Friday, December 26, 2008


"Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don't know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of withering, of tarnishing."

"I will not be just a tourist in the world of images, just watching images passing by which I cannot live in, make love to, possess as permanent sources of joy and ecstasy."

- Anais Nin

I cut and pasted these quotes last week after a friend posted them to her Facebook profile. They were without quotation marks, or the author's name, so when I sat down to write an entry this evening, I had convinced myself for about one second that I wrote those words. Then I remembered that I am not such an accomplished writer.

I'm currently wondering what the hell I am doing. This only applies to my dating world, which I can say is currently very half-assed on my part. Internet dating is a hopeless amount of work. Staying on top of all of those emails is exhausting. There are only a couple of people who I am actually interested in meeting face to face, but our schedules seem to be making that impossible. I would rather be here in the safety of the Fortress. And I'm actually enjoying feeling like this.

There are a couple of the usual inappropriate places to lay my heart, but I am managing those situations carefully. Sort of. I wouldn't be me if I didn't at least trail a toe in the water. There is an interesting tug of war happening, but I distinctly feel that the thrill is in the game, and I am just not playing. I am sick to death of weeding through mixed messages, and I've laid my inner masochist to rest. The memo must not have been circulated though, because something still gives people the idea that it's ok to just be confusing and ridiculous.

Maybe I'm still not ready. Maybe that gal was right. Everything I attract is impossible, or seriously flawed, or seriously impossibly flawed. There must be a reason for that, and I think this reason is what I need to concern myself with, if I'm going to be concerned about matters of the heart.

The wind is insanely fierce tonight. Since I was a child, the sound of the wind from indoors always terrified me. I never completely knew why, but then my mom told me that once, when I was a baby during a windstorm a piece of the building across the street blew off, and crashed into the bedroom of the neighbouring townhouse. We had to run across the street and take shelter in the apartment building until the wind died down.

I sit here typing and as the wind howls and billows the curtains of my badly insulated patio doors I feel small again, but less afraid. Secretly thrilled by the power of the wind, waiting to see if one of the giant trees around the house will come crashing into my living room. I stood in the wind yesterday, waiting for my father for what seemed like an endless amount of time. The only logical thing to do was to channel Lear. I dared the wind to bear down on me, to "blow winds and crack your cheeks". I have never felt more capable of handling the wind. Sometimes I think it was the fury in me that I was afraid of. The sound of it sometimes rattling more violently than the gusting outside. I'm ready now to knock over tractor trailers like they were hot wheels, and to snap the boughs of the mighty old oak.

It's the fury and the force in my belly that is making all these things that were so important feel silly and trivial right now.

I'll huff, and I'll puff...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Today I Cried A Little


My current weekend undertaking was inspired by my beautiful friend Lenni. She just moved into a new apartment which is completely astounding in its meticulous organization. She turned the place upside down, and transformed it into a haven. She has lived in her place a fraction of the time that I have lived in mine, yet hers feels so much more like a home.
And so, I'm inspired now to whip this place into shape. It's a HUGE task.

After our last show, and a spell of cocooning and genuine ennui, the Fortress was definitely not ready for visitors. Today I tackled the bedroom. I got rid of two giant boxes of clothes, color-coordinated my closet, and then pulled a shoebox full of cards, photos, and letters down for sorting.

Big mistake.

This sort of exercise is impossible without a trip down memory lane, which is really the last thing I wanted today. You can't not read the things you come across, and so the rest of the afternoon went like this:

I began with a five page letter from my recent ex. Which I then tossed. Next was a series of birthday cards from my parents, telling me how proud they were of me. I kept only the most poignant ones. Then I found a stack of Christmas cards from my ex husband. I kept all of these, because he's an incredible writer. Then an engagement card from my aunt who passed away. This was followed by a letter from my ex-niece, from when she was nine, telling me how excited she was to be one of my flower girls. Then photos from my wedding of the flower girls, and another of me surrounded by all of my girlfriends, everyone happy and laughing. Then a stack of photos of me when I was a child. Then photos of my grandmother, and an incredible photo taken at the height of the seventies of my mother, my grandmother, and all of the other sisters, each looking beautiful and invincible. The last thing I discovered, which totally unraveled me, was a photo of me napping on the living room floor with my dad.

How is it possible to have experienced so much laughter, and love, and disappointment and heartache all by the tender age of 32? I have a lifetime of emotion already experienced, and the evidence of my roller coaster ride fits neatly into a shoe box.

In the photo with my father, I'm about three. My hands are tossed above my head as if I had completely surrendered to the land of dreams. My father's arms are crossed over his chest, as if protecting himself from dreaming. Like he knew it was a bad idea to fling yourself at the world with such abandon.I realized, looking at that photo, how much my parents must worry about me, and I was ashamed of the disappointment I have caused them at various points in my life.

I'm experiencing parenting through my best friend, who just had her first child in November. This tiny, perfect little girl inspires so much hope. Her freshly begun life is so full of possibility, and we are all of us projecting our dreams onto her, speculating and imagining the kind of woman she will become.

No parent imagines divorce, or heartbreak, or failure when they gaze at the marvel of their child's newly-seeing eyes.

It amazes me that I can usually go through my days feeling very positive and at peace, and then something will crack open the lid, and my sorrow will pour out like molten lava. I have moments of such complete fear. Fear that I have missed my one shot at blissful domesticity, fear that I will become one of those women who is too afraid to give herself over to love again, fear that my hurt is too deep and will never completely go away, fear that I will grow old without ever having children to love, fear that I will get sick with nobody to take care of me...

I watch as all my friends grow into their marriages, begin to have children, buy houses, find new love, and I feel truly that I'm going to be left behind.

Tomorrow, I will NOT go to brunch early. This way, I don't start my day surrounded by young families.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

If I Could, I Would Kiss Her Right There


A short story written in the summer of 2008.

She heard him yelling before she saw him. “Hey Sister…what up?”

With a deep inhale she set her chin and smiled. Whatever. An adult male can ride a skateboard. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s eco-conscious. Or a good sign that he’s fun and playful. Or something.

He looked like a blonde Pauley Shore. She wasn’t sure, but she vaguely remembered that Pauley Shore was in jail for something ridiculous like public masturbation, or kiddie porn. Or was that Pee Wee Herman? Anyway, it didn’t matter. It was going to be fun. She was in a “yes” place, and the world was full of fun things to do that hadn’t occurred to her before.

He hopped off the board (which seemed ridiculously large) and did that cool kicky thing that sends it from lying on the sidewalk to being neatly tucked under your lanky, freckly arm. He didn’t take off his aviator sunglasses as he shook her hand and gave her a comically cordial “Nice to meet you.”

People who leave their sunglasses on when they are being introduced was a pet peeve of hers, she smiled and said something polite and introductory, all the while thinking that he looks more like a seventies porn star than like Pauley Shore. Maybe. He was also smoking.

He took her to a restaurant on the corner, and insisted that they sit inside so they wouldn’t be interrupted. The proprietors knew him, and endured his teasing and sarcasm. He ordered a lot of snacks. She wasn’t hungry. There was also a half litre of wine, which she was pretty sure would be mandatory.

She noted that he had the crazy eye. She could see it right away. The radar blipped quite clearly, and we all need to know that she saw it right away. He made her laugh though, quite sincerely. And he smelled really, really good. He also reminded her of her very first lover. He was like a ginger version, and better looking, for sure. Her first lover was actually quite hard to look at, but he taught her how to cum for the first time, in at least six interesting ways. They laughed a lot, and she knew that he and ginger shared the same healthy attitude towards getting naked and sticking your body parts into someone else’s. She really, really liked that.

There were lots of questions. She was doing all the asking, and then she stopped herself and asked if he was a narcissist. He thought she was joking, and told her that he wasn’t asking as many questions because he was watching her eyes to get all the answers. She tried not to roll them.

He kept telling her that he was quite convinced that their strange circumstances leading to the date meant that their paths were supposed to cross, and he could feel something “was up”.

He was “on”. But she expected that. She was also breaking her no actor rule. He also liked photography. She remembered that her first lover used to always tell her that she had the perfect seventies porn star body, and then she got a vivid image of Ginger (yes, we’re just going to go with that) taking incredibly dirty photos of her and then screwing her stupid on the cold, hard studio floor, and she flushed from head to toe. More wine.

Some of the questions couldn’t be asked. They were the ones about love, and family. There were almost tears, (not hers) and she wasn’t sure what to do with that information. She put her toes in a deep lake of pain, and wasn’t really happy about the prospect of swimming in those waters again. Not again. We’ve all got something. Some of us have lots, but she was not going to be someone else’s experiment in trying to go legit. “You’re on your own pal” she told herself “I’ll watch from the dock as you try a few new tricks, but I’ll be damned if I’m going skinny dipping with you.”

She was moved by his emotional vibrancy, but decided to never admit that to anyone. Ever.

More wine. And Frangelico. With the rope. Which she kept and tucked in the bottom of a suitcase when she got home. She really wanted to smell him. He showed her pictures he took of his daughter. She’s ginger too. A perfect little fairy girl. She had his big hazel eyes, and a fragile sadness about her. She wanted to meet her, but didn’t say that. She wouldn’t say that out loud for a long time. The daughter should have been a bump, but it was more effective than a puppy. More wine.

He kissed her once, simply, without any preamble. That’s the best way to do it. It didn’t remotely seem odd. He smelled really good.

They decided to go for a walk, but not before moving his car. She was relieved that he didn’t rely solely on the skateboard. The car was cool. Camp in the back of it cool. Better than a convertible with leather seats. It looked like a bomb went off, but there was a baby seat, and that was nice.

A walk. Garden sculpture and lilacs in bloom, making the city smell like Paris. Wisteria like Paris. A little shop like Paris with an Eiffel Tower outside. He took her hand and led her in. After taking some time to decide, he selected a card with the Eiffel Tower on it, and paid the gal behind the register. The ugliest little dog in the world sat panting on the counter.

Another restaurant. This one dirty, but in that good way. The patio, because it was balmy. Dirty gin martinis, and more Frangelico. He pulls out the card and gets a pen from the waiter.

“This is for us.” He says, eyeing her matter-of-factly. “We’re going to write little bits to each other back and forth until it’s full, and then seal it and put it in a box. Our box. And then one night, at the cottage, after the kids have gone to bed we can pull it out and open this like a time capsule, and we’ll drink wine and laugh about when we first met, and be like…yeah…and we’ll remember everything.”

There’s more kissing. He has a horrible moustache for this film he’s shooting, (Seriously. He’s an actor. That was a solid rule.) but she kind of likes how it feels, and she also thinks that’s making her flush. She thinks he would look perfect with a slightly scruffy almost beard and a trim so his hair is still kind of shaggy, but not so long. He smells like something she knows, but she’s not sure what.

They get the bill. Now the plan is the beach. Or the drive in. Or something. There is a quest for a fire log and a bottle of wine. The liquor store is closed, and they are led to an upscale billiard hall, where they find some couches and don’t play pool. There is a Tarot reader, and he gets his cards read. The reader tells him that it’s time to just be happy now. To beat his chest and be proud and happy and ok. Ok. A surprise martini and more Frangelico, with another rope. She keeps that one too. She’s not sure why she is still so mobile and articulate. He keeps telling her she’s pretty. She keeps kissing him. He’s sweet and really, really gentle.

They talk about camping and fishing. She wants to do both with him. Now. “Let’s just drive.” she’s thinking “Let’s just drive and park, and make fire, and have sex in a sleeping bag, and you can keep me warm and smell really good.”

They pay that bill too, and head to a local place near where she’s staying. More Frangelico and Irish Whisky. That’s it for her. Somehow, and this is where it starts to get fuzzy, he starts to talk about the box again, and kids. He wants more. He wants a red headed little boy, and maybe another girl. A sister for his daughter. He tells her he would protect them all. He would protect her too. She is locked suddenly into how urgently she wants to make a family. How every moment she dares to think about it her throat seizes up because she’s worried that she’s broken. Because of that thing that happened. That thing that doesn’t feel real. Tears are streaming down her face, and she doesn’t have to explain because he just knows, and so he takes her gently in his arms and just holds her. They say nothing for a little while.

He keeps telling her that he’s home. That he feels like he is totally safe and at home. He is so calm now. The pretense and posturing is gone. Under the comedy, and the sarcasm is a kind, and very normal person. There is so much work to do though.

They leave. They get snacks. Everything is really funny. She makes him laugh just as much because she’s clever sometimes. He takes her to a familiar building that is a converted loft. They hop into a little pit that looks like a place where there is some construction happening. He tells her he is getting her a housewarming for her new apartment. He pulls pieces of something from the puddle in an empty elevator shaft. She thinks they are goldfish at first. Then maybe rocks. He puts them into a plastic bag and takes her hand and leads her off. She feels really safe.

He takes her to her doorstep. They chew gum because they smell and taste like pepperoni. At the door, he begins to take out the contents of the plastic bag and lay them out on the cement.

They are little metal stars. There are a dozen or so of them.

“You have to let them dry, but when they do, they have this really incredible patina. They are for you. For your housewarming.”

She kisses him.

He smiles, and then is suddenly sad.

“I have to go right now, or I won’t ever leave. When we each fall asleep, let's think about pinball, and maybe we'll see each other in our dreams.” He says as he gets into his car and drives away.

She sends him a sweet text message to let him know how much fun she had, and then she falls asleep thinking about the flickering lights of a retro pinball machine.

Later she would learn that he angered quickly, was terrified of commitment, and on that particular day, realizing he was out of his favourite cologne, had rubbed the powder fresh rear-view-mirror pine tree deodorizer all over him to hide the smell of summer sweat.



(The Card)
A water colour on the front depicts the Eiffel Tower
HE: With an arrow diagram. If I could, I would kiss her right here.
Inside
HE: It started this way…
SHE: Wisteria dangling, ripe with it’s own voluptuous beauty, as heady here as any other continent and I realized it was true…you could take that feast with you anywhere and unfurl the checkered cloth whenever your soul was hungry for a beautiful snack…
HE: I stop when I can’t feel my cheeks! I bruise pretty easy, but I am tuff! I would…
SHE: You can’t spell, and I have always believed that there was a cut off age when you must retire a skateboard, but you knew my heart, and that is just like Paris…
HE: Please don’t be sad…take it! How did this happen…always forever.
There is lots of blank space left. On the back cover is the name of a song.
All I Wanna Do Is Rock - Travis


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Peace On Earth, Goodwill to Men



I have not experienced Christmas as a single girl in seven years.

Of course I have moments where it is undoubtedly the most difficult time to fly solo (like last night at a work function when the beautiful girl who's maternity leave I am covering arrived with her beautiful husband and beautiful baby in tow) but there are also times (like last night after the function when two of the party guests sprung me and whisked me off to the Reservoir Lounge to listen to a beautiful young girl sing amazing jazz) when my heart is full of freedom and possibility. There is also a sense of peace. Truly profound peace that has made me love each snowfall a thousand times more than I ever have before. I liken it to people who experience physical relief for an extended period after living with chronic pain. Sometimes the things that I DON'T have in my life are the greatest blessing I could ask for.

And so, because the Internet feels like a far greater, more infinite, and yet strangely more tangible universe than wishing on a yuletide star, I shall utter my Christmas Wish. I'm sure most of you know what it is already, but it is in fact two-part and I've come to realize that the second half will never happen without the first:

a.) I wish for healing, and the deep, unfaltering self-love that I need to know my own worth, and to know that it is better to spend peaceful time alone in The Fortress of Solitude, regaining my super powers and connecting with my ancestors and with the universe than to try to save villains from their own diabolical imaginings.

b.) I wish that as my heart becomes whole, the universe at large will sense that I am strong enough, and sense that I trust myself enough to make a good choice, and send me a fantastic partner to fight crime at my side. Not a side-kick. More of a Butch Cassidy.

I ask for love because I already feel like my life is very rich with all of the other things that a super savvy gal needs to be happy; amazing friends, an amazing family, a great career, incredible artistic opportunity, a beautiful home, good health, and a vivid social life. These things will all continue to help put me on the road to wellness.

I had a coffee with my recent ex this weekend. It taught me two things:

1.) Everything that I believe about him now is true
2.) He is the most profoundly selfish and narcissistic human being I have never known.

I say never because four years later, I really have no idea what was real. Except my own feelings. I've been so angry at myself for wasting so much time with him in such a toxic atmosphere, but if I hadn't spent that time there, I never would have realized how huge my capacity for love is. How much I'm willing to give, how deep my emotions can run, how selfless I can be. I know there will be no other relationship in my life that will be as fraught with trauma and difficulty as that one was, so from this I know that I am equipped to deal with most normal relationship challenges, and I know now exactly what I want, and what I am unwilling to live with in a partner. These lessons are not wasteful at all, are they?

When you walk in the snow, try to take a moment and be still in your heart, and feel grateful for everything you have and everything you have been able to shed as you go through life. Make a Yuletide wish for yourself too. You deserve it.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Emotional Availability is Sexy


I had a great evening with a male friend this weekend who I have known for just over a year. He's smart, funny, creative, talented, enjoys cooking, art, music, has a great sense of family, and is just the right age. We laugh our heads off together, and there is seldom ever a lull in conversation.

Of course there's a but. He has a girlfriend, and it is absolutely not my style to interfere in other people's relationships. Having been on the receiving end of such unpleasantness, I could never do that to someone else, but I question how happy he is.

Early in the summer, we had a drunken moment after a dinner party I hosted where it was suddenly really obvious that if I wanted something to happen it could have. He didn't make a move, or say anything to suggest it, but I could feel it like electricity, and see it in his eyes. I attacked that head on, not with the lip-lock I was thinking about, but with a direct conversation about all of the reasons why we should NOT do any such thing. He was at first shocked by my direct approach, but then I think grateful for it. I made it really clear that I really liked him, but it was important for him to make a decision about his relationship before starting anything else.

He's still in the relationship, so I suppose that was a loud and clear response.

We've managed to maintain a friendship, and no lines have since been crossed, but there is always a moment of awkward goodbye when we spend time together alone.

He has so many of the great qualities that I would like to find in a partner, but in such an instance, I would always be looking over my shoulder wondering when he might begin to develop feelings for one of his female friends, and I have made a promise to myself to never again be in a relationship that breeds jealousy.

I never remember my dreams when I wake up, but early this morning I had a very vivid dream where my back molars were very loose, and when I would wiggle them with my tongue they would fall out either whole or in pieces.

One of the first things I did this morning was consult the internet about such a dream:

Psychological Meaning:
Dreaming of teeth falling out may represent insecurity. These dreams often occur at a time of transition between one phase of life and another. When we lost our milk teeth, we also gradually lost our childhood innocence. Loosing your teeth therefore show that today you have similar feelings of uncertainty and self-consciousness as you did in childhood. The dream could also highlight your worries about getting older or your sexual attractiveness.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Hockey Remains a Classy Sport


Which I still care nothing about, but I couldn't resist digging further to discover why Sean Avery was in so much trouble. Again.

For those of you who, like me, don't care about hockey, Sean Avery plays for the Dallas Stars. He also was dating Canadian actress Elisha Cuthbert, who is now dating the Calgary Flames' Dion Phaneuf. (Elisha apparently likes hockey more than I do.) Sean Avery, while in Calgary, and while being interviewed by the media, went on camera saying something to this affect:

"It's good to be back in Calgary, but there seems to be a trend in players dating my Sloppy Seconds."

He is now suspended by the NHL for six games. His own team says they support the decision, and would have suspended him themselves if the league hadn't.

I clearly don't have to illustrate how crude and infantile his comment was. I would hope most of you grasp that immediately. What sent me on a Saturday morning "I hate frat boys" downward spiral was the incredibly arrogant way he said this. So cocky, and deliberate. I'm not sure if I'm alone in this response, but I could immediately conjure one or two jilted exes of mine making similar comments about me. Believe me, I don't have many who would ever fall into that category. But ladies, we all have one or two, don't we?

The NHL deemed his behavior appalling and anti-social. If THAT is what they consider appalling or anti-social, they would LOVE some of the cases I could present. Wouldn't it be great if we could drag one or two boys we know before such a commission? Or, even better, if members of "their own team" were so disgusted by them, that they insist on a formal hearing?

What would punishment look like? They are suspended to six months of no dating? They get a favourite toy taken away? They are forced to walk around town with a red "A" pinned to their chest? (Guess what the A would stand for?)

I think perhaps Elisha should re-consider her love of hockey. Perhaps she could learn to drive a golf cart. You don't hear a lot of stories about golfers behaving like complete assholes, do you?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

If it's ok with you...


When I see a ... as the subject header for an email, it can only be one person. And tonight I came home to "..." and "If it's ok with you, I think we should have a talk at some point."

Not having ANY CLUE what this talk may be about, I truly don't know if it's ok with me, but as always, curiosity has gotten the best of me. The holidays do funny things to people, and I'm prepared to let go of some anger. I have no idea what I'm in for though. It should at least make for good material.

Today I passed a billboard ad while I was on the streetcar. It was for Cosmo TV. If, like me, you think this magazine is insufferably offensive, then by the looks of their Television marketing campaign, the network will be even worse. The ad was hot pink, and featured a giant, perfectly manicured hand, which may have been holding a martini glass, with the pinkie finger extended, and a tiny little man clinging to it for dear life. Presumably "wrapped around it". Gag. Suffragettes and bra burners everywhere must be collectively shaking their heads, and rolling in their graves. (Though in my imaginary world, suffragettes are burned so their ashes can be scattered in the wind. A deliberate choice to avenge their witchy sisters by taking back the sacred power of fire, and a defiant resistance to being trapped inside a man-made box for all eternity.)

Having a man wrapped around your finger isn't feminism. Feminism is about EQUALITY. Coming together on an even playing field, and celebrating those unique differences that give us power of equal strength and potential. It's an arm wrestle that ends with both wrastlers calling a draw, and enjoying a pint or two and talking about the current political climate, or world hunger.

I love that feminism has come full circle, where we have made huge inroads with issues like workplace equality and basic recognition as viable members of society, and we can now celebrate our sensuality and innate "femaleness". I hate the current model of young woman that pop culture and the media has created. It makes my heart burn, and my ovaries want to shrivel.

I could rant endlessly about this topic. I blame a lot of it on the Madonna/Whore stigma. It's so hard for the average person to accept a woman who is smart, and talented, and nurturing, and basically a "good girl", but who is also deeply in touch with and comfortable with her sexuality. In men, we revere that trait. We worship icons like George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Vigo Mortensen (insert wise, powerful, sexy, paternal, strong male celebrity here) but who can we readily think of who exudes the same degree of sexuality and savvy, from the female persuasion in our modern age, who hasn't at some point been called a whore? I immediately think of Catherine Zeta Jones, but I'll bet she married an old man because nobody her own age could even comprehend that combination. To be honest, I don't even know if she's smart. I DO know Sharon Stone is MENSA smart, but still everyone thinks Basic Instinct. It was one role for god's sake!

Paris Hilton is the ultimate representation of the type of woman pop culture has given birth to. She makes me shudder. She, Nicole Ritchie, The Olsen Twins, Britney, and that crazy, drunken lesbian who's name escapes me right now. The one with the freckles... They should be transported to an island and left without cellular technology and credit cards. A secret camera crew could film them as they truly unravel. Eventually, I pray that they would eat each other in a orgiastic frenzy of canibalism not fit for prime time television. (This special footage could be pay-per view.)

Children starve to death every day, and these girls will choose to do it to become a perfect size "0". Who the fuck invented size "o"? No such thing has ever existed until very recently. This is it gals. We live in a world that encourages us to aspire to "o".

I say lube it up with a tub of Crisco and stick it where the sun don't shine.

I don't want big fake tits, I NEVER want to be orange, I will probably never have a hard, flat tummy, and I try to use the word "like" the way it was intended, when creating a simile or describing something I am fond of.

So, if it's ok with you...we SHOULD have a talk at some point. I have no idea what you would like to say, but I think we both know that it's not so easy to silence me.

How I long for the day that someone is not wrapped around my pinky, nor crushing my little hand under a steel-toed motorcycle boot, but is strong enough to hold it firmly in his own, knowing each of us can look the other square in the eye and not be so afraid.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Things Are About To Get Crazy In Here


But not before I hibernate a little.
NOvember didn't work out so well, but it is with a renewed sense of discipline that I look forward to Nice and Not Naughty December [NNND]. I truly am looking forward to this, although I'm not entirely sure what it means. I know it means no sex. I think it might also mean no dating, although I can think of one feller who wouldn't get a "no" if he asked me out on a date. Perhaps two, but it's early still...

Here's a test to see if any of my friends still read this...

I joined an internet personals site. It's not the big one that guarantees a life partner (hahahaha), but one of those hip, sexy ones that is free, unless you want to access all of the features. What a strange process it is. Writing clever profile details, choosing the perfect photos, and then browsing through page after page of eligible singles. It's so surreal.

Some of the profiles are obvious. People who probably have no luck working up the nerve to meet women in the flesh, guys with ridiculously jacked bodies who are just looking to get laid (like a feller from Hamilton named gspotorgasm. subtle) and those scary ones that look like they could be really amazing, but are most likely looking to get laid, or are married with kids and lying about everything.

Perhaps I shouldn't be so cynical going in?

Right now, between each paragraph I type, I'm scrolling through photos of dudes. You can create a list of the people you are interested in, but I can't tell if it's a private list, so I'm avoiding this because I don't want people to feel like they are on some sort of bizarre catalogue "wish list". I also don't want to make the first contact. I'm always making the first move, and I'm so sick of it.

I had scarcely filled out any of my details, and a fellow sent me a note. That's what started me filling out all of my profile. He's cute, but he's a drummer, and I've been cautioned against musicians many times. He sent a nice note though. Really nice. And on his profile page, he references the movie Amelie. I hadn't even filled out those kinds of details about myself. He also likes farmland. And we were in Paris for the first time at almost the exact same time.

TWO DAYS LATER...

Still emailing the drummer. He gives good email. I've received a couple of other emails from people, but none are as interesting. I think we're going to meet in person. I'm so incredibly busy though, it will be tricky for the next two weeks. I sent him my first promo shot. A big risk. The others have been "normal me". I'm learning that some people have a really hard time realizing there is more to a burlesque performer than fun, sexy times. We have agreed that we need to meet in person before he ever sees a show.

I realized this evening that there is some kind of cap on this particular site. I'm now fearful that our correspondence will get cut off, and I'm not prepared to pay for membership. It occurs to me that because my world is so incredibly small that we probably know mutual people. I cringe as I type this, but I did a little bit of looking around on Facebook. Sure enough. Three mutual friends. Ironically enough, all three have shared a stage. Sigh. I didn't add him as a friend. I figured that would be creepy.

I'm editing myself as I type. Interesting. I think because this is the first very specific email about someone else, besides Gaetan in Paris. Suffice to say that if I meet this guy, and we hit it off, I will not continue to divulge details in such a manner....

Other exciting news - I've had nearly five days in a row with nothing to do except rehearsals, and have enjoyed lots of at home alone time. I now realize this is essential to my mental well being. It's so much better with Arthur to share it with. He's the perfect four-legged, hairy companion on a dreary winter's night. December is going to be hard without him.

Solo Christmas could be nice too. I was dreading it until my self-imposed solitude led to such a state of peace. I think all may be calm AND bright.

Sleeping now I think...

Bon Nuit

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Skeleton Key Left On A Cafe Table


You're a silent-film era sad clown.
You're the tramp with eyes like liquid chocolate pools.
You are the standing-in-the-doorway while the entire frame of the house falls down around you in one great swoosh scene.
How could anyone lie to such a sweet face?

You are fingerless gloves gripping a dented tin cup.
You have the most beautiful hands I've ever seen.

The first time I saw you we were strangers sharing a train on the way to the big top.
You had a bandanna tied around your neck like you were going to make us all reach for the stars.
First I noticed your funny little mustache, then I got locked in the fierceness of your gaze,
and I nearly handed you my pocket watch which was ticking so loudly!

I fell for you once.
I just might do it again.

But only if you can start to look me in the eye,
And only if you are ready to fill my cup whenever it's getting low.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Love Note In My Lunch Box


The Three Stages of Women - Gustav Klimt


Hi Schnoo,

I was just sitting here in my quiet space and decided to go on your Schnooville site. I am glad I did. I just love reading your inner most thoughts and feelings. I feel like I just want to hold you in my arms as I did when you were a baby and rock you and protect you. I feel very blessed to have such a great daughter with so much talent in so many fields. My wish for you is to find your soul mate and be able to share all the love that you have to give to others. I don't mean to sound so melodramatic but after reading your blog I just had to send you an email. I think it was when I read your blog about Thanksgiving that made me realize that though you have been through a lot in your short life, to know that you have such a long list of things and people that you are thankful for makes me warm inside. Try not to look too hard for that mate as I know that he is out there somewhere just waiting for you and will appear when you least expect it.
Keep up the beautiful writing that I enjoy so much.

Love you lots,

Mom

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Welcoming In "NO" vember


And what is that you ask?
It's the natural progression from Sober October.
It is a self-imposed month of celibacy. That's right. Celibacy.

Why would a single, cosmopolitan gal like myself make such a choice? Well, for those of you who have read most of this blog, the answer is probably crystal clear. If you are a new reader, all you need to know is that I need to just be still. In my heart. In my home.

When I was in the midst of my last big relationship, which was really not working, I used to imagine my single-hood. In my fantasy life, it consisted of a fabulous bachelorette pad (check), lots of fun social engagements (check), many long baths (check), and a string of lovers to delight and amuse me (check. sort of.)

In the reality of single-hood I have realized something essential, which I was initially frustrated by. On occasion, I have met a perfectly fine fellow who I could simply enjoy a good romp with, however the boys that actually move me are the ones I get very attached to, so as soon as you introduce sex into that mix, I start to feel things. Lots of things. I also start to imagine scenarios involving this other person, and forget my promise to live in the moment. The best way to this girl's heart is apparently NOT through her stomach.

Things like shopping for chutney together in an open-air market become vastly symbolic. Each lyric that is sung or typed becomes rich with meaning, and charged with emotion. When you make me soup from a chicken-carcass you've frozen I feel like you have infused it with love, and are feeding it to me in squashy liquid form. And for god's sakes, when you stand out in the rain, while getting over a cold, to watch me perform at an exclusive engagement, I think it means something big. Big. Not casual.

Not casual. I am not casual. I am french cuffs with your great grandfather's monogrammed cuff links on an Egyptian cotton shirt that fits like its supposed to. I am your Auntie's cherished chutney recipe with that secret ingredient handed down from generation to generation. I am the real crystal that sings to you when you trail a slightly wet finger slowly around the rim. I am linen pressed with lavender water, fluffy monogrammed towels, and real silver tea service polished to a shine.

I am not casual. A slightly tipsy make out is great fun, but the big guns are going to be reserved. Casual sex is like a stale cookie. It's still kind of tasty if you have a major craving, but it isn't gooey, and warm, and you certainly won't want to dip it in milk.

There is an expression that used to make me cringe: "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free." Its utterly (pardon the pun) offensive. First, because in this modern age, I feel a woman should be able to have sex when she feels like it, without playing head games. Second because it makes men sound like callous idiots who are only running around in search of as much free dairy as they can get their lips around. I also think this is gross because I don't like to think of myself as livestock.

But guess what? If my field research is accurate, this expression might be horrifically true. Nobody is in the market for a cow, and up until Saturday, I was a bovine at well-staffed dude ranch with over-active mammary glands.

Not anymore.

If you have magic beans, then we can talk about a deal. I will lead my prize Jersey into the market square, and you can have a look at her from every angle. You can inspect her teeth for signs of disease. You can smack her rump to check her muscle tone. I may even climb your beanstalk...but this time, I'm only going to do it for the golden egg. And by god, there better be a giant involved.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Text messaging is the devil's agent.
It's so easy. A few quick flicks of the thumb, and I've tossed my heart out into the ether again. Perhaps a 'delete' is in order, to spare me the ridiculousness of it all.
This is a hard one. Which, to me only serves to illustrate the fact that I've made the right decision, but on nights like this, when I am home early and trying to think of creative ways to stay warm, it's very difficult to be strong.
Although it's rather presumptuous of me to think my texting would be answered with a positive...

I can't shake this funk. My days are spent in a fog, and I want to either curl up and sleep them away, or soak them away in a hot bath. I know it's a cumulative funk. It's not just from one source. It's been building over many months of what now feels like recklessness on my part.

I've never run away before. I've always run headlong into these things, against all reason sometimes, and stuck it out to "just see". Always. If it felt good, I felt no need to quit. But first there was the special, secret friend who wasn't always so secret, who I flat out said no to because I knew I would fall too hard. That became a clear and wise decision very quickly. Then there was this last...so much of it made sense that it was almost impossible to hear the alarm bells, but they were there. This one hurts me.

I said "pause". I feel like it was the wrong term. I don't have enough faith for "pause".

Maybe if I was someone else, if I hadn't been through so much pain so very recently, I could have chilled out enough to just coast through the unknown and see what happens. As it stands, now I have retreated deep into this attic, and I'm buried under piles of quilts. I've stored enough nuts up here to last me well into the spring, so I intend to hide out from the elements until the weather gets better. It would be cozier with two, but despite all of this space, nobody else seems to fit.

Winter makes cowards of us all.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cloudy, With A Chance of Showers


October 26th List.

Today would have been my six year wedding anniversary. The following list is only partially related to that fact.

What I Need, Today:

Something pretty, and very, very feminine to wear.
Rain boots for proper grounding.
Coffee
French toast with sausage
Coffee
To be surrounded by strangers, while I listen to my ipod
My journal
A good hair day
My pretty umbrella
The motivation to clean up in The Fortress
Lots of affection from Toulouse (already in progress)
Some time to read a novel and forget who and where I am
A lively, productive rehearsal
To laugh. A lot.
Hope. (an extra dose. with a side order of faith, which I hear is hard to get at this time of year.)
The lump in my throat to dissolve
Probably some tissue
Fresh sheets and pillow cases
A steaming mug of Nuit Calme
Perhaps another bath
A good night's sleep
Dreams that I can remember in the morning

My brain came back from Vacation just in time.

We're very glad to see you again brain, and you look so refreshed and revitalized. The tan suits you beautifully. Once you're settled, heart and gut would like to sit down and catch you up on everything that's happened, and most significantly, the things that haven't happened while you were away. Oh, and they watered your plants.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

koi


Tonight I pranced up and down a very grand staircase with nine stunningly beautiful women, wearing turn of the century underwear in front of 1000 people.

You stood beneath a tree, outside, in the rain watching us through the glass.

I can think of two ways that this can unfold.

You will either remember me always as the girl in the fishbowl.

or...

Next time you could be inside, sipping Shiraz and wearing a three piece suit.

The water is just fine, in case you were wondering.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Where Socks Go When They Get Lost In The Dryer


This evening I got home from work and spent an hour attending to household administration, and then packed up my laundry and wheeled it down to the laundromat that I frequent. I swear I will feel like an actual grown up when I have my own washer and dryer somewhere. During laundry, I shared dinner with a friend who I haven't seen in a little while, but then I was left alone. Utterly alone, at night, in a deserted Laundromat devoid of people and whirring machines. Even the too-loud television was turned off for the night. Laundry is such an incredibly domestic chore, and one I've always rather enjoyed, but tonight it made me incredibly uneasy. As I folded my laundry, I began to think...

When something is stained, really stained, it becomes an embarrassment. We pre-soak. We spray. We spend an extra .75 on that oxy stuff that's supposed to remove even the toughest, ground in whatever. All of these efforts will surely make the stain fade, but it's obviously still visible. Your whites will never get whiter again sometimes.

So then what? You can toss the offending article out, but it's still perfectly usable! That sweater will still keep you warm. Those socks will still make your feet toasty. That bed will still provide the deepest, sweetest slumber. But who can see past that unsightly mark? Who can appreciate the inherent worth of an article without getting completely hung up on what the stain might have been caused by? Is it mustard? Rust? Grass? Mud? Blood?

No late-night infomercial gimmick will work. No Martha-Stewart, Haley's Handy Hints, Aunt Bea's secret solution will lift and remove. No cold bucket of water, no sea salt, no club soda will make this mark go away. It will fade, and in the right light you will hardly ever see it, but when the sun shines a certain way, or you approach it from a certain angle, there it will be.

The question is, do you throw it out, or do you decide that you love it for its character?

My head is so full, but my lips are perfectly sealed. I'm amazed to discover that I can, at will, completely shut off my heart. It's extraordinary and terrifying. It's like watching someone else live my life with utter, cold, detachment. I feel like I am my own Victorian chaperon; one icy hand on my own shoulder to steer me away from temptation and heartache. In the past, it was only under extreme emotional duress that I have been able to feel such vacancy.

But when I am alone with my thoughts, I am mostly afraid, and that fear is now spilling into my dreams, which until now I've been unable to remember upon waking in the morning.

My heart is flickering to life like a camping lantern that needs stronger batteries. Can you feel it? I used to slip so effortlessly into abandon, falling so far, so fast. Uttering aloud each moment and each discovery. Now, I am keeping these things so close. Now these words can't find their way to my lips. They dissolve in pools of awkward uncertainty, and I wonder how I must come across...

Your kindness comes as naturally as breathing, and if I think too much about what an effect it has had on me, I feel that terrifying lump that means I've opened these doors too wide. To even try to write this feels strained, and I hesitate to hit the "publish" button.

I can give my heart freely to my friends and my family. For them my love knows now bounds and I openly express my affection and joy each time they make my heart swell.

Anything beyond this feels like alien territory. It's been so easy to offer up various other parts of myself in these last few months, but now I feel like Bambi on the skating pond.

Limbs akimbo, here I go.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Grace and Graciousness

This is the most thankful thanksgiving I have had in a very, very long time.
In the interest of expressing my profound gratitude to the universe, I shall endeavor to list all of the things I'm thankful for here:

Beautiful apartment
Awesome landlords
New job
Incredible creative outlet
Amazing business partner
Inspiring friends
My girls - Amanda, Ming, Kathryn
Georgia (she's not here yet, officially, but I can feel her everywhere)
Revival
Upcoming gigs
Les Coquettes
Carmen
Alex
The Storybook Cottage
Lenni
Josh
Oonagh
Kyle
My mom
My dad
Arthur
Toulouse
Autumn in Ontario
High Park
Having the strength to leave, once and for all
Paris
My health
My heart, which despite several cracks seems to still work really, really well
Gordy, and the way we can still talk
Clare and her amazing generosity
Books
Brunch
Singing songs
Talent
Writing
The incredible beauty and strength of my collective family
My Cousins
Locke, who showed me exactly what was what the first time he looked into my eyes
Beautiful almond eyes, spiced oranges, and the music we were making
English Alex who is paving the way for everyone else
Your red curls and how they are helping to restore my faith
My independence
My strength
Jackie who lives and breathes in everything that makes my heart sing
Nicole
Bertha
Lucienne
Sadie Marcia Poag
Learning to listen to my gut
Each day

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Somehow They Just Know


Each pet I've had over the last seven or eight years has been a rescue animal. I hand picked almost all of them, and there was something beautiful, and sad, and stoic about them all. I know most of their stories. Some of them have been through hardship and strife, but all of them have one thing in common - they were unwanted, and tossed aside by their previous owners.

When you take something that has been abandoned or cast off, and you feed it and give it shelter, the very basic requirements at best, it is as though they completely and totally recognize you as their savior, and they form an attachment so strong, it's often embarrassing. My current cat cries if he can't be on me at all times, and when I do indulge him, he holds my face with his paw and drools all over the both of us.

My very first dog was three when he came to me, and I had to teach him how to play. He spent his entire doggie life never having anyone give him the doggie things that he so craved - fetch, chase, tug. When I showed him how to do it properly, he was relentless. I could not even say words that rhymed with ball aloud without him going mental.

My dog that I half-own, and who lives with me part time loves to spoon. I'm not supposed to allow him into my bed because it pisses off his other owner, but I often do it anyway, because he's so warm and furry, and his breathing makes me feel so peaceful. He is happiest when he's in my lap, or tucked under my arm. When we go for walks at night he growls at strange men until they cross the street and go around me.

A starved animal will never bite the hand of the kind-hearted person who decides to feed it and give it proper care. It will not only bring you the morning paper, but it will Google the most complicated crossword clues to make sure you are victorious. It will bring you your slippers, and give you a shiatsu massage before slipping them on to your dainty feet.

They can't help the ridiculous amount of affection that they exhibit. It's the only way to express their gratitude. Especially after you've made it perfectly clear that dead mice or disembodied deer legs are just not cool.

(And yes, this posting is metaphoric.)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Long, Long Ivory Length of You



Last night I drifted to sleep imaging long, angular ivory limbs sprawled across my tiny double bed...
Little bumps like gooseflesh rising along your back because it's too early to turn on the heat and too late to sleep with a window open...
The lovely luminescence of your white, white skin bathed by the orange glow of the streetlamp outside my window...
The gentle ebb and flow of your dream-time breathing lulling me like the steady sighing of the ocean...
And so I slept, so sweetly.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Every Day We Die a Little

Malalai Kaker

I am woven together with silvery fibres of infinite fragility, and deep within my core there is a well of sadness so deep that whenever we lower the bucket into the black abyss, we're almost always certain that it will never return.

My sadness spills over from lifetimes that I can not possibly recall, but it comes always from the same source. Our very nature is swathed in mystery. We have been stifled and silenced, and held down, and sliced open, over and over and over.

I gave you my blood and my breath, and for that I will always, always be sorry.

I'm playing with power. I'm slipping trust on in different configurations, but nothing feels like it fits. My body is like play dough, and I've learned how easily I can turn it into an empty shell, and that empty coldness is exhilarating.

We should be honored. We are creators of life. We love deeply, and fiercely, and selflessly. We move through the world in beauty and we are matched to the rhythms of the tides and the cycles of the moon. We are the glue that holds every thread together in the world. We care for and nurture and sacrifice and give.

We should get nothing less in return.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'm Flying a Little Too Close to the Sun


Generally speaking I can cruise just high enough above my emotional well to not get seared by the intensity of the fire I've been stoking for thirty two years. Every once in a while though, I wake up like any other day, but suddenly feel as though my skin has been peeled back like a banana in the nimble hands of a monkey.

Today is one of those days.

I imagine it is easy to equate this description with feelings of depression, but I assure you this isn't the case. It's actually kind of lovely to be in this space, but I'm glad it's only a once in a while thing.

Allow me to site some examples.

I've had only four hours of sleep, but I woke up this morning with my cat curled in a ball on the pillow next to my head, with a little golden trickle of sunlight streaming into my room, and I was all but purring myself. At the light, at the crisp cool temperature of my room from having left the window open all night long, at the happy feeling I carried home in my tummy last night...

Making morning coffee in my oversized purple kimono was sheer bliss...

The happy coincidence of sending a morning email to my darling friend in Paris just as she was emailing me...

Reading the epic email my brother composed to say goodbye to the woman he loves, and welling with pride at how despite his massive size, he's really all squishy inside...

The quasi-Victorian, very autumnal outfit I chose with the swishy skirt that made me feel floaty and ethereal under the canopy of neighbourhood trees...

The soundtrack my ipod provided on my morning commute and the marvel of how everyone else seemed to hear the rhythm of the music...

The serene pleasure of being the first in the office, and checking phone messages and making coffee for the girls...

And then reading this, which made me cry at my desk...

It's not even noon, and I'm looking forward to feeling how the day unfolds.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

How do you spell hernia?


Perhaps I cracked a rib. Or bruised it. Or pulled a muscle. At any rate, my right side hurts. A lot.

Maybe what happened is that I became so full of self-pity that I actually split. Down the side. Just a little.

No. More. Sad.

And like that it's done. I know I'm blessed to be able to mostly shake it off so. I know many people who can stay in sad for a long, long while. This gal cannot. I think I'd get too comfortable and end up moving in. Sometimes it's a really beautiful place. The trees always look better, you know? Gnarled, twisted, Burtonesque masterpieces.

But nope.

I wrote a new show. It's magickal (that's not a type-o, magic is more magical with a "k"), and when my super star choreographer injects her genius into it, and the gals get their hands on it, I think it's going to be the greatest thing we've done yet. I've started working on the costumes, and imagining how it will look in our new venue and I'm so, so very excited. I think it will be ready by February, just when everyone needs something to get excited about.

I'm also doing lots of research about the medium we've chosen. Cabaret is unique in how much the audience is part of the show, which is something I've always loved about performing.

A revelation hit me the other day, when I holed up here, shirked all of my housework responsibilities and just wrote. I think I'm attracted to really brilliant workaholics because I myself know I need to focus more on my own art. Since I've started doing this, I feel much, much more like I am really in my skin.

And so I look you in the eye and say "ha". I can walk with my head high and a smile on my face, and know that as long as my ribs can hold out, I'm gonna be just fine.

Wouldn't it be fun to have someone to kiss? Just a little?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Seriously?! Seriously.


Just when you thought it was safe to comfortably enjoy being alone, all your collective past demons rear their ugly heads in one giant wave of WTF.

The universe is throwing things in this general direction that continually serve to illustrate one point, and one point only - my heart is to be kept under glass like a Victorian curiosity under a hand-blown cloche from Denmark.

How did I ever believe any of the lies that issued forth from your lips like car exhaust from a bumper to bumper in a mid-July heatwave? I suppose it was for the sake of wanting to believe that nobody could be so evil. Or at least nobody that I could love would be so evil.

Tell me, oh vast universe, how do I even begin to move forward into love again? So many would say, "This is only making you stronger, so you can make better decisions for yourself". I would say that it has hardened me to the point where ain't nobody gonna get a piece of my homemade apple pie again. They'll have to settle for a slightly cardboard flavored store bought facsimile.

Seriously.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Shhhhh.......



Trust in me, just in me
Shut your eyes and trust in me
You can sleep safe and sound
Knowing I am around

Slip into silent slumber
Sail on a silver mist
Slowly and surely your senses
Will cease to resist

Trust in me, just in me
Shut your eyes and trust in me

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Standing Backwards on a Steep Incline


And I'm too tired to keep going, but can't rest now because I'll tumble into the abyss.

Ya know what I'm saying?

When I was little, one of the most marvelous things I could buy with my allowance, second only to sea monkeys (which I still think were a farce) were these incredible little sponge figures that would expand to nearly four times their original size when you added water to them. After that, they were pretty much useless. They got soggy, and kind of boring. The real thrill was watching them grow, and seeing just how far they could expand.

My heart is a dime-store trick sponge. As soon as it gets a little bit wet, it expands to freakish proportions, and then is next to useless to me. It almost did it again, but I snatched it back from the bowl, and have now turned the hairdryer on it.

So tonight, as I sit in the Fortress of Solitude, slowly realizing that my dog likes my landlords better (he refuses to come upstairs with me), and only slightly amused that my cat is curled around my arm, purring like a machine and gently stroking my face with his paw, I'm wrapping my innards in what can only be described as cardiovascular Saran Wrap.

I am so, so tired.

There are many things that are working very well in my world right now, so I think I'll stick with those things that are uncomplicated and lovely for me. Things like art, and work, and quiet nights alone here. I've suddenly become one of those people who really likes to be alone. It's very novel for me.

I keep dreaming about baby feet. Chubby little digits, with tiny little shoes.

My family cat got hit by a car last night and killed. My dad found him curled up in a ball near the curb, still in tact. He tenderly scooped him up into a plastic bag, put him in the garage, and then sat silently in front of the flickering television for four more hours because he was too upset to sleep. He told me via email. He said he "sure will miss his little buddy". I am very, very grateful that my father has my mom, and a second cat at home. The idea of my father all alone is one that always, always makes me have a lump in my throat.

That cat hated everyone but my father. That cat was one of four pets now that have been the divided children of my various failed relationships. I work so hard to build a home, inject it with domestic bliss, and then it all unravels like a poorly knit sweater.

I feel like getting a little bit Rip Van Winkle up in here.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

helloo?

is anyone there?

because on saturday night when i'm home alone, it's just so hard to be sure...

but this is an exercise that i need to perfect, isn't it? and then i either graduate to the perfect blend of domestic/hedonistic bliss with fat babies and smiling dogs in tow, or gin swilling spinsterhood where pretty pool boys tell me i use great eye cream on a daily basis.

expectation will ruin any party, but we do it to each other all the time. you expect that because i am extremely sensual that every opportunity for sexual exploration will be openly invited, and i expect...well i won't even say that here. that will be saved for the hand-written volumes that will no doubt be savored as they are wrenched from my cold dead hands, days later, when the neighbours have discovered my starving cats feasting on the still-tender flesh of my unyielding cheekbones.

trust is a word that i can't even form on my lips anymore when it comes to giving my heart away. even the tiniest crumbs of my heart.

you are magic. and i know you know me, but i must close down this hot dog stand for the summer. i absolutely adore you, and want to keep this perfect collaboration free of mustard stains, or tainted processed meats.

when you spread your wings, i lose my breath, and i can't afford to fly right now. i have barely figured out how to walk. and i suspect you could care less about flying anyway. but maybe that's the cynic in me.

let's just move onwards and upwards, shall we? i get it. i'm pretty sure you do too.

a well-oiled sewing machine and several hours of writing, listening, and sweeping costume epics will fix this. not to mention a good spooning with Arthur, a week without red wine, and a bit of my mom's home cooking.

i got a little caught up in the chutney, and the magic of us, together, in public spaces.

Kurt Weil and Haggen Daas, here i cum.

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Frolicking Good Time

Who doesn't love to wake up to a vigorous game of chase?

6:30 am today felt like a jolly old British farce. I was mostly asleep, and certainly alone, and Toulouse (my lover boy of the four-legged black cat variety) was curled up next to me. Toulouse is ten, and has been ten since I've known him. When I adopted him, I wanted a cat who knew a thing or two about life. I thought he'd be a little cool and aloof, and that we'd exist happily without getting into each other's way, but as it turns out he's affectionate to the point of embarrassment, and sometimes has a drooling problem.


A ten year old cat really isn't the most playful thing, but this morning he stirred me from slumber because he very uncharacteristically pounced off the bed and went chasing down the hall. I shrugged it off and went back to sleep.

Moments later I heard him skitter through the kitchen, then the bathroom. In my sleeping brain, I thought perhaps he had a complicated bowel movement to work out. Again I returned to half-sleep.

When Toulouse returned to the bed, purring loudly, and uttered a single, victorious "Mmmrouph". I sat bolt upright. He was half laying on me, and doing the happy foot dance. It's quite overcast this morning, so still rather dark in here, but I reached for my glasses because I began to experience a cold wave of dread washing over me. Toulouse lowered his head and then suddenly snapped out first his left paw, then the right. Then he was shaking his head vigorously from side-to-side. Instantly, I was "someone-threw-a-bucket-of-cold-water-on-me" awake. I pushed him off the bed, and moved quickly to the bathroom to get my glasses, which I usually keep at the bedside for exactly these kinds of "I need to see" emergencies.

I turned on the lamp, and Toulouse was now on the floor, his mouth full, and a single, sinewy strand dangling from his lips.

"Memmerouph!" he announced, dropping the object at my feet.

And there, before me, was the very reason Toulouse came to live here. Une petite souris. Still quite alive. Being pawed about and munched on my my handsome chat. Seconds ago this was happening in my bed. On me, in fact.

When Toulouse catches mice, he doesn't leave a corpse. It's part of his charm. The only reason I know he's holding up his end of the bargain is that he likes to sometimes leave a tail, or a small pile of entrails. These items are like the slides that Dexter creates after each kill, but they are offerings to me, and not his own personal trophies because Toulouse is a giver.

Discovering him with a fresh catch meant that I would have to watch Toulouse play with it (apparently he really likes pretending to set it free into piles of my discarded clothing and then watches it scurry around again before he pounces on it once more. I've known men like that.) and then he sets about eating it.

I got a pot from the kitchen. And a lid. The next half hour was spent trying to get the mouse into the pot without allowing it to touch me. Toulouse loved this, which in hindsight is very bad, because I fear it now means that he thinks I've invented a delightful game for the two of us to enjoy. He returned to the bed with his kill, which is where I found him once I had the pot in hand. He was allowing the mouse to scamper across my bed covers, which really sent me to gagging.

I'm not afraid of mice. I've lived with them before. It's just one of those things you deal with when you live in the country. My relationship with mice changed though when one of them ran up my arm while I was scooping into a particularly huge bag of dog food. The deeply troubling thing about mice is how they move. So, so fast. There is something instinctive in us, that when we see those naked little tails scooting around, we need there to be a great deal of distance between us and the owners of these tails. Somewhere deep inside me lived a primal fear that one day the cat would bring a mouse into my bed, while it was still alive, and while I was still sleeping. That day was today, and I survived.

My mother wouldn't have. She is pathologically afraid of mice. Like, tears in her eyes hysteria at the mere sight of them. Recurring nightmares in which she catches them doing things like wearing her wedding dress defiantly. In fact, if she reads this I know she will have a hard time ever coming to my house again.

This morning, though really an unpleasant way to wake up, was another life lesson learned in the Fortress of Solitude. I'm stronger than I think, and capable of dealing with more than I give myself credit for.

I finally caught the mouse under the glass lid of the pot. Toulouse loved this because it began to run around the inner periphery and he kept slapping the top with his paw. I then swallowed hard, took a breath and flung the little mouse into the pot with the lid in one very quick flick of my wrist. I carried him outside to the patio, where my naked self deposited him into the rain. He wasn't moving when I began this entry. I hope to hell that he's gone now. I imagine mouse bones are fairly fragile things. Between Toulouse and I, I don't think he was in very good shape.

Toulouse was cross with me for getting rid of his new toy. He protested loudly, and I scratched his chin. I looked him in the eyes and said "If you ever, EVER bring one of your little playthings into MY bed again, your ass is back on the streets." I really hope that I was clear in my intent.

Before I head to the laundromat to wash all of my bedding, I will say one thing - I'm pretty sure I can hang up a towel bar myself. Things like YouTube and my own fierce ability to switch into problem-solving mode will facilitate this. Thanks anyway cute boy with a drill, you are still welcome to turn up here with your tool belt some time in the not-so-distant future.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Ficus was Limp and Other Adventures


I realized yesterday I've been forgetting to water my plants. After I gave them all a drink, they instantly seemed to perk up. It's basic, and simple, and somewhat inane to even mention here, but then I started to look at my own perkiness, which has been lagging. I need to start to treat this body like a temple again.

Now that the Fortress of Solitude is fully functional, I have no excuses. I think I've got to return to my former, impeccably healthy eating habits, and start to cook. I've missed cooking. Nothing else zens me out or gets my primordial juices flowing like being in the kitchen.

This is all topical too because I had my annual women's tune-up today with my amazing new doctor. I turned up in some clothes that I had thrown on, undeniable bed-head, and no makeup on, expecting to fly under the radar of the world.

In the waiting room, I noticed this young hottie-hot-hot with a stethoscope around his neck fetching a patient, and I thought "Man, thank god he's not MY doctor. I would be so embarrassed."

He isn't my doctor. My doctor is a young, hip, savvy woman who is saving the world with her medicinal gifts. She's tiny, and funny, and fierce, and I'm so lucky to be a patient. He is however, her goddamned intern.

After my consult with the nurse practitioner (at teaching hospitals, each visit is an epic) I was ushered back into the waiting room, where I observed how rank my coffee breath was, and how I didn't have a single mint or piece of gum whatsoever, and then Handsome the Intern comes in and calls me by my last name. My doctor is right behind him. They both say hello, and she says "Handsome is going to do your physical, if that's alright with you, and then I'll be in for the important stuff".

I didn't know what that meant, but I'm not about to stand in the way of anyone's education, so I said "Sure, of course."

Handsome and I are in the exam room together, and he says "I'll do your physical and then assist Dr. Superchick with your pap, if that's ok." He smiles, and looks at me intently.

"Um....I say...." (For those of you who don't know this, it doesn't take a redhead much to blush furiously)

"It's ok Schnoo. I've done lots of paps." Says Handsome.

"I'm sure you have." I say, and then look at him. "It's fine. Sure."

After the talking part, he gets me to hop up on the table to begin the exam. He first listens to my heart. I was surprised that I didn't get admitted after that, but I suppose it sounded normal to Handsome. He went to take my blood pressure (which the Nurse Practitioner had already done, but I wasn't about to tell Handsome that) and then he said "Actually, I'll wait. Sometimes standing up quickly can affect your blood pressure."

I hear that being closely examined by incredibly cute men can too.

He checked my eyes, and inches away from my face, in soothing dulcet tones says "So, what kind of work do you do?"

My medical chart says arts administration, but I couldn't resist. Staring at the light switch on the wall as instructed I say "I'm the artistic director and a performer in a very high-end burlesque troupe."

Handsome stops. Steps back. Looks at me. "Are you serious?"

I say "Of course. Why would I make that up?"

He says, "What does that entail?"

I say "It's traditional cabaret theatre with very tasteful strip tease. Your saucy grandmother would love it."

"Wow." says Handsome

He checks my pulse next, and then asks me to hold on to his arm and relax. The Nurse Practitioner didn't do that. I like his technique. He tells me my pulse is excellent, and then he begins to feel my throat and my glands. This part is very nice.

Just before he goes to get Dr. Superchick, he says "I forgot one important thing. As a very, very fair natural redhead, what does that mean?"

Before I can comment on either the carpet or the drapes he says "Sun protection. Always".

I show him the scar on my shoulder where I recently had a mole removed. Very recently.

"Do you have any other moles that you would like me to look at?" Handsome asks.

I think of one in particular that only a few people have ever seen, and I say "Well, I think it's ok. Like I said, this one was just removed."

He then says "Do you have anyone to help you look at the moles you can't see?"

It's very hard now for me to contain myself. I shake my head wryly and say "No, but that sounds like fun. How frequently would you recommend that I do that?"

He now blushes and says "Once a month is probably a safe bet." and follows with "I'll have a quick look after your pap."

He exits to get Dr. Superchick and I slip off my clothes and put on my super awesome hospital gown. They return, and get down to business.

Superchick talks about some of my medical history, and while she is doing this, Handsome the Intern is setting about on a mole hunt, and then she says "Schnoo, I just want to make sure you are comfortable with my intern assisting in your Pap."

I said I didn't mind at all, and then she says "Handsome, have you done her breast exam yet?"

Goody! Foreplay!

Handsome says nope, and then Dr. Superchick instructs him to go ahead. She catches my eye as she says this, and though nothing is said out loud, I very strongly get the sense that she knows EXACTLY where my head is at, and that she could become the most sought after doctor in medical history based on the hotness of her intern alone.

Handsome looks at me. "Schnoo, if we could start by just having you fold down the top of your gown so I can look at your breasts for symmetry, that would be great."

Wouldn't it?

I oblige, and then he asks me to lay back on the table, and begins to gently do his thing. He tells me a story about how women aren't encouraged to necessarily examine for lumps each month, but instead become very, very familiar with the shape of their breasts, their roundness, their colour, etc. He said the other method could lead to unnecessary panic. I assured him that I am very familiar with all of my body, except the moles I can't see.

After the breast exam, it's down to business. I have to say that I felt a twinge of guilt because of how ridiculously inappropriate this visit to the doctor's office had become in my own head. The pap was also sort of mortifying, mostly because I've never even seen that much of myself, and it was very weird to have a handsome stranger poking around in there with really bright lights.
It was quick and painless though, and I think Handsome was right when he said he had one or two under his belt.

He then changed gloves for the internal exam. At this point, I really felt like I was in an amateur movie, and I feel it's important to make it very clear that he was absolutely professional in every way, but when he started to put some clear gel on his hands, I had to ask "What is that?" just to hear him say "It's lube, so that this is a little more comfortable for you" out loud.

Then, his next line was "I'm going to use my fingers to part your labia."

Honestly girls, has anyone else had this happen? Because really, it was just too much.

We made it through the rest of the exam, and then after my doctor said "Thank you so much for allowing Handsome to assist. You've really helped him out a lot, and it was a very valuable educational experience for him, wasn't it Handsome?"

And in turn, with an equal lack of any irony whatsoever Handsome replies "Yes, it was tremendously helpful. Thanks."

Everyone said a pleasant goodbye, I got dressed, and then decided against leaving a $20 on the pillow of the exam table.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Something is Very Wrong

The only things in the Fortress of Solitude that run on double A batteries are the remote controls for my electronic devices.

It's time to take action people.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Breathing Deeply Now


Jack in the Pulpit IV - Georgia O'Keefe

Move through me.
The time has come for us
to finally visit this place.

Your face is one thousand shades of gentle
and your liquid eyes have never changed

still I know them

still they know me.

Whatever, however, whenever...

If this is only fleeting,

slightly breathing,
just grazing

where neck slopes gently into shoulder
where arm and torso share a valley
where thigh and belly brush fingertips

as they pass each other in the hall


Part of you will stay behind

as you always have,
and bring me closer to knowing,

to feeling
what quietly whispered pieces of love should sound like.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sometimes It's Just Zen


Today was marvelous. Thanks universe.

My creative juices are making me drool right now, and that's how I know the full moon is approaching. It's actually Saturday, for those of you who aren't in the know.

I remember a time in the tender bud of my youth, where I was entangled in a romance with witchcraft. For each full moon, I would make sure that I had a lover lined up (when appropriate), and I would fill my bedroom with fresh flowers (I carefully researched the symbolism of these flowers, of course) and candles, and incense. I'd take a really long bath in the appropriate essential oils, and then fold myself into some type of silk robe. I'm sure you can fill in the rest. I really enjoyed this little ritual. I think perhaps I ought to bring it back. It always helped me tap into the divine feminine, and who doesn't need a little of that every now and then?

I think it's about time that I started to look for ways to make my life a little more spiritual, and try to find a beautiful mind/body connection. All of that has sort of fallen away in the muddle of relationships gone wrong, homes falling apart, and pets being shuffled about in the chaos.

This full moon is going to be time for a reflection on the power of solitude, and the strength of finding my own two feet beneath me no matter what happens. I'll be flying solo, this month. Something tells me not for long though...

I'm thinking of studying Red Tantra. Google it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

There's No Place Like Hope


Someone suggested I might take time from my busy schedule to add a new post, as the last one might be misconstrued out of context. Though I thumb my nose at the idea that anyone would ACTUALLY think I'm a racist, I do think it's time for some new fodder, but I'm under the gun today, again.

I will leave you this.

Now that the fortress of solitude is mostly unpacked, and life is beautifully starting to settle, the attached video, which I found on my friend's Facebook page, really sums up my head-space.

Sometimes we make things incredibly hard, when they really don't need to be.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6exm2Hi28Xw

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Am I a Racist, or an Idiot?




Last night I learned that these men are in fact two very different people. The man on the top is Don Cheadle, and the man below him Tim Meadows. No kidding.

All this time, I thought that Boogie Nights was an extraordinary performance for someone who played "The Ladies Man" on SNL. And I was thrilled that he was handed a juicy role in Hotel Rawanda.

And then, during a heated debate with a very handsome fellow on a patio, a text message and a group of strangers piping up won the argument in his favor, and clarity fell on me like a drunken bridesmaid.

Incredible. I can just imagine the beautiful way that he will step into his next role as president of the United States of America. A proud day in history, that.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I Just Want to Sleep


But wouldn't it be so much sweeter with someone warm and soft beside me, limbs all tangled up with mine, and their sweet hot breath in my ear?

I don't know how I'm still holding up my head right now because I'm woefully sleep-deprived, but I am absolutely thrilled to see that the renovations are almost at an end, and soon I will be all unpacked and set up in this place.

That means that I can entertain guests in the fortress. I can have visitors, and dinner parties, and sleep-overs if I want. I can spend quiet evenings on my terrace with citronella candles and a bottle of wine, listening to old Joni Mitchell tunes and thinking about all of the places I want to travel to and the kind of person who would be the perfect traveling companion.

I can finally clean the layers of dust off all of the things I own, and surround myself with all of this beauty that has been stashed away in boxes for the last several months.
I can have a home.

Who knew that these renos would be so very epic? May the gods of construction see us through to the end of this long journey, because then I'm going to celebrate.