Sunday, July 24, 2011

Letter From My Best Friend

Dearest Panda,

I wanna hear your rhythyms,
I wanna hear your rhymes
I wanna feel your presence
Cause love is so fine...

I'm feelin' like spreading peace
And I'm feelin' like lovin' you like family
And I don't care what I own,   no...
I just wanna bring our soldiers home.

Learn to give, a giving hand
Learn to know, what is humanitarian
Learn to love ALL the land
Learn that fighting takes more than one land.

We've got different views and different needs,
Different songs, different priorities
I don't wanna see someone like me

I'm feelin' like spreading peace
And I'm feelin' like lovin' you like family
And I don't care what I own,   no...
I just wanna bring our soldiers home.

Save the ocean, save the trees
They mean more than money and greed
They provide necessity
Do you forget? It's air that you breathe!

Sing with a purpose, sing with a need
Sing for the people fighting a disease
Sing for the children risking their lives
Bombs dropping down to their surprise.

But we're... spreading peace...
And I'm feelin' like lovin' you like family
And I don't care what I own,   no...
I just wanna bring our soldiers home.

I want to follow your friendship 
All around the world

I'll find you when you're smiling
I'll lift you when you're crying

With my best friend by my side
I find that blinding light inside
That brightens dark times
And the world sings with pride

I'm feelin' like spreading peace
And I'm feelin' like lovin' you like family
And I don't care what I own,   no...
I just wanna bring our soldiers home.

The End

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Benny's Toupée

Meet Benny.

Benny is a baby Bald Eagle.  
He was born on April 3, 2011. 
His parents are two very famous Bald Eagles in Iowa.  
They are called the Decorah Eagles.
 They have had their own reality TV show since 2007.  

The Decorah Eagle's nest is 6 feet long and weighs over a ton! 
It is quite a spectacular house, even if you aren't a bird!

Benny's parents became famous overnight, 
not because they did anything special, 
but because they are Bald Eagles, 
an endangered species in the USA.

A few scientists put a webcam in Benny's nest.  
Over time, people from all over the world 
learned about the rare Bald Eagle eggs 
and watched closely as they hatched...

One at a time, 
on three different days 
in the same week. 

What happened next, nobody could have guessed.

Here is Benny entering the world...

Benny, the bald eagle, is the middle child in his family.  
His parents love him so much, but Benny still struggles for attention.

You see, he is not the eldest, like his brother, who gets all of the big responsibilities -- like watching the others in the nest when his parents leave.

He's not the baby either, so his parents are not overly protective of Benny.  They actually encourage him to follow in the footsteps of his older brother and take flight when he does.

Benny will do as his parents wish, but he wants more.

Then, one day Benny thought of the best idea ever!

He began to collect feathers and twine from his nest and constructed the most colorful and sturdy toupee that any bald eagle will ever see!

He put it on proudly and hopped over to his mama to show her his masterpiece!

"Look Ma!" Benny hollered.

"What do you have on your head, son?" Mama replied.

"It's a toupee Mama!  So that we Bald Eagles do not have to be ashamed of being bald anymore! Isn't it great?" Benny asked.

"Oh yes, baby.  It is great!  Except one thing.  Bald Eagles do not need toupees, Benny," she explained.  "Take that thing off your head right now!"

"But ma-" Benny argued.

His mom stopped him in his tracks,

"Enough Benny.  I think I get what's going on here.  Bald Eagles are not really bald.  We have an entire crown of white feathers on our heads!  However, since the old English word for white was balde, the name kind of stuck."

Benny took off his toupee and frowned.  
"You mean that my toupee idea was a bad one?"

His Mama hugged him, 
"No, Benny.  Your idea was very creative!  
You thought our species needed help and you tried to give it.  
You are on the right track!  Don't give up.  
Can you think of anything else bald eagles might need?"

"Ummm," thought Benny, "Maybe we need more Mamas and Daddies?"

"Why do you say that, my boy?"

"Just so that all the baby Bald Eagles can have lots of love and attention!" 

"Awww, my little Benny.  Are you feeling looked over?"

"Maybe a little." Benny looked down and choked back his tears.

"Well thankfully you told me!  I have been so busy with all of the cameras around and your brother and sister, that I didn't even notice you were feeling unhappy. 

Benny spread his wings and gave his Mama a BIG BALD EAGLE HUG!!! 

"Thanks Mama.  I needed that.,"  said Benny, and they hugged a good long hug!  

Benny kept his toupee as a reminder to always be himself and to use when his little sister made him play dress up with her.

The End.


Friday, July 22, 2011

"I Call Myself an Artist..."

"...Poets sound old and dead," said Zach Houston, the writer who developed the concept for "Poemstore".

Lately his ""Poemstore" is set up in the Bloch Building at the Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City, MO.  Houston can be found typing wildly on a typewriter in the middle of four tall white walls covered in sheets of paper of all sizes tagged with images, words, and random ramblings he creates.  His brain is in overdrive, meeting strangers, one after another, lined up waiting for him to write whatever comes to his mind on a whim.

How does he decide what to write?  Where do these lines reside?  In a bank of words, with a special vault for when he feels like pulling out the really nice lines?  Or in a cultural storehouse of mixed emotional baggage and ethical recalls.  Could you imagine the pressure?  First impressions mean absolutely everything in the type of poem you are going to create.  That's money for Houston! Literally.

So, I visited Zach today at the Nelson and we talked quite a bit, regardless of the line behind me.  I waited my turn.  I had questions to ask this guy.  He was legit.  A money making poet artist.  Super cool in my book.  Anyway, my poem took quite some time, since we kept talking throughout its composition, but I totally respect what he does and tipped him $4 for my poem. I thought about this a lot and wonder, "How much is a poem worth?"

Hmm. Good question.  What is an acceptable donation for a personal poem?

Here we are at the Poemstore.

Before he wrote anything, I told him I am a writer as well.  I shared with him the three haiku poems I wrote while waiting in line to meet him.

I wrote:

The typewriter sound
Echos through the stone hallway
Tapping on the walls

Transforms real into fiction
And fiction into real.

What is left of art?
Odd shaped canvases on walls
Or typewritten poems?

He replied:

amanda could you be
  author of more 
   adorable than
     words wild
      run a way
        to get from 
          one place to  
            say and another
             to write what
              we think
                  knowing it
                 whimsy and
                 wondering what
                  im talking about
                   when the person
                       who i am and 
                            why talking to
                                when in due time
                                   i talk more 
                                         than work
                                          its because im
                                           exhausted bored
                                             lonely and 
                                                by time
                                                   i get 
                                                  the phoenix
                                                to sleep she 
                                               will ready to
                                              xx type again

Thursday, July 21, 2011

God Bless The U.S.A!!!

A little fireworks fun at the lake...

My nephew, Ryan, introduces the video:

Then after our first attempt to light the fuse, my sister, Amy, finally lights the short fuse on the quarter stick of dynamite :)

Good times at the lake for sure! That watermelon was blown to pieces! My nephew LOVED it and everyone survived!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Hello there!

I just wanted to share this wonderful feeling I am experiencing with you the form of a "Pandagram!"

I got permission to use this amazing image from graphic artist, Jenikah at SoooGoodStudios.  You can see how she developed the concept and image on her blog titled, "Amanda the Panda-gram" here.

Love and happiness can only be experienced fully when it is shared unselfishly and so I am writing today to give just that.

Yesterday as I waded through the muddy waters of my errands, I managed to maintain a sparkling attitude and by sharing a little of what I had, I released the flood gates of good karma.

Some were small gestures, like giving my mechanic a hug for he lost his cousin the night before and was struggling through the smoldering hot day in that garage.  He appreciated it so much that he text me thank you.

However, one gesture in particular made quite the nice karmic ripple.

As I own a hypochondriac black lab, Lucy, I have become quite the regular at the vet's office down the street.  By befriending the vet techs, I managed to score a pretty constant supply of colorful bird feathers.

So, as a thank you to my vet tech friends, I dropped off a couple of pairs of feather earrings for them.

Giddy with excitement, one of them put the earrings on right away and within an hour she had three custom orders for me!!!

I love life!  Thanks for being a part of it :)

"Life is like the surf, so give yourself away like the sea."
--Luisa from Y Tu Mama Tambien.

Ms. Panda

Monday, July 18, 2011


Every since my epic day at Warped Tour 2011, I have been searching through old journals and old blogs for the original "VIPness" poem.  It came to me so effortlessly during my first trip to Hawaii - six days filled with sweet sunshine, fine food and wine, motorcycle rides, fresh leis everyday, sleeping under stars, camp style steak and eggs breakfast on North Shore, island hopping, convertible upgrade on rental car, jumping off waterfalls in Hana, private yacht party, topless suntanning ;) etc etc etc...

I was 26 and as gold flowed through the shiny sparkle in my ginormous smile, the universe showered me with fantastic nods of fate.  

Feeling enriched, I wrote this poem.

The quest
Of a millionaire
Brought here
By happiness
In the air

But mainly,
Coming sanely
Humbly, from me
In to the universe.
A happy curse
Loving the world
Receiving the world

Living queen
VIP machine
What a Giver!
It makes me quiver 
To think
I can feel her

A hot date,
An extra buck.
But VIPness 
Is more high-up
Showering down the love

Waking to a mourning dove
Leaving this
Path of routine
For listening
To the green
Of mother nature

God is blinded by her
But still can see
Real true life energy
Makes the VIP
Live inside YOU
And smile back at ME
So happy :)
Like we have money.

Happy Monday! SMILE :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

On Writing

I just recently finished reading Stephen King's, "On Writing," which I caught wind of during the Blogathon 2011 theme day, "What are your 5 favorite books on writing?"  I chose to write about my 5 favorite Children's books, but took the suggestion of many others and picked up "On Writing" as an audio book from the public library.

One of the last things that King says about writing is that everyone gets a hall pass to write.  If you want to be a writer, you don't have to wait for anyone to pin the label on you, just start writing and get happy doing it!  I agree!  Writing should bring happiness!  Just like you can hear a smile in someone's voice on the phone, why not hear the happiness writing brings through the art of, well, writing.  It's like eating at a five star restaurant vs. a 24-hr diner.  You can taste the love and happiness put into the food at the five star place, where the bitterness of low quality food gets the job done, but doesn't exactly satisfy.  I think that's how literature should work.  A reader should feel the love that the author gives to their work.   It should be mandatory from car manuals to high school textbooks!  Maybe then people would want to spend more time reading and less time in front of the TV!

Anyway, King ends the book,

"Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art.  The water is free.  So drink.  Drink and be filled up."  

This really inspired me.  

Here is my latest drink.

A drink of writing
Quenches my eternal soul
And waters my dreams

Receive ancient words
Reassign them new meanings
Remember to play

Wishing well of words
My bucket lowers head bowed
Knight it with your gift


Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Morning Blessing

My eyes opening
Slowly I stretch
My body, my movement
My catalyst.

I hear birds,
My thoughts linger in my dreams.
I hear cars,
My brain jolts into awareness.

I wake to questioning
My life, my day, the possibilities--the future.
My choices at this waking moment are infinite.
I  choose with wisdom, patience and goodness.

Love in my heart and happy in my eyes.
Panda in the looking glass,
Diving into the rabbit hole in my soul
Swimming free...

My imagination is me.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Peaking Love

Peaking Love

Take me
Take my art 
Lets create ours
Lets make this world ours
Build a city
In our hearts
Let's go.

Take me
Take my heart
Feel my love start
To pump through your veins
Say those three words
Then let them

Love and
When I'm with you
Smiles multiply 
I shed my pride
Side by side
With you

Time flies
Watch and see
Love knows not time
Mere moments divine
The time is now
Be my guy
Let's fly

Let's go
To a place
We've never been
Experience things
We've never seen
On our own
Til now.

It's here
In our hands
Now is our time
And you are my man
Remember me
My smile
I'm yours.


I titled this baby, "Peaking Love" because my stanzas all resemble small mountains. 
At times love presents us with obstacles, but as a good friend once reminded me, 
"Obstacles are opportunities."  
Don't forget it.  
Smile in the face of fear.  
Love conquers all.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


This post is an ode to people with good karma, LIFERS (Living It Fully Everyday, Remember Smile), the brilliant universe we live in and the wonderful bouts of fate that cross my path quite often. 


(With The Expendables at Warped Tour 2011, Bonner Springs, KS)

Fate is a mind state
Think anything can happen
And sure nuff it will!

I am determined
Every step of the way
To participate

This lil' panda bear
Makes new friends everywhere
Smiley eyes, repeat :)

I met lead singers
Lead guitar and bass players
And chilled on their bus

Better than backstage
Is a place called "Bus City"
With a bar that's free

Expendable guys
And pepper filled edibles
Mingling on tour

New friends mean new songs
Something to listen to now
When you are long gone

Why do we reflect
So perfectly what we see
Ourselves in others?

I've never seen you
But I know you are like me
Your cocked head told me

Why are we drawn near
To things we've only dreamed of
And given a test?

I won't forget it
When I see it in your eyes
That look is alive

Elevate yourself
You deserve majestic love
Fill your heart with light

Is it clear, my love?
Can you hear these songs I sing?
My heart beats for you!

Don't crave abundance
Simply recognize it here
In and around you

I draw happiness
With a mental light pencil
On a blank canvas

The light that I seek
Comes from the sun, the moon and
The soulshine in me.

Ms. Panda