Many Happy Returns!

I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank the wordpress community as a whole but most especially those people who have liked, commented, and followed my blog. I started this with little hope of reaching people and yet in less than six weeks I have reached over 50 followers. I want to thank all of you for buoying my hopes for this little blog and I wish you all a very happy new year!

See you in 2014!

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Addicted | An Original Poem

It’s been days since I last saw you.

Last heard you.

Last held you.

Without you by my side I am lost.

In a daze.

Disoriented.

Like a drug you slipped into my system and I can’t cleanse myself of you.

I want you.

I need you.

I breathe you.

I feel you.

I am addicted.

The moment you leave I crave your return.

I crave your voice.

Your touch.

Your kiss.

Your embrace.

I long to feel the brush of your breath on my skin.

The sweet taste of your lips.

Your mere presence I crave like oxygen.

Without you I am drowning.

Losing my breath.

Sinking out of control.

I want you.

I need you.

I breathe you.

I feel you.

I am addicted.

Cuffed | An Autobiographical Short Story

Winter, quite often considered the most memorable time of the year, with all the holiday cheer and Uncle Jeff getting drunk on eggnog and running into the family Christmas party wearing nothing but his boxers and a Santa hat. But the winter of 2001 was the most memorable of all, for me anyway. That winter was the first time I ever got cuffed.

It was a Friday and my best friend, Alicia, was supposed to be coming over for the weekend. Everything was planned out; Alicia had brought all her gear to school with her that morning and we were going to walk to my house after school. So, when last bell had rung, Alicia and I gathered our belongings and set out for my house.

The road we took to get to my house was not very heavily populated so we weren’t crammed into the usual stampede that flew from the school doors like gentlewomen from a mouse. Barely more than a block from the school the chill was completely soaked into our skins and now marinating within our bones, even though we were panting and sweating under the weight of the baggage. On the bitter wind I heard someone shout my name and I turned to locate the speaker but before I could identify them my eyes found another sight, far more daunting. An immaculately white police car was heading up the road behind Alicia and me. My eyes made contact with the officer within the vehicle’s tinted windows and my heart jumped wildly. I knew this guy all too well. Instantly the wailing of sirens cut through the quiet of the frigid afternoon like a hot knife through butter and I broke into a run.

I became senseless with fright. I heard Alicia cry out after me but her words never penetrated my mental block. The weight of the bags, the cut of the strap, and the wintriness of the air all disappeared in a flash. I was only aware of the screaming sirens, the colorful splashes of red and blue cast on the snow at my feet, and the erratic pounding of my heart. My struggle was entirely in vain however; I had hardly gone five feet before the police car pulled in front of me, tires sending bright rings of reflective snow into the air around it, and I was forced to slide to a stop.

“Drop the bags!” the officer shouted as he clambered out of his idling vehicle. “Hands on the car!” I immediately complied, not that I had much of a choice with the barrel of a gun pointed in my direction.

“You, too,” I heard the officer bellow and in seconds Alicia was at my side, her whole body trembling. I started in alarm as I felt the officer’s hands on my sides as he checked me up and down for weaponry. Then my arms were yanked brusquely behind my back and I gasped as cold metal encircled my already frozen wrists. As though echoing through a great void of space I could faintly recognize the voice of the officer reciting my rights in a mechanical intonation that blatantly proved he had done so on many occasions. The back door of the car was opened and I was only short of thrown inside. Moments later Alicia was sliding in next to me, her face white and her jaw quivering. The sirens were still singing their mournful march and now I could hear the grinding roll of the lights as they continually pivoted overhead. Shii-tunk, shii-tunk, shii-tunk. A loud thump jerked my senses as the trunk of the police car was slammed shut. Apparently he had confiscated our bags.

As the officer climbed into the front seat of the car I glanced despairingly out of the window, to freedom, and discovered who had been hailing me in the start. A small cluster of my classmates was standing across the icy roadway, now watching the scene before them with wide-eyes and open-mouths. When I saw them the tears I had been withholding slid free of their barriers and I hastily bowed me head although I couldn’t stop my shoulders from shaking.

The police car backed out on to the glassy road and continued down the street for three blocks before the policeman made any motion toward us. He had grasped a small key in his one hand and was now offering it back to us. Alicia grabbed it hastily in hands that had never been cuffed and unlocked the circlets of silver around my wrists. I raised my hands to wipe away the tears of laughter still coursing down my cheeks and when I glanced up my eyes once again connected with those of the officer’s through the reflections in the rearview mirror. We both smiled broadly.

“Classic, dad,” I grinned from the back seat. “Absolutely classic.”

Growing Up Disney

I am a Disney whore.

For those of you who don’t know what that means:

Really though, I belong to that generation that grew up with at least one new Disney film every year and an endless supply of happily ever afters floating in the air. Even when I was living with my then-single mother and single grandmother, we made a trip every year to Disneyland Anaheim. As a kid I watched The Little Mermaid so many times I’ve no idea how that tape didn’t just implode (because this was back in that so-far-ago time of VHS cassettes and the constant fear that the tape may just one day break.) Even as a straight-up tomboy, I always kind of wanted to be a Disney princess – Belle, because she gets that kick-ass library – and I was an avid follower of the ritual of wishing on stars. Although I never did master that whole “paint with the wind” thing; I could never figure how to get the wind to stick on my paintbrush.

To make a long story short – too late – Disney has always been a crucial part of my life.

disney1moveforward

For the most part this has been a good thing for me. Disney films, and fairy tales in general, give us all that one commodity that is so precious in life: hope. They teach us to believe in good, that bad will always be beaten, that there’s nothing wrong with being different, and that in the end, no matter how difficult the journey, we will all find a happily ever after. That optimism and faith got me through more than one dark time and even now, when things get tough I always fall back on my favorite Disney flicks for comfort and reassurance.

disney2zest

The Disney franchise as a whole also teaches the importance and power of imagination, which is obviously a lesson that resonated with me since I grew up – I use the term “grew up” loosely, mind – with the aim of being a fiction writer. Imagination is my favorite trait about myself, and it would not be a stretch to say that my imagination, and by extension my writing, has saved my life. I genuinely would not be here today otherwise. Imagination gave me a safe place to retreat when things became difficult, and there I was able to cope with the things that I could not make sense of in reality. Life problems became dragons and wicked witches, and in my mind I found the sword that helped me to slay them even if it didn’t exist in the real world, which helped me to put those troubles to rest at the back of my mind. It helped me find peace and work through the harshness of life.

disney3shadows

Disney as a whole has been such an influential part of my growth that I can’t differentiate between what I believed before and what has been touched by the world of Disney’s magic. I grew up in a world of mystery and adventure and magic, and that mentality has never really left me. Deep down, beneath the cynicism and weariness that adulthood has brought upon me, I still unequivocally want to believe in happy endings.

And there, in and of itself, is the one crucial defect that Disney has left implanted in my mind. I believe too much. I see the good in everyone, whether they deserve it or not. I want to believe that there is a prince hidden beneath the coarse exterior of every man, and that he only needs my love to break the curse. I want to believe that just fearlessly jumping into a new world in search of my dreams will somehow always work itself out. And every time that I am proven wrong, it hurts. Not just on a basic, “I failed and that’s upsetting” level, but on a deep, spiritual level. It puts a scar on my soul. It’s like having someone give me definitive proof that my God isn’t real.

Because in the end, I think that’s what fairy tales have become for me. They aren’t just charming tales for children, or musical films to cheer me up. They are my mythology, my faith, my religion. I am a Disney-ian. Disney-ist? Something like that.

disney4implicitly

When the chips are down though, I wouldn’t trade my mentality for anything. I have something that so few people get to have anymore. I have innocence and naivety. I can still look around at the world through the eyes of a child and find the magic and beauty hidden behind everything. I can look into the darkness and see hope and a future. I believe.

Disney has taught me so many valuable lessons. That a person is who they are inside, not what they look like or the circumstances they were born into. That love can be found in the most unexpected places. That nothing is more important than chasing your dreams and finding a way to enjoy the life you live. That growing up doesn’t mean having to get old. That you can do anything, if you’ve got faith, trust, and a little pixie dust.

disney5dreams

So when the rest of the world is caving into depression and hopelessness, I will still be there, wishing on my stars and chasing my dreams and having faith that, at the end of the road, there will always be a happy ending waiting for me. Because I can do it. Because I can keep moving forward. Because every good, great thing that’s ever happened in this world has been started by one, singular person. And I can be that person.

disney6mouse

I make my own happy ever after.

The Billion Dollar Question | Daily Prompt: You’re a Winner!

You’ve just won $1 billion dollars in the local lottery. You do not have to pay tax on your winnings. How will you spend the money?

To have money to burn

I’ve thought about this a lot. Some days I feel like I would do the smart, practical thing and use it to pay off bills and put it in savings. But let’s face it, with a billion dollars in my hands, I could easily pay off my car and still have millions left to spend on myself. So what would I indulge in?

The answer is pretty simple: travel.

The first thing I would do would be to pay the last couple thousand on my car. Then I would drive to the airport and hop on the first outgoing international flight. I don’t care what country it would take me to, because after spending a while there to drink in the sites, I would hop on another plane to another country.

My billion dollars would be devoted pretty much entirely to globe-trotting. I would visit new places, see new sites, and pick up souvenirs of my travels along the way. I would indulge in countless new experiences and lifestyles.

And once I’ve finished I would settle down in a little flat somewhere and write it all down.

List de la Bucket

Everyone should have a bucket list. Whether you write it down or not, it’s something that every person should at least think about. Goals to accomplish, skills to learn, places to visit. Bucket lists are a motivation, something that give us things to look forward to and reach for.

I’ve never actually written my bucket list down before, but I decided to try this morning. I wrote down all of the ones I could think of that I haven’t done yet, and was surprised by how many things I meant to put before realising I’ve already done them. It was encouraging and made me feel like I’ve made some progress. Checking anything off gives a sense of accomplishment. I’m going to post this here and every time I finish one of these I’ll come back and scratch it through so we can keep track together.

NICKI’S BUCKET LIST

  • Publish a YA novel.

  • Publish a Fantasy novel.

  • Visit London.  Completed March 2014

  • Visit New Zealand.

  • Visit Barcelona.

  • Visit Greece.

  • Visit Tokyo.

  • Visit Brazil.

  • Visit Argentina.

  • See the Taj Mahal.

  • Go on a Mediterranean cruise.

  • See “Wicked” on Broadway or at West End. Completed August 2014

  • See “Beauty and the Beast” on Broadway or at West End.

  • Go sky-diving.

  • Go cliff diving.

  • Go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

  • See the Grand Canyon.

  • Learn a second language.

  • Learn the major constellations.

  • Swim with dolphins or sea turtles.

  • Go parasailing.

  • Go white-water rafting.

  • Bungee Jump.

  • Hold a monkey.

  • Zip line.

  • Pet a sea lion.

  • Ride an elephant.

  • Stand in a cave behind a waterfall.

  • Kiss in the rain.

  • See a volcano.

  • Ride a horse.

  • Ride in a horse and carriage.

  • Make a snowman.

  • Get married.

  • Adopt a child.

  • Give a signed copy of my novel to my favourite teacher.

  • Put change in someone’s expired meter.

  • Plant a tree.

  • Go vegetarian for a month.

  • Donate bone marrow.

  • Adopt an injured/handicapped animal.

  • Complete a marathon.

  • Learn to crochet and make a scarf/hat.

  • Get a bachelor’s degree.

  • Learn to play the piano.

  • Learn sign language.

  • Read 100 classic novels. (22/100)

  • Buy lingerie.

  • Try escargot.

  • Try absinthe.

  • Do a body shot.

  • Receive a fan letter.

  • Attend Vidcon.

  • Attend LeakyCon.

  • Meet John Green & Hank GreenMet Hank June 2014

  • Meet J.K. Rowling.

  • Take singing lessons.

  • Try a pole dancing class.

  • Invent a new word.

  • Send a message in a bottle.

  • Learn to whistle.

  • Try laser tag.

  • Learn to fence.

  • Get a belt in karate or tae kwon do.

  • Ride a segway.

  • Ride on a motorbike.

  • Ride on a double-decker bus.

  • Ride a cable car.

  • Visit a castle.

  • Visit a lighthouse.

  • Visit the Great Pyramids.

  • Go on a road trip.

  • Spend a weekend at a Bed and Breakfast.

Any essential life things you think I’ve missed? Leave them in the comments below!

Knock knock – Who’s there? – Nerdy Jokes!

Alright, I feel it’s been getting a bit too serious about here lately, so let’s lighten this up a bit. Also I’m lazy and tired and currently at work, so I don’t want to write anything complex today. Here are some of my favourite, incredibly nerdy jokes of all time…

  • What do you get when you drop a piano down a mine shaft?
    A Flat minor.

  • It’s so hard to explain puns to kleptomaniacs, because they take everything literally.

  • What do you get when you cross a joke with a rhetorical question? …

  • Have you heard the one about the sick chemist?
    Well if you can’t helium and you can’t curium, you’ll probably have to barium.

  • Where does bad light end up?
    In prism.

  • An optimist sees a glass as half full, a pessimist sees a glass as half empty, and an engineer sees the glass as twice as big as it needs to be. Politicians, on the other hand, have assured me that the glass would be more empty if the opposition were in charge, while surrealists think that the glass is half of a slowly rotting lemon. And physicists, well they happen to know that you can never know how much water is in the glass because just by measuring it you’ve changed the outcome.

  • Two chemists walk into a bar. The first says, “I’ll have H2O.” The second says, “I’ll have H2O too.” The second one dies.

  • Heisenberg and Schrödinger are driving in a car and they get pulled over. The police officer asks, “Do you know how fast you were going?” Heisenberg says, “Well, not really but I can tell you exactly where I was.” The officer thinks that this peculiar response is grounds for a search, and he finds a dead cat in the trunk, and he says, “Do you guys know that there’s a dead cat in your trunk?” and Schrödinger says, “Well, I do now!”

  • Hilarious and amazingly true thing: if a pizza has a radius ‘z’ and a depth ‘a’ that pizza’s volume can be defined Pi*z*z*a.

  • How many computer programmers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
    Whoa, no that’s a hardware problem.

  • Knock knock.
    Who’s there?
    To.
    To who?
    No, it’s ‘to whom.’

  • How many Freudians does it take to change a light bulb? Two, one to screw in the light bulb and the other to hold the peni- the ladder, THE LADDER!

  • How many surrealists does it take to screw in a light bulb?
    Fish…

  • How many psychologist does it take to change a lightbulb?
    Just one, but it has to want to change.

  • How many Dragon Ball Z characters does it take to change a lightbulb?
    Over NINE-THOUSAND!

  • What do you call a five foot psychic that’s escaped from jail?
    A small medium at large.

  • Why did the mermaid wear seashells?
    Because she grew out of her B shells.

  • How did the hipster burn his tongue?
    He drank coffee before it was cool.

  • What do you get when you cross the Atlantic with the Titanic?
    About halfway.

  • What do you call a fish with no eyes?
    A fsh.

  • My friends and I put on a performance about puns. Yeah, it was basically just a play on words.

  • Why do French use only one egg in their omelets?
    Because one egg is un oeuf.

  • What’s Beethoven’s favourite fruit?
    Ba-na-na-na.

  • How do you make an octopus giggle ten giggles?
    You give them ten tickles. (Tentickles, hehe, that one always makes me giggle.)

  • Why did the Dalek cross the road?
    To enslave humanity.

  • Did you hear? Oxygen and Magnesium are totally going out, I was like OMg.

  • Sherlock, what do they call primary school in America?
    Elementary, my dear Watson.

  • Two whales walk in to a bar. One of them says, “hmhmhnnnngnbrmuh.” And the other one is like, “Man, Steve, go home. You’re drunk!”

  • Two drums and a cymbal walk off a cliff.
    Da-dum siss!

  • Billy was a chemist’s son but now he is no more. What he thought was H2O was H2SO4. Hey!

  • Why does Snoop Dogg need an umbrella?
    Fo’ drizzle.

  • What do you get when you mix an agnostic, a dyslexic, and an insomniac?
    A dude who sits up all night wondering whether or not there is a dog.

  • What’s the difference between a writer and a park bench?
    A bench can support a family.

  • What do you get when you throw an hand grenade into a French bathroom?
    Linoleum blownapart.

  • How do you fit five bulbasaurs, a charizard and two pikachus onto a bus?
    You pokemon.

  • What do a teenage boy and the enzyme helicase have in common?
    They both want to unzip your genes.

  • What is black and white and black and white and black and white and black?
    A penguin rolling down a hill.

  • What’s black and white and laughing?
    The penguin that pushed him.

  • After giving up on being a nanny, Mary Poppins actually moved to Beverly Hills and became a fortuneteller. And she reads your future, not by looking at the lines on your hand, but by smelling your breath!
    They call her the super-california-mystic-expert-halitosis.

  • What kind of pants do the Mario brothers wear?
    Denim-denim-denim.

  • What did the 0 say to the 8?
    Nice belt.

  • What do you get if you line up eight sodiums in a row?
    (Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na…) Batman!

There you have it! Hope you enjoyed them and at least smiled a little.

Thanks go to Buzzfeed and Vlogbrothers, where I collected more than half of these from.