Thursday, September 12, 2013

Long time, no see...

Well, this is awkward. It's been three (...and a half) months since I've written anything. Not just talking about a blog post, I mean I haven't written ANYTHING. Not even so much as a stanza. It's pretty pathetic. Sorry. No excuses here, just apologies. I've been in a rut/slump/funk and am extremely disappointed in myself. Alas.

If you've been a frequent-flyer to this blog, you know how much I love to use pictures as writing prompts. This time I asked my friend Thomas Brown to supply the photo. (Seriously, if you're ever in need of a photographer in Arizona...look him up. I very much enjoy his fine art photos.) I tackled this writing exercise a little differently. I gave myself only 15 minutes and decided that I would post to this blog that piece EXACTLY as it was, with NO EDITS. Gotta be honest here and tell you that it is so damned hard to put this up without any tweaks, changes, edits, or rewrites. But, I know how I sometimes wish I could see other poets first drafts. Because I'm curious. So...

Here's the photo:

Photo credit, Thomas Brown Art. 2012.

And here's my poem:

 "On Remembering How to Forget"

I wish I could remember how I forgot you the first time.
I just dropped off. Begged you to leave. Made myself be alone.
Walked away. Ran away.
In the end, all I learned was that emotions do not leave me slowly.

Forgetting is so hard when all I can remember is how you used to wait with me for peace to come 
by counting the minutes and slowly braiding my hair down the length of my back.
With every new fold, you would tell an old story and make a new dream for me.
You wrapped them all up in a beautiful pattern for me to sleep on.
Those old stories made such painfully beautiful dreams.

Counting the minutes these days is like counting souls crossing the River Styx.
Just a few at a time and the passing comes with a price.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Come play with us, Danny. (Scratch that one off the bucket list.)

(...way back in April. Yeah. Totally slacking on getting this post up. Stop judging me and just start reading. Look at my pictures at a minimum.)

Let me start at the beginning. All of these wheels started turning when I sent my mother a link to an article interviewing Stephen King about his sequel to The Shining. It tells the story of an all grown up Danny Torrance. (FYI, The Shining is one of my favorite books AND favorite movies.) She got just as excited as me about this and the next thing I know, we're on a road trip to Colorado for a two night stay at the Stanley Hotel. BOOM! My Mom wins all the awards and gathers all of the cool points because she booked us a room on the 4th floor (haunted floor) and we got a Redrum coffee mug, glow in the dark squeezy ghost and frisbee, AND a night time ghost hunt. GAH! My excitement is still palpable four months later.

Side note: for those who don't know, the Stanley is where Stephen King was staying when he was inspired to write The Shining. BECAUSE IT'S A FREAKING HAUNTED HOTEL!

So first things first.
Here's where I started to lose my mind...simply driving up to the hotel is an experience all by itself. I was bouncing around and clapping in the passenger seat like an over-excited seal.
Seriously? This place is just amazing. 

When we checked in, we were promptly given our Ghost Swag. Also, I think it's important to note that when you check out, the folks at the Stanley ask if you want to keep your room key as a memento. This was wonderful because then I didn't need to feel guilty about stealing it.
FYI - I take that Redrum mug to each and every staff meeting at work. It's not awkward - - it's appreciated. 

Next up was the elevator. The ONLY elevator in the whole joint. It was shocking. Literally. EVERY SINGLE TIME I pushed the up or down button I got zapped. But it was worth it because that thing was stunning. Also, it made me say things like, "Third floor: Undergarments, garden hoses, and tea pots." See what I mean. Look at that cool lever thing!
Heh. Elevator selfie. Sorry about that. 

Also, it should be mentioned that one of my other favorite movies has ties to The Stanley. That's right folks, Dumb and Dumber was filmed here. When I got tired of being zapped by the elevator and took the stairs, I would look at my Mother and say, "Race ya!". C'mon, you know you would do it, too.
Yes. I really did "race" my mom up these stairs and raise my fists over my head in victory. 

We stayed just a few doors down from room 401, which is one of the most haunted rooms in the entire hotel. I cannot lie, the place does have a creep factor to it. Despite its beauty and architectural value, there is a sense of heebie-jeebies that cannot be denied.
This is me in between the old servant stairs and room 401. After this picture I just stood there staring at my mom saying, "Come play with me, Danny". She rolled her eyes at me a LOT during this trip. 

Our room was on the fourth floor facing out towards the entrance. I positioned myself in the window as frequently as possible. LOTS of tourists are going to have my face in their photos. LOTS. Here's the view from our window looking out:
Three days and two nights of photobombing opportunities. Like I was really going to pass on that. (Also, you can just barely see my mom in the bottom right hand corner there...)

Here is the picture that everyone takes when they stay at The Stanley. It's a picture just outside of room 217. 217 is THE ROOM where Stephen King stayed. It's the room that started it all. Honestly, if this room creeped out Stephen King, I probably would have peed myself at some point.
Obligatory photo outside of room 217. 

Apparently Stephen King was sort of pissed that Stanley Kubrick didn't use The Stanley hotel for filming his version of the movie. Some years later, Stephen King put out a made for TV movie that was in fact filmed at The Stanley. This is the miniature version of the hotel they used for some of that filming:
Mini Stanley made for a mini series. (Like the Vanna White pose? Ta-Da!)

During our late night ghost tour, we ended up in the ballroom and the tour guide went behind this curtain and pulled out the prop door they used in the mini series for the "Heeeere's Johnny!" scene. At that point I was practically vibrating with excitement. Talk about a fangirl having a nerd moment. 

Now, at this point, I'm sure you're all, "Jenn, these are great photos, but when are you going to tell me all about the spooky stuff that happened to you?". Here's the deal. I'll probably tell you about some of the stuff, but not all of it. But you've got to understand that I absolutely believe in ghosts and I don't want to hear about how flaky I am and how it can "all be explained by science". Don't misunderstand me, I absolutely believe that there are in fact lots of reasonable explanations for things and I certainly don't believe that every bump in the night is a ghost. But sometimes, it is...

So, stay tuned for PART 2 of my adventures at The Stanley.