Today I...

2001 10 04 - 19:30

Today... today I watched with keen interest, listened with surprise, read with intrigue, laughed heartily, and wept with anguish.

Today... today I flashed with anger, felt nauseous with disgust, felt weighted by envy, weak with angst, and learned a profound truth.

Today... today I spoke with honesty, opened a door, felt elated, remembered the past, feared the future, and helped a friend.

Today... today I was inspired, felt downtrodden, lifted, fell, was ignorant, understood, was pleased, was hurt, felt ugly, and longed for loveliness.

Today... today I did something destructive, did something with potential, birthed a dream, killed a hope, wished for love, gave a hug, ached, soothed, woke, slept, ate, and hungered.

personal



Spring ahead, fall back

2001 09 24 - 19:31

You know how you can tell autumn's in the air? When you walk outside, it's crisp and cool, and on the breeze you catch the scent of a fireplace.

That has always been one of my favourite smells; and one of my favourite times of year - the first scent of the wood smoke.

Now comes the turning of leaves to the rich colours of orange, red, and ochre; the promise of snows to play in, and the anticipation of warm nights inside hugging a mug of hot chocolate.

I'm not much of a fan girl of extreme weather, truth be told; I much prefer autumn in its pure state, and spring the same way. Winter and summer grow thin on me very quickly. Partly, with winter anyhow, it's the clothing aspect. I really dislike being trussed up in sweaters and scarves; they make me feel constricted and uncomfortable.

First thing I do when I come home, is take off my shoes and socks. Next thing I do is put on a pair of shorts and tshirt; if it's cold enough I put on loose stretchy pants. When I sleep I either wear nothing or a long tshirt; I don't like long-sleeves or nighties down to my ankles. I like to be able to move.

A bizarre bid for personal freedom.

It rained most of the day. The best kind of rain - refreshing and cool with still-warm air. I don't mind getting soaked to the skin in weather like this. In fact, I rather enjoy it. Just cool enough to make you really appreciate a freshly made cup of tea when you finally trundle in the door after being out.

... and, it's almost time to change the clocks.

personal



Acid House

2001 09 18 - 19:34

Sooo... I'm sitting here watching Acid House, which is subtitled. The funniest thing about it so far, is that they aren't putting all the fucks in the subtitles - though they are speaking them - but they are putting all the cunts in the subtitles.

I wonder from whence comes this particular brand of... favouritism? Oh, and hooray for Canadian television and its relative lack of anal-retentiveness when it comes to censorship. Yay us and our filthy-mouthed programming. Dawg bless the CRTC.

Oh, and this is the first time I've ever been able to read the subtitles of a movie, without my face right up against the screen.

personal
, ,



Night things

2001 09 01 - 12:11

I sat in the darkened room looking out my window; watching the sky in its nightness, with the hazy, indistinct blanket of clouds, with the dark spots where the sky breaks through.

It's peaceful; as a lick of wind comes through the screen and cools the air around me.

There's very little noise... a ring of distant laughter, tires on pavement several streets away... sometimes you can almost pretend there's no one else around; or that - at least - you're the only one awake.

Colours are so unreal at night; so intense. They almost seem not even to exist. You expect everything to be dark and dim... a flash of thick green of a lawn under street lamps; the red brightness of brand new bricks; metallic, sparkling blue of cars painted factory-fresh.

Another delicious lick of wind. It's so <i>magnificently</i> cool. I can hardly wait for the fallen leaves of autumn, for the smells of wood fires, the crispness of clear fall mornings. It's the only time of year I almost wish I lived in the country; perhaps near a forest, so I could walk on pine needles and kick through those piles of fallen leaves. Leaf-scuffing is an honourable activity, you know.

personal



Evening out

2001 08 31 - 12:17

It's a cool night outside; cool enough to call for jazz clubs, low lights, and cozy corners for two.

I walked past the windows slowly just so I could hear the hum of conversations, and see the vague shapes of people on the other side of a tinted window. The only illumination was the orange of arc sodium and strings of Christmas lights around the club's patio.

How warm it looked; how inviting.

Not far from there's another place of warm conversation and adult couples sharing the sorts of evenings adult couples share. Walls covered in old fashioned wallpaper, curtains dividing the bar from the tables, a piano covered in trinkets and various odds and ends.

The sort of place I'd want to be taken out to; the sort of place you wear a cocktail dress to, dine on gourmet-like meals, and make romance in a place conjuring up the aura of long-ago lounges and supper-clubs.

Tall men, lovely women, fleeting scents of perfume, and always, always just the right soundtrack plays just on the edge of your perception; only loud enough to preserve a sense of privacy in a public place.

Conversation is always good in places like these, and evenings always end perfectly; or so my imagination tells me.

personal



De-fence

2001 08 29 - 12:24

It seems that any institution of any kind, that bases itself so heavily on the rule book, often ends up killing off the spark of creativity. I've seen it happen to people who've gone to art schools even; they get so stuffed up and stifled with the "accepted rules of performing a task" that it puts too heavy a weight on their individualism, disallows a person from "breathing".

That's an exerpt from an email I wrote to someone earlier today.

Art, or any creative process, cannot exist when blocked in by the walls of classification, rigid thinking, proceedure, protocol, stringent rules, and any methodology that restricts growth or change.

Now, there are some forms of expression which rely - to a great degree at times - on pattern. Music would be one of these. There are ways to put things together to create a flow, a tune, and when you remove the method you get the madness of white noise.

But it is the spirit behind what makes that music, the spirit behind what paints the picture or sows the seed, that must be nurtured and aided; not stifled and buried.

I have a friend who hasn't painted in upwards of six years or more; and part of the reason she hasn't is because of a peculiar artistic block fostered by not being able to get out habits beaten into her brain during four years at art college.

Tragic.

There is an immense spirit there, hemmed in by someone else's ideas of the way things should be.

Sure I went to art school and loved it, but I took the things I learned and used them as tools. I recalled techniques, ways to mix colours, how to prepare canvas, etc.; but I didn't take away The Rules Of How Things Are Supposed To Be Done. I completed ignored the Rules that tell you you're not supposed to put this colour next to that colour because of whatever reason.

Creativity comes from life, from freedom, from the need to let out whatever might be hiding away inside a person; things can't grow if you block out the light. People can't breathe if you cut off their oxygen.

Things need to move, change, and grow; and they can't do that if you fence them in.

personal



Paraphrased from John Forsythe...

2001 08 25 - 12:36

Was watching an interview clip of John Forsythe discussing the making of the film <i>Lifeboat</i>, in which he tells a nifty little ribald story of our Mr. Hitchcock.

Apparently the one cameraman came rushing onto the set one day and asked Hitch if he'd seen the dailies, to which Hitch replied no. The cameraman says that they've got a very big problem, that they might be in serious trouble. Hitch is naturally curious, so the cameraman mentions all those weird angles things have to be shot at for the film, and says that Tellulah Bankhead doesn't wear underwear; so if those shots get used in the movie everyone will see everything Tellulah's got. Hitch "oh dears" a few times then says:

"Well, I don't know if this is a problem for wardrobe, makeup, or hairdressing."

personal
,



Musical / Clyde Gilmore

2001 08 13 - 12:39

 Discovering today, that my grandmother likes Boy George, was almost as surprising as the time I found out she likes one or two Sex Pistols songs. (That was approximately fifteen years ago, and I'm still surprised by it. Actually, I think I'm still trying to get over it. Next thing you know, she'll be telling me she thinks Al Jorgensen is "keen", or something.)

My grandfather never struck me as one for too much music, unless it was Stompin' Tom Connors, or came from Cape Breton, even though the radio was always set to the local top 40 station. (COCK - We're comin' at ya! Local joke, don't ask. :&gt;) Yet every Sunday afternoon he'd have Clyde Gilmore on the CBC. Clyde Gilmore had possibly the most astounding collection of music ever assembled by any man ever. He seemed to have everything, from the popular to the rare and obscure. I'm sure, if you wanted to be material about it, what he had could have amounted to a worth of six digits.

It was Clyde Gilmore who first introduced me to Billie Holiday whom I still adore. (Oh, and to the supposed lover of jazz I spoke to a few years ago; Billie Holiday is not a 'he'. Thank you. That is all.)

I can still hear his voice, too; I could pick it out in a crowed of thousands if he were actually alive to be in that crowd of thousands. He's missed by me. he was a reminder of good things from childhood, and one of the few things I can associate with nothing bad. Not directly.

He's also, I'm certain, indirectly responsible for my love of the Ode To Joy; considering it was through him that I had my first taste of classical music.

...and speaking also of my grandfather, I've recently rediscovered my love of Bugle chips. He used to bring a bag from the bar when he'd come home. I loved them. It seems, though, that I have bought the local variety store out of house and Bugle chips. Their supply is dry. Either I shop elsewhere, or go without. Decisions, decisions.

Oh yes, I almost forgot the decent film I did see today. The Lion In Winter starring Katherine Hepburn and Peter O'Toole. Oh how I love Peter O'Toole. I think I've seen it once before, though many moons ago. I used to live for films like this. They're the reason I spent so many late nights in front of the television back when the local tv stations would actually show something that wasn't a bloody infomercial. No wonder things are such a frigging cultural wasteland nowadays. Now, though, I've got access to a couple of movie stations, so I'm watching Prelude To A Kiss. It's turning out to be not too damn bad. The pacing is a tad on the slow side, but sometimes that suits a film just fine.

I was just glancing at something in someone else's journal, something he's writing about going on a journey. Travel is a very important thing, in so many ways. In order to understand your own culture, your own home, and the cultures and homes of others, you have to go outside of the safe world you've always known. You must go abroad and experience life the way someone else experiences it. I think it's a good education to get outside of yourself once in a while. It's certainly good for diffusing social prejudice, for those open of mind enough to discern things around them, to perceive things, rather than just react to what's around them. You must interract.

In order to form a more perfect union, so to speak, you have to meld with what's around you, observe it, feel it, let it become a part of you. it's a different place, and a different world. It's not going to be like home, and you should not expect it to be so. But that's the whole point; living outside of what you're used to; living in another place so that you can learn from it.

personal
, , ,



All

2001 08 10 - 12:50

All those things I wanted
The things that end in 'yet'
All the things I dreamed of
And the things that I will get
All the things I tried to be
And all the things I am
All the things I can't do
And all the things I can
All of what has built up
And all of what fell through
All of what has happened
And all of what is new
All of what I asked for
And all the things I fought
All of what's come freely
And all of what I bought
All of what has hurt me
And all of what has not
All the skin I live in
And all the air I breath
All the sins committed
For which there is reprieve
All the things I've tucked away
And all the songs I've sung
All the memories I have kept
And the words upon my tongue
All the pictures that I've painted
And the pavements that I've walked
All the times I have kept silent
And all the times I've talked
All the things promised
And all of what's forgot
All of what's remembered
And all of what was taught
All of what was learned then
And all of what was done
All of what has passed to past
And all of what's to come

personal



Hamilton

2001 07 19 - 12:53

If I were to tell you about the city I live in, what would I say?

I'd say it's a town built on work; a town built on industry; a town built on the grit of people who either didn't want to, or couldn't, deal with building the city of Toronto (our neighbour by one hour to the north-westish).

I could mention the mafia, the shipping, the steel industry, and Tim Hortons. I could mention punk rock, jocks, and Hess Village on a summer evening.

I could talk about the east end, the west end, Rosedale, Parkdale, Westdale, Jamesville, and the hundred other little communities that make up any city large enough to have its own university, four major hospitals (with two whole MRI units now, yay them), and home to one of the best airshows this side of... airshows.

I could tell you how there are more doughnut shops per capita, in Hamilton, than any other city in Canada (possibly even North America), and I could tell you about the night I saw a cop run a red to get into one of them. I could even tell you about the all-night euchre parties with friends, and the sing-a-longs that nearly got us booted out of one of them. For good. (Who did let the god-damned pigeons in there, anyhow?)

I could tell you about the escarpment that we all like to call a <i>mountain</i>, or how you don't have to be Jesus to walk on water in Hamilton Harbour (hey, we have t-shirts with that on it!), or I could tell you how the view coming into Hamilton from the Skyway Bridge is so ugly (not because of the industry by the lake) because we want to keep the Torontonians out.

I could tell you what it was like to have my highschool graduation ceremony in the Cathedral Of Christ The King (all Catholic highschools in Hamilton do that), or what it's like to go skulking through the Hunter Street train tunnel (it's really not a task for the faint of heart, trust me; especially not when you hear a train coming and barely make it out before it brushes by, inches from your skin), or what it's like to sit on the mountain brow on a night when the sky is lit by fireworks.

I could even talk about the Festival Of Friends, Earthday, the Winona Peach Festival, the Dundas Cactus Festival, the Strawberry Festival (where they serve ice-cream and strawberries out front of city hall), the festival they have down at the harbourfront every summer, or the Canada Day concerts in Gage Park (they don't call Southern Ontario the "festival region" for nothing!).

I could talk about how we are home to what might possibly be the last surviving decent independant record label and distribution company (that would be Sonic Unyun for those keeping score at home; now home to Frank Black's music, amongst others), or how Bela Lugosi and David Byrne once lived here, or the time we stretched a silver mylar ribbon from Stoney Creek's city hall to Hamilton's city hall.

I could tell you what it was like to hang out with the pseudo-goth punky skinhead downtown street kids in the late 80's, what it was like to be friends with the sort of person who'd walk through the downtown dressed as Jesus during the annual Jehovah Witness convention, or precisely how long it takes to get from the corner of King and Nash to McMaster by city bus (hey, they're going <i>your</i> way).

I could tell you how we're perfectly situated and perfectly sized (not too big and not too small, and smack arse in-between Niagara Falls and Toronto), and how the weather is decent during the winter (we escaped the snow-belt by half an hour, yay us), or even the fact that our one peep-show offers a seniors discount.

I could tell you a lot of things, but I think what I'd tell you first and foremost, is that it has become my home. I am a part of it, and it is a part of me; and if I never make that move to England, I can see myself spending the rest of my life here, contently.

personal