2017: Michaela

The Solution for Crazy Cat Ladies

Do you or someone you know live alone with more than four cats? That makes you a crazy cat lady/man. It’s time to change. Instead of cats you need chickens. Chickens will be perfect for you; they are friendly, cute and cuddly. You are able to leave chickens alone for hours without having to worry about them, or your house; just like your cachicken 2t. Everything you love about your cats, you will love about your chickens. Chickens make eggs you will never need to buy them again! Chickens also give you a better image, you will no longer be a crazy cat lady. You will just be saving money on eggs and giving homes to chickens. Chickens are the perfect solution to being a crazy cat lady.

chicken 1

Gold Bus

Have you ever had that nightmare where you are running as fast as you can but that monster chasing you just keeps getting closer? This was just like that thing problem was just getting closer and closer. It was like I was watching it all happen in slow motion.

The Gold Bus was just coming down the road, doing its job, transporting people to where they need to be. Closer and closer, it wasn’t stopping.  I closed my eyes and looked away. There it was, the hard impact, the crash, the sound of glass shattering and crashing to the pavement. I looked up, hoping that I wouldn’t see it that it was all in my head; it was there just as bad as I had expected, and it was horrible. The entire front of the bus was smashed in, the windshield completely gone, shards of glass were splattered on the road surrounding the front of the bus. I knew it the bridge was to low for the bus to fit under and now there are people stuck in there.

I couldn’t look away. It was to horrible people were gathering around to see what happened. Everybody trying to help but not knowing how. Finally, the police and paramedics showed up and pushed everyone back. I watched and they pulled person after person out of the bus. None of them seemed to be seriously hurt. How was that possible? The bus crashed into a bridge! I crept over to hear what one of the people in the bus were saying, “I don’t think the driver realized until it was too late he tried to slow down I think but I remember someone on the bus say to get our heads down and take cover. It was instinct – I dove under the chairs and I think that might have saved my life.”
I also heard one of the police say to a paramedic that there were four people trapped in the bus but not one was dead! They were able to get everyone safely out of the bus. All fifteen people that were on that bus were able to get out of the bus alive and with relatively minor injuries. It all happened so quickly but it felt like I was there watching for days, and I’m sure it felt even longer for the people in the bus. The people in the bus survived! They say that in itself is a miracle … a dream worth having.

Waking up in a Lie

I woke up at 7:00am and began preparing for the day, I brushed my teeth and combed my hair in the bathroom in front of the mirror. I had a strange feeling that someone  was watching me but obviously there was no-one there. My wife had already left this morning and the house was empty now. I pushed the thought from my mind, and continued to get ready for the day. I picked my favourite pair of pants and a shirt, pairing it with a pull over sweater. I ate my cereal and washed my bowl afterwards. I left the house and it was a perfect day the sun was shining and it was warm with a cool breeze. Across the road, my neighbours were leaving for work.

“Hello Truman” they called

“Good morning” I called back to them, strange. I say hello to them every morning but I never leave the house at the same time but they are always there no matter when I leave the house. Just coincidence I guess. My other neighbour is also out this morning just like every other morning with his dog.

“Hello there” I called to him

“Hello Truman” he said “Good morning”

I got in my car and left the driveway, and I got the same feeling I got this morning. The hairs on the back of my neck were standing up, someone was watching me but there was no one around. I reached the middle of the city where I worked. As I got closer and closer to the center of the city there were more people around.

Was that the same person I was one block ago? And that bicycle? Yes, those were definitely the same people, I kept going, wait! That was them again! That is so weird … they are for sure the same people; coincidence? I parked my car in its usual spot and went to get the paper, same as every morning, but this morning something was different, I couldn’t shake the feeling of being watched by everyone around me, like they were waiting for something and I was going to give it to them. I walked up to the front door of my building but then, looked across the street and saw three people coming out the elevator of the building across the street. Wait.. the back of the elevator was hollow and lead to another room. I crossed the road quickly and ran into the building hoping on one would stop me.

No-one noticed me at first and I made it right to the elevator, then people started to notice me. They were coming from every side and I ran for the elevator, when the door slide open the back of the elevator is a false door and there were sandwiches and people sitting in the room behind the elevator, they were watching something on a monitor. Not something; me! They were watching me!

I was removed from the building by two large men in suits. They must have been the security guards. Oh… that must be it, that was just a back room in the building and the security camera feed linked up to those monitors. They wouldn’t have been watching me, that’s crazy!  Right?

I had to go talk to Fred, my best friend since kindergarten; he will know what is going on and what to do. Instead of going up to the building I work in I got back in my car and drove down the road to the grocery store where he was working, I walked up to him and told him everything that I had noticed, but he didn’t seem to care at all, he said I was being crazy, no one was watching me and that maybe I should go home and lie down for a bit. That sounded like a good idea, but there was still felt very wrong.

I raced home I went into the basement and pulled out all my most important belongings and held them up. There was a picture of the first girl I loved back in high school, but she moved away and I have never seen it since, wait! Before she left she was telling me something as her dad dragged her away, she said “Truman they are watching, everyone is watching you, leave this place, they control everything.” Then it hit me there were people out there that were controlling my whole life and I needed to get out of here. If people were really watching my every move I would have to be very sneaky about it. I pretended to fall asleep in the basement and switched myself out from where I was lying with a Christmas ornament about the same size then crawled out out the house staying behind furniture or going underneath different things. I ran all the way to the docks and got a boat out. I had been a been afraid of the ocean when I thought my dad had drowned but if everything had been set up in my life by other people I guess that he hadn’t really drown and it was just a part of their plan. I got in the boat and sailed it straight at the horizon line. I was not going to turn around until I reached the end.

I kept going and going for hours, it felt like I was never going to reach the end. I still just kept going, I was not going to turn around until I got to the end. I waited for a few more hours it felt like the boat stopped. I ran to the front of the boat and there was a wall. I made it to the end! There was a small strip of ground on the outside the water not reaching the outer edge of the dome. As I stepped out there was a voice.

“Truman, don’t leave, I have created this place for you. The whole world knows who you are, we have watched you grow up, we have been there through everything with you.” the voice said.

“But it wasn’t real. None of it was real, my whole life has been a lie!” I called into the air.

“No Truman you were real, that is why people kept watching the show. You are real. Stay the world in here that I have created is better than it is out here. People out here lie and cheat and steal, in there you are safe from everything. Truman, you need to stay … this is where you belong.” the voice said

I guess he had a point everything I have ever done is real even if the other people are not. I also have no idea what is out there and if people are really as horrible as he says maybe he was right, maybe there was no place for me out there. In here I am safe from everything, but I am under the constant eye of people. I thought about it for a long time and finally settled on staying, this is all I have ever known and leaving now seemed silly, I would stay and live my life with my wife and I would live happy from now on knowing that if I ever do need to leave I know how to get out.

I walk back towards the boat and climb in, turn it around and start to head back into my world.

“That’s right Truman you know where you belong and where life is better. We will be watching you and keeping you safe. Be happy Truman, and if you ever want to leave you are free to do so, but we will not be there to protect you if you do go. Speed up the boat Truman or you will be late for work. Goodbye Truman.”

(Based on The Truman Show)

Character Sketch

It was finally Friday! Rowan had been waiting for the end of the week since Monday morning. Every week it was just a constant cycle of doing her best to make it to Friday, trying to find the little things to get her through the day. Today all of her thoughts were concentrated on the long weekend, there was no school on Monday!

She was sitting at the very back of the bus trying her hardest not to attract people’s attention, even what she was wearing was plain. Dark blue jeans, a plain black t-shirt, a long gray sweater and a black rain jacket, all things that people will just pass over without thinking anything of it. She had her silver blonde hair tied in a sleek ponytail at the top of her head. Rowan leaned her head up against the window, she looked out and saw a blanket of snow covering the ground. She also looked for her stop, she just wanted to get home.

Her family had just moved to a small town called Golden. Everybody here knew everyone, and everything about every person, and she was the outsider; and her family the topic of conversation in the town. Her new school was small. All the people in her class had known each other since they were younger than five years old and she was finding it very difficult to try and make friends with people. Her older sister, Jordan,  had no problem making new friends, she was making friends wherever she went and Rowen was very jealous of that. She wished it would be as easy for her as it was for Jordan.

Her stop was coming up on the bus and she pulled the cord. There were only a few buses in Golden and they were mainly used by students going to and from school, not that many people around to transport. The buses only went on the main roads so Rowan was going to have to walk to the outer edge of Golden to get home, but she didn’t mind. She liked to walk and there are not many people around and few cars so she doesn’t have to concentrate as much as she would have done in New Westminster, where she lived before. As she hopped of the bus she said a quiet “Thank you” to the bus driver and pulled her gloves out of her jacket pocket and tightening her coat around her tiny frame. She was only 5’3 and built very small, people tended not to notice her, and she as happy being invisible.

She turned right at the next road she came up to, her mind began to wander. She started thinking about what she missed in New Westminster and how much she wished she could go back. Then realized there wasn’t anything there left to miss. Rowan’s best friend Jamie had stopped talking to her just before she moved and it was still hard for Rowan to believe.

Jamie and Rowan had been best friends since they met in kindergarten, they had been inseparable ever since until Rowan had told Jamie that she was moving. Instead of trying to spend more time with Rowan, Jamie had stopped talking to Rowan and made new friends. Rowan saw this coming once they started high school two years ago. She could feel Jamie distancing herself from her, but once Jamie found out about the move they never talked again. Rowan guesses that since Jamie knew that she would probably never see Rowan again, she didn’t feel bad about making new friends and leaving Rowan out.  Rowan missed Jamie and had tried to send her a few texts but Jamie never replied, Rowan had lost her best friend, but clearly Jamie didn’t miss her at all she was perfectly happy with all her new friends.

Rowan hoped the move would be good for her and that she would be able to make more friends but, it turned out that she had even fewer friends in Golden than she did at home in New Westminster. Rowan crossed the road and turned left. She wanted to stop thinking about Jamie it was making her sad trying to remember the way things used to be.

She turned up the volume in her head phones trying to drown her thoughts out of her head. (It worked she couldn’t focus on anything but the guitar in the back of one of her favorite songs.) When she arrived home the house was empty, her mom and dad were away for the weekend on a business trip and Jordan had left a note on the fridge saying that she was going to a party at her friends and would be home tomorrow morning. Perfect, house to herself.

She dropped her gloves on the counter, took off her jacket and hung it on the peg by the front door. She pulled her hair out of the ponytail and let it hang loose brushing the middle of her back. She ran up to her room to change, getting her comfiest sweatpants and putting them on. Rowan went back downstairs and turned on the TV and opening up her recordings. She had saved her show from yesterday so she would be able to watch it today. She started the show and waited eagerly for it to load. All of her homework was done and all Rowan had to do this weekend was relax and try not to think about the fact that she was going to have to go back to school on Tuesday.

 

Emotions

It’s the waiting that gets you. I’m just sitting there shaking, I’m not sure if it’s from the cold or the nerves that are settling into my stomach. The announcer at the in gate starts to call out the order “Stephanie is at my gate, Sarah in one, Liz in two, Nick in three, Hadley in four, Morris in five to complete.”

Oh geez… I’m in four. My stomach turns again. My head is pounding inside my helmet. I can feel every place it connects to my head my hair is tucked up inside, and I can feel Carousel taking a breath underneath me; I give him a pat. He’s been so good lately I need to stop worrying. Carousel is my third horse and I have had him for just over a year. This is our first A rated show of the season and if I want to place at the end of the year I need to do well at this show. Carousel still has a lot to learn but he’s getting there faster than I expected, he is very honest and wants to do his job as best he can.

Deep breath Hadley, deep breath, Carousel will help you, deep breath it will be fine, what’s the worst that could happen.  I keep repeating that over and over in my head, deep breath. My coach steps out from the announcer’s box and walks over. She just has to look at me to know that I’m freaking out, she has known me for way too long.

“Okay, breathe and let’s go over the track.” Andrea says. Right, where am I going?

“Pink going to the back, blue to the blue, gallop around to the yellow with the flowers, quick turn to the puzzle piece jump, left turn and gallop of the in and out, then steady for the green. The jump off is; blue, puzzle piece, green and the orange at the end.”

“Perfect you got it, once this horse goes it’s you, don’t forget to breathe.” Andrea smiles and goes back under the cover of the box.

I look out at the ring and go over the track again in my head. It’s okay, I know where I’m going, it’s going to be fine. I’m talking to myself, the nerves are definitely getting to me. My stomach does another flip, my heart beat is in my head, and the horse comes out of the ring and it’s my turn. Breathe.

I give Carousel a nudge with my leg to get him to go into the ring, we trot in and wait for the buzzer to tell me it’s okay to go to my first jump. The announcer calls “In the ring now we have Hadley  Madden and Carousel’s Conquest” then the buzzer loud and sharp and it’s time to go.

I pick up the canter and head for the first jump. The first one is always the hardest. I’m holding my breath as my stomach flips around. I’m three strides out to my first jump, leg on for support and three… two… one…  jump. We are in the air, I feel Carousel stretch out under me to get across the jump, his front legs come down softly first then his hind end. I feel the power underneath me and finally I breathe. We’ve got this. I put my leg on to encourage him to go faster, his step gets bigger and longer and we are covering so much ground every step, it’s like we are just floating across the ground. He is flowing and I can feel him having fun too. He is eating up the ground, each stride getting longer than the last one. We come to our second jump and he flies we gallop down to the third and soar over it. I push a bit harder to the yellow jump and I realize how well he is jumping. I slow down for the turn coming up so I can make it as tight as possible the next two jumps are a blur, it’s just so much fun to be out here with this horse, he is a once in a lifetime horse and he’s doing his job for me and with me. He wants to do his job, he wants to win just as much as I do and we are going to win that ribbon together.

We have a double clear round and when we leave the ring the announcer calls “Hadley Madden and Carousel’s Conquest are in the lead with the new time to beat.”

I can’t believe we are in the lead. He was such a good boy and he jumped his heart out. I’m so excited that was the best round I have had with Carousel all season. There is only one horse after us to complete the class. Andrea comes out of the announcers booth smiling at me.

“Great job! You both looked amazing, I told you there was no need to freak yourself out.” Andrea tells me

“Thanks!” I say, I just can’t wipe the smile off my face, even if we don’t win I couldn’t be happier with Carousel.

The horse is finishing up the jump off. The time is going to be close. There is only one jump left and the times are almost identical. I’m holding my breath just waiting to hear what happens. The horse’s back leg just hits the top rail on the last jump. The pole rocks in the cup for what feels like a year, but it drops with a thud on the ground.
We won! He won. Carousel was amazing and all the nerves I had before are gone and replaced with nothing but love and affection for this animal. He’s more than my pet, he is my teammate and I couldn’t have done it without him, he was a star. He won the ribbon.

Mary Anne Bell- The Things They Carried

I remember the day I saw Mary Anne Bell creeping along the edge of the jungle, barely being able to see her, it was just her shadow lurking in the dark. She was clutching her gun. Her beautiful long blonde hair was, gone, cut shortly after she arrived. It used to run in waves down to the middle of her back, now it was coated in mud, almost black tied in a green bandana.

The first day I saw Mary Anne she was a beautiful innocent 17 year old girl,  with shining blue eyes, long blonde hair, long legs, and, complexion like strawberry ice cream.  She hopped off the helicopter and straight away she brought up the morale of the campsite, it was good for the us, that she was there. She was a very smart and curious girl but, you could tell she was fresh out of high school … she was joyful and carefree; not something that we saw much in the war.  She was happy roaming around the compound asking questions about anything and everything. The bright pink sweater she always wore was a terrific symbol of her bubbly personality. She was happy.

Mary Anne had been missing for nearly three weeks until we found her creeping in the shadows of the jungle, we knew she wasn’t really back and she was never coming back. The beautiful innocent 17 year old girl was gone and was never coming back. A hunter, filled her place. You could see the changes coming a few weeks after she arrived. The change was slow but significant. The war changed her. It changed a bubbly, joyful girl into a monster hat no longer belonged to herself; she belonged to the war and the jungle. She wasn’t worried about how she looked anymore … she was filthy.  Her blonde hair was cut short and wrapped in a bandana. She had stopped wearing jewelry; until she started wearing a necklace of human tongues.  She loved the blood and the gore and the proximity to death. The closer she was to blood the happier she looked. After the ambush with the Greenies, she really changed. She pretended to be the nice, happy girl she was but, something finally snapped that night. She loved the jungle, she loved the war. The next time she went out into the jungle was the last time anyone saw her, she was just an empty girl, her sanity lost in the jungle along with her human instinct not to kill. She lives for the kill, to feel the blood of her prey run through her fingers. Her eyes reflected the jungle, bright green and the feeling of far gone, loneliness and  emptiness. When you looked into her eyes before you could see her; she would grow up and have a family, live her life by the ocean, and be happy; now you can look into her eyes and see nothing but the glimmer of your own terrified reflection. The reflection you see when; you realise you are looking in the eyes of a killer.

Mary Anne had been a great morale boost when she had first came to the war; now she is just a piece of the war, a memory. Everyone out in the war loses themselves a bit, killing becomes reflex but, in all the time I was there no one went as far as Mary Anne. The beautiful, blonde, 17 year old girl, so happy and curious; one of the most dangerous predators in the jungle? It’s hard to believe she become that far from reality that she is living in a shell, never to be seen again. Sometimes I miss her, but then I realize that there is no Mary Anne to miss. If she had been killed, I could grive. If she had never come, I wouldn’t know her; but I do know her and she is long gone, still alive but long gone never to return.    

Over the Hedge and Blackberrying

Life is not easy, definitely not! We learn the values of life in many ways. In this essay, I hope to demonstrate that, despite the obvious differences, there are many similarities between the poem Blackberrying and the film Over the hedge.

Although the poem Blackberrying seems very different from the film Over the Hedge they have both similarities and differences. One of the similarities are found in the theme of both pieces. In the poem the theme is the fight to find something beautiful like the ocean but in the end she never found it, it was an anticlimax ending; whereas in the film the theme is more about the fight the animals need to have to get enough food for the winter, it had a happy ending. Even though they seem different now they are, very much alike. Both the film and the poem teach you about the values of life and the fight you need to have.

The characters and the speaker in the poem and the move have similar challenges and also very different ones. The turtle in Over the hedge is abandoned by his family and, once he is accepted by them again he has to find a way to feed them for the winter.  In the poem Blackberrying the speaker is trying to find the ocean and she has go through all the blackberries and the mountain goat path to get there and when she does get to the end she finds and town and not the ocean. They feel very different but they have problems and they have to fight them in the same way, the turtle has to find a way to deal with the pain of being removed from his family and the speaker in the poem has to deal and fight with her depression. Both characters have to find a way to push through their pain and continue to do the things they want to do.

The style and tone of the pieces are very different and the similarities are very few. The style and tone of the movie were light, colourful, humorous and fun.The poem however is about the opposite of that its dark and heavy. When you look at the metaphors you find in the poem and the film I find that they are the same. In  the movie the metaphor was that if they were able to go over the hedge that separated the them from the humans they would have enough food to solve their problems. In the poem the speaker is thinking that if she can just keep moving through the hard times and can get over her herdal she would be able to find what she is looking for. They both have to get over what is holding them back and go what they need to do.

The imagery in the poem and the film are very much the same but the way the animals in the movie and the speaker in the poem view the imagery is very different. In the film the animals see the nature in a happy and fun way whereas in the poem the nature is very dark and sad. However the poem and the film have the nature theme in common, they are both displaying the way the characters and speaker feels about their surroundings.

I think that in the film Over the Hedge and the poem Blackberrying there are many obvious differences although if you look deeper into the poem and the film you will find that they are very alike. They have many similarities in the style, imagery, tone and theme.