Community

Word of the Day Challenge: Racism

Photo by David McBee on Pexels.com

I grew up in a suburban town just north of Seattle and lived in the same house for almost 20 years.

I went to the same schools as the rest of the neighborhood kids and worked at the Mall with my friends when we were in high school and we partied and hung out at the same places.

When I was older got married and had a family of my own, I became involved in local politics and the Democratic Party.

In these efforts I was working with my neighbors or reaching out to my neighbors in the same County I had grown up in.

I was your typical Suburan Gen X’er whose kids played soccer and sometimes we went to Seattle for concerts and I went to my friends and neighbors barbeques and we went power walking around the same lakes.

I was your typical suburban housewife doing the typical suburban things.

One Summer I was working with a group of activists on a human rights event when one of my friends turns to me during the part when we do reach out into the various communities- and I was drawing a blank because I wasn’t sure how I could contribute to that when my Uber Progressive friend says- and WOW is she excited- ” and you can do reach out into the Asian Community, right Anita?”

” Well…” I was at a loss because at that point my Uber Progressive Friend- who I had went to Highschool with, we car pooled at one point we were working at the Mall at the same time and used to catch the bus together-

my friend who could tell you the same story about our shared suburban experience was some how under the impression that I had this secret life where I snuck off and was a member of ‘ The Asian Community’.

” It’s a pretty big Community ” I said.

” Sure. But you’re part of it right? “

And I guessed at this point I realized my friend- and as the years went one I ran into this over and over again- didn’t really see me as a part of the Community I grew up in, that I participated in, the community where I raised my kids and learned how to drive and took music lessons and egged my first house and graduated from high school and got kissed for the first time and watched my parents grow old in.

To them I really was part of another Community.

They had nothing against it- or me but at the end of the day I had never really been a part of their community.

Racism can be as brutal as someone putting their knee to your neck or it be as light and airy as latte art.

And it doesn’t matter what ‘community’ people think you belong to.

In the end, after experiencing racism you don’t feel like you belong anywhere.

Photo by Alex Fu on Pexels.com

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The Bells Are Ringing

I could be like some of my friends- they will NOT talk about the state of the world we live in.

In their world they see breathtaking sunrises, majestics sunsets through the haze of tear gas, they close their eyes and take in deep breaths of Coronavirus free air, the man that is leading them is their gold plated promise and he shines brighter then any star in their universe.

But I can’t be like them.

I can hear the Bells ringing can you?

 

The Bells Lyrics

Ring, ring the bells
Wake the town, everyone is sleeping
Shout at the crowd, wake them up
This anger’s deeper than sleep

Got to keep awake to what’s happening
I can’t see a thing through my ambition
I no longer feel my God is watching over me
Got to tell the world we’ve all been dreaming
This is not the end, a new beginning
I no longer feel my God is watching over me

Break, break the code
Concentrate, let the doors swing open
See through all your walls, all your floors
Now you’re in deeper than sleep

Got to keep awake to what’s happening
I can’t see a thing through my ambition
I no longer feel my God is watching over me
Got to tell the world we’ve all been dreaming
This is not the end, a new beginning
I no longer feel my God is watching over me

When you let me fall, grew my own wings
Now I’m as tall as the sky
When you let me drown, grew gills and fins
Now I’m as deep as the sea
When you let me die, my spirit’s free
There’s nothing challenging me

Sunday Stealing-Questions for Readers

Sunday Stealing Challenge:

Pick a book you have read and answer
the following questions:

Challenge accepted- the book I have chosen is…

 

The Ghost Belonged To Me

1.  Why did you pick the book?

I read it when I was about 12 years old. At that time, I had been writing for almost 2 years, looking back I know I was reaching for my ‘ voice ‘. This book was my key. It was my creative roadmap.


2.  What did you think about the book?

Loved it. It was written for young adults and even though it touched on suicide, a dead girl being robbed, the opening and closing graves, a house of ill repute and a wide assortment of unsavory chracters- it did it with a light yet powerful touch and it did it with humor. I strive to do that in my writing to this day.


3.  What do you know about the author?

Not much. I know had been a teacher, he was from Illinois. It was info I got off of the book jackets. But I never looked for more about him. I’m not sure why. I did read all of his books and I was sad to hear he died a few years ago.


4.  What’s the most memorable scene?

There’s a scene where a local man goes crazy and spends all day and into the evening ( he only had one hand, he lost the other when he was working for the railroad ) cutting at the posts that held the trolley tracks up that crossed over a ravine.

Then he set them on fire.

The Ghost warns the main character about the fire and Alexander stops the Trolley before it crosses the ravine.

The Conductor, who is super angry, insists Alexander go look at the ‘damage’ with him and says if Alexander is messing with him he’s going to pay for it. So they and the curious passengers make their way to the creek bed to inspect the posts and before they get down there, the the Crazy guy steals the Street Car.

The Crazy man races it across the tracks, by then the flames have engulfed the posts and are starting to burn at the tracks too and the Man- Amory I believe his name was, goes crashing down into the ravine and the blazing the fire below.

He rang the bell all the way down.


5.  How did the book make you feel?

Like I wanted to go to New Orleans the way Alexander, his Uncle and his friend Blossom did and write a spooky story- and eventually I did. I went for Halloween about 10 years ago and did just that.


6.  How do you feel about the way the story was told?

It was like having someone sit next to me and tell me about ‘this thing that happened to them when they were you. Reading a spooky story is great. Hearing someone tell you one is even better.


7.  Which parts of the book stood out to you?

When Alexander’s soon to be friend ( Blossom and I use the word ‘friend’ lightly because at this point he doesn’t like her ) chooses to ride in the baggage car with the skeletal remains of the Ghost Girl ( Inez ) because she tells Alexander she knows what it’s like to be alone

I also like the part where Alexander’s Uncle tells a story about the suicide of the Captain who built the house Alexander’s family lives in. It happened in the sitting parlor where they are sitting and Alexander’s Mom is entertaining one of the town’s most socially prominent people. He even points to the spot where he hung himself


8.  Which specific parts of the protagonist can you relate to?

Alexander belongs to two different worlds and he doesn’t feel comfortable in either one.


9.  Which character did you relate to the most?

Blossom Culp.


10. Share a line or passage from the book:

There’s a scene where Alexander’s Mother and her cousin and Alexander’s sister are complimenting each other on how fine they look and I think comparing themselves to a royal figure and they say” You look like (?) only younger” etc and then Alexander says to his Dad that he looks ‘miserable’ and Alexander’s Dad says ” So do you, but younger.”


11. What did you think about the ending?

I liked it because in the end Alexander is sad to lose the Ghost Girl ( and her dog ) and talks about how his Uncle died shortly after their adventures, so it seems like he has lost everything important to him, but his adventure made him wiser and less afraid of the world and more a part of it too.


12. Is the story plot driven or character driven?

Character driven.


13. If the book was made into a movie, what changes or decisions would you hope for?

Pecks makes it clear that Blossom and her Mom were exotic looking- in the movies and book covers she’s your typical midwestern looking girl. Peck goes into great detail about what the characters look like so I was surprised to see this changed. I’d change it back.


14. How did the book change you?

I can’t say that it did, but I did learn a lot about writing from it.


15. If the book is part of a series, how does it stand on its own?

All of the books about Alexander and Blossom are stand alone. When you do read them together it’s like running into friend on accident and you end up having a very enjoyable visit.

Books in the series:

The Ghost Belonged To Me

Ghosts I Have Been

The Dreadful Future of Blossom Culp

Blossom Culp and The Sleep Of Death

CFFC Photo Challenge – Trains and Railroads

CFFC Photo Challenge: Anything to do with trains and railroads

Here is a little collection of pictures I’ve taken from a train- or at a Train Station.

I’ve noticed that on most of these challenges people list what kind of equipment they used, so I guess I should too.

I use my phone and in a few cases my point and click camera impressive right? LOL.

I keep meaning to take photography more seriously, but to be honest I know I don’t have the eye for it and that my composition blows.

But I enjoy the process so much I just keep snapping- or wait, clicking (?) away.

amm

 

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Taken from a train- Luis and I were somewhere along the Mississippi when I snapped this. May 2019

 

Photo A.M. Moscoso

This shirt has been hanging on the fence along the tracks that run by my warehouse since February 2020. I guess it’s here to stay. Also, I think it looks like a ghost.

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Anubis at the King Street Train Station, Seattle WA 2012. The statue was 26 feet tall!

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Fox Lake, Wisconsin 2018

Photo A.M. Moscoso

You know I’ve heard it said that snow makes everthing look pretty.

This picture proves that it does not.

Railroad tracks, Seattle WA 2010

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Pioneer Square, Seattle Washington Railroad Quotes and Symbols in Granite (?).

One-liner Wednesday – I Walked On Your Face!

Prompt: Linda G Hill’s One Liner Wednesday

Photo By: Curiosity Rover

Mars has been flown by, orbited, smacked into, radar examined, and rocketed onto, as well as bounced upon, rolled over, shoveled, drilled into, baked and even blasted.

Still to come: Mars being stepped on.


— Buzz Aldrin

I guess there’s more then one way to say ‘ go team ‘ but Buzz said it best.

I’ve included this clip- it does not mentions Mars, but because it echoes the quote and reminds us who could end up ” stepping on Mars’ face”

I have no clear picture in my mind about who that person is, I just hope they are as cool as Buzz.

From The NASA Website:

Perseverance carries instruments and technology that will pave the way for human missions to the Moon and Mars.    

The Terrain-Relative Navigation system, which autonomously helps the rover avoid hazards during landing, and the Mars Science Laboratory Entry, Descent, and Landing Instrumentation 2 (MEDLI2) sensor suite, which gathers crucial data during the journey through the Martian atmosphere, will help future human missions land more safely and with larger payloads on other worlds.

Perseverance also has features that will help astronauts once they’re on the surface of another world: improved self-driving smarts for more efficient travel and the Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA) instrument suite, which will provide key information about weather, climate, and dust. Meanwhile, the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) technology demonstration aims to produce oxygen from Mars’ carbon dioxide atmosphere, demonstrating a way future explorers might produce oxygen for rocket propellant as well as for breathing.

Let’s Go!

From The NASA Website:

A placard commemorating NASA’s “Send Your Name to Mars” campaign was installed on the Perseverance Mars rover on March 16, 2020, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Three fingernail-sized chips affixed to the upper-left corner of the placard feature the names of 10,932,295 people who participated. They were individually stenciled onto the chips by electron beam, along with the essays of the 155 finalists in NASA’s “Name the Rover” contest. Liftoff aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 rocket is targeted for mid-July of 2020 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. NASA’s Launch Services Program, based at Kennedy, is managing the launch.

You can watch the Perseverance Launch as well as briefings HERE

So all kidding aside, me and my dog are going to Mars.

Sort of.

Going To Mars! See Ya!

When The Tide Comes In

The Pergola in Pioneer Square in Seattle Washington is on of those places that you take your out of town friends to see when you’re showing them around town. It’s also a good meeting spot if you want to split up and strike out on your own because this is Pioneer Square and it’s not a major patch of real estate and it’s easy to find if you get lost.

But what I love about the beautiful, artistic, historic and boy do people get MAD when it gets hit by trucks and cars Iron Pergola- is that it’s was built as the upper level of a spiffy state of the ( then ) public bathroom in 1909.

No, it wasn’t just an ornate entrance to a bunch of toilets – it was where people waited to catch the cable car- but if you need to use the potty there was some right under your feet- which is more then we commuters get now!

Still, the pergola in all of it’s glory- the wrought iron ornamentation and it’s iron columns was a work of art then and it is now.

However, my Dad’s family has been around Seattle since God was a baby ( well maybe a toddler ) and they really emphasized the underground toilets when they told stories about ‘old Seattle’ – and my imagination worked that story and the images overtime.

I used to have this idea in my head off fancy toilets sitting on penny tile floors, banks of fancy marble sinks with gold taps and people handing out warm towels and fancy soap after you used the facilities… and how those toilets must have done what toilets used to do in that area when the tide came in- they blew up.

My Dad’s family, who love to pass misinformation down the way other families pass out candy and little presents to the kids in the family did absolutely NOTHING to clear that little piece of info up and I really believed that a long time ago the toilets under the Pergola used to explode when the tide came in.

After I was burdened with the reality of the restrooms under the Pergola I still enjoyed the memories of ‘what might have been’ so when I took my friends and family to the Pergola or when I saw people shooting wedding pictures there…

in my mind I could hear a ‘foooom’ and the sounds of wild rushing water and people screaming, ” No no no! Is that poo? Oh God, don’t let it be poo!”

It still makes me smile.

PERGOLA DAMAGED 07252013 An automobile ran into the pergola in Pioneer Square early Thursday morning taking out a pole and damaging this iron fence near the corner of First Avenue and Yesler Way.