Sunday, April 23, 2006

Good day to you, sir!

There are times when I wish I could just give someone a handshake instead of hugging them. And what about the tipping of the hat? Now that was a good idea.

I honestly don't know where girls get the idea of hugging everyone. And I'm not exaggerating when I say everyone. You meet them once at a wine and cheese and have a half-decent, humourous conversation, and the next time they see you, they bombard you with a suffocating squeeze, making your personal space virtually non-existent.

I do realize that I am only specifically referring to girls around my age at this particular university, but I also do know that girls in many places have a tendency to shriek, do the "omigod" thing, and hug like there's no tomorrow.

Now, let it be known that I have absolutely nothing against hugging. I think it is a very comforting and warm act. It is sometimes very nice to be in an embrace with someone, but I tend to only reserve hugs to people I am very close with, such as my family, my colleague, and a select few of my close friends. I am not one to hug an acquaintance. You will have to climb much higher on my social list before you can even think of getting a hug.

In terms of hugs, though, the problem is that you can't always be the one to initiate them. If someone is coming up to you and you can see the budding hug in their eyes (and the way their arms are parted), then well, you're done for. Might as well just accept it.

As I mentioned in a previous entry, I am not very touchy-feely; human contact has to be carefully used and not just thrown about. I think hugs have lost their meaning because of the way they are overused. I'll only hug a friend when I'm really feeling like I want to physically feel close to them. Maybe I haven't seen them for awhile, or maybe I am just very happy to be with them. It depends on the moment, the mood, and the general environment. The family, of course, always gets free hug passes.

I will, however, hug someone that maybe isn't a close friend of mine, but someone who is going away for a while. I will hug those that I miss, and I will hug those that I admire, and I will even hug people just for being superb.

So, perhaps the real problem with hugs is not the act of hugging itself, but incorrect hug timing.

There are times when a hug can really complete the moment, but there are other times when a hug is awkward and simply too much. Hugs have to feel special and feel right in the moment and not just something that all girls do when they say hi and bye.

A few days ago, I was around two drama guys who were departing (two whom I don't know particularly well). The girls went up and hugged them, the guys gave them handshakes, and when they got close to me, I stuck out my hand and smiled sweetly. I lowered my voice and said something about seeing you late and good luck with future endeavours or something else just as ridiculous.

Parting is such sweet sorrow!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

An Ode to Foot

Oh, the year was 1999...

It was the beginning of September, and there I was, this wimpy, little barely weighing one hundred pounds thing, with limp red hair, and books clutched tightly to my chest.
It was my first day of high school.

Although I hadn't gotten lost yet, I still couldn't get over the size of my new school. Coming from a school with only one hallway and one girls' bathroom was quite an adjustment to this two-storey building with at least three girls' bathrooms! Everything seemed so big to me, especially the older students. Who ever thought that someone close to my age could actually seem that intimidating to me? They seemed to own the school; they joked with teachers, had "their" table in the cafeteria, and did you ever feel special when they talked to you. I envied those kids and was scared of them.

So, there I was at the dreaded time: lunch hour. Who was I supposed to sit with? I had come from a French Catholic school to an English Public school, and I knew almost no one. Of course, I recognized a few people from around Chesterville, but they were all large dinkos by my books, and I had no idea how to even strike up a conversation with them. Do you have to narrow your conversation down to four-wheelers and snowmobiles? Was I supposed to swear? Thankfully, I did know Johanna, and I figured that I could sit with her. She was demoted to my back-up plan because she had made already a lot of friends from middle school, and she seemed to know half of the high school population already.

I was on my tiptoes, peeking into the already full cafeteria, hoping to see another lost soul that I could sit with. I was almost about to give up hope when "it" happened.

There she was, like a ray of light breaking through the grey clouds; she was coming right towards me, coming from the cafeteria, and all I could think was Hallelujah! A familiar face that didn't induce hick thouhts. She was tall, had dark brown hair, a dimple on one cheek when she smiled, and sported a pair of beltless jeans. Finally, here was my saviour from this two-storey, three girls' bathroom, confusing building! I was so happy to see her. She and I had both had drama earlier in the day, but we hadn't thought of eating lunch together.

So, we sat down together, munching on our sandwiches (that probably contained meat for both of us back then), and we began talking about the new, frightening world of high school. We weren't that close friends then, as we had just met each other the previous summer. We were still getting to know each other, and regretfully, no Miranda moments or slow Alanna moments had blossomed yet.

As time went one, we got to know each other, and we learned that we had a lot in common. However, the one thing that we definitely did not have in common was our height. We were almost one foot apart. I think it complemented us well, as it made us look always a little quirky when we stood beside each other.

I think one thing that we will both remember is how exactly we first started talking to each other and becoming friends. We met whilst doing the play, Anne of Green Gables. One day, when were in the changing room, trying on different dresses, she and I both went to look in the mirror at the same time. It was a funny sight. Thanks to our height, we weren't blocking each other's faces.

So now, the saying goes: We knew that we would first be friends when we realized that we could both look into a mirror at the same time!

We're pretty lame, but that's why Alanna seeked me out that first day. There was no way in heck that I was even going to dream of sitting with the so-called "cool" kids. We were totally beyond that.

Of course, I could also bring up the stories about how Foot became Foot and what happens when we did music videos, but that, my friend, is a story perhaps only reserved for the lascivious AMA tales.

Now, in terms of the lack of recent entries, well, I won't really apologize, but I will say this: Addis Ababa is the capital of Ethiopia. Say it three times fast and then phone our hotline and our very own Baba will be there to serve you.

Pardon me whilst I indulge

Two weekends ago was the choir show, and man, was it ever successful!

We sold out for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday's show on the prior Tuesday! People who didn't manage to snag a ticket were invited to come to Thursday's dress rehearsal for free. Bandeen Hall was at least three quarters full, I'd say. The show opened officially with a bang on Friday night, and the bang was far from winding down. Saturday was also extremely energetic, and we even got a standing ovation at intermission. Sunday was the last show, and did we ever blow the audience away! I can't say I have ever been part of a show that has had this much praise before. Not only that, but everyone is so blown away by the show (expectations are always surpassed, I must say), and they simply can't get over the fact that a mere choir is capable of being so dynamic and alive. I tell you now, this ain't no normal choir, and if I ever needed to use a double negative, that was the place.

There has been talk about moving the choir into the larger theatre, Centennial, so more people get the chance to see it. The problem with that is that the choir will lose one of the aspects (of many) that make it so great -- the intimacy. Of course, Bandeen Hall has the best acoustics on campus, but what is so great about it is that it is the perfect size. Everyone in the audience, pretty much no matter where you sit, feels involved in the show.

After Sunday's show, we all squished into cars and made it to our pianist's place in downtown Sherbrooke for our choir after-party. Andrea and I got a ride with an ex-choir member. My jaw dropped when I entered the pianist's loft -- it was one large room with hardwood floor: huge windows overlooked the Granada Theatre directly across, and she has not one but two grand pianos. She also has piano books of all kinds imaginable lying around. One of the pianos was golden and had a (fake) violin lying on top, so I think that one was just for show, but the other piano was a grand Steinway (some of you will understand how very magnificent this is). A grand Steinway piano can cost over $60 000. However, this 27-year old piano player doesn't seem to be scraping the bottom of the barrel.

So, needless to say, I couldn't stray too far from this superb piano, so I stayed near it and danced for the majority of the after-party, save a trip outside and many trips to the food table.

Ah yes, the food table. Not only is she the best piano player around, but our pianist had set up a most amazing feast for almost ninety of us. I had never been to a party with a spread this elaborate before. Just to name a few, there was: at least eight different kinds of cheeses, at least six different types of dips (one was spinach!), various pasta salads, two different kinds of homemade pizzas, crackers, chips, fruit galore, whipped cream, two cheesecakes, chocolate, and two large platters of sushi! Now, at least you can imagine how amazing this was. You know I would have invited you, but Abu Dhabi is too far to come from just for a choir show after-party.

I danced like mad, sung so loudly and passionately that, when 3:30 am rolled around, my voice resembled that of a 50-year old hardcore smoker. Sabrina, this extremely funny, laid-back chick, Andrea, and I all took a taxi back home, all the while Andrea loudly commenting on how badly our taxi driver was tailgating. It was a superb night.

On a completely unrelated note, I find it particularly odd that people who tell me they have only $4.31 in their bank account still manage to go out and drink. And not only girls, either.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

An Unsuitable Dinner Conversation

Tonight, somehow the fact that Andrea has a fear of spit came about. In the film, Die Blechtrommel, Oskar's way of flirtation with his nanny is by spitting into her hand, sprinkling some sugar in it, and then she would lick it up seductively. Admittedly, it is kind of gross, but not something to induce gag reflexes.

Andrea cannot bear even have the visual in mind or else she'll start gagging. When I pointed out that in kissing there is in fact a lot of spit going around, she said that to her it's completely different. The gross part is when the spit is out and then ingested again (by the spitter or by someone else). I do understand how this is kind of disgusting, but it does not make my face twist into a weird oh-my-god-I-am-going-to-upchuck-soon grimace.

Speaking of vomit, of course, when one person's fear comes out, mine usually does too. Although the spitting and ingesting it again thought isn't pleasant, it is vomit that does it for me every time. I wimpered when Andrea brought it up. I can hardly stand the thought of vomit (and vomiting itself), and probably the majority people who read this blog know this quite well already.

Then, Paula told us about her "totally irrational fear": sharks! Ever since she saw Jaws last year, she has been deathly afraid of sharks. She even admitted to having daydreams about little sharks in her bathtub. Andrea and I tried to reassure her that little sharks wouldn't do much harm because they are so little, you see. I asked Andrea what she thought about a little bit of cold, frothy spit. She moaned and put her head between her knees.

Whilst Andrea was breathing heavily and Paula trying to regain her senses after a shark scare, I said:

"Imagine a pool of vomit topped off with frothy spit with sharks swimming inside?"

We all moaned and shook our heads, trying to fend off the horrible nightmare.

Paula wondered why we were trying to think of our worst fear.

"But wait", she said with hope, her mind focussed solely on the sharks, "with all the vomit and spit in the pool, the sharks wouldn't be able to survive!"

We all thought about it for a minute.

But then she exclaimed: "But that wouldn't be good either! They would all sink to the bottom, and I wouldn't be sure that they would be dead, and I would still be scared!"

We all groaned again, Paula thinking about not knowing if the sharks would be dead or not, Andrea thinking of the cold, frothy spit, and me imagining nothing else but the vomit.

I asked Paula how she would feel if I chucked her into the Spit and Vomit Shark-Filled pool covered in blood. She said she would be dead.

We decided it best to change the subject.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


Perhaps the worst thing about disliking someone is how to react when they are friendly and nice to you. I mean, it's not like they ever did anything personally wrong to you.

Ah, woe is me.