To sing...

2001 11 02 - 08:46

I've been reading Henry Miller's Tropic Of Cancer (and I will shortly move on to Crazy Cock when the library has it in); and to backtrack somewhat to the first few pages of the book, I just want to share a passage with you all:

"To sing you must first open your mouth. You must have a pair of lungs, and a little knowledge of music. It is not necessary to have an accordion, or a guitar. The essential thing is to <i>want</i> to sing."

Sometimes the tools, trappings, and talent, mean nothing; sometimes the desire is all there is, and all there should be.

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Boo!

2001 10 31 - 09:01

For my friend Diane, there is no greater holiday than Hallowe'en. To her it's better than Christmas and birthdays combined. That said, I'm sure it'd come as no surprise that every year we celebrate it as extravagantly as we can manage to do. This year was no exception.

The house was decorated with the requisite decorations of strobe lights, spiders, cobwebs, and other assorted goodies. Diane had even arranged a "bike accident" by placing a bike on the hood of her car, with a dummy under the front wheels. The front yard was covered in piles of fallen leaves, lit candles, and other lighting; and a chair was placed next to a half-dead half-clown thing near the sidewalk. On this chair I sat, warty old witch mask on, and sitting quite askew as if I were dead or not real. Diane was somewhere behind me wearing a killer clown costume, Greg - wearing a Jason from Hallowe'en outfit - was standing obscured by the tree in the front yard, Stephen, in similar dress to Greg's, stood on the other side of the yard from him, and because Diane's husband was the last to come home, he got stuck doing candy duty.

Any screaming done on that street tonight, was done in front of Diane's house. Why? Because it's very easy to pretend not to be real, and jump or move at people at precisely the right time in order to maximise the effect. That's particularly easy after people come right up to you, ask you if you're real, even poke you, and you still don't move - then you scream, jerk your arms at them, or otherwise offer scaring inducements.

It's very satisfying to watch supposedly brave ten year old boys scream and run. It's also amusing to watch people stand at the end of the walk, stare, then run. It's even more fun to scare adults.

For next year we've already got the hanging corpses, floating ghosts, and fountains of blood, all worked out.

Footnotes: The problem with most people, is that they've forgotten the reason this particular holiday exists. The dead walk the earth - and we give them treats so they'll leave us alone. The roles reversed tonight, for us, and we became the walking spirits giving treats to our spectators. It gets better every time.

After we'd packed it in for the night, Greg changed from that costume to his other costume, as he was going out to a club. His costume consists of a number of stuffed baby chickens attached all over his clothes. What is he going as, you ask? Why, a chick magnet of course.

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We don't know where we're going, but isn't it fun to go?

2001 10 24 - 09:06

Most of the time when you wake up in the morning you never think that your life could change by the end of the day; or even within the first few minutes.

Out of the past decade of my life I've wasted a lot of years. I've done nothing with them and spent most of the time spinning my wheels and hoping for miracles that never came. Somewhere along the line I'd forgotten that a human being has to, on occasion, make their own miracles happen. Sometimes you have to search them out.

And sometimes, picking a direction - any direction - is better than sitting around doing nothing. It doesn't matter what is at the end of the road you choose; it only matters that you move.

It all leads to something. In my case it leads to self-respect and the battling of intellectual inertia.

You see, if all goes well, I'll be heading back to college in January. I blew it the first time around, but I'm not the same person I was a decade ago. I'm a little embarrassed about the school I'll be going to; it's not The Big University With A Good Reputation (where I blew it the first time). It's a local college with somewhat of a joke reputation around here. "You don't go there unless no one else will take you."

It fails to matter in the end, though; it's a step forward and a foot in the door to other things. It may be late in my life, but I've always been a late bloomer.

It's a lovely program, too. It's a Liberal Studies program that will let me sink my teeth into literature again, psychology, and sociology; and that's just in the first term. These subjects are somewhat of an intellectual wet-dream for me; they are what, in my own small way, I excel at. (I've just never been a good student.)

I just remembered this one woman I went to high school with; and when I say woman, I mean woman. She might not have been the nicest person on the planet, but there she was in her 40s going back to high school during the day rather than night school or correspondence, with people who were a third her age. You have to give that woman a lot of credit for doing it. She deserves a hell of a lot of admiration for it; especially considering she was going to school with one of her own children.

What's my advice for the day? If you're feeling stuck, check into the continuing education and distance education departments of your local college - or even ones not so local. You never know what's hiding in the dusty back pages of their course catalogue.

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Battlestar Galovetica

2001 10 16 - 09:11

Who knew? You can learn nifty new phrases from watching re-runs of Battlestar Galactica.

Just for the record, I hate this show. I'm trying to remember what my feelings on it were when it was first aired some twenty years ago, but I guess the part of the subconscious that blocks out traumatic memories was in full working order for me. Okay, it's not so much that I hate it, as that I find it ridiculous. Why was everything in the seventies so big and chunky? Had they not discovered sleek neatness? HMMM? Hair was big, furniture was big, cars were so big (though not quite as big as your average 1950s Cadillac, perhaps. Don't quote me, I don't really know anything about a car that isn't going at least 200 kph around a racetrack in Europe.) that you could have quite the comfortable orgy in daddy's borrowed backseat. (Blame the baby booms on the cars, my friends; it's because of the back seat.)

Today we learned the phrase romantic malnutrition.

One could take that in several different ways, I s'pose; but it really is just what it says it is - someone who is starving from lack of love. Mind you, in the show it was used in reference to some woman who was desperate for a husband - so her level of starvation could only be illusory, or perhaps even comic - remember, there are people who think the highest goal of a human's existence is to get a mate; and they will do or say anything to get one - for the sake of having one. This attitude seems to be falling more by the wayside as decades pass, thankfully; as people realise that there might be other facets to existence other than proving yourself only through the attainment of a partner. The idea that a human being who failed to get a mate was an abject failure always bothered me; but when you think about it, our biological imperative is to procreate. You can't exactly do that without someone of the opposite sex to help you.

It's true, though, that we as humans cannot survive without love, affection, and attention. Well, we can live without them, but it can become somewhat of a dry bones existence. We're social creatures built to be, and have, some kind of companionship. We need it.

We're still trying to figure it all out though; what is healthy, what isn't, what's good, what's not, what's proper, what's wrong... I know any number of people who equate unwavering attention with love; who think devotion is someone pandering to your desires and wants alone, with seemingly no heed for anyone else; themselves included. I don't think we'll ever be able to analyse it to some quantifiable result. I think it's always going to remain a haphazard mystery; and perhaps that's just how it should be, including all the pain and hardship it can sometimes carry with it.

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A live addiction

2001 10 06 - 09:18

Spinning trapeezes with scantily clad women; raised platforms with more of the same; women dancing in feathers and under a giant wedding gown; a sneaking ninja; glow in the dark spinning lights; hippy floral gowns and Davey Crockett hats; a mirrorball suit...

... Jane's Addiction.

It's a stunning visual display; almost too much in some ways. There's always some place for your eyes to be. If it happens that you look at the stage, you might see Perry spinning with the girls on the trapeeze, or you might see Dave Novarro, or you might see a giant wedding gown out from under which people would dance and gyrate.

They switched sides, so to speak; during the show. They appeared - after a small break - on a stage set up at the other end of the arena. They played a slightly more relaxed set from that end; the slower songs. Diane and I termed that the "Lillith Fair" stage, and the main one was the "Lollapalooza Stage". During another song, all of the band members - excepting Perry - came out and played some bongos for us.

The only disappointments from that part of the show were the missing songs. They didn't play Been Caught Stealing or Standing In The Shower Thinking. I'm bothered by the lack of the second; I really like that song.

Live's stage setup was very simple, but very neat in its own way. They had it set up to look like a living room; complete with couches, tables, and lamps. The guitar player sat frequently on the sofa, almost like someone's basement jam session.

And Ed's vocal range is still astounding.

We got there late, so if they did play that depressing piece of crap I hate so much, we were fortunate in being spared hearing it.

All in all, a very fine evening. Once again I am indebted to Diane for letting me tag along.

Ahh, and the rain; did I mention the rain? It's been pissing it down steadily all day. And the Air Canada Centre almost feels like a small place when the lights are down - but when the house lights come on, you can see it's four levels of seating going straight up to the ceiling. It's near freakish.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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