Monday, October 31, 2005
The chances are higher than the total number of residents in Russell, Chesterville, Winchester, Cornwall, and the student body at Bishop's University combined; so, I really don't have a chance to win this silly trip.
Andrea and I were musing about who we'd bring should we win the trip. The winner gets to bring three other people with them to Cancun, and they all get to enjoy a seven-day trip in a Resort, all expenses paid. I told Andrea I'd most likely bring Alex, Alanna, and she as my three others.
After talking about it for a bit, I realized that this is really not my kind of trip. I would much prefer to travel elsewhere, and even if I did go down south, I would prefer to travel around the countryside, see towns, villages, scenery, people; basically do my own thing and not just stay in an excessively large, rich-person's resort.
Then again, I thought about what would happen if I won this trip during the coldest and most miserable time of winter and the trip was sloted for the following week. I could possibly see myself just taking off.
Andrea and I talked a little more about it, and as much as that would be tempting and very warm, we would most likely end up selling the seven-day, four-people in Cancun prize and using the money for our own kind of trip.
Anyone want to come with me to Sakhalin, Russia?
I hear they have babies you can adopt who can teach you Russian.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
That's right -- snow. In October. Snow that doesn't melt the second it hits the ground.
My initial reaction was utter disgust.
Why on earth are we having stupid snow in stupid October?
I was walking up to the intersection when I was thinking this. I started counting the winter months.
I mean, come on, we have guaranteed winter in November, December, January, February, and most of March, so why is the snow falling now?
I am stomping up the hill, speeding up my walk in order to get home faster. I see the house number 53, a house I usually look at on my way up, and that is when it hits me.
It was beautiful outside. The snow wasn't just flakes of snow; the snow was coming down in clumps. Tons of snow everywhere was landing softly on the grass and on the roof. Number 53 never looked prettier. My heart felt lighter, and I smiled.
Ooh, look at how amazing this looks.
I stopped in my tracks and took a large breath of air. I slowed down my walk, so I could enjoy the lovely, falling snow. Everything looked so peaceful.
Not long after that, I was hit with another feeling. A feeling of Christmas. Woah, I know.
Now, as nice as Christmas can be, it is downright awful to feel this way in October. Feelings of Christmas and the holidays started to ripple through my body. I hastily tried to shake them off. Too early. Don't. Start. Thinking. Of. This.
I mean, Hallowe'en still hasn't passed! It's not that I want Christmas now; I surely do not. I want more of fall. I need more fall air.
Walking up the driveway, I tried to sort out how I really felt about this snow. I reasoned.
Alright, this is simply snow. It is unusually early, so that means that it will melt. This snow will not last long. We will still have some good fall weather in November. Stop panicking. Remember the greenhouse effect.
In reality, thinking of the greenhouse shouldn't have comforted me. But hey, it did.
I find it particularly interesting as to how much I associate the weather with past memories and with specific feelings. Fall is often a very good season for me. It is probably in Fall and Spring that I feel I can accomplish the most. Summer is just too fun and carefree. Winter is when I get contemplative, think a lot, and write a lot. I really love every season, not just for its memories that it induces and its seasonal activites it offers, but also for its capability to make me feel just a little different and a little revitalized when a new season arrives.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
If the character had been involved in treason, it will come back and having serious repercussions. If the character is cheating on a spouse, he or she will definitely be caught or found out. If a character has been hiding a secret from someone for years, that secret will definitely come out in the book/movie. Of course, there are some movies where a secret is kept a secret, but it is rare and usually another secret ends up coming out anyway.
And why not? I mean, that's what makes movies and books worth watching. It is always interesting to see how the other characters deal with the issues at hand.
I think it would funny to make a movie where everyone has these secrets but none of them ever surface. One of them is cheating on his wife, and he continues to do so, whilst she is completely oblivious. The other one steals and robs regularly and is never caught. Another one has a secret identity that nobody ever finds out about. It would probably make for a very frustrating, strange, and most likely an actionless movie.
I remember a few years ago, I read the book Hotel by Arthur Hailey. There was this character who was a very intelligent, cunning, but likable crook. He stole all sorts of things, from clothes to cars to having a free hotel room for a few nights. At the end of the novel, things were getting too risky for him, and he felt he was getting to old for all this stealing and secrecy, so he decided that he wanted to live a peaceful and clean life from then on. He then grabs his suitcases and gets into his car, leaving the hotel. He stops at one point, reaches into one of his suitcases, and realizes that it is filled with twenty dollar bills; thousands of dollars in twenty dollar bills. He tells himself that this is the last dishonest thing he would do (though this time it was completely accidental), and he drives away again.
He is stopped on the road by a policeman, who was known in the police force for being "the slow one". The policeman thought he had seen something suspicious with the crook, so he looks through his car. The crook is hoping to God that he won't find the money and so are probably most of the readers. You want this crook to get away with it. Well, the policeman wasn't called "the slow one" for nothin'. He finds nothing and lets the crook continue on his way. Whew, we all breath a sigh of relief.
I thought that was great! The crook could have been caught, but he wasn't. The could-haves that usually translate into guaranteed-to-happen stays as a could-have.
Then again, I don't know how successful you can be if your movie is only full of that. The reader knows the secret of the all the characters, but they never end up coming out into the open. It may be kind of boring.
Of course, maybe that would make it more realistic and less sensational. There are some people out there who are very good at hiding their secrets and pasts.
But then again, what is more fun than creating drama? If you have a deep, dark secret, bring it out into the open, so we can have some exciting and fun drama!
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Dude: "Hey toé, veux-tu du sexe?"
When I was translating this, I started laughing when I came to the "écrase" part because it is literally translated as "squish". Oh, go squish yourself!
Someone else remarked, "at least he's direct. He knows what he wants, eh?"
I made pretzels today with the Bishop's German Club, though they looked nothing like pretzels, but more like little clumps of je-ne-sais-quoi. I figured this wouldn't be a problem until both Germans began laughing at me.
Hrmpf, that's the last time I invite Germans to an Oktoberfest!
Friday, October 21, 2005
I am currently reading a brilliant book by Jack Henry Abbott called, In the Belly of the Beast. Jack Abbott (an inmate) and a writer wrote letters to each other for years. This book was published with only the one side of the corresponsdance: Abbott's letters.
It is a fantastic read, and I recommend it to anyone who likes racy and shocking novels about life as an inmate. The reason why I bring this up is because I want to share a few religion quotes with you. Keep in mind that Abbott is an atheist.
"I find the human element in all religions very beautiful and touching. Religious ideas move me very much, almost as much as the people who hold those beliefs. I am moved by the knowledge that you find consolation in religious existentialism . I wish I could."
Occasionally, I feel that way. It is extremely comforting to believe and have faith, and sometimes I wish I could, but I know that I can't. I really like the way Abbott puts it.
So, it's not a huge problem if I don't believe, but it royally sucks for someone in prison. Even if you are completely irrational in your religious beliefs, I am sure it is very nice to have that kind of consolation and that inkling of happiness. I can't see how that can be bad or do any damage to others.
In cases like that, I understand why people turn to religion. It is in dire situations and circumstances that people turn to the divine. I do not see a problem in that because if you have nothing left and really nothing else to hope for, then why not? It is people who use Jesus Christ and God as an excuse that really bother me. I find it illogical and irrational when one says that they have "God" on their side, especially when it is to do with war and killing. By saying that they have "God" on their side makes them, supposedly, more powerful and more believable. I remember being in North Carolina, and it said God Bless America on a milk jug we bought. My Dad thought it was absolutely ridiculous; we laughed but were somewhat shocked that this was written on a milk jug. Besides, why is it that God blesses America? Why not God bless Lesotho? Why do the Americans get God's approval and the rest of us don't?
I don't like those who preach, those who push religion on others, and those who are extremists.
As much as religion can be a safety to some, it is a danger and problem to others. Weak-minded people or people who have grown up in a religious environment are often inculcated with many religious beliefs. They never question them and accept them as being the truth. They think there is no other right way, rather than their own. They are not open to others ideas and are hopelessly stuck in their ways. Also, we must not forget that there are those who explode after years of "fundamentalist" Christianity and go the complete other way.
Hence, it is not only in religion that extremism occurs; any kind of extremism is a kind of close-mindedness. I mean, it is good to be devoted to your cause, but when you are just so far one way, you're practically blind. Opinions become facts. I think that's also dangerous.
I am quite against for what most of the Catholic church stands for, mainly on account of their basic values being flooded with "being a good Christian" and all the added baggage that goes with it. Like I previously mentioned, I do not like the church telling me how to vote, how to have a good marriage, and basically how to run my life.
Again, on the flip side, I don't find that everyone who is "religious" is bad and irrational.
Don't tell me that you haven't felt safe from something irrational before. People feel safe when they have a night light on. People feel safe when they sing to themselves when they are alone. People feel safe when they ignore potential danger around them. People feel safe when they are ignorant. This is not always a bad thing.
So, what am I trying to say here? I am tempted to say everything in moderation and nothing to the extreme, but that's not quite the point I am making. I think religion has caused much violence and strife over the years, but it has also been the cause of many people's consolation, just to get through life a little easier. Tons of Christians have not done any wrong and live very similarly to many other atheists. If their Christianity cult helps them get through life better without harming others, then I say go for it.
I do not believe in God. Like Abbott says, sometimes I wish I could. It is just something I cannot fathom now. It doesn't make sense to me; it's impossible. At the moment, I believe that we have made up God, just so we can feel a little more secure. People can find coincidences anywhere, if they look hard enough.
So, me, religion-wise, in a nutshell? I am an atheist who is in love with the story, music, and style of the musical, Jesus Christ Superstar.
I have decided not to call this entry "Religion" because I am not at all familiar with religions such as Buddhism, Islam, and so on, so I figure I should just stick with what I know.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Of course, by no means let this stop you from commenting. I encourage all discussions and debates.
I want to start off by saying that I think religion has become itself a touchy word. When someone says "I'm religious", people automatically get all sorts of ideas and prejudices in their head. On the flip side, when someone says "I'm an atheist", you again get a fixed idea.
It was only in the last two years that I decided that there was no God. It was a little scary when I came to this conclusion; we're alone in this world. Alone. At least, I found it to be a little frightening. We can't asked to be saved; we can't ask for help; we can only rely on ourselves. Now, I am not frightened by the thought of no higher power; in fact, I think I feel more comfortable about it, seeing as my life is in my own hands, and not fated and in the hands of God. As much as I believe in karma and good things happening to good people, I do think we create our own lives and create our own luck and bad luck.
The primary contacts that I've had with religion over the years have been my French Catholic elementary schooling and my Dad's out-of-the-blue Anglican confirmation when I was about fourteen. I remember in elementary school, I despised Catéchèse (Religion class, for the anglos) more than anything else, and I was a kid who liked school most of the time. My parents never really pushed anything upon me, as they weren't religious. My mother and father had both been baptized, Catholic and United respectively, but they didn't practise anything. Actually, my mother had been boycotting the Catholic Church for years. When she lived in Vienna, she was forced to go to Church every Sunday, in which the priests would speak only in Latin. She said it was horribly boring, and she didn't understand why they spoke in a language that so few people understood. She said people were ostracized if they didn't attend church. She really wasn't a fan of church. My parents had sent me (and my siblings) to a French Catholic school just because it was French.
Over the years, two things, in terms of religious beliefs, struck me and have probably put my stance to where it is now.
First -- Like I just mentioned, I attended a Catholic school from kindergarten to grade eight. I never really thought about it all that much, but I took a lot of what we were taught as being the truth and being facts because they told us that's how it was. One year, we even had an ex-nun teach us. She was scary, though.
In grade seven, I remember sitting with my friend, Joey, beside the computers. We were whispering in English to each other because you could get in some moderately serious trouble for speaking English. Somehow, we got on the subject of the Bible and religion. I remember him picking up the New Testament and saying, "you know, I don't think I believe everything in here."
That hit me with a ton of bricks. I had, until then, accepted it all as fact. Yeah, I thought, yeah, why do I have to believe everything in there? I don't think I do! And that began the ball rolling.
Second -- As soon as he turned forty, my Dad suddenly found his faith. We were all really confused when he decided to attend church again; not only that, but he also decided to become an Anglican. Well, we were confused, but we didn't really care. He didn't get all crazy on us or anything. He didn't tell us that we should go to church. He just liked the church community, and our Anglican church is the most harmless Church ever.
Anyway, since I play the piano, I was hired as the summer organist at my Dad's church about two years ago. Church hymns are easy to play and sing, so I enjoyed learning the pieces, and I was getting paid, so I didn't really mind sitting through an hour of church on Sunday mornings.
I came to the conclusion that I liked the fundamental and basic values that Christianity preaches. If you get down to it, Christianity wants to share the ideas of peace, love thy neighbour as thyself, do onto others what you'd have done onto you, share, forgive, and live peaceably among others. I think all of this is good to live by. The problem is that Catholicism, which I know best, is littered with ideas of "being a good Christian". The basic ideals are fogged up with arguments about abortion, gays, birth control, vice, sin, etc. Why can't you just be a good person, be good to others, and live your life in the best way possible achieving your highest potential? And if you mess up, you try to fix it. You say sorry to people. You can even ask for God's forgiveness, if you want. We all mess up.
Moreover, does God really care if you're having sex before you get that little piece of paper that says you are "legally married"? Does he care that you're using birth control? Do you think Jesus Christ would condemn gays?
A resounding No! I think this is all ridiculous. Jesus is all about love and peace and giving (I just watched Jesus Christ Superstar last night; I love that musical).
That's what I like about Christianity -- its fundamental values. I hate everything else that gets into the way. Remember, church and religion's original intent was to be something positive, rather than negative, scary, and disturbing, as some of it has become.
I will be posting my next installment tomorrow, which will address the issue of safety, violence, and problems that have stemmed from religion.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
School was cancelled yesterday, as Bishop's University and Champlain College closed the bridge that nearly every student and staff off-campus uses.
The flooded fields, yards, and streets are pretty impressive. Here is a shaky "Flood" movie that perhaps will not make you cry, but it will certainly give you the feel of what's going on here.
If the movie isn't working for you, I invite you to check out these cool pictures.
Stay tuned for a following entry on our favourite topic: religion!
Monday, October 17, 2005
This is interesting:
"Of the nations studied, the U.S. — which has by far the largest percentage of people who take the Bible literally and express absolute belief in God (and the lowest percentage of atheists and agnostics) — also has by far the highest levels of homicide, abortion, teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
This conclusion will come as no surprise to those who have long gnashed their teeth in frustration while listening to right-wing evangelical claims that secular liberals are weak on 'values.'"
(courtesy of Mister Hand)
I hate staying indoors too long. So, I decided to go swimming at the Sports Plex. I packed a plastic bag of my two-piece, a towel, my goggles, and some makeup. I put on boots, my raincoat, and my trusty hood. I walked down in the pouring rain, swam, dried off in the sauna, got dressed again, and came up in the pouring rain. I could have just as easily gone outside naked for five minutes. It now seems a little silly to me.
I think I must be going mad. It looks like I took out this madness on my hair.
Rain and gray skies have a certain beauty. It is deliciously cozy sitting inside, hearing the howling winds, the rain on the roof, whilst sipping a hot chocolate. Or, after being outside, you come in, put some warm and comfy clothes on and curl up with a good book or, even better, a warm person.
Rainy days remind me a lot of my family and when I was younger. My brother and I would race across the living room floor, play monopoly, probably paint or make something, and then dance in my room. Sometimes, we would get cabin fever, or so we were told by our parents, whom we were probably driving crazy. I remember our monopoly games, or should I say our never-ending monopoly games. Everyone knows that monopoly is a long game, so whenever my brother and I would tire of it, we would carefully move the board to the corner of the piano room. We always planned to take it up another time. Sometimes we did, other times we forgot, and other times, the cat would run over it, ruining our money and deeds. This naturally ensued me freaking out at the cat, and then whining to my parents and brother. My brother didn't care all that much, and my mom said that I had probably forgotten about the game until now. Again, she was right.
Many teenagers when they reach "that age" believe that their parents are rarely right. Sometimes, this is the truth, but in my case, my mother was nearly always right. She was amazingly accurate with snow days, the fantasy of every child. When the weather predicted a lot of snow or some ice, my brother and I would immediately go to her and ask her if it was going to be a snow day tomorrow. She always knew.
"Hmm, no," she would say after only a short pause.
"What! Mom, no, that's not fair!", we'd whine. "Are you sure?"
"Yup, positive," she would say smiling.
"Awww, Mom!" My brother and I would walk away groaning.
And sure enough, the next morning, my brother and I would wake up, stay in bed, and pray for the slimest chance that the radios would announce the cancellation of buses or our bus would call. They never did. Somehow, she always knew when there would be snow days or not.
Of course, other times, it would be as such:
"Mom, will there be a snow day tomorrow?"
"Oh, I'm pretty sure. I'm taking tomorrow off. If the roads aren't too bad, we'll go into Morrisburg and buy Baba some shoes."
Naturally, we'd cheer and hoot. And that was that.
Only once, I remember her really not being sure. Again, after hearing the weather report for some ice, my brother and I rushed to ask my mother. Much to our surprise, she didn't know.
"I really can't tell. I'll have to say maybe or maybe not," she told us. We were really confused. How could she not know?
She left it at that. We went to sleep, hoping for the day off.
The next morning, we listened to the radio. I always had 93.9 Kool FM wake me up, whilst my parents always had on CBC. The weirdest thing? On one station, they had cancelled buses; on the other one, they hadn't.
At about 7:30, the bus called for my brother, telling him ten minutes before his bus was supposed to come that the buses were indeed cancelled. He whooped for joy, but that didn't really clear up anything for me. I was in my first year at high school, and he was still in elementary school. We were on different school boards.
So, since my brother wasn't going to school, I really didn't feel like going, so I decided to stay home, on account of bus confusion. Also, this helped out my parents, as my brother and sister weren't old enough to stay home on their home. So, the three of us are just at home when I look out the window at 8:30. I see my bus, picking up kids at the corner. So, there was school? I was confused.
Apparently, it was a confused snow day. Half of the buses picked up kids and half didn't. Less than half the school was at school. The kids who were at school were like, why the heck am I here? and the teachers were like, crap. Many kids ended up getting picked up by friends or parents at lunch. You must be aware that my middle-of-nowhere school is surrounded with cows and two cemeteries, so it's not like we could leave all that easily.
So, in summary, this shows that the only time that my mother was unsure, so were the buses and school boards. I tell you, she has magical powers. We were always impressed.
Speaking of cancelled school days, I may have no classes tomorrow, due to part of the school and bridge being flooded.
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Whether you love or hate the dating scene, you must agree on the fact that we are all looking for one other person to couple up with. We are looking to date a mate.
As you can see (or not), I have put emphasis on the singularity of a mate. We do not go out looking for two or three or more people to date at once. Sure, there are those who like to date a variety of people within a period of a month, for instance. And there are also those guys who enjoy being with a number of girls at once. Also, there are plenty of single people and couples that are on the lookout for other mates only for the purpose of sex. However, no one actively goes out looking for two serious partners. People get married to either one man or one woman. Of course, there are laws to prohibit polygamy, but very, very few people are on the search for two compatible mates.
Now, let's look at what our society is based on.
One thing needs to be established -- this idea is not the male's typical fantasy. This is a completely equal relationship. The couple could either be two girls and one guy or two guys and one girl, but the latter would be more rare. Girls tend to be more comfortable with each other, and there exists many more bisexual women than men. So, I am referring to the three person couple, in where there are two women and one man.
One thing needs to be established -- this idea is not the male's typical fantasy. This is a completely equal relationship. The couple could either be two girls and one guy or two guys and one girl, but the latter would be more rare. Girls tend to be more comfortable with each other, and there exists many more bisexual women than men. So, I am referring to the three person couple, in where there are two women and one man.
So, guys, as much as you are living and sleeping with two women, they are not only sharing you, but you are also sharing each of them. It is a completely equal three person relationship, in which they all love and care for each other equally. Okay, so what are the advantages of such a strange "triple"? There are two main bonuses: a better support system and a stronger family network for kids. As it may seem like a larger challenge to make two people happy, rather than only one, it actually makes for a stronger relationship. Instead of only having one person to watch over you and care for you, you have two people who love you to death. The important word in this relationship is equal. Everything has to be completely equal between the three people. Then again, this doesn't mean that two of them can't have sex without the other. What if the third person is tired and doesn't want to sex it up? I say that the other two can go ahead and have their fun. If the relationship works properly, and if they are all very secure, then I see no harm at all. Also, think of all the fun potentials this relationship could bring. You would learn to be intimate with two people at once. You may think that there would be less of a connection because "three is a crowd", and you can only be really intimate with one person at once. I disagree. You know that comforting, loving, and sometimes sexual feeling that you feel at the pit of your stomach for someone? Imagine having this feeling for two people at once. Imagine what a happy and satisfied person you'd be. You would grow and learn with these other two people. As my colleague mentioned, you would have a constant little party. How could things get dull when there are always three people around? Second of all, a three-way relationship would be excellent for children. It would make parenting a whole lot easier, as there would be three parents instead of only two. Perhaps to avoid the problem of it being only the child of two of the parents, the easiest solution would be to adopt a baby. Having three parents would pose less of a strain on the adults, and they would probably be ultimately happier. The kid would have a strong and open-minded household and would probably become a very well-rounded and accepting kid. Now comes the important question: what kind of a person could actually enter into a three-way serious, committable relationship? This person would have to be: -extremely open-minded -self-confident -feel very secure -comfortable with others -experimental -loving Obviously, the girls in the relationship would also need to be perfectly bisexual. It is important that none of the parties in the relationship ever feel insecure. They cannot feel jealous, and they cannot have preference of one person. I must say again that the relationship needs to be perfectly equal. For example, I must love Jane and Fred equally, as Fred must love Jane and I equally, and Jane must love Fred and I equally. Again, it must be clear that this relationship isn't only meant for a man to get his sexual kicks in. Although this may be a bonus, remember that you have to now make two women happy. In summary, the advantages of a couple of three, if done right, are: -good company -loving two people equally -excellent support system -strong family -excellent support network for kids -healthy environment -superb sex -makes you even more open-minded Just an idea... Though it's not exactly the same concept that I am talking about, this is an interesting three-way relationship story.
-growing with not one but two people
So, guys, as much as you are living and sleeping with two women, they are not only sharing you, but you are also sharing each of them. It is a completely equal three person relationship, in which they all love and care for each other equally.
Okay, so what are the advantages of such a strange "triple"? There are two main bonuses: a better support system and a stronger family network for kids. As it may seem like a larger challenge to make two people happy, rather than only one, it actually makes for a stronger relationship. Instead of only having one person to watch over you and care for you, you have two people who love you to death. The important word in this relationship is equal. Everything has to be completely equal between the three people. Then again, this doesn't mean that two of them can't have sex without the other. What if the third person is tired and doesn't want to sex it up? I say that the other two can go ahead and have their fun. If the relationship works properly, and if they are all very secure, then I see no harm at all. Also, think of all the fun potentials this relationship could bring. You would learn to be intimate with two people at once. You may think that there would be less of a connection because "three is a crowd", and you can only be really intimate with one person at once. I disagree. You know that comforting, loving, and sometimes sexual feeling that you feel at the pit of your stomach for someone? Imagine having this feeling for two people at once. Imagine what a happy and satisfied person you'd be. You would grow and learn with these other two people. As my colleague mentioned, you would have a constant little party. How could things get dull when there are always three people around?
Second of all, a three-way relationship would be excellent for children. It would make parenting a whole lot easier, as there would be three parents instead of only two. Perhaps to avoid the problem of it being only the child of two of the parents, the easiest solution would be to adopt a baby. Having three parents would pose less of a strain on the adults, and they would probably be ultimately happier. The kid would have a strong and open-minded household and would probably become a very well-rounded and accepting kid.
Now comes the important question: what kind of a person could actually enter into a three-way serious, committable relationship? This person would have to be:
-feel very secure
-comfortable with others
Obviously, the girls in the relationship would also need to be perfectly bisexual.
It is important that none of the parties in the relationship ever feel insecure. They cannot feel jealous, and they cannot have preference of one person. I must say again that the relationship needs to be perfectly equal. For example, I must love Jane and Fred equally, as Fred must love Jane and I equally, and Jane must love Fred and I equally. Again, it must be clear that this relationship isn't only meant for a man to get his sexual kicks in. Although this may be a bonus, remember that you have to now make two women happy.
In summary, the advantages of a couple of three, if done right, are:
-loving two people equally
-excellent support system
-excellent support network for kids
-makes you even more open-minded
Just an idea...
Though it's not exactly the same concept that I am talking about, this is an interesting three-way relationship story.
My source? The good ol' Ottawa Gas Prices website that I check daily.
Though in Lennoxville, the price sits at an ugly 109.4, yet I keep thinking it reads 189.4.
Now, wouldn't that just be the scariest thing ever!
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Last night, we attended the annual grand concert, featuring the usual String Quartet. I must say, it was a rather strange evening. When I first saw him, I knew that something with him had changed. His attention was solely focussed on me the entire evening. He didn't speak much, but he was terribly attentive. He didn't even once avert his gaze to a stunning blond or to a sultry redhead. He wasn't up to any of his usual tricks. Can this really be the death of a ladies' man? It would be rather nice if this was a new leaf he was turning over, but then again, this may just be another way of attracting the ladies. I would hate it if it was just new skin for the old ceremony.
Though, judging by what he did that night, I doubt that is the case.
I took off my shoes, and he took my coat upon enterring his house. He lit the fire and waited for the fireplace to warm up before heading to the kitchen. I sat on the couch whilst he prepared glasses of wine. I couldn't help but notice the strange photographs that covered his wall. He had photographs of people in various positions, often compromising positions. Were they dancers? The people looked oftentimes uncomfortable. I struck me that it was him that had taken these pictures. I had a fleeting thought of leaving immediately, but had I left, Heather, I would never had done what I am about to tell you.
He returned shortly with two large wine glasses. I set my glass on the coffee table as he took a large gulp. He looked up and stared at me. I looked away immediately, completely taken aback by his unusual directness.
He wouldn't say anything, so I asked him about his photographs. He said his sister danced and had asked him to take pictures of her and her partner in a specific modern dance number.
"I didn't know you were into photography," I said.
He looked at me and gave me a half-smile, saying, "Do you like getting your picture taken?"
Before I could reply, he took out his camera, focussed, and snapped a picture of me. I was stunned. He looked at the screen on his camera and said, "Just as I thought". He looked up at me, grinning, waiting for me to say something.
What was I supposed to say, Heather?! I heard myself mumble, "What are you doing?". I wasn't quite sure myself what I was referring to. I just wanted him to explain... something.
He put down his camera and looked at me like he was about to say something. He paused. He frowned and sat back.
"Do you want to hear my most recent songs?"
This was crazy! What happened to the old him? Wasn't he always very secretive about his music? Heather, you can't imagine as to how shocked I was!
I managed to squeal out, "yes", as I looked up at him. He took another gulp of the wine and then got up. He came back with a guitar and a very strange look on his face. He turned off the lights and instead of sitting across the table from me, he sat down on the other side of the couch. The firelight flickered across his face, as he adjusted the guitar. I couldn't quite make out his facial expression. He plucked a few strings then said:
"Within the last month, I've written ten new songs. I have not shared them with anyone. In fact, I have not shared many of my songs with anyone. I did not want my songs spread over dozens of strangers. I didn't want my music repeated by anyone because no one can do as good as a job as I can. And that wouldn't give the songs justice."
He chuckled quietly.
"I am well-known for some things, things that you are probably quite aware of, but I am not known for music. Like everyone, I also want to be well-known and be held in high regard. I figured that if I want to continue to be known in the future, I had better share more of me with others. I wonder what kind of legacy would last the longest. I think I'll share a bit of my music and see where that leads me. Let me share my songs with you first. Would you be interested in listening?"
I nodded and bit my lip.
"Oh", he said gently putting his hand on my arm, "and let me know what you love and what you hate about my songs. Just tell me."
He sat back and began playing. I just listened and listened and listened..! Heather, this was quite the sight to behold! Would you have ever imagined him being able to master music? Oh, and did he ever. Not only can he play and sing, but he can do both those things extremely well. I was in complete awe the entire time. He was actually showing me something about him. Instead of prying into me and my life, he was showing me something personal, something that he was passionate about, something that was really him.
I still have trouble imagining that I was actually in his living room with him, listening to him play his songs for me. Despite our intimate history, this is the closest I had ever felt with him.
When he finished playing, he drank the rest of his wine and looked up at me. I assumed he was waiting for my comments. I finally felt relaxed. He had opened up.
And I knew that this was it. He had finally opened up to me after I had for so long. I no longer felt like I needed anything from him. I no longer needed to chase him; he had given me my closure.
I stood up, emptied my wine into his glass. I went to the closet, retrieved my coat, and slipped into my shoes. He said nothing. I put my hand on the doorknob and said with genuine warmth,
"I hated nothing of your songs. I loved it all."
He stood up and walked alarmingly to the closet. His eyes wore a huge question mark. Upper hand no longer.
I opened the door to let myself out. He softly said my name. I turned around, and there he was, standing there, like someone who was forgotten on their birthday.
I fought the urge, and said: "Keep playing. I love your songs." So, then I left.
I did the right thing, didn't I, Heather? It had been so long, and he was doing nothing but bringing me down.
Oh, but you know all of this. You must reassure me by telling me that he was the most vain and most self-absorbed man. Let's see who gets to Scotland first now, eh?
What's this I keep hearing about all these fish in the sea? Maybe I can finally take a look.
I feel whole now; I have my entire collection of Leonard Cohen CDs with me again.
Acting, however, was brought on a totally different level the other day.
Does anyone else like roleplaying other couples as much as I/we do?
Saturday, October 08, 2005
I've always been a tidy and clean person, though I like having books strewn around, and I really don't mind a cluttered desk. What really bothers me is extreme cleanliness. You know like those houses where you can't comfortably sit down anywhere? Everything is just so clean. You can't even sit on a couch with ease because you are afraid you are wrinkling the blanket over the cushions or screwing up those stupid, little arm thingies. Not only that, but everywhere you look, there are fancy little figurines (dust-free, of course), standing perfectly in place on an useless little table that has no purpose but to hold these figurines. I hate that. I feel suffocated; I can't breathe because this house feels like it hasn't been lived in. All houses should at least have some sort of mess, whether it be a few glasses lying around, magazines, books, or CDs; even unorderly couch cushions would be somewhat of a relief. But, oh no, these scary-clean houses just can't have that.
Last year, I was at an apartment that was just like this. I felt so uncomfortable. I was sitting on a perfect couch with perfectly aligned figurines beside it when the thought came to me: there must be at least some dust somewhere. I looked around frantically: there was none on the useless tables, none in the corners of the room, none under the doors, and no dust bunnies around shelves. I had one last hope: there must be dust behind the sofa, by the television. It seemed like a very narrow and hard to reach spot. So, I went and looked behind the sofa (discreetly, of course), and to my utter shock, it was also spotless.
Oh. My. God.
I swallowed hard. This was just too bizarre. I decided that I needed to leave and never come back. So, in other words, you really can't host me if your house is too clean.
Then again, I prefer ultra-cleanliness over ultra-disgustingness any day. I just don't like it when a house isn't a home. Like I said at the beginning of the entry, I am a tidy and clean person. Ideally, the house should be clean but definitely lived in.
"End of sermon" (ha!)
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Alright, so maybe it isn't the act of actually locking the door; it's this whole paranoid about safety thing. I'm surprised that the girls keep the door locked when they are home during the day. I mean, come on. In Chesterville, that is unheard of. Even many people in Ottawa, for example, keep their doors unlocked when they are home. Even some in Toronto.
We're only in Lennoxville.
Moreover, when we lock our door, we are protected by not only one, but two locked doors. The door downstairs locks automatically every time you close it. I do not see the point of having two locked doors during the day when you are home! Also, I find it a hassle to have to unlock the door every time I come home from somewhere. And yes, the girls are there ninety-five percent of the time.
This is also reminding me of the time in Peace River, Alberta when I walked back home alone, a 45-minute walk, at around 11 pm. Two weeks prior, I was watching a movie at a participant's house. Afterwards, I told them I wanted to go home anyway, after learning that my ride fell through. They refused (both male and female) and told me that they weren't letting me walk home (40 minutes) at this hour of the night. I don't remember the time, but it was quite late. Perhaps it wasn't the safest thing to do, but I found it annoying that they weren't letting me go. They said it was dangerous because it was at night and who knows what can happen to an 18-year old girl at night! They told me to spend the night at their host family's place. I really hate imposing on people like this, especially since I barely knew the host family. Reluctantly, I ended up spending the night. So, that's why I walked home alone a few weeks later (after a ride fell through again). I wasn't scared at all. Yes, this was in defiance to the whole paranoia about my safety, or rather about a female's safety.
Yes, I realize that it is all for my safety, but come on! It angers me that people always warn me that I will be raped or mugged or kidnapped or something just because I'm female. Yes, I realize that I am a more susceptible victim than my male counterparts, but I don't think that constantly trying to scare me will do anything about it except make me a worry-wart.
Oh, and by the way, I never planned to walk back late at night; it was just when rides fell through. I hate it when people worry about me in these kind of situations, so I never told my group or my host family that I walked home alone that night. It would have be an unnecessary worry.
I suppose I am just not afraid of strangers breaking into my house, enticing me into their car, or raping me. It doesn't really cross my mind. I am always very careful, smart about situations, and I figure I will never be put in an iffy situation because I don't think I am one to attract that kind of danger.
Perhaps I sound naïve about my safety, but I think that it just doesn't overly worry me. I do understand someone's concern for my safety, but what I don't like is the whole paranoia thing.
Leonard Cohen: So then, Miranda, what is your biggest danger?
Miranda: Well, Lenny, I'd have to say it is the possibility of having my legs broken by my friends because of my constant and ever-present tardiness.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
No Answers kicked off the evening. My ex-roommate and current friend, Anna, was in that play. She played alongside Leigh, who, I must add, has a very good chance in doing voices for animations as a career. She has such a child-like and disctinct voice.
This play was about two friends, one of which is dying (Leigh). It's very philosophical; all about life, death, and time. It is interesting that Anna was in a play like this because practically all of her lines were thing she'd said in real conversation. It was neat that they decided to have a clock ticking throughout the entire play, but I think it was a touch too loud.
The dying girl ends up attracting this lone candy seller. They are a strange couple. It was a slow moving play, but that is the way it was supposed to be: things just happen in a moment or without time. The performance left you with a smile.
Undone was the second play of the night, but it was the first play that made me almost want to gag myself (yes, even after having a delightful meal of lentil loaf and stuffed baked potatoes). Badly written. No direction. Weak actors. Clichés everwhere.
"I just want to, you know, do something different for a change, something more daring", says the nerdy girl who loves to read, "I want to be more like you".
The popular business major girl: "You just have to go and do it. You can't just read about living; you have to go live yourself!"
Not to mention there were also several awkward scenes of arguing between the guys, a really unnecessary drunk scene, and, of course, a rejected and then accepted kissing scene. All the characters that the writer choose to use had been done and re-done about a thousand times. It was painful to watch. Paula whispered to me a few times, "well, that was awkward", and we kept slapping our hands to our forheads. Oh yes, and the writer was sitting right beside me. After the performance (at which time Paula, Andrea, and I were recuperating from such a bad show), the writer's friends (presumably) kept on saying, "Wow, that was such a great play. It was so funny!"
Oh, I think not. I think it was only the Plato-obsessed dude that liked this play. John, what did you see in this that I did not? And, what does this have to do with Plato again?
Nun's Farts finished the evening. Oh, good god, was this play ever hilarious! Amy, the one from my play, wrote it. It was about the very first Canadian Nuns auditions. It was a fantastic play; it was written extremely well, the actresses were bang-on, the music selection was perfect, the set was very clever, the costumes were sharp... I could go on. I think it was by far the best play of the festival, considering all things, such as the writing, the directing, and the acting. Excellent job, Amy, Joey, and Jenny!
And that concludes this year's New Plays festival. See you all again same time next year!
Pictures? Info? Bishop's drama department:
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Andrea, Paula, and I got to studio theatre at around 7:30. I was at first a little worried that I would be the last cast member there, but, fortunately, my director showed up fifteen minutes later. She looked very pale, and she was not wearing her usual layers of colours. She comes up to us, saying that she is exhausted because she is sick. I ask her what has been keeping her to her bed, and she says, "Oh, I just haven't stopped vomiting!"
I take a very discreet step back. I know I'm being paranoid, but I can't help myself.
Because we were the second play on that evening, after a 40-minute play and after intermission, we had plenty of time to warm-up, get dressed, and get into character. Amy and I got dressed right after the first play started. Our costumes are simple: Amy is in a sweater and simple pants, with her long, black hair down; I am in jeans overalls, a red t-shirt, and my hair is in braids. Though I don't look my sexiest, this has got to be the comfiest costume I have ever worn.
My director, Amy, and I go upstairs to the Brown Room for our warm-up. We do a body warm-up, as well as a getting-into-character warm-up, led by our director. Afterwards, Amy, Jessie (stage manager), our director, and I go outside for our voice warm-up. I lead the warm-up, with plenty of tongue twisters, running up and down the scale, and singing Phantom of the Opera.
The thing Amy and I worry most about is the placement of the logs we sit on and the damn fishing poles. We keep going up to the stage crew and asking them how exactly they placed our logs. Jessie and our director laughs at us for being so paranoid. We then spend our last fifteen minutes or so sitting on the counter of the guy's dressing room. We are getting more and more excited as time goes on; I can start to feel the rush.
We all have a group hug before going on stage. I try to forget about the fact that my director has the stomach flu. We tell each other to break our legs and then we take our places in the dark wings. As soon as I hear our intro music, the adrenaline hits and spreads through my entire body.
Before I know it, our play is over, we bow, and the audience is clapping and hooting. I get off-stage, all flushed and very happy as to how well our play went. It went extremely smoothly; even the fishing poles were co-operative! We all rejoice in the girl's dressing room. Jessie gives us each a small party bag with a little fishing game -- the one that you have to catch the fish with a magnetic fishing pole before they close their mouths again.
All in all, the performance was great, and all five of us felt very good about it.
I can't really comment about the first performance of the night, as I did not see it. It was called Vae Victus, and it is a depressing and angry play about a rape. Yeesh. Fortunately, the co-ordinators decided to end each of the nights with a comedy, so everyone can leave in high spirits.
Catching Memories, which is the name of the play I was in, came after Vae Victus. Our play is about two sisters: Jenna, who is 19, and Leslie, 13. Naturally, I played Leslie. I based a lot of my character around my sister, as Leslie and Franziska both enjoy the outdoors, love animals, and live in magical worlds. The two sisters are fishing for the day, talking about their rocky past and their current joys. Half-way through the play, they encounter Ruby, a lone wanderer where no one quite knows where he is from. He is a very interesting and charming character. Leslie and him get along very well. The play ends with him falling into the water when the girls catch a fish. After the girls leave the scene, Ruby comes on, sopping wet and puts a beautiful red rose on the logs. He leaves the scene, humming the lullaby that the girls sing and talk about in the play. The light fades and some folksy music comes on. The play may be a bit odd, what with Ruby's disappearance that doesn't cause much worry, especially for Leslie, but it is very special. My entire cast agreed that "beautiful and simple" are the perfect words to describe it.
An Unfortunate Series of Murders wrapped up the evening. Omigod! What else can I say, but WOW! What an amazingly funny play. The most amazing part about it is that it was written by Gordon Watts, a third year drama student. I actually know this guy! The play was a spoof on Murder Mysteries. It was typical British humour, but the entire play was a satire. I really enjoyed it. I must say that the best actor in the play was Ian, who played the Butler. His character and British accent resembled very closely Riff-Raff's from Rocky Horror Picture Show. He was great.
The night was definitely successful in leaving us all in high spirits.