May I Help You?

Today William Shatner goes into space, for real.
The AP News reports,

“The four began strapping in for a morning launch from remote West Texas on a trip expected to last just 10 minutes, with the fully automated capsule set to reach an altitude of about 66 miles (106 kilometers) before parachuting back to the desert floor.”

photo AP News

His crafty bargaining skills awarded him the typically $28 million dollar ticket for FREE. According to Business Insider, the price of Virgin Galactic’s $250,000 ticket to the edge of space includes a spacesuit. Passengers paying $55 million for SpaceX’s mission to the ISS get sleeping bags, hygiene products. However, Blue Origin’s $28 million spaceflights come with a seat next to Jeff Bezos. WOW. Is that better than a spacesuit? No it is not. Heck, I’d take the sleep bag over sitting next to that criminal.

Meanwhile…
The other day I called a computer security app regarding an unapproved charge to my account. I came in hot demanding a refund. The customer service person displayed the standard scripted kindness. There was a noticeable amount of noise in the background. As our conversation progressed I realized she was working from home and her child, a young toddler, was complaining in the background. Of course, I sympathized–with the child. I too have been complaining for many years about the increasing cost of goods and the lowering value of goods. The mother-service person apologized for the noise and muted her microphone when possible. As I began to calm down and sympathize with this mother working from home I realized the child to be a prophetess. Screaming out to all and any that would listen “This is wrong! All of this is wrong!” Also like a prophet speaking in smoke and mist, leaving out details so we have to do all that soul searching stuff. Thanks for nothing oh wise one.

The year of the prophet
America has painted itself into a corner. Next year I suspect the heat on the burner this pot rests on will be turned up. Here are a few of the predictions I’ve read about for 2022:
-the price of silver will go up. Invest NOW
-housing bubble will burst, SELL NOW
-the market will crash harder than it has in 100 years. SELL NOW
-cost of goods will increase due to record breaking inflation, start hoarding NOW
-the banks will fail next year, begin to keep cash at home NOW
-buy land NOW
-supply chain is disturbed, buy your holiday presents NOW

Can’t help myself–too funny!

One of the most inspiring predictions I’ve heard is a little whoo-whoo. As wild as it is, I must admit, I hope it is true. Perhaps you have also heard it? 2022 is the year of strong feminine energy.
According to various spiritualists, beginning in the year 2012, the planet started transitioning from male energy to female, into the Age of Aquarius. The age before the Age of Aquarius was the Age of Pisces. Since the earth is moving in retrograde motion, we have just left the Age of Pisces, which marked the years 1-2000 AD. During this stage we are like a toddler crying for attention, learning to crawl, then learning to walk. Slowly developing our strength and independence in this new environment. The male dominance will not leave happily. It appears to also be throwing a fit and determined to burn the barn before selling it to its rival. The feminine age that we are walking into day by day is an age of healing and nurturing. <<< This is what got my attention.
We all crave healing and a full life. Some situations are more life-threatening than other predicaments but mental anguish just the same. There is a groaning in the air. Friendship, creative energy, hope, and laughter are our only weapons. Personally I believe we are on the cusp of an Age of Enlightenment.

Here is a meme to describe how I am feeling today. I hope you have laughed today, at the very least a good hardy chuckle, even if it’s at my ideas. I can take the hit.

Today I escaped anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because
it was within me, in my own perceptions — not outside.”
Marcus Aurelius

Au jus

“A French dip sandwich, also known as a beef dip, is a hot sandwich consisting of thinly sliced roast beef on a “French roll” or baguette. It is usually served plain but a variation is to top with Swiss cheese, onions, and a dipping container of beef broth au jus) produced from the cooking process.” -Wikipedia

I post many first and second drafts of my poetry on this site. The illusion of “public posting” develops a type of creative wall for me. Provides just enough pressure to help me work out the kinks.

Today I would like to share will you some raw stuff. I’m a story telling poet. Most times my poems are generated from a real life experience or observation then I attempt to carve something tangible from the block of emotional marble, if you will. I’m guessing most creatives, do not know exactly where inspiration comes from or where it goes once it’s released, but this marble metaphor is what I’m going with for now. However, the backdrop for this poem is not what most marble is used for, a god in crisis or an ancient emperor. Instead it is a four hour visit with my mom at her cabin, watching her cook a simple roast beef lunch. Ordinary and extraordinary all at the same time. Love does that.

So, I had an amazing experience and I thought I should do something with this. This is a poem, a poem I would like to share. Driving home I used my cars hands-free system to record to my phone. It’s a type of “moment capturing” that results in RAW free form poetry, or spoken free verse.

Above is the recording, below is the recording transcribed. The finish product may end up in one of my books some day. Hope you enjoy this little insight into my process. -Best wishes always, Shannon


Au jus
by Shannon Laws

she asked me if I would like some Au Jus
Ya that sounds good I haven’t had that in a while
what kind of cheese would you like on it?
and for some reason I said Jarlsberg
she toasted it up on a bun
and cut it on a long diagonal
easy for dipping

at the cabin, we didn’t have the proper bowl for the au jus
and she said well we have too small of containers
or we have too large
shall we go with too large or too small?
and we both said too large

She toasted the bread just perfectly
crispy crust on the outside
and soft in the middle
and we talked

We talked as I was raised to talk
to talk around the dining table
about common things
and happy things
things that will not
disrupt digestion
and I wondered if it was because she was
raised in Minnesota
or because she grew up on a farm
or perhaps because she didnt get
her first television set until she was 18
but she is such a good conversationalist
I appreciate that about her
and I realized it is a true art form
I saw it for the art form that it is
conversation
good conversation
over good food
it does something to you
it heals the soul
it is good
good times
good people

it did even more than that
it reminded me how much we all need each other
and how much I needed her
her in her late 70’s
me in my early 50’s
We don’t have much time with each other
maybe 20 years who knows

I thought about my friends whose mothers
have already passed
and they all have said
I wish I could just call her up on the phone
sometimes and talk
and here I am at a table
in a cabin
with my mother
having an au jus sandwich

we talked
we shared
we laughed
we had a wonderful visit

a four-hour lunch is a good time
When I left she said
Oh I’m going to take a look at your new car
and I opened it up for her
she looked inside
and it made me feel better about my choice

and I want to tell you
confess on paper here today
no, it’s not a confession
It’s a question…
Have you ever seen your mother pray
have you ever looked at her from across the room
when she knew you weren’t looking at her
and you saw her lips move
and a subtle hand gesture
maybe she looks up to heaven or
off in the distance at nothing in particular
and her lips move slightly
and there’s a smile on her face
or something and
she just kind of glows for a moment
and you know she is praying
you don’t know the words exactly
but somehow you sense the love from her

I started my car
left and drove off
she glowed

##

Ghost in the Hall

Do you have dreams about the home you grew up in? I can see my childhood home in my mind. The typical three bedroom west coast rambler; living area on one side and a looong hallway to the bedrooms on the other. As a young kid I was pretty sure the place was haunted. The creaky floor didn’t help.

Ghost in the Hall
by Shannon Laws
Odd Little Things, published 2014

When I was a child A Skeleton Ghost would walk
The bedroom hall of our home  
Afraid of the dark I would sleep with the light on
My door open just enough to keep out the trouble
Ghosts are everywhere when you are four.  

Often the ghost would wiggle its way past my door
Steps heard creaking across loose boards
Creak.  Creak.  Creak.

Down the hall slowly it walked   Skeleton heading for the kitchen
To fill up its ribs with mom’s pork chops
Then fiddle its way back to bed After the meal was consumed  

One scary night before this mystery was solved
I slept between my parents for protection  
Bookends of adult and authority on either side
Defense from anything ghoulish
Each parent rolled over facing the walls
As I lay blinking at the ceiling.  

2 a.m. is Skeleton’s supper time  
Down it came toward my parents’ room
Bones walk lightly when there is no moon  
Closer.  Closer.  Closer.
 
From the ceiling my eyes followed
To see what stood at the foot of the bed  
Its frame wiggled trying to materialize
To grab hold of me with solid hands   
Dad sighed in his sleep and the ghost misted away. 
Scared off by the possibility of his waking
I waited.  Waited.  Waited.  

My father was a quiet man, little brought out
his anger, looking back I think dad was
The Skeleton Ghost walking the halls at night
His spirit jumping out, looking for food for his soul
Wandering around for morsels of encouragement
His bony frame proved little return

Wherever he is, I hope there is a table before him
Every morning set with enlightenment, curiosity, love
I hope he found peace because
With one soft growl
One scary night

He save my life



You can get your copy of Odd Little Things from
independent book store Village Books
https://www.villagebooks.com/book/9798743768806

Angel From Montgomery

I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music. –Billy Joel

Today on the way home from work I remembered a time not too long ago that I had a job doing wood repair and grading at a lumber mill.  The machine I worked on, called a plugger, was older than my mother and made of 100% steel.  It resembles a sewing machine, well a sewing machine the size of a truck, but its job is to patch holes in various grades of wooden veneer.  It runs on steam.  It is very loud.  My machine was in the corner of a massive mill and for the most part, people left me alone.  The whole mill was loud–so loud that you could sing to yourself, at the top of your lungs and no one would be able to hear you unless they were right up on your platform. To help my memory, because why not, I decided to learn new songs.  So I sang. I looked up the lyrics and tried to sing all the way through without a mistake.  I learned 5 or 6 new songs doing this.  Singing became a part of my work life.  It helped the time pass and, well, it really felt good.

BODY MEMORY

A musical friend of mine shared the phrase “body memory” with me.  She would learn a new song on her guitar and the vocals, practice over and over until the song was memorized by, as she put it, her whole body.  I love that idea!  It seemed to me once a song has body memory for you, you should be able to play with it a bit, expand, embellish, change it up some.

Angel From Montgomery was a song I practiced and practiced.  The lyrics told a powerful story.  I attached myself to them.  They became my history and life with each turn telling the story.  I thought by embracing the lyrics I could achieve body memory.  One day in mid-chorus I realized, Angel From Montgomery REALLY is my story.  My middle name IS my mother’s first.  My father was a true dreamer who never grew up.  I married a “free ramblin’ man” and we drifted apart over time.  I found myself on the backside of a 20-year marriage in a blink, unhappy, disappointed in myself, and needing some help.  How did Bonnie sing my future with such feeling?  In 1971 did the writer John Prine have a dream of me crying in my dishwater?  They don’t know me.  The music–the music knows us all.  It finds us like water to the sea.  Words and rhythm befriend our misery and gradually a sad, lonely, middle-aged woman plugging veneer in the corner of a 100-year-old mill feels no longer alone…

What song has moved you?


Lyrics

I am an old woman
Named after my mother
My old man is another
Child who’s grown old
If dreams were lightning
And thunder were desire
This old house would’ve burned down
A long time ago

Make me an angel
That flies from Montgomery
Make me a poster
Of an old rodeo
Just give me one thing
That I can hold on to
To believe in this livin’
Is just a hard way to go

When I was a young girl
Well, I had me a cowboy
He weren’t much to look at
Just a free ramblin’ man
But that was a long time
And no matter how I tried
The years just flowed by
Like a broken down dam

chorus

There’s flies in the kitchen
I can hear ’em there buzzin’
And I ain’t done nothing
Since I woke up today
How the hell can a person
Go to work in the morning
Then come home in the evening
And have nothing to say?

Make me an angel
That flies from Montgomery
Make me a poster
Of an old rodeo
Just give me one thing
That I can hold on to
To believe in this livin’
Is just a hard way to go

To believe in this livin’
Is just a hard way to go

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: John E Prine
Angel From Montgomery lyrics © Walden Music Inc., Sour Grapes Music Inc.,
Walden Music, Inc., Sour Grapes Music, Inc.

South Beach

This poem “South Beach” was written back in 2010 and later published in my first poetry chapbook “Madrona Grove” in 2013. It is what some would call a “process poem” where the writer uses the art of poetry to process a real event in their life. Of all the poems in the book THIS is the number one poem that generates an email, phone call or a conversation to me from the reader. I’m glad this poem has touched so many. When I read it, even 11 years later, a part of me is back on that beach. I can still hear the waves, I remember the eagle. That was the year of “no more.”

Cattle Point Lighthouse, San Juan Island, Washington state. South Beach (upper left)
Photo credit: https://mikereidphotography.com/ Please visit his website.

South Beach
by Shannon Laws

Often, we would walk South Beach together
That long large-pebbled beach
along the Salish Sea
on the island’s west side

Short, salt water waves
lap up against the shore there,
constant rhythm set by the wind,
like a slow rock tumbler
sifting for agates

Brown cliffs of San Juan
barely hold a road on top itself
Large crumbles of dirt clots
lay at its feet predicting its fate

Hard soles are needed to walk this beach
The stones just large enough to
aggravate the arches as you walk,
Hamstrings pull heavy with each step

Once in a while,
whenever it wants to,
a large eagle can be found
perched on beach wood

He owns that beach and all who pass
His royal brow gives no doubt

This is my favorite beach, you tell me, one foggy morning

We tried again to walk together
I walked ’til I reached the Eagle King,
you continued alone into the mist
Mystery always favored over familiar
I sit and watch you heavy step away

Alone you go into the fog
leaving me to sit with the eagle
You continue until a low cloud
consumes you from my sight

I imagine you reach the end
where the cliffs give way to the shore
and the landscape bends around
to the fields at Cattle point
I saw you in my mind
alone and happy with your thoughts
and the sea

I sit and watch,
You walk and ponder

A year later,
You sat and watched
as I walked off the island
You let me go that year
just like I let you
walk the beach
alone



Visit my Amazon Author page to purchase or download the book today: https://www.amazon.com/Shannon-Laws/e/B00MCYTUPI%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

Introduction to Discovery

Here is a poem from my latest book, “You Love Me, You Love Me Not” available on Amazon and at Village Books in Bellingham, WA. The book is an audio book and has a chap book accompaniment. The poem may come across as obvious to some. However, the book and this poem are attempts to explore that level of comfort and communication between two people who can read each other with eyes closed.

Introduction to Discovery

You are a question that must be answered

He touched me
He touched me
The way
I wanted him to
The way
I wished he would
He read my mind
And he touched me

His fingers moved along the ridges
Of my galaxy in search of the ignition
old crate of dynamite
hidden in the shed
sweats with glycerin
delicate to movement
so my love is for you

drop that box! start a bang
kick start a star to life

use all fingers to read
me as a mystery novel
written in Braille
every bump, knob and dip
a conjunction closer to knowing
the riddle of Eve



Godzilla V Kong

WARNING: SPOILER ALERT
I love movies. Since early childhood movies have been a major part of my life. As a latchkey kid, and especially in-between soccer and softball seasons, movies kept me company. I remember during my pre-teens spending Saturdays with back to back movie blocks on KSTW TV channel 11’s Tarzan movies on “Jungle Theater” for breakfast, Godzilla and the like on “Monster Theater” after lunch, old-corny Sci-fis and Westerns were on other channels as supplements. All the basic food groups.

So fast forward to 2021. While sleeping through most of Godzilla v Kong I asked myself “What the frick is happening to movies?” Special effects are amazing, yet storytelling is at its all time low in my opinion. Horrible. Truly horrible. Too many movies are given BIG budgets to produce BIG piles of doo-doo.

DISASTER PORN: The Collapse of Compassion

By 2007 watching the first Transformers movie, the whole CGI city being destroyed by large objects became exhausting to watch. It was the first noticeable moment of disaster movie burnout. A few times I found myself in the dark theater sleeping through the BIG finale battles of The Lord of the Rings, Avengers, heck even the mono/mono 20 minute fight scene at the end of Mission Impossible II was better than an Ambien! So, enormous aliens destroying a city full of perhaps 3.967 million, the population of Los Angeles, didn’t tickle my fancy anymore. (By the way, I had to look it up, since 1953 Los Angeles has been fake-destroyed in 33 movies, See “The Complete List of Los Angeles Destruction movies” link below.)

Transformers transform a city in Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)


When I see a whole high-rise fall on the screen, I think about the people that are in it. It hurts me. It hurts me to watch large creatures or armies destroy a city. I don’t believe as many buildings in real-London were destroyed during WWII as in the fictional “Battle of New York” –the major battle between the Avengers and Loki, along with his borrowed Chitauri army, in Manhattan, New York City. It is recorded that by the end of WWII, just under 30,000 Londoners had been killed by the bombing, and over 50,000 seriously injured, tens of thousands of buildings were destroyed, and hundreds of thousands of people were made homeless. Marvel was kind enough to give us the death count for the “Battle of New York”. They place it at 74. Yes, that’s right, 74. Although the population of Manhattan is 1.632 million and roughly a third of the island was destroyed, if not half. Perhaps Marvel is thinking of only the important lives lost. Common’ man!

Avengers take Manhattan by (fire) storm

Inverse.com and other sites are calling this decades new CGI bad ass big fight movies Disaster Porn.

“For so long, Hollywood movies even outside the superhero genre have used mass destruction to raise the stakes for its bigger than life protagonists, but have avoided the details. Though buildings blew up on celluloid before 9/11, after that day (along with improving SFX technology) our appetite for destruction has reached pornographic intensity. But what allows us to revel in the spectacle guilt free, besides the happy endings drenched in magic-hour sunsets, is that we never know the damage beyond the rubble. The movies keep us ignorant on the true fallout, letting us in on the primal thrill without the consequences.”

They go on to share this quote from the Huffington Post. Erwann Michel-Kerjan and Paul Slovic explored the concept of the “collapse of compassion,” where our empathy and sympathy wear out as the numbers get higher.”

“[T]he problem is that action on our part depends upon feelings of compassion that may be hard to arouse and sustain over time, for large numbers of victims,” they write. “We cannot ‘feel the meaning’ associated with threats to 20 million people.”

Symbolism in American cinema was something discussed in a Film History class I took years ago. Some examples I remember– the mid-century big bug movies were about the fear of communism invading America, the early King Kong movies were about the black man’s rise of power and the fear that they would take all the white women. So I can’t help but try to dissect Godzilla v Kong.

The final battle is interesting to me—WHY in Hong Kong and not Tokyo? Hong Kong—the place where in 2019-20 there was the protest,(Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill Movement), in the streets SO fierce only a pandemic could end it! Mechagodzilla with its robotic red lights, A.I. woke and self aware, crashing into a fight it wasn’t invited to, thinking it was helping, was a little bit like Communist China.

Honestly, after coming full circle, I changed my mind. Godzilla v Kong and other movies like it are perfect for this time in history. Think about it… Large titans fighting each other without a care for the lives, jobs and homes of the citizens, the little people running between their toes, clinging to anything they can get a hold of to survive. What does that sound like to you? Real life maybe? These movies are perfect metaphors for the way corporations and our out-of-touch government is operating. How wonderful to be SO BIG and strong that you no longer care about those smaller than you. Shame.

Here is a photo that illustrates fairly well how I am feeling today. Do what you can wherever you are. Love your neighbor today and everyday. -Shannon

Meerkats are seen as Seenlada Supat, 11, plays keyboard for animals amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at a zoo in Chonburi, Thailand May 26, 2021. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun


https://www.inverse.com/article/12778-can-marvel-s-civil-war-death-statistics-change-hollywood-disaster-porn

https://la.curbed.com/2014/3/21/10129198/los-angeles-destruction-disaster-movies

https://marvelcinematicuniverse.fandom.com/wiki/Battle_of_New_York

http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4307

Sleep It Off

Shower Thoughts@TheWeirdWorld

Sleep is kind of like just lying there pretending to be dead until your body is all like: “Fine, but just a little bit”

10:30 AM · Feb 12, 2020·Twitter Web App 635

The link between lack of sleep and cancer is now so strong that the World Health Organization has classified any form of nighttime shift work as a probable carcinogen.” -Mark Walker

HEAT DOME

Hello from the Pacific Northwest one of the hottest places in America…well for three days anyways. Bellingham, where I work, is wayyyy up north, close to the Canadian border. Normally, we experience all four seasons, and temperatures over 85 melt us. Over the next three days the Pacific Northwest will bake under a once-in-a-millennium HEAT DOME. Have you ever heard of a heat dome before? I haven’t. No one has for 1,000 years! Our high temperature today is suppose to be 99, lower than Seattle, Washington’s 104 and our poor southern sister state Portland, Oregon is 107! It’s not the worst that can happen but it is disruptive and dangerous. Nothing to lose sleep over…possibly.

The heat wave baking the U.S. Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, Canada, is of an intensity never recorded by modern humans. By one measure it is more rare than a once in a 1,000 year event — which means that if you could live in this particular spot for 1,000 years, you’d likely only experience a heat dome like this once, if ever.

The core of the heat dome, as measured by the thickness of the air column over British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest, is – statistically speaking – equivalent to a 1-in-1,000-year event or even a 1-in-10,000-year event. photo credit CBS news June 29, 2021


June started off HOT! The Bellingham Herald reports June is a record breaking month, “Bellingham’s 66-year-old record high for the month of June (93 degrees set June 9, 1955) fell Saturday, June 6, at Bellingham International Airport topping out at 94 degrees at 2:53 p.m., with a heat index of 99… That may best the nearly 12-year-old record for the highest temperature ever recorded in Bellingham.” Another “poor problem” for our area. I’ll guess that of the 91,000 residence in this city, probably 30-40% have some form of AC. However, I have to ask if every home and apartment had air cooling on, could our power grid take it? Maybe… It’s difficult for folks without air conditioning to get sleep on these hot summer days. People like me.

I’m thinking about sleep today. I’m daydreaming about getting a good nights sleep this month. Mr. Walker points out in the video above that sleep is a “reset” for the brain & body. He goes on to report that sleep deprivation can affect genes associated with both DNA repair and DNA damage.
I love sleeping and napping. These are my favorite forms of meditation. Since 2019 I’ve put on some extra pounds and my sleeping has been interrupted by um…being fat. The mid-section fat, often accumulated during mid-life, and/or for women during perimenopause, has become my personal nemesis. That and I would like to publicly protest the high cost of a good mattress. A good mattress is a principal tool for a good night’s sleep. However, the starting price is plus $600 for a mattress of “good” quality. This is a high amount to pay for minimum-wage earners; in some states it is half their monthly salary. We already know there is a connection between income and longevity of life, but dang! The dots connect themselves.
Don’t give me that “survival of the fittest” crap.
Having the right conditions for sleep can lead to a longer life. Mr. Walker says there is proof lack of sleep is the gateway to EVERY DISEASE—that’s all, just every frickin’ disease.

“Every disease that is killing us in developed nations has causal and significant links to a lack of sleep,” he says. “So that classic maxim that you may [have] heard that you can sleep when you’re dead, it’s actually mortally unwise advice from a very serious standpoint.”

My goal today is to go in to work early, get office stuff finished by 2:00, run home and melt into a puddle of human slush, or something as close to this as possible. I’ll probably be in bed about 10:00pm after the earth cools.
The heat wave ends this evening, this weather system will slowly dissipate. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

NEW TO ME

Last night I attended a monthly poetry open mic on zoom. I discovered a new-to-me poet, Miranda Krogstad who is from Canada. Below is her beautiful poem about love — love in our blood. The DNA saga I documented 2014-2019 captured for me the idea that PEACE is in our DNA and blood. An amazing combination of cultures, history, nations came together to form a living breathing human. The manifestation of LOVE. Miranda expresses it beautifully, as a poet often can. In this video free style dancers interpret her words.

My deep thought today—(inner)Peace and love are powerful weapons to defend ourselves from disease. When we extend peace, patience and love to others they are gifts of LIFE! Please be safe and COOL today.


Live in Compassion & Kindness

“The highest form of knowledge is empathy.” – Bill Bullard

“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.”
– Princess Diana

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” – Plato

“Sometimes it takes only one act of kindness and caring to change a person’s life.” 
–Jackie Chan

“Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion.” – Dalai Lama


Sources
https://www.news-medical.net/health/DNA-Damage-Linked-to-Sleep-Deprivation.aspx

https://psychology.berkeley.edu/news/sleep-scientist-warns-against-walking-through-life-underslept-state

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/10/16/558058812/sleep-scientist-warns-against-walking-through-life-in-an-underslept-state

https://www.mirandakrogstad.com/

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/mattress-information/how-much-does-a-mattress-cost

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/heat-wave-dome-2021-seattle-portland-weather/

 

Masks Away!

The other day while walking into Fred Meyer, I noticed a blue facemask blown all up into the grocery store’s landscaping.  Perhaps it fell out of someone’s pocket I thought.

A few days later I saw a cotton child-sized facemask directly outside the Haggens Grocery entrance. About nine months ago this was a hot commodity!  Now it has been walked over, carts rolled over it, and well there it is.  Yes, there it is and here we are—THE END OF THE PANDEMIC.

Beginning July 1st in Washington State masks are optional. It appears many have already thrown them to the wind, literally.  Once again, as with every stage of the pandemic, I hear a variety of opinions.  A few friends have said they will wear a mask in the winter to protect against the flu, others have said they will begin to wear one to work if they feel a cold coming on.  When I walk around the neighborhood trails the maskless masses wave at each other passing by, friendly-like, smiling. No more dramatic 6-foot radius walk-arounds with the “stay the ‘eff away from me you diseased carrying mo-fo” side glance.  The defensive posturing is a thing of the past; I’m placing that back in my toolbox for when I need to walk to my car after 10 pm on Railroad Ave.  Another acquaintance of mine shared a foreboding prediction–the 2020-2021 pandemic was just a warm-up for what is coming next! I mean, in my social circles, people are all over the place!  How is it in your world?  Hope things are calming down a bit.  

RECONSTRUCTION

This is a graph I stumbled upon way back in our pandemic-innocence of June 2020. I shared it a few times on my platforms.

It illustrates the mental health of an emergency worker responding to a disaster over the course of a year and a half.  This is the “normal” curve of the ups and downs MENTALLY.  Although I am not a nurse on the front lines, I do have an essential job.  I work as a Family Housing Coordinator for shelter and transitional housing.  I worked every day from 2019 until about April of 2021.  Now I get Fridays off which I am very thankful for. 

I’m not embarrassed to say my pandemic journey followed this graph right to the letter.  The lowest point “Disillusionment” hit me about August 2020. My general communication weaknesses, spelling and pronunciation, were magnified.  It was hard to explain to people why I couldn’t type or speak a complete sentence or how I didn’t catch it before I sent the text/email.  I became lethargic at home, watching many movies, and lost myself in the joys of building in creative mode on Minecraft.  (I still like Minecraft) …It was foggy & frustrating.

Reconstruction is next.  Yep.  Right around the corner.  President Biden must have read my blogs because he was like, “What a great idea!  I like the sound of that Reconstruction…the strengthening of infrastructure across the NATION, for the nation…? hmmmm. …Someone get me a pen–”

What will the personal reconstruction and strengthening of YOUR infrastructure look like? I’m working on exercise and budgeting my money. Also, I met with the poetry discussion group IN PERSON last weekend and noticed I was talking like an email or as if I was giving a presentation on zoom. Something got lost over the last 15 months of social distancing. I think we’ll all find those skills again.

Sending you good thoughts today. You’re doing the best you can with what ya got. You got this!
Here is my current mood expressed in a meme. -Shannon

https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/24/politics/infrastructure-plan-explained/index.html

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/06/24/fact-sheet-president-biden-announces-support-for-the-bipartisan-infrastructure-framework/

Seeing Red

As I zip around, up and down the I-5 corridor my heart skips a beat everytime I see RED. Mazda red to be exact. Swimming in a pool of monochrome and muted tones of blue, a sun beam spotlights this glowing red car radiating crimson root chakra energy down the freeway. You sexy thing you!

I’ve been noticing this red for a few years and this week I decided to find out what’s up with this color. Why does it attract my attention so? How was it created? It’s no surprise to me that Mazda calls their signature red “Soul Red Crystal”.

It seems Mazda is very proud of this color. They wanted to reinvent “red” and in doing so painted themselves into a corner (pun intended) because their “new red” could only be applied by hand. Not an efficient process for an international car company. So, Japan being Japan broke down their new process called, Takuminuri, which translates to English as “artisan coloring,” and taught their painting robots to duplicate the techniques of Mazda’s best craftsmen. Of course they did.

Creating Soul Red Crystal was a challenging process, and it required Mazda to reinvent the way cars are painted. Like any beautiful object, the way light dances across its surface is part of the beauty. The interplay of light and form inspired Mazda to create a paint with exceptional depth and reflective quality.

Mazda web site

Mazda goes on to say that they , “…view cars as art, and our desire is to have customers be emotionally moved by their car before even starting the engine.” Hmmmm…”emotionally moved?” I would argue that every manifestation of human emotional movements are activated just being near this color! It’s too sexy for it’s shirt to quote Right Said Fred.

Not only is this paint possibly the fanciest color out there right now, but it is also the most difficult to fix. But what did you expect from the Princess of Paint? “There’s no way to get around this…[Soul Red Crystal is] more complicated than what you’d find on any other car at their price points…” says Repairer Driven News. The paint chips more often than regular boring paint, and is more difficult to match. Well I think it’s still the hottest thing on the freeway. What do you think?

I hope you enjoyed learning more about this car color as I did. Here is my current mood expressed in a meme. I’m off to the races! Take care of yourself and those around you. -Shannon