatedly doing a hurtful action. Or if a person keeps doing a whole bunch of bothersome and hurtful actions all the time. I try to tell myself it is no big deal. I pray about it. I practice yoga and meditate sometimes. I write a lot as you know. And often writing helps a ton. Sometimes if I write something up and even if I don’t post it because it’s too personal or mean about another person, I feel better.

But every now and then someone pushes my buttons and I explode into yelling and tears. I’m a soft spoken reasonable person so when I yell and scream people are surprised and usually offended. Maybe, they didn’t realize something was a larger issue to me then they would have thought. Maybe, I am blowing the situation out of proportion. And maybe, I genuinely have the right to be so upset at someone.

I scared and hurt a friend in Vegas once when I erupted with anger. My friend T and I needed to take L aside and talk to her before the situation got worse but neither T or I did. L had been treating T and I badly the entire summer. Not to mention, she wanted to do all these things with us in Vegas but didn’t actually have the money to pay for it so T and I ended up paying for L, on many activities we did. Also, the fact L had a wonderful boyfriend who was our friend too, and L was flirting and making out with other guys made T and I angry.

I have told this part before: while we are in a club, T became so drunk she was sick and we had to leave the bar. We tried to get L to leave because we promised to stay together, all three of us. L kept telling us to wait and I finally told her T and I had to go, the bouncer was about to carry T and I out the back exit. L chose to stay with two guys she had been flirting with all night.

We finally saw L again as we got back to the hotel room. She was angry too and tried to blame it all on us and said we had abandoned her at the club. I knew T would never stand up to L because she prefers not to handle situations head on. T used to let a person treat her badly, instead of standing up to them. Luckily, she has become better at this over time.

I was so mad about L’s behaviour all summer. I exploded. L was shocked and she asked me why I would even want to be her friend if I thought so badly of her. And I told L how bad she was treating her boyfriend and if she didn’t stop, even T said she’d tell L’s boyfriend on her. L had been treating T and I badly too. L left our room with all her stuff. She wouldn’t talk to us the rest of the trip.

L made up with T because she hadn’t yelled at her, even though L had been a bad friend to T, ditching her for guys countless time. After many emails and some time L and I were friends again three months later. I finally apologized because she wouldn’t. And funny enough, she became closer to her boyfriend. L saw how valuable he was, and ended up becoming engaged, and marrying him.
Even though, L was misbehaving, she didn’t deserve to be yelled at so loudly and L didn’t deserve to have everything T and I were mad at her for dumped on her. People are imperfect and you have to pick and choose your battles. Some things about your friends you have to accept; just as you have flaws so do they. The best friends love you after you’ve shown them your worst side and you love them after you have seen the worst of them. Ultimately, it comes down to choosing your friend or choosing to be right.

I am careful now because of this situation in Las Vegas when I was twenty-three, to not let my anger build up. If I have a big problem with someone or something they are doing, I am honest. And I try hard to tell people how I’m feeling in such a way  that isn’t accusatory but rather focuses on how something is hurting me or causing me to feel a certain way. The truth is people do not always realize they are being hurtful. Often, you need to tell the person who is damaging you to stop treating you a certain way and they will listen and cease.

Not letting issues build up helps. I also have learned to let some issues go. I try to get someone else’s view on the situation, Google the general problem, or pray about it. For many situations I find looking at them from a different perspective is helpful. If you see the situation differently it won’t become a problem that will build up. I have also learned that you have to say goodbye to some people or take your issues with a person to a higher authority. But since we are adults, there is usually no higher authority, unless it is a work issue or an issue of crime.

So for instance,  I had trouble with a girl who was editor of a magazine I volunteered to write for. She didn’t understand why I was upset about her editing my articles to sound entirely as if they were in her voice. Some of her other editors were being taught to do the same. I didn’t find out until later when I took actual editing courses, what this editor was doing was incorrect and rude. You always try to preserve the voice of the writer and the way the article is written as much as you can. I was confident enough in my writing skills, my BA in English Literature, and the couple hundred articles I had written for her magazine previously. My ideas and my writing style wasn’t bad but my grammar and spelling needed work.

The editor wrote me a letter saying I had to work on my grammar and spelling, which was true. And she had tried to let me improve but I wasn’t, so she increasingly, cut down my article writing until I was only writing one article a week; before I was writing nothing. I exploded to her letter with a nasty email. She thought this was exactly how I was going to react. She probably had the same issue come up with past contributers to her magazine. I ended up apologizing to her for being ageist because she was more than five years younger then me with no degree, so I didn’t trust her writing or editing experience. Honestly, I had good instincts with her, despite my hasty email.

In truth, she was being manipulative and I finally recognized, she didn’t like my writing style. She was looking for people who wrote how she wrote on her personal blog and in her articles. And she didn’t want me to write for her magazine even when she needed writers. I was offended but I knew I didn’t want to be a writer like her or for her. She said the magazine was expanding and the writers had to expand or become better with it. I agreed but still had problems with how she chose to write and what she focused on in her magazines.

I didn’t like how she regularly wrote about cheating with men and women and ruining relationships. Although I support LBGT people, I was offended that she rarily had articles pertaining to man and woman couples, boyfriends and girlfriends.  I found this editor to be selfish, micro -managing, and immature despite her attempts to appear professional.

She didn’t want my writing but wanted to use my blogs to tweet and post. She wanted to stay friends but didn’t want me to write for her because I was offended by her note. I had every right to be.

So, I let her go. I stopped supporting the magazine by buying the quarterly issues. I wouldn’t let her use any of my writing for her magazine. I unfriended her on Facebook and Twitter. I stopped taking her text messages and didn’t give her my new number when it changed. I unsubscribed from her blog and anything related to the magazine. It was a great decision.

I don’t know where she is at now. I hope she is well and has worked out some of her life and issues with the magazine such as finding writers. It was mean of me to write her a nasty reply to her email. She didn’t deserve it, even if she lacked a degree or experience. But I couldn’t be friends with her after how she talked about my writing, how she treated my skills as if suddenly they were useless. I knew from professors, writing articles in the Edmonton Journal in University, and even strangers my writing was good. It didn’t mean my writing didn’t require improvement (it still does and will forever) but I didn’t like how she belittled my skills and my person. I let her go.

So, I have learned some tricks to working off stress and dealing with problems before they become so large I explode in tears and screaming. Every once in a long awhile, I can’t help it but I am getting better. We cannot always overcome our flaws but we can try to manage them.

—–

©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

Literary Lion: House of the Rising Sun and Comments


The House Of The Rising Sun – The Animals (And Comments)

gambling picture
http://www.minddisorders.com Gambling

 

There is a house in New Orleans
(I live in Las Vegas actually)
They call the Rising Sun
(It’s called Caesar’s  Palace)
And it’s been the ruin of many a poor boy
(Yes, many men have lost their money here)
And God, I knows I’m one

(But not me, not today).

My mother was a tailor

(My mother she’s an accountant).
She sewed my new blue jeans
(We bought my jeans from wherever I wanted them from).
My father was a gamblin’ man
(My Dad likes to gamble so my Mom controls the money).
Down in New Orleans
( Down in Las Vegas)
Now the only thing a gambler needs
( I don’t need much when I’m here)
Is a suitcase and trunk
( Just free drinks and some red chips)
And the only time he’s satisfied
(I swear I’m satisfied, but maybe just one more try at Black Jack)
Is when he’s on a drunk

( Nothing wrong with a few drinks).

[Organ Solo]

Oh mother, tell your children

(Well maybe, I spend too much time here and you shouldn’t let your children do the same)
Not to do what I have done
(Maybe tell them to get a real job and not to gamble your life away)
Spend your lives in sin and misery
(Everyday I am here; I pay for my sins, and I’m miserable because I can never win enough).
In the House of the Rising Sun

( At any hotel casino down the strip or downtown).

Well, I got one foot on the platform

( I managed to leave Las Vegas for awhile but now I’m waiting at the airport)
The other foot on the train
( I’m walking onto the plane)
I’m goin’ back to New Orleans
(I’m goin’ back to Las Vegas)
To wear that ball and chain

( I can’t stay away, the chips are calling my name)

Well, there is a house in New Orleans

( There is a place in Las Vegas)
They call the Rising Sun
( It’s called Caesar’s Palace)
And it’s been the ruin of many a poor boy
( It’s ruined my life, I’m always there or going back)
And God, I know I’m one
(Yes, God know’s my life is ruined by my gambling addiction)
 
 
House of The Rising Sun Music Video
 
 
 
 
 
Thanks to I Smith Words for the prompt gamble.
—–
 ©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.
 

Writing 101: Day 18 – Viva Las Vegas.


Prompt: Compose a series of anecdotes.

  
I destination I will always love to visit is Las Vegas. I have been there six times since I was twenty-two-years-old. Some people say it’s fake and gaudy. But there is a carefree and indulgent attitude held by the people who come to frequent Vegas. And the chances that I will get to visit Italy, Paris, and Rome (some of the places the hotel themes are based on) is much slimmer. I come to Vegas for the shopping, the shows, the good food, a comfortable and luxurious hotel room, the clubs, and to meet people who want to get away from the everyday hum-drum of life. 

  
My first visit to Vegas was with friends for eight days. We booked a Grand Canyon Tour that we had to be up for at 5:30 am to walk to catch a tour bus. The night before we played sociables, a drinking game, where each of the cards stands for something related to drinking. So, things such as girls drink, guys drink, give two drinks to whomever you choose, rhyme time etc. I went to bed about 1:00 am and my friends about 3:00 am. No one was a happy camper walking to Southpoint where this tour bus waited that morning. We all looked pasty and awful with our hangovers. And all of us were so tired we fell asleep as soon as the bus started driving to Arizona. The rest of the passengers thought it was funny how we all passed out. But we all woke up feeling much better and awestruck by the Grand Canyon. It is simply one of the most stunning natural sites I have seen in my life. 

Later on a night we had had decent sleep,  we rented a limo and drove all around Las Vegas. We saw Freemont Street at night, and dressed up for the evening, we participated in Tony and Tina’s Wedding, and later walked into a club at the Wynn Hotel called Tryst. It had a beautiful waterfall inside the club. We took lots of pictures that night and it was memorable being with my friends and figuring out how to maneuver our way around Vegas. 

  
I went back with friends to Vegas a year later. We were doing a three day stint, which means we were running on adrenaline due too a night that lasted to 5:00 am and days that began around 10:00 am. We saw and did a lot of interesting things in Vegas. I think the most memorable was The Phantom of the Opera at the Venetian Hotel. I also had my first massage the last day which was heavenily. 

Unfortunatly, a large chunk of this trip was pure girl drama. There was free champagne for ladies at a club we were at and our bartender was giving the champagne away like it was going out of style. I stopped drinking before my two friends, champagne tends to make me queasy if I have more then a a glass or two but my one friend threw up in a basin after way more champagne then that and we had to leave the club. Friction had been building between the three of us and one friend L decided to stay and flirt with some guys she met even though we had to leave because T was sick. L had a great boyfriend at the time, her husband now, and we liked him and felt bad for him; this wasn’t the first time she had been flirting with guys who were not her boyfriend. Anyways, the three of us made it back to our hotel room at the same time. 

I was so angry at my friend for ditching us and flirting with random guys instead. She was mad because she thought we left her. We yelled at each other loudly. I can only remember very few times I have been so mad at someone that I yelled at them like that. But this fight had been brewing all summer. My friend T tried to stay out of it but she couldn’t because she was the reason I was so mad at L for leaving us. L left the room immediately with her stuff, to stay with the other three girls we were there with. She wouldn’t talk to us. That night T and I cried in our room until the sun was high in the sky in our window at the Paris hotel. It took until October to work things out, and Vegas had been in August. 

  
With my parents Vegas was a different experience. We had a car to drive around in and we drove out to Red Rock Canyon. I did quite a bit of shopping with my Mom and we stayed at the hotel, the Venetion. The Fashion Show Mall in Las Vegas is awesome and so is shopping in the Forum Shops at Caeser’s Palace, and in the shops at the Venetion. If you are looking for a bargain you can try the Premium Shopping Outlet in downtown Las Vegas as well there are some more reasonably priced shops in Planet Hollywood. 

The Venetian hotel rooms were luxurious and beautiful. In colours of red and gold, two beds were swathed in curtains with a giant headboard. The beds are so comfortable and our room had a sunken living room beside the beds. The large bathroom had two sinks, a separate room for the toilet, a makeup vanity, a huge tub, and a roomy glass shower. Although it was beautiful, complete with a private pool on our level, it was incredibly ardeoush to get back to our room because the Venetian is a big hotel. But it was gorgeose because it had Italian Renaissance paintings and sculpture all over the hotel and you could step into the gondolas and travel right around the canal in the Venetian and outside where it was especially beautiful at night. The Belagio also has this beautiful light show that we watched when we were there. It is the same one from Oceans 11 where after the heist Brad Pitt, Matt Dameon, George Clooney, and all the other wonderful actors in that movie stood before leaving one at a time. 

  
  
There were other times and other memories that I have coming to Vegas. This last time was just my Mom and I. We spent a lot of time out in our bathing suit by the pool at Treasure Island (which is the closest hotel to all our favourite shopping destinations). Are room was not as nice as the Venetion or Paris rooms but still a huge step up from your average hotel room in most hotels else where. We saw different shows and shopped at varied places. We played the slot machines and got free drinks while we did.

In the end, Vegas is  a memorable place to visit, good or bad. I think everyone loves the crowds and rowdy atmosphere at 3:00 am. There are so many beautiful hotels too. But after a trip, it is always good to be in your own bed and away from the crowd.

A Little Vacation and then Some


I believe I last left you before I went and shopped for A’s Birthday present; he wanted a watch from fossil. I usually don’t spend this much on him at this point in our relationship but then I got to thinking about how in Muslim culture they don’t celebrate birthdays ever. So, A never had Birthday presents or cake growing up and since many of his friends are also Muslim he won’t get even a birthday beer from them or even a present from his mother. With this in mind and being blessed with a little more income this year I bought him a watch with a compas surrounding it, half red and half blue. He really loved it and the cinnamon buns I bought him as cake ( how can there be no cake or cupcakes at the mall?). I sang him happy birthday and later I went home happy he was so pleased with his birthday goodies.

Fast forward to the end of the next week, I am packing for Las Vegas in my little suit case. I can not condense my liquids to 100 ml so I (and my mom) eat the cost we now pay $25.00 plus tax, and check our luggage. On the way back I bring a small duffle bag of clothing carrying my purchases of clothing I made but I can bring that on board the plane.

Getting to Las Vegas took horribly long but once we landed it was easy taking a cab too Treasure Island Hotel (Ti) and I was glad the cab and check in was so quick because my stomach really hurt towards the end of the flight. Turns out I just needed something to eat and drink. It was an early flight and international so we had to arise at 6:30 am or so quite early for me who was having trouble walking straight due to my sleep medication.

Once we were in the hotel we checked everything out about the hotel and ate supper at a restaurant in Ti. I had breakfast, eggs Benedict. I was so hungry that even the fact that there was thick creamy sauce — which I abhor — all over my eggs, ham, and English muffin, didn’t stop me from digging in. I’ve never had eggs Benedict so I did not know to ask for no hollandaise sauce. 

The next day we did most of our shopping at the Fashion Show mall. I have found a new sports apparel store I love by Calvin Klein. Everything was thirty to sixty percent off and I ended up buying both in blue-purple a jacket and a shirt. I went to Lululemon also, hoping to find a couple of size 12 yoga shirts and came out with one top and a pair of yoga crops, deciding I’ll buy a top later in the summer. After a trip to Banana Republic where dresses happened to be forty percent off, I collapsed in our room and rested. We had eaten lunch at Johny Rockets at the mall and were fortunate to find a CVA right beside the escalator to the mall where you could get decent priced food and snacks. Too bad they didn’t have a wine opener because I was crushed when I couldn’t drink my bottle of shiraz merlot. 

Day three I spent the morning lying in the sun by the pool and relaxing. We had breakfast at Starbucks and ate lunch from CVS. I don’t recall supper but we went to an amazing show called Rock of Ages. It’s based on late seventies rock so it was really fun to see people get into it and the staff even handed out lighters that had an electric bulb on the end that lit up. We visited the Venetian earlier that day too but I don’t think we spent much time there. Just enough to find where we had to go at night and pick up our tickets.

Thursday we spent shopping at Caeser’s palace and there are lots of good stores in there but mainly I was interested in Victoria Secret. Caesers has the best one in my opinion. The afternoon I spent lounging by the pool as long as I could. If you are wondering why I spent most of my nights in that’s because I can only handle one major activity in the day and I don’t think mom would have appreciated club music or being hit on by some American guy who can’t keep his hands to himself. When I go with A that’s what I’ll have to do with him. 

Friday we checked out around 11:00 am and then gambled at the slot machines. My Mom had been doing this all week when I rested and/or walking further down the strip. We had burgers at Kahunavilles outside for lunch and the pool area was full so we sat outside in front of the hotel. The hardest part was keeping it together during the time I usually rested. But we took a cab to the airport early at 4:00 pm and waited to check in and go through security. We also did last minute shopping at the Duty-free store and had supper at the airport. It was 8:00 pm Las Vegas time when we got on the plane and 12:30 am in the morning Edmonton time when we landed. I slept most of the way. My brother picked us up. It was a three hour flight.

I was so exhausted I slept through the next day and most of the next. Today I finally feel as if I am myself again. I would have extended the trip a bit more to purely rest one day then a couple more days to see another show and more of the strip again. Having three hours in a day to do something is not conducive to travelling. 

   
     

‘Till The Love Runs Out


I’m getting excited! The reason being this time in one month and a few days I will be in Las Vegas. I have been there four times previously and this is my first trip with just my mom and I. I was checking out prices for when we want to go and things are looking good. For instance, $429.00. + taxes for Caeser’s Palace or the Parisian. Three hundred something for Balli’s or Planet Hollywood. This is in the week of course, and from Monday to Friday but the prices are so much better in the week time it’s worth it. Many people like to go across the weekend but I find things are just as hoppin’ in the week and slightly less busier. So, when Mom returns from China I will book Las Vegas. I need to check out some shows that are on right now too so we can get tickets for that. 

Being alone is becoming less and less lonely as the twelve days go by. I’m now just one module short of finishing the copy editing course work. Then I have some studying to do before the final exam becomes available after April 29. Things have been going well except for this last module where you make up a sheet of standard spellings, punctuations, numbers, etc. that may differ then the house guy. The problem occurs when I receive a page or 2 of text then I really don’t know where to begin or where to look for what. But oh well, maybe there is more practice available or I can just pretend with some sort of document. 

I am also looking forward to seeing OneRepublic in concert next Wednesday at Rexall place. They are a favorite group of mine and the first none country concert I’ll have been at at the coliseum. Popular songs of theirs include ” Counting Stars” and ” ‘Till the Love Runs Out.” I hear they do some great covers of certain other band’s music as well. Also, did a little Vegas shopping to wear in Las Vegas: 2 pairs of shorts, 2 lovely tanks, and a few little items to put in a small suit case such as small shampoo and conditioner. 

Take care

Writing 101 – Loving Las Vegas


Vegas 2Some people may not agree with me when I say I love Las Vegas. They will point out the “fakeness” of the large hotels and the smoke in the casinos but I have many memories in Las Vegas and I do not think of these minuet details when I think of it.

When I think, of Las Vegas I think of majesty of these huge impressive and monumental hotels that can hold thousands of people enthused  to have a good time. I think of the warm spring temperatures and the dry heat that sweeps through my bones and makes me want to lie outside on a lounging chair for as long as my pale skin will allow, and enjoy the splash of the water in the pool. I think of the way palm trees and beautiful foliage surrounds me and captivates me in this desert paradise.I don’t think of the fakeness, rather I think of all the work and all the effort needed to create such massive and beautiful places for people to vacation in, the classy rooms in each hotel each with a unique yet concrete style, the shows, and the shopping.

My favorite place I ever stayed in Vegas was in the Venatian and anyone whose ever been in the Venatian knows the beauty of Las Vegas hotels, the frescos and paintings of italian masterpieces adorning the roof and walls of the hotel, the canal going through the hotel with bright blue water ways where tourists can take a gondola ride through the shopping and restaurants leading outside into the Vegas heat and sunshine. When I went to the Venatian our room was gaudy and fantastic, so luxurious. Beds with gold curtains, and massive red head boards; a sunken living room with a couch and chair that looked out on the balcony on the Vegas sites below; a large bathroom with a water closet, makeup table, double sink, large glass shower, and a big tub where one could sit back and relax after a taking in a show at a hotel.

You see, for me Vegas is a place that crackles with electricity, with energy, and vibrancy. It is a place that has become a part of me, an affordable getaway where as they say  ‘ what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.’

The first time I ever visited Las Vegas I was 22-years-old and Vegas was freedom for me after a long and difficult journey through my universityVegas 6 studies. It was a place I found independence. I went to Las Vegas with 6 friends, 5 girls and 1 guy. We went to Tony and Tina’s Wedding and since we were the only people all dressed up as if we were actually going to a wedding, we became part of the show, our entire table. We took pictures of everywhere and everything especially on a 1 day and 10 hour tour of the Grand Canyon a truly magnificent experience in itself.

I will never forget those dusty red gradiated cliffs that when you looked down made you dizzy and overwhelmed by the glory of nature, that a giant glacier and river had carved a path through these cliffs and now we looked upon the layers of sediments and glorious desert color scheme as if it was a giant quilt in the burning Arizona desert. We spent the night before the Grand Canyon playing Sociables, a card and drinking game, so that we all arrive hung over and in desperate need of sleep on that 5 am tour bus. We all passed out on the way to Arizona and I never sleep on tour buses.

Vegas 4We spent days shopping, at the Fashion Show Mall, through the Venatian and Caesar’s Palace, through Planet Hollywood, and at the outlet mall downtown. Roland, the only guy with us, was sick of shopping by the time the trip was coming to an end. We lounged by the pool and ate succulent and delicious food at many restaurants and we took a limo ride through the strip all dressed up to the nines and visited Old Vegas. We saw a colorful and energetic light show and walked through the old casino’s as some country singer who is now famous, put on a lively performance. We walked so much and my friends went on the rides on the Stratosphere, careening near the edge of this freakishly tall building and spinning around over a part of the strip in mid air. We made friends and took pictures at the Stratosphere and with male strippers at the Rio. We wore carnival beads down the strip and drank gigantic drinks mostly full of tequila or vodka.

Later, my friends and I would return to Las Vegas and later I would go with my parents a couple of times and each time in Las Vegas I have discovered something new about the Vegas strip that blows my mind. A club with an indoor waterfall at the Wynn called Tryst, free champagne all night at another club, and M&M factory, The Phantom of the Opera done Vegas style, Cirque de Soleil to the songs of the Beatles, the Hoover Dam, Red Rock Canyon, the 25 cent slot machines at the Casino, how to play Black Jack, and so many memories of good times with friends and family it’s no wonder that this place is more real to me then the nature of many places. I don’t care what you say because baby, I love Las Vegas and if I could be somewhere now that is where I’d like to be.