Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Home For The Holidays

Merry Christmas! I hope that everyone had a great Christmas. The majority of my readers consist of family members, so I thought that I would dedicate this blog to family and the holidays. I would like to include a picture of my family but they have declined, which I understand, due to privacy issues. Plus, my family is ridiculously good looking so we would probably be bombarded with requests to appear in movies, magazines and advertisements. So, I have included a picture from "The Muppet Family Christmas" instead. Here is my Christmas poem:

It all started with a scenic drive through Clifton Hill
The sky was clear and the temperature was unseasonably mild
And then we arrived at the house where the meal would be served
At the home of my sister who is great with child.

My mom cooked up a storm while my nephew repeated "Mama working"
The food was abundant and the room was filled with mirth
There were grammar lessons about "declination", "pedigree schools" and "betrothal"
My sister laughed so hard that I worried she would give birth.

We discovered that it is difficult to write fridge magnet messages
When there is only one set of letters to be found
We opened the presents and were surrounded by Thomas the Tank Engine(s)
Building block sky rises were constructed and "Babyzilla" knocked them down.

Digital cameras clicked and flashed and memories were captured
There were pictures of my sis's baby bump and Grandpa in a mountain of toys
An assembly line formed for dishes to be washed, dried and put away
As we half-joked about women's work and the laziness of boys.

The food was packed away and I fantasized about leftovers
And was excited to score a package of jumbo Romaine hearts
But the eating was far from over as there were platters of desserts
We were full but still managed to ingest nanaimo bars, squares and tarts.

My brother and his family had a two hour drive ahead
So we hugged goodbye and I promised to see them soon
And then my mom, dad, bro-in-law and sis brought my nephew up to bed
And we watched as he read bedtime stories in his "big boy room".

My nephew did not want to go to bed and requested story after story
My brother-in-law read the words and my nephew mimed the actions
When he saw an illustration of a woman in a kitchen he pointed and said "Mama"
I held back the tears and was overcome with love and affection.

And then it was time for mom and dad to say "Good bye"
My mom is the tiniest woman but she has the strongest hugs
Every year our family grows but one thing remains the same
Christmas is always a time for vast amounts of food and even more love.

Merry Christmas to my family. I love you all very much! And Merry Christmas to all of the families in the world.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Driving Miss Cherry

I don't drive. Whenever I reveal that information to people for the first time, I always get the feeling that they are waiting for a tragic story to follow. Perhaps I lost my license due to drinking and driving or I was in a huge car accident and am now too afraid to drive. But the simple truth is, I have never had a car. Owning a car has never been a priority to me. I did not get my license until I was 20. While I was in university, everything that I needed was accessible by public transportation or within walking distance. After university, I worked in retail and couldn't afford a car. When I moved to Toronto, the subway system was amazing. For a mere $2.50 I could travel from one end of the city to the other, at amazing speed!

But, upon moving to Niagara, travel became quite inconvenient. At one point, I would take the Greyhound bus to work every day. The drivers became familiar with me and were very nice. One driver would allow me to ride for free from time to time. Another driver went out of his way to tell me that he was changing bus routes and that it had been a pleasure to have me as his passenger. He was actually my favourite driver as he would talk on a microphone and act as a tour guide while driving over the Skyway bridge. (It got to the point where I had his speech memorized). One warm day in March he told me that I looked like "Spring Incarnate" (I had to look that one up).

Now that I live closer to work, I walk every day. I must admit that the public transportation system here really sucks. I find that I can walk to most places in the amount of time that it would take me to take a bus (including waiting time). I have trained my body to walk for hours without growing tired. But as time goes by, I realize that I am beginning to need and want a car.

My sister tells me that I am an ideal passenger. I am definitely not a back seat driver. We could be in a near accident and I wouldn't even notice. I think that it is simply that I trust people when I am in their vehicle.

I am a bit frightened by the idea of driving. One thing that frightens me about cars is that they can kill people and animals. I sometimes have dreams in which I am suddenly behind the wheel and I don't know what to do. They are very similar to my dreams about writing an exam that I haven't prepared for. In both cases, I know that I would be okay if I just practised and studied.

Everyone tells me that my life will change once I get a car. I am told that I will experience an amazing sense of freedom and independence. I have made a New Year's resolution to get my finances in order and get to a point where I am actually able to save money. And when I save that money, I am going to blow it on a car! It wouldn't be a great car, I wouldn't care what it looked like. I wonder if people ever give away cars on freecycle.org....

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Bashful Corpse

I was introduced to www.postsecret.com by my blogger friend Hyacinths and Biscuits. It is a really interesting site in which people make postcards that reveal a secret that they have never told anyone. It is a bit voyeuristic, but also therapeutic. I really like the postcard that I have included above (I looked into the legalities of copying this image and it is fine as long as I include a link to the website). It reminds me of my own fears about death. Sometimes, when I am coming out of the shower, I am suddenly overcome by a fear that I will suddenly die and be found there, naked. I instantly panic and dry myself off and get dressed as quickly as possible. I know that this is completely irrational. I have watched enough episodes of "Six Feet Under" to know that when you die, people stick tubes in you, put make up on you and even make jokes while you are completely naked and there is nothing that you can do about it.

I once had an idea for a film where the main character dies in an embarrassing way and tries to go back in time to change the matter in which they died. They cannot change the fact that they are going to die, but they can try to alter the means of their demise. I know, it's a silly idea and that is why I don't care if someone steals it.

I really don't think about death that often. Actually, I sometimes forget that it is going to happen to me. I do believe that it is better to live your life than constantly worry about losing your life. But I do avoid taking showers during thunderstorms. You know, lightning + water + bathtub + naked = not a good thing.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

This Charming Man

I came across this picture of Morrissey (my whole life I have been pronouncing it "Morri-say", but it has recently been brought to my attention that it is actually "Morri-see". Oops!) and I found it to be quite humorous. For some reason I just can't imagine him making it a priority to "work on his tan". It really is a great photograph though. His hair is strategically coiffed, but he doesn't look very comfortable. Wouldn't it hurt to lie on your face with sunglasses on? Yes, he was definitely a novice to the sunbathing ritual.

But all of that time in the sun has not led to any premature aging. I truly believe that Morrissey becomes more attractive as the years go by (I feel the same way about David Bowie). Morrissey was one of the first musicians that I ever listened to that made me think that it was cool to be melancholy. I will always remember that scene in "Pretty In Pink" where Jon Cryer (Duckie) is sitting on a mattress on the floor and "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" is playing softly in the background. I remember being influenced by the "Meat Is Murder" album. I also remember a photograph in my "Star Hits" magazine of Morrissey holding an emaciated looking kitten. In the article Morrissey discussed vegetarianism and how his kitten was a vegetarian as well (I don't think that felines thrive on a vegetarian diet). So, I stopped eating meat for a while (but I still ate bacon, because for some reason I thought that didn't count).

Morrissey was my first celebrity boyfriend. We had a lot in common because he was celibate and I was celibate too! (Okay, I wasn't celibate by choice, but by necessity. Remember, only the geeks asked me to dance at highschool dances). He was the only person that I knew of that looked cool when he wore his shirt unbuttoned and had necklaces gleaming against his alabaster skin. That is a difficult look to pull off.

Today Morrissey wears tailored suits and his perfectly styled hair has some silver in it. His music is a bit lighter but it still has that tongue-in-cheek quality. I'd love to see him in concert. I'd also love to hear some Christmas music by him...I've looked for some but haven't found any.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Don't Compare Her To Tori Amos

It seems that lately I can learn everything that I need to know by visiting Perez Hilton's website. Yesterday he posted about Regina Spektor's latest album. He included a video clip and I checked it out and really enjoyed her music. There was a link to her My Space (http://myspace.com/reginaspektor) where I found even more music and some really amazing videos. She is only in her mid 20's but she seems like an old soul. She lived in Moscow until the age of 9 and then her family moved to the Bronx. Her voice is charming and the camera loves her. Even her sadder songs have an air of optimism to them. Her lyrics are clever. Here are some that I really like (from the song "On The Radio"):

No, this is how it works
You peer inside yourself
You take the things you like
And try to love the things you took
And then you take that love you made
And stick it into some
Someone else's heart
Pumping someone else's blood
And walking arm in arm
You hope it don't get harmed
But even if it does
You'll just do it all again

I read an interview with her and in the interview she was wearing a stethoscope. The interviewer asked her why and she said that it was given to her by a friend and sometimes she wears it so that she can listen to her heart if she has to make an important decision. She also stated that she does not like to be compared to Tori Amos.

If you get a chance, take a look at her My Space, or her website at www.reginaspektor.com. I really love the video for "Samson". It has some beautiful stop animation of intricate paper cut outs. She is also wearing a really cool dress from 1910. Of course, you can also find her on YouTube, but you will also find videos of sad Femo girls playing her songs on the piano. Just skip over those if you can.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

"I like your sleeves. They're really big".

I came across this shot from "Napoleon Dynamite". I absolutely love that movie. There is such an innocence about it. This scene brings me back to my highschool years. I always got stuck dancing to "Stairway To Heaven" with the most undesirable boy in my class(there were many of them to choose from, so it wasn't always the same one). To this day, I can't hear that song without feeling a bit uncomfortable. But I still remember the excitement of the highschool dance. The smell of heavy cologne ("Polo" in those days and the occasional "Stetson"), the darkness of the gymnasium and the pounding in my chest when I thought that a highschool senior was walking up to me to ask me to dance.

Those were awkward days, but I can still identify with the person that I was. (Except that I don't see things the same way. For example, I can see out of my right eye now because I don't have long 80's bangs impeding my vision). Actually, when I write this blog, I am always reminded of the diary that I kept when I was 16. The next time that I visit my parents I am going to try to find that diary (I think that it is still in my old room). Maybe I will incorporate quotes from it in my blog. Me at 16 would shudder to imagine people reading my most personal thoughts. But I won't include the thoughts and fears that I can still identify with. But I am sure to find a lot of humour in those pages, as well as stories of highschool dances.

Shake Your Groove Thang!

Last night I went to my work Christmas Party. Whenever a danceable song came on, I wanted to get on the dance floor, but the girls at my table kept saying "I haven't had enough to drink. Maybe in a bit". There was a time when I needed to have a couple of drinks before I danced in public, but now, I rarely drink so I am quite accustom to making a fool of myself in a sober state. So, I kept sipping my water and waiting for my dance partners to gain some liquid courage. Finally we got up there and I was feelin' the music! (Okay, we were dancing to some cheesy Justin Timberlake song, but it didn't matter). My sister (who was sober as well as she is nine months pregnant) was working it, baby bump and all! I was impressed. She was impressed with my moves as well and I informed her that I have been watching a lot of Beyonce videos on YouTube. I'm trying to perfect my hip and butt shake.There was a huge video screen over the dance floor and a camera following people around. I looked up at the screen at one point and saw myself dancing. I was like a deer in the headlights. It was like when you hear your voice on a recording. You just can't believe that that is you (and not in a good way). I looked away from the screen and tried to continue to dance but whenever I looked up, I realized that the camera was still on me. I know that you are supposed to dance like no one is watching but I felt really self conscious at that moment. Once the camera was off of me, I was able to get in the groove again.

I guess I have always had a fear that I might be like Elaine on Seinfeld. She thought that she was a good dancer, but obviously she wasn't. I'll always remember her protesting "But I really like dancing". Maybe I should stop watching Beyonce videos and start watching the dance sequence from Napoleon Dynamite over and over again.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Faces You Should Never Make

I was looking through some of my pictures and came across this one. My sister is on the left and I am on the right. My sister always looks good in pictures. I, on the other hand, not so much. This used to be my "mock modelling" face until I saw what it looked like. It is supposed to be a sultry pout, but it looks more like collagen injections gone wrong. Perez Hilton would have fun with this picture if I were a celebrity. He would probably draw stuff dripping out of my mouth and put a balloon over my sister and have her saying "I'm with FUG".

Perez Hilton rocks!

Can you tell that I didn't know what to post today?

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Song for A Creepy Winter's Evening

One of my favourite Christmas songs is "Baby It's Cold Outside". I also like the scene in the movie "Elf", where the shop girl finds herself in an unexpected duet with the Elf, singing "Baby It's Cold Outside". If you remember the movie, Zooey Deschanel's character is showering at work because her hot water has been shut off at her apartment. She is singing that song in the shower and Will Ferrell's character walks into the washroom and innocently sings along with her. She is rightfully creeped out by the whole situation (although the Elf is naive and means no harm). While listening closely to this song, I realized that there is a real creep factor to it. It is a song about a guy trying to talk a girl into staying at his house. She says that she will have half a drink more and he advises her to "put some records on while I pour". It appears that he does not want her to watch him pour her drink. Why? Well, the answer comes in the next verse when she asks "Say, what's in this drink?" and he responds "No cabs to be had out there". What did he put in her drink? Hmmmm.

She warms up to him a bit, but says "I wish I knew how to break this spell". She is probably referring to that groggy feeling. She then says "I ought to say 'No,no,no sir'. At least I'm gonna say that I tried". She is already planning to tell her friends that she tried to resist him. Oh, so maybe she isn't so innocent after all. Maybe she is welcoming his advances but plans to accuse him of taking advantage of her later on. Okay, so they are both creeps. At the end of the song the guy basically says that if she leaves, she might die. "If you caught pneumonia and died". Wow, that's desperate.

I was looking for the lyrics to the song and I found these. For some reason, I don't think that they are accurate:

my maidins anuts mind is fecouis
(GOSH ur lips are delicous)

theres boud to be talk 2 morrow
(think of my life long sorrow!)
atleast there be plenty of invised!
(if U caught PHONEUA and DIED!!)

For real! That is what I found on one site. But I also discovered some interesting facts about the song. It was originally performed by Betty Garrett and Red Skelton in the film "Neptune's Daughter". It won the Academy Award for best song in 1949.

That is the end of this lengthy post. I haven't posted in a few days so I guess I had a lot to say!

ps. I still like that song...even if it is creepy!