The Natatorium

An emporium of oddities from around the world, complete with somewhat informative plaques that almost never match the item they are meant to be describing.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Poetic Postings

So apparently some good can come of evil. Here are a few of the products of the evil poetry class.


                    Anticipation (of the drawn-out variety) is bright green
                    Streaked with the grating yellow of fear
                    Dancing in the corner of your eye
                    Just beyond where you can see
                    Disappearing when you turn
                    Tapping you on the shoulder and running away
                    Like a child’s spirit
                    A vision of the future
                    Giving you a preview
                    Of what’s to come
                    While still in the womb
                    Forming in darkness
                    Until you can see what it has become 

                    Spiritual Dissolution
                    As a slippery sun shifts with the waves,
                    I lie prostrate on a gruff rock
                    Excited splashes licking my feet
                    With kisses of love and acceptance
                    My arms spread wide, my back arches,
                             Lifting my core upwards in ecstasy
                             To my lover, my god, the eternal sun
                    My fingertips dangle over the edge
                             And play with the water,
                             Feeling its texture as though for the first time
                    The marvel of liquid
                    My skin shimmers with subtlety, not brashness
                             Like little fish scales
                    And I imagine for a moment
                    That I could become a creature of this liquid heaven
                             But prefer to bathe in the holy light
                             Of heaven’s eye

                    This summer I wait
                    Feeling a profound sense of loss
                    All of my insides are being scooped out
                    To make room for the new things
                    The permanent things
                    This summer I lost my baby teeth
                    But the big ones haven’t come in yet
                    My mouth is empty
                    The gaps make me cold
                    Even my body waits
                    Holding itself in
                    My fluids flowing in circles
                    Unwilling to expel
                    Afraid it will lose something
                    It’s that blood-jumping feeling
                    When you stand on a cliff
                    Ready to dive
                    Into unknown waters
                    But pause for a moment
                    Acknowledging the fear, savoring the calm
                    I teeter on the edge
                    Expecting everything and nothing
                    Afraid of both
                    Feeling my fingers tingle
                    Before plunging them
                    Deep into warm sand
                    I scramble to my feet

These are all free verse, I might show some of the structured ones later, but they all basically suck. Feedback is always appreciated. As long as you can do it in verse. =P

Thursday, July 15, 2004


This title is only funny if you have seen the book "poemcrazy". For this I apologize.

I have been going to DLA (Drury Leadership Academy) since Monday. It is my 6th summer in the "gifted education" program there. If you don't know me or haven't heard of it, I'll give you the run down. Basically, it's a program that allows geeks to identify with each other and revel in the oddities and often snobberies of being "gifted", aka weird, while masquerading as an impressive college-resume-worthy summer academic program that "challenges students" and "fosters the growth of the young gifted mind".

In short, it keeps "gifted" (weird) kids for committing suicide. Literally. Most gifted kids suffer from depression, manic depression, neuroses, cutting/eating disorders, low self-esteem, or all of the above. I can say with confidence that this program has saved countless lives, perhaps even my own, simply by giving the weird kids a place to congregate and accept one another. It's awesome. Yesterday at lunch we all made fun of standardized tests, both how ridiculously impossible the ACT science section was, and how ridiculously insulting the Missouri MAP test is.

But I digress.

The point is, DLA is supposed to be loads of fun. The classes are meant to be sort of open forums of information; the instructors throw crap out at us, we absorb it, mess around with it, distort it, and throw crap back at them, in our weird kid way. The instructors usually revel in this.

But not my poetry class teacher.

She is evil.

Instead of having conversations with us and throwing out information for us to digest and regergitate as a purple elephant, she teaches a very strict 7th grade Technical Poetry course. The first day we were shocked. No talking? No sitting on the floor? No taking the 'assignment' and going our own direction with it? No 30 minute breaks? WHAT???? Now we're just pissed. Really pissed. Not only is she WAY TOO STRUCTURED for DLA, but she's not a real teacher at all, she just thinks she's a genius because she's published two books of poetry FOR CHILDREN, i.e. crap that I could turn out in ten minutes. It's all so cliché: cats, apples, flowers, breezes, birds, moons, etc etc etc BARF. She makes us write exactly what she tells us to, and expects it to be exactly like her stuff. And she's mean.

We try to have discussions in class (we being the students) but if anyone expresses an opinion contrary to hers, she just shuts it down. There's no give and take, no compromise, no openness to ideas, just SHUT UP AND LISTEN, I'M RIGHT. It's like public school, but it's not supposed to be. The retaliation has already began. We tried to solve it by talking to some authorities (other teachers, RA's) about it and asking them to clarify to her what DLA is supposed to be like, but that hasn't made an impact. Now some of the guys are starting to mess with her. One guy changed her keyboard settings to Belgian. That's what happens when you piss off gifted kids.

Will be updating as situation develops further. It could be war.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Six Feet Under, and Vindicated

"Today's my birthday and I get one every year. And someday I do believe that I'll be buried six feet underground..." --No Doubt

My birthday was wednesday, I am now 19. Whooppee. I got CD's and DVD's and some money. My mom and I went to lunch, then to a boutique where I got an *awesome* corset and pants, then we went to see "The Stepford Wives". It was okay. Later was my family party, where I unwrapped pieces of paper that said things like "Audioslave CD" and "Buffy Season 5" because my presents hadn't arrived from Amazon yet. :)

Thursday Hannah and I went to see Farehnheit 9/11. I was quite disappointed. With all the hype surrounding it, I expected it to be as good or better than Bowling for Columbine. It really wasn't at all. In my opinion, the first half of the movie was irrelevant to the issue it was supposedly exploring, and the second half was basically "war is bad" which we all know, but has nothing to do with the question of if it were necessary or not. Stupid Michael Moore. He didn't even use real facts; he's forged so much that the movie doesn't even qualify as a documentary. The whole thing was a slanted stab at provoking pure emotion in people, whether founded or not. It was an attempt at "shock and awe" based on facts less substantial than the WMD reports. Only mindless sheep would fall for that film. If anything good comes from it, hopefully it will lead to more people researching their own facts and becoming more politically aware. What a disappointment.

"I am Vindicated I am selfish I am wrong, I am right I swear I'm right, I swear I knew it all along." --Dashboard Confessional

I think that might be self explanatory. Or at least it would be if you knew who I just spoke to on the phone. He called to ask how my college schedule worked out, and to wish me a happy birthday. He danced around the elephant on the phone line for a few minutes,then apprehensively brought it up. No matter how mad I am at the both of them, I still spoke to him in cordial tones. I'm at a loss as to how to deal with all this, so I suppose I might as well be polite, but inside I was raging. I didn't tell him my grandfather was dead. I don't want his sympathy. I suppose I just want to feel... vindicated.

Monday, July 05, 2004

The 4th... circle of hell

My fourth of July didn't actually turn out to be as bad as the title makes it sound, but for a few hours there it was pretty close.

Every year my mom's side of the family goes to this creek near Middle of Nowere, MO and we swim, and we lounge, and we grill, and we blow up things. It's always a blast, and pretty much the highlight of the year, complete with traditional sparkler dance. Well, as you may recall, my beloved grandfather, master of ceremonies for *every* holiday, passed away about a month ago. Everyone is still grieving, so that's bad enough, but then through a dysfunctional series of acquiesence and miscommunication, someone decided that we weren't going to go to the creek, the official reason being "because it might rain"... even though all people under 30 knew it wouldn't.

When I heard of the decision, I curled up in a chair for an hour, Seth (my brother) started crying, and my mother said she wished she was dead. My father's solution to all of this was to ignore my mother, yell at Seth and I, and set off on a crusade to do any and all work that had ever needed to be done on the yard and house. Unable to take the misery anymore, and realizing that if I stayed I would just be yelled at by my father the rest of the day, I took Seth and set off for our cousin's house, where my grandmother and Aunt were lounging listlessly in the living room. I gratefully collapsed on the couch near my grandmother and we all stared off into space together. The elders of the family had sucessfully roasted the 4th of July with its own burgers and buried it with a miniature American flag through it's heart. My cousin Ben got the right (cowardly) idea and abandoned the family to hang out with one of his rich friends at his lake house. My newly married cousin also defected to his wife's family celebration, leaving the rest of us to marinate in our misery.

The alternate plan to going to the creek (as devised by the murderous elders) was to go to my Aunt Mary's house for grilling and eventually blowing things up. I was entirely lethargic for the entire day until night fell and the big guns were brought out. My other newly married cousin and his wife and daughter were there, along with his fried Dustin were there, and that added a splash of fun. We all went down a few blocks to where there was an unfinished new street projecting into a field, and used that as a launch pad. The elderly (over 40) set up lawn chairs on the prependicular street behind us and watched the fanfare. We all lit several fireworks, I created my famous Super Snapper (unwrapping the pebbles of explosives from an entire box of those little snapper popper things and CAREFULLY dumping them into one of those tissue paper parachutes, then CAREFULLY twisting the top closed and placing it into a doomed cardboard object... in this case, one of those little tank fireworks)and coordinated the sparkler dance. We played the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack and the Once Upon A Time in Mexico soundtrack out of the back of one of the vans and danced to them. We were swing dancing to mariachi music. We were outside Spfld city limits, but we were surrounded by neighborhoods, and there was a 360 degree panarama of fireworks all around us from various backyards.

When we were all out of low-grade explosives, the under-30 group unanimously decided that we needed to go jump in a pool with all of our clothes on. We eventually procured liscence to use an apartment complex pool, and ghetto blasted hip hop out of my car all the way across town, the other girls dancing. At one point we stopped at married cousin's house so they could change (they are no longer teenagers, therefore must not swim fully clothed.. i.e. wusses) and I was playing some Outkast out of my car while the other girls danced in my headlights. I didn't think it was very loud, if you weren't sitting in the car, but some guy across the street came over and complained that he was trying to sleep and it was too loud... even though it was only 10:30 at night and all the lights were on inside his house.

When we finally made it to the pool, I cannonballed my way in wearing my cargo shorts and vintage (1998) Old Navy Flag Tee. When I pulled myself out, all of my clothes were plastered to my body and my cargo pockets were full of water. I had fun demostrating my water-carrying capabilities to all, and getting into splash fights with Dustin.

I vaguely waterproofed the car seats with windbreakers and plastic clothes covers and the girls piled into the old Corolla. I hauled them back to their house, where I changed into some drier clothes and we all ate microwaved s'mores. On the way home Seth and I drove through Taco Bell then snuck downstairs to watch Adult Swim.

So it wasn't that bad afterall.

Still, nothing can compare the removed and free atmosphere of the creek.

But then, nothing can compare to holidays with my grandfather, either.

Thursday, July 01, 2004


That title doesn't sound quite as good for an action-packed fantasy epic as I wanted it to, but oh well.

I've been working all week, and while I didn't make any money Wednesday night (my manager made me clock in on waitress wage, but didn't give me my own tables, so I made about $10, plus $11 in tips that the waitress who was training my was nice enough to give me) I did make some fairly good money last night. Not great, but okay. I'm really hoping that this waitressing gig is going to start paying off.

Today while I was driving home from lunch at Steak and Shake with Seth, we were headed west on Republic Rd when we all of a sudden saw a wall of water. It was not raining at all, and then there was just this line on the road where the rain was coming down in buckets. It was really really cool looking, until I actually slammed into the wall of water and couldn't see anything. Seth madly rolled up his window and I grappled for the windshield wipers while hitting the breaks, hoping no one would run into me when they were suddenly blinded. Still, very cool. It kind of reminded me of the Monsoon that took place around this time last year. I love summer showers.

Today I was picking Seth up from his friend's house, and had a chat with the friend's older brother, a former classmate of mine. We talked about how this summer felt so odd... not chock full of teenaged fun like usual, but a more sober, contemplative no-mans-land between high school and college. We're all waiting for the fall... anticipating and dreading. It's just so suspenseful, I almost wish it was just hurry up and get here already. My life won't change too much since I'm still living at home, but what I'm most worried about is my own reaction. I'm prepared to be extremely disappointed, not academically, but socially. Ever since Prom I've become very cynical about the "big things" in life that we hold up to be so wonderful. I don't want to be disappointed again, so I'm trying not to have any expectations. Subconsciously, though, I'm expecting to meet my husband, so I know on the first day of all my classes I'm going to scan the room for contestants, and then not see any... thus facing a veritable desert of romance prospects for an entire semester. Oh well. What's one more semseter on top of 19 years?

Oh, and you must all go read this. Heather is hilarious.