What It Is

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It’s the little things
A daily collection of socks
Ashes in cans and wrappers in cups

It’s bearing the pain
Of popcorn kernels boring into the soles of my feet
Or picking up the same sticky, sparkly toys every night

It’s the teeth grinding and snoring
The tossing and turning
And early mornings

It’s bubbles in the sink
Lotion on his skin
And band-aids on invisible owwies

It’s the late night giggles
Walks down memory lane
Erratic ideas that run away with our minds

It’s half asleep kisses
A constant supply of Ramen noodles
As well as lemon pepper adorning all dishes

It’s the taste of Dr. Pepper and red Monster
Random adventures and destinations
Cruising away to our favorite sounds

It’s Tech N9ne through the speakers
Lazy, happy weekends
Wrestling twice weekly

It’s fans on all night
Toys in the tub
Zombies on our screen

It’s the excitement of horses
Birds, fish, turtles, kittens, and puppies too
Seeing the world as if it were new

It’s shoes in the closet
Jackets on chairs and towels on doors
The best place in the world wherever we are

It’s never being ashamed
Always having trust
And never lacking love

Update – July

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Wow, I can’t believe it’s been about two months since I posted anything on my blog, Liz’s Logic. I’m kind of disappointed in myself, but I had good reasons to slack. So, let me catch everyone up on the events that occurred during my hiatus from my blog.

I lost my daddy.

Yes, it’s sad and it is still a deep wound at this point, but I’m really getting through it better than I expected. My dad, Ronald Richard Otto, passed in the early morning hours of June 19th, which happened to be father’s day. I didn’t get him a card. And I, unlike my much stronger siblings, chose not to be there and watch him die. Maybe it sounds heartless, but I couldn’t see him like that any more. I want to remember the daddy who raised me until I was 14, not the shell of him that cancer was stringing along until it consumed him completely. My dad isn’t really gone as far as I’m concerned, I know for a fact he lives on in me and I see him in my 2 brothers and both of my sisters whether they see it or not. I pray they do though. Despite his flaws, which we also undoubtedly inherited  and learned from, my father taught us how to be bright, critical thinkers. He encouraged us to educate ourselves, instilled in us the importance of not taking anyone’s crap, and helped us see the humor in even the darkest moments. Not a day has gone by that I haven’t thought of my daddy, but I don’t let it hold me back. I know he wouldn’t want that for me.

I ran off to Denver!

If it were up to me, I would have never left Colorado after the first time I visited because I fell in love with the environment and the culture it has to offer. On the 21st, yes 2 days after my dad passed, I took a road trip with my mom, my stepdad, my fiance, and my niece and nephew to Denver. My stepdad, Lewis, had a business meeting in Denver, so we decided to make a fun time of it. And we did! We spent quality time with each other and enjoyed ourselves. I got to spend time with my niece, Brooklyn, who is 9, and my nephew, Derrick, who’s 10 and I realized how much they both have grown up. It was also wonderful to spend time walking around Downtown Denver with my love, Alex, just taking in the sights and talking about life. We even did our part to help a few homeless men get a meal one night. They were so grateful that one man thanked us with a hug. It felt good to know we got to help them have a better night. While Lewis was at his meeting, my mom took Alex, Brooklyn, Derrick, and me to the Denver zoo. Although it was one of the best parts of the trip and I saw some animals I’ve always wanted to see (hippos and rhinoceroses!) and my favorites (snakes, lizards, frogs, bats, giraffes, and zebras!), I couldn’t help but wish Lexi (Alex’s 4 year old daughter) could have been there with us. Maybe someday we will bring her there with us. Aside from going to the zoo, we ate great food (Hard Rock Cafe, Paramount Cafe, and a killer complimentary breakfast each morning), checked out the souvenir shops on 16th street, and we even all tried Bubble Tea, which in my opinion was different but not bad. The texture of the “bubbles” is a little disconcerting at first, but they didn’t taste bad. It actually had a slight coffee flavor. After a quick Google I discovered that they’re tapioca pearls. I got honeydew flavor and it tasted exactly like the melon! I don’t think Alex and Lewis were very big fans though – Lewis’s face was pretty priceless!

I started a new job.

The funny part about this little change is that it really isn’t a new job! It’s the first long term job I had after I moved to River Falls and I never really wanted to leave, I just didn’t like the commute to Stillwater and the hours (Monday through Friday, 4:30 p.m. – 3 a.m.) were tough on me physically and mentally. It turns out I’m only a night person if I don’t have to spend that time working! But now, I’m working at the same place, Tylina Foods, except it is now located 20+ minutes closer in Hudson. And, the work is easier now and I like most of the people I work with and I’ve even worked with a handful of the people before, which makes me pretty comfortable and confident with this job. The first two weeks I hit a few bumps and had to miss a few days – the biggest of which is an ongoing issue with our vehicle, something to do with a broken piece that enables it to change gears, but it’s supposed to be an easy fix once we get the part. I am proud of how I’ve handled life’s curve balls and grateful for my supportive and supportive friends, family, and new-ish coworkers that – mostly unknowingly- helped me keep up my moral.

I’m still working on getting my driver’s license.

I know, I know! You can’t believe I’m 23 and still don’t have my license! I’d say it wasn’t for a lack of trying, but the truth is I didn’t bother trying for years. After the first time I took my test, when I was a senior in high school, I refused to drive at all for years. I wouldn’t even back a car up and move it until I was almost 22. Over this past year I’ve forced myself to get comfortable behind the wheel, because I need to and I have no legitimate reason not to. I’ve never been in any kind of car accidents or anything, I just felt anxious about the other people on the road. But my mom and a couple other people reminded me that there are far less capable people than me that drive every single day and I decided to set my mind to liberating myself by getting my license. Now, this will be the third try since May and my fourth time overall, but I scheduled this next test for my home town, so I’m fairly confident that I’ll pass this time. If I don’t I’ll laugh rather than cry, because I know I’ll try again and again until I do pass the damned test! I feel like getting my license will open my world up to new possibilities and progress towards my hopes and dreams.

My health is a roller coaster as always.

Those of you who have known me for a long time may know I’ve had health problems most of my life. I was born with RSV, which apparently screwed my immune system up for life. I manage to avoid major illnesses most of the time, and I’ve nearly conquered my migraines and I have my mental heath issues damn near in check. My current predicament is that I may have some sort of auto-immune disease, causing me to have unprovoked aches and pains and fatigue. I’ve been doing tests and x-rays since May and I am hopeful it’s something manageable, like rheumatoid arthritis, or nothing at all. Whatever the case, I am eager to get to dealing with treating it rather than waiting around for a diagnosis. Plus, it would be nice to not be sore all the time. I’m too young to feel this worn!

I have multiple stories in the works.

I want to be a published author someday, but that’s never going to happen if I leave the stories that come to me in my head. I have 4 short stories, two of which I want to turn into novels, and many poems and opinion pieces that I’m proud of – although no less shy about sharing. But eventually I will share them with you guys. Maybe an excerpt from something I know is going somewhere… I’m still deciding which I’m most confident in. I have to do a lot of rereading, rewriting, and rethinking to make sure the stories are told just right. My poem’s don’t usually get too much rigorous editing because those usually come to me in bursts and I feel it’s more authentic and meaningful to share them the way they flowed out of my pen in the first place. I clean up the spelling and cadence of all my poems, maybe change the rhyme or clarify a phrase, but I try to leave them structurally and conceptually the same. I hope you’ve all enjoyed the writing I have shared with you all and I look forward to sharing more of it.

What to watch for.

Aside from my creative writing, I also intend to explore more journalistic projects. One thing I want to do is resume my Slasher Sundays column and post monthly updates like this one. I am also brainstorming a title for a column I’d like to do where I interview up and coming artists I know and have followed. “Match up ‘n’ Catch up,” “Listen up with Liz,” or something catchy. I’m open to suggestions! And, if you believe you’re one of my wonderfully talented musician friends I’m referencing, let me know if you’re open to doing an interview. I already have a list of potential interviewees and tons of topic ideas and I’m still looking more of both!

Well, thanks again to those of you who read my blog! I’ll be moving towards the end of next month, but I will do my best to consistently write and post. In the mean time, send me questions, comments, suggestions, or topic ideas at eotto92@yahoo.com or in the comments below. Until next time, stay safe – it’s a wicked, wicked world out there!

Aware

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I can feel my ears
They can feel the air
Embracing the skin cells
Of their outer existence

I can feel my hair
Every individual
microscopic
follicle
As they mingle on my pillow

I can feel my toes
Each lonesome piggy
I feel their pain from the long
hard
day
And I realize how blessed I am
To have these aching piggies

I can feel my eyes
Not with my mind, but with my fingers
Every texture felt as the finger, not the eye
Each lash, skin cell, and life debris distinct
It is weird to think of this as a “thing”
Rather than “just me”

I can feel my infrastructure
Every joint, muscle, nerve, blood cell
I can feel the intricate process of existence
As I lie right here

originally written 1.27.15 at 1:20 a.m.

Stand

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Knowledge is power
Yet ignorance is bliss
What side are you on
In all of this?
Do you do what you’re told
And think what they want?
Blindly ingest their poisons;
Believe their concoctions.
Stand in line.
Never ceasing.
Never complete.
Or, perhaps you are more like me.
Do you believe that free should mean free?
Dream of acceptance,
Pray for peace,
Question everything,
And refuse to kneel.
Do not bother trying
To be something you aren’t.
Soak in reality.
Revel in grit.
Don’t buy the propaganda.
Love the Earth
And sow her verdure.
Walk your own twisted path.
Likewise, respect the paths lead by others.
Use what you have
To get what you want.
Appreciate differences
And value education.
Never stop learning, in fact!
Do your own research.
Believe in yourself;
Know who you are,
Be firm in your convictions,
Treat people with kindness and respect.
But do not waste time
On fake people.
People whose lives depend on victory.
To them, every conversation
Is a battle.
Each opinion – a fact.
Other views – incorrect by default.
Alternate routes – not worthy.
People whose eyes convey
The deep desire for groveling,
And praise, and kisses at their feet.
The crock of shit between their ears –
An abandonment of evolution.
Be the person who won’t allow it.
Forebode the flocking.
Go against the grain
To see the most change.
Follow your heart.
Be who you are
And care for those you love.
Debate and discuss,
Do not simply inform.
Live and let live
And live by your word.
Have confidence,
Keep moving,
Improve and build.
Give it your best,
Give it your all.
Do not allow the knowledge
And power to slip by.
Insist not to be stifled.
Never forfeit your voice.
Smile and adore,
But never ignore the truth.
Ignorance may be bliss,
But knowledge is absolute.

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Slasher Sundays: Final Girl (2015)

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Netfilix Rating: 3.5 stars

My Rating: 4.5 hand-with-knife-thhand-with-knife-thhand-with-knife-thhand-with-knife-thhand-with-knife-th 3

Plot: Final Girl begins with a man offering a newly orphaned little girl, Veronica, a chance to do a “special” job for him. He mentions that his wife and daughter were murdered by a bad man, and Veronica accepts his offer. We then see that same man, William (played by American Horror story actor, Wes Bently), training the now teen or young adult Veronica (Abigail Breslin) for various types of torture and combat situations. He is grooming her to be unbeatable. After completing her last training session, Veronica and William decide the time is right to put their plan into action. That evening, Veronica scopes out her targets at a diner and even strikes up a conversation with one of their girlfriends after they leave, gaining valuable information about the dynamics of their group. To the unsuspecting eye, the villains appear to be prim and proper 50’s teenie-boppers on the surface, but the truth is they are pure psychopaths with no compassion and a thirst for violence. Unwittingly, Jameson, the alpha-psycho, chooses sweet-eyed and, more importantly to him, blonde haired Veronica to be the next party guest for the group to hunt down. She agrees to accompany the “gentlemen” to their party in the woods with a smile. Little do they know, this particular girl is prepared to be the last girl to ever be lured to the creepy woods and hunted down by these monsters. With the help of the training she received from her mentor, William, and some sort of hallucination inducing substance secretly embedded in the booze she shared with the unsuspecting boys, Veronica takes down this pack of entitled maniacs one by one. The first three boys were easy to drop because they were too lost in their hallucinations to protect themselves, but now the final girl must face the final boy, who apparently didn’t drink any of the roofied liquor. While they face off, Jameson brags that he’s killed 21 blondes and suggests he and Veronica team up, since she is clearly good at killing, but of course she doesn’t fall for it. Instead, she chokes Jameson out, just as William taught her, and forced the booze down his throat. Later, Jameson comes to and finds himself with a noose around his neck and, shortly after pleading Veronica to spare him and unconvincingly promising not to kill anymore, the drugs kick in and he sees his previous victims coming at him from the woods, which causes him to freak out and fall off the stump that was keeping him alive. Jameson hangs to death and William emerges from the woods and he and Veronica celebrate with pancakes at the very diner Jameson once hand-picked his victims from.

My Thoughts: Batman, meets Donnie Darko, meets… I don’t even know! It’s disturbing, cerebral, gory, witty, heart-pounding, and quite bizarre. I like to be pleasantly surprised by a movie I expected to just be okay, or predictable, and this was one of those movies. It had the right combination of action, violence, emotion, and humor in my opinion. The acting was intense and entertaining and I found myself wanting to be a bad-ass revenge assassin like Breslin’s character. There was an underlying romantic vibe between William and Veronica, which I usually don’t care for in horror and thriller flicks, but it was subtle enough for me to tolerate, yet obvious enough for chick-flick enthusiasts to appreciate. The hallucination scenes were excellent! Movies with hallucinations usually have to work pretty hard to impress me, so that’s saying a lot. Each successive hallucination got both more confusing and more entertaining. The premise of seemingly charming gentlemen being twisted murderers was executed in a way that was, thankfully, far from monotonous. I would recommend this if you’re looking for a horror movie that will leave you feeling satisfied rather than afraid to sleep.

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Slasher Sundays : Dark Was the Night (2014)

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Netflix Rating: 2 stars

My Rating: hand-with-knife-thhand-with-knife-thhand-with-knife-thhand-with-knife-th 2hand-with-knife-th 2

Plot: Paul, a recently separated sheriff, and his deputy, Donny, who transferred from New York after some untold tragedy, are investigating a string of missing farm animals in the Mayberry-esque town of Maiden Woods. Preoccupied by his own drama, which not only involves a pending divorce but also the death of one of his two sons, Sheriff Paul tries his damnedest to deny that the disturbance could be caused by some fabled monster that kills in the treetops. Following a night of paranoia with his son, who is understandably traumatized by his brother’s death, Paul wakes to find massive three pronged hoof tracks leading from his backyard, through the town, and into the surrounding forest. Of course, the townsfolk began to whisper and retell Shawnee legends about a beast who slaughtered its prey among the branches of thick forests. A winter storm approaches the Maiden Woods and the disappearances escalate to slaughtered deer and even hunters. Paul and Donny each do a bit of research and both came to the conclusion that they might be dealing with something peculiar. They also theorized that the increase in deforestation may have played a part in the thing’s sudden activity.

Meanwhile, most of the residents of Maiden Woods evacuated because of the impending blizzard (and probably because of the devilish creature roaming in the forest). While the storm is in full swing the monster breaks into Paul’s house, so he and his son barricade themselves in the bathroom and radios for Donny, who shows up in the nick of time – sirens blaring of course – and scared the ferocious thing away. At this point, Sheriff Paul decides it’s time to stop pussy-footing and tell the town what they could be dealing with. He and his deputy rounded up the locals who didn’t evacuate (for a little snow!) at the church. Naturally, the monster tracks them down and a show down ensues among the pews. When it seemed like there was no hope, they managed to take down what ends up looking like a “Demonic Mutant Ninja Turtle.” While they examine it on the floor, Donny mentions that when he shot it he blasted off a chunk of its shoulder. The one they were looking had both shoulders in-tact. The screen cuts to a shot of the church showing at least half a dozen more DMNTs (Demonic Mutant Ninja Turtles) climbing on it and ends by zooming into the roaring mouth of the hoofed demon turtle.

My Thoughts: This could have been a lot better. Plain and simple. I won’t say it wasn’t scary, because it was. The fact that this took place in a small town where snow, trees, and a general backwoods style are all abundant, just like my own home town, (and Wisconsin in general now that I think about it) made it feel familiar and realistic for me. I could vividly feel the terror of there being “something in the woods” because I’ve walked in a dark and snowy forest and thought I heard something. I would be terrified if it turned out to actually be there. It did its job when it comes to instilling fear. I also felt like the cast did a fantastic jobs to committing to whichever emotion their character was experiencing. The nod to the consequences of deforestation was clever, but insignificant to the storyline. What disappointed me was the way they told the story, or failed to. They never actually reach any conclusion about what the creature in the so called “creature feature” is. They throw out a few ideas, but none of them seemed to be cohesive. I thought the whole movie that the monster was going to be some hairy goat-like monster that could jump around in the trees, but it turned out to be more reptile looking than anything. Oh, and why did they assume there was only one? They seem to think it just sprouted or something. It’s a good movie if you feel like being scared and also don’t want to put much thought into it.

Worlds

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There is nothing more intriguing
Than the thought of other worlds
But it shouldn’t fascinate us so
We see proof every day
That different worlds exist
In fact, we each have our own
And they see the same stars
But they aren’t the same color

The accomplishments a world does boast
May appear minute to one world
Yet grand to the next
And nothing is more difficult
Than to see the same stars
Except, from another world
Where you can see what they see
When they look at your world

To show you your world
From the surface of mine
Would reveal a hellish paradise
That my world cannot resist
The atmosphere of your world
Is magnetic to mine
Let’s bring the surfaces closer
Until our worlds perfectly collide

 

 

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