Thursday, April 28, 2005
To The Roomie
Most of her things were stuffed into boxes and sat in the living room, waiting to be piled into the back of her mum's mini-van. I sat on the arm of the couch, half watching the television and half offering to help every now and then, but there was nothing for me to do. When everything was packed away and her mum and grandma stood at the door, I stood and watched as she hugged the rest of the girls in the house. She came to me and we hugged tightly. "Tanya," I said, "This is weird. I don't like this." I didn't want to acknowledge the fact that she was really moving out for four months. I wanted to ask her to stay - again. I pouted a little.
She pouted back. "I know. I'll miss you."
"I going to miss you so much." Squeeze.
And with that, I handed her an envelope (inside was a poorly written letter trying to express how great the last eight months have been, living with her has taught me so much) and then she was gone. Well, unless you count when she burst through the door half a minute later and rushed up the stairs yelling down that she should pee before the ride home.
Today, she turns 20. And we're at least two hours away from each other. Pout.
Welcome to your Twenties, Tanya. Though my experience with the decade has only lasted for a year, I can almost guarantee that you're in for quite the ride. Remember that the number means little to nothing, and that the best part lies in maintaining that inner child and growing up at the same time. It might be rough, but it'll be fun. Here's to hoping to that every up and down will be worth it in the end. Happy Birthday Dear.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Be More Excited Than Me About This
To tell you the truth, I'm not in a very good mood nor am I particularly happy right now. But here is a happy thing to make this a fairly happy moment:
Remember when I said that I auditioned for a film, got a callback but wasn't expecting anything because it was one heck of an experience? Well, I went to that second audition and came out still not expecting anything. But I got something anyway.
I'm going to be in a movie.
I play the Clerk in a vet clinic or something, and it's not a huge role as I've got about six lines and three major actions. I don't get to use anything fancy but I do get to do receptiony type things like search for dog names on a computer. Everyone's been asking what the film is called (Sleeping Dogs) but I don't understand why you'd ask considering it hasn't been made yet...how would you even know what it is? And I don't really know what it's about (putting dogs to sleep or something is what I gathered from auditions), but to tell you the truth, I don't care! I'm going to be in a movie.
I'm surprised you see, so I keep downplaying this (someone scolded me for that last night - I didn't even realize I was doing it). I know I shouldn't by now, but there still is some doubt in terms of my abilities and so forth. I know I'm..'good', good enough to be cast (I'm particularly proud that I beat out this one girl I met there, she's been to school for acting and has an agent and all that jive), but still. Still what? I don't know - told you I was in a crappy mood.
But to end on a happy-ish note: I'm going to be in a movie. Neat, huh?
Friday, April 22, 2005
It has come to my attention recently that there are an increasing number of people who read my blog. So, to all the relatively new visitors here, hello and welcome. If you randomly clicked your way here through a long list of links, the chances are that I don't know you and you don't know me. And that's okay. What concerns (worries/troubles/apprehends) me and the rest of this post is those of you who know me in real life. Not that I have any sort of serious problem with you reading my blog, because I don't. I fully realize that it was me who started this thing up, on the Internet, and put it out there for the public to find. I will however, take the time to say that I kept this place to myself for a long while and did nothing to advertise the fact that I put bits and pieces of my life onto a webpage. And it stayed that way until I realized how cool linking and comments were. It all came full circle of course as I now have no links to others (sorry) and no comments.
You may be wondering why I do this. If you have a blog, LiveJournal or any other form of personal publishing vehicle, you may understand. However, the concept of a blog may be totally foreign to you. The word 'blog' may make you giggle, it may confuse you, you might be wrinkling your brow and saying "What the hell is a blog?" A blog is many different things to many people and I will not even attempt to define it here. All I know is that it started out as 'web-log' and got shortened to 'blog' somewhere along the way. Some people use their blogs to keep in touch with family and friends far away. Others use them to aid in their professional careers, to entertain, or to anonymously confess secrets.
To me, this is a place for me to share. And that's just it. It is for me because I ultimately make the decisions around here - I choose the words and the photos to post. It is a place of sharing because nearly anyone and everyone can visit and read and look. It was shared with those who bothered to leave comments when I still had them, and it is (for now) shared with the internet public. You.
I do, however, consider this space mine. I will admit that I don't consider other people an awful lot when I write my posts, but at the same time, I try my best to be fairly sensitive of the things that I do share. I usually do not include names unless I've asked first and I do not use this space to whine or complain about others, so don't worry. Unless, of course, you've got me tangled in some sort of relationship problem in which case I might get emo on you and write sappy emo things. Apologies for that in advance. Like I said, ultimately, this is about me. Undoubtedly this entire space reflects my narcissistic side and I'm hoping that you knew that when you first started reading. If not, maybe the photo collages of me and only me that are coming will help.
I've learned a couple things during my two and a half years here. The first being that I can't hide. Not that I ever really wanted to anyway. People will find me, whether through a random set of links, gossip or by Google-searching my name. So if you accidentally let it slip during a conversation that you read my blog, don't be afraid. It's okay with me and yes, we can talk about it. You can reference it because I most likely will too. Just try not to do it everyday. It's difficult to separate one's web life and one's real life and I don't know anyone who has successfully done it. Once you attach your name to something online, the two lives get inextricably intertwined and there really is no escape. So really, I'm not going to bother giving off the impression that I want to keep the two separate.
The second thing I've learned involves impressions. Now, for those who don't know me in real life, this likely doesn't matter much as (hopefully) you've realized that you. don't. know. me. Simple as that. This is only bits and pieces of who I am and when you put them together, you're really only getting half the story. The other half is in me, my personality, my daily activities, my phone coversations, my friends. My real life. For those who do know me, all I can say is that this isn't everything. There are things that I do not write about here (although that list is getting shorter), secrets and confessions that are left for the pages of my journal and the ears of those I trust. I worried about this a bit more when I first started out. If I write about my boyfriend will people think I'm clingy? If I write about school will they think I'm a nerd? If I write about a night at a bar will they think I'm an alcoholic?
In the end, I can't control the multitude of interpretations that may come of a single post. I write what I write because I feel that it is right for me at the time. Come back in a day and things may be totally different. Talk to me in person and the perspective can change even more. Even I cringe when I read through some of my old entries, but I know that that was Shirley Then, not Shirley Now. I hope that you can do the same. I've never deleted a post because I don't want to hide my past here. There are some rough spots and many imperfections, but taking them out would leave you with an even more incomplete image of who I am. Sometimes I will get emotional here (as I have many times in the past), and possibly poetic (let's hope this doesn't happen too often). I have been angry, bitter, frustrated and unbelievably happy here. Sometimes I can even be funny.
I am not surprised if my choice to share these feelings online still weird you out and I wish I could find a better way to explain why I do what I do. But like I said in my first post, I can't really explain why I'm here. It was an urge, a feeling. I wrote then that Perhaps it's simply a fad that will fade...perhaps by sharing I will discover something...learn. And this is still largely true. The most important thing I have learned is that blogs have the amazing ability to connect you to other people. We share a lot of the same experiences, fears, insecurities, thoughts and feelings. I have met wonderful people who have shared their stories with me, who have made the effort to support and get to know me whether through e-mails, a long distance phone call or a seven hour conversation at a cafe. I'm throwing a line out there, hoping someone will tug back.
Things are constantly changing, I have good days, bad days and quite a number of fleeting 'moments'. Please take things with a grain of salt and try not to judge me too harshly for them. I only have one half of the story to tell - my half. And of that half only some of it is here, otherwise I'd have none left for myself. Remember that in the end, the choice to read is up to you.
Thanks for visiting.
Thursday, April 21, 2005
C'est La Vie
Boys: Don't be surprised if she changes for you.
Girls: Don't be surprised if he doesn't change for you.
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
But Of Course, He Wasn't
You say hi to your friend and give him a hug, thanking him for coming to your performance. "It means so much to me," you say as you catch him out of the corner of your eye, looking, stealing glances at you. When you say bye to your friend and walk towards him you both smile. "You came!" you say and he lifts his left arm high into the air, inviting you in for a hug. Your guarded heart thinks that this is nothing, he goes to everyone's performances and hugs everyone this way for all you know.
You notice that it's just the one arm in the air, that it's up high and when you walk into (under?) it, he wraps it around, pulling you in close and closing it off with his right. It seems to scream Under His Wing and the last thing you want is to feel little-er than you already do (barefoot) and like a child that he is teaching and observing, giving him another reason to call you "cute". So instead, you get on tiptoes and go into the hug with your arms reaching over his, just the way you like it ("You've met your match" you once said to him). He has to bend a bit (remember the barefeet) and he hugs you so tightly, so hard, that you felt the muscle in your shoulder blade spasm.
His hair has grown out and escapes under the sides of his cap. "I'm going for the Ashton Kutcher look," he says. You think to yourself that he doesn't really look anything like Ashton Kutcher, and that this is possibly a good thing because you've never really found Ashton particularly attractive. You smile at the locks that poke out and are reminded of his hair colour, different shades of brown yet virgin, never been dyed.
He coughs every now and then and you remember that he's been sick for a while. "Did you lose weight?" you ask, concerned about the severity of the cold. No, apparently it's just the jacket. It's new and he doesn't have the discman in it so there's less bulk. You actually did notice the jacket because when you saw him earlier that afternoon he looked different somehow, and you couldn't quite put your finger on it. He did look thinner. "But the ponch is still there," you say, "It's just hidden." He chuckles and you wonder if you've entertained or embarrassed him. You know that the ponch will always be there, no matter how good new jackets look on him.
He left his scent on the left side of your neck that night, and every time you turned you smelled him, thinking that he was there.
Saturday, April 16, 2005
When I was in high school I thrived in the world of the extra-curricular. I joined almost every club/group/organization possible, from band and choir and music council to student council and DECA (business club-type thing)and Classics club. I was President of this, on the executive of that and did something important for the other thing. I organized Parents' Nights and ran Cancer Canvassing Campaigns. I volunteered with the community and charities and eventually I joined the rugby team because sports was the one thing I hadn't done yet during my five years there.
You can say it - I was an overachiever.
And I'm proud. I was proud then and I am to this day of all the things that I've done. I did what I liked, got to learn and try all sorts of new things and later on, people recognized me for that. So naturally, when I came to Laurier, my first instinct was to find all the neat clubs and councils and join them. Which I did. I was President of this, sat on a bunch of councils for that and volunteered for a bunch of other things. And the truth is, I loved it.
Then I got onto important boards and councils and started doing things that made me feel detached from whatever purpose I was supposed to be serving. Meetings went from fun to boring, and I didn't feel like I meant anything - I was just another human body in the room with a stack of papers in front of her. I didn't feel anything for these groups. I didn't feel like I made any sort of contribution, that they could be doing just fine if I wasn't there (and they did because I wasn't there very often) and really, I just didn't love it enough. I've realized that if you don't love something (or someone) enough, you should and have every right to leave. If you don't, you put a half-assed effort into whatever relationship you have and it falls apart because you simply don't. care.
But what of responsibility? What do you do if it was an elected position and you're supposed to be a Senator for another year? People are expecting things of you. Do I choose me or my responsibility?
The things I did in high school, (most of) the things I did last year and some of the things I did this year, I love. And I'll go back every year until I leave this place. I don't want to stop being a part of the Fringe Festival or the Vagina Monologues or a Note-taker for Accessible Learning Center. I'm excited to be an Ambassador and a writer for the student paper. I take part because I want to, not because I need to. A friend and I told each other last week that we felt like we were growing up, that we could almost feel maturity seeping under our skin. Not because we stopped going out to bars and giggling with friends, but becuase we're starting to make decisions that make us feel better. The two of us put others first for a long time, and now we're realizing that we need to do things that matter to us because we matter too.
Here's to hoping it all works out.
Thursday, April 14, 2005
The Hormonal Overload Will Stop Soon, I Promise
Dear Shirley's Heart,
Calm the heck down. You are waaaaay too emotional right now and you need to stop this nonsense before it gets out of hand (again). I mean, who cries over e-mail? For goodness sake it's just e-mail! Yes, I know that you love Outlook Express and its fancy foldering system and how it just looks so darn professional, and yes, how you never ever have to delete another e-mail again ever (unless you want to of course) but it's not the be-all and end-all of...well, anything. There are other e-mail thingies out there.
It's totally okay that you don't know what POP3 and SMTP mean, many people don't. It's okay that you don't have an Arts Council e-mail address anymore (it's okay that you're not on Arts Council next year too!). It's okay that your new e-mail address sounds funny and makes it seem as though you just married (or just got hired by) your friend Fraser (thank god it makes you laugh - can we please get more laughter around here? even the obnoxious stuff will do).
It's okay that he's still mad at you. It's okay that he won't be the one to reconfigure everything, it's okay that he's the one cutting you off (makes sense, no?). It's okay that you can't find someone else to fill in all the blanks for you because you can figure it out yourself. It's okay, it's okay, it's okay. Geez, who knew you could get so attached to e-mail? Stop moping (and please, stop the crying girl!), things are/will be just fine.
PS: Be a sweetie and don't try to pull that PMS card on me, it just won't work.
The Moment I Became An Emo Lyric
see, wasn't that easy?
Ever so easy, as everything is. Sometimes.
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
I Just Had To Tell You
1. Never assume that you know what someone is feeling. More often than not, you're wrong.
2. Let someone love you. Please.
Monday, April 11, 2005
Can You Say Cheese?
It's exam time and as you can tell, I've been busy taking silly photos of me and the roomie.
I've also been busy with not studying and stressing out over fifteen page take home exams. <-- I finished that monster today, fifteen pages of sociological, mass communicative crap. Yay me.
Then I spent an hour and a half studying for an exam that took me twenty minutes to finish. We weren't allowed to leave until at least an hour had passed so I practiced my doodling skills.
I've also been cooking a lot of curry. We had to move all our coats out of the downstairs closet and Tanya claims that the house will smell like curry for weeks. Yum.
I would also like to take this time to fully appreciate Ashley. I realized a few days ago that she drives me home all the time (It's dark, I don't want you walking home alone in the dark, she says), and has fed me yummy snacks the last couple times we were together. She's a nice gal and I like her.
It's just about midnight and I am. Going. To bed. I can't tell you how utterly, utterly excited I am to be doing this. Oh sleep, how I love thee.
Sunday, April 10, 2005
The cast of The Vagina Monologues ver. 2005, WLU style.
I don't know why I'm the only one who's trying to look stupidly seductive in that photo - I seriously thought we were all going to do it.
We sold chocolate vaginas at the show and I really wish I had bought one, or at the very least, taken a picture of them to show y'all what really good naughty chocolate looks like.
Friday night's performance was the best one out of the three; the audience laughed (loudly, too!) at all the right times and even groaned the one time they were supposed to. And being a part of the best audience performers could ever hope for, Chris wrote a little something something about the show that tugged at my heartstrings and made my inner vagina go Aw. And because he's silly and doesn't have perma-linking, I'll just paste his blurbie here.
Maybe each monologue is a wall, an incomplete wall bearing a mural about female experience. Each performer is building it up one brick at a time, bringing everyone one step closer to understanding. Maybe the wall will never be done until every single woman in the world adds herself to the Vagina Monologues. Maybe the secret to sharing lies in thoroughness and totality.
Check it out, behind that guffy exterior is a softie. Aw.
Saturday, April 09, 2005
That Was Then
I was rifling through My Documents and discovered this blog entry that I wrote on Thursday night/Friday morning. Writing it at the time seemed like a great idea and I desperately wanted to post it. I read it now and it seems so dumb. I remember talking to Shan about a book that I got from her, a book of poems and short stories, of love and hurt and broken-ness and hope. I thought it was wonderful and I couldn't stop reading it or touching it.
I didn't ask for an autograph but she scrawled Beware! of bad writing on the cover and This book is shit Please do not share! Disregard what your parents told you about sharing! all over the inside cover and I am too embarassed to sign bad books. on the dedication page. I was a bit upset, amused and confused by this. I did get an autograph in the end, one of those unique and valuable kinds, and I loved the book, didn't she? I've discovered since that most writers don't like their old writing and are sometimes embarrassed by it. I've felt that way before too (see third sentence), but not being a Writer, it doesn't count. It's silly to cringe I think, you wrote what you did at the time because it's what you felt you needed to write. And I have no doubt that it was sincere and honest. So, putting my moola where my mouth is, here's the entry that I wrote when I was obviously way too tired and extremely emotional (there's your warning).
Friday April 8, some time about 1:30am
No Hero In Her Skies
and so it is
just like you said it would be
You were given a glow-in-the-dark star today and they told you that you shone, that you stood out because you were bright, you simply glowed. You smiled because it was cheesy and trite but it made you feel good about yourself nonetheless.
life goes easy on me
most of the time
That light you emanated just a couple days ago flickers now as you sit listening to The Blower's Daughter on repeat, all made up with sparkly eyeshadow and red lipstick from your performance tonight. You feel like your hormones and your emotions have banded together and gave birth to a PMS monster that will eat all of your rationale and strength. Listening to sappy Damien Rice songs enhances the fact that hormones have taken over your body and the slightest mention of a certain ex-boyfriend's name will send you into a reminiscent fit of sadness tinged with a slight depression. Mentioning a certain crush's name will do almost the same thing, but not to the same extent.
and so it is
the shorter story
no love no glory
no hero in her skies
You're a bit melancholy. You will not receive a dozen roses this year after the show (the ones from last year are dried and still hang from the curtain rod over your bed) nor will there be a loved one in the audience who is so proud of you that he records your monologue with your shiny new camera so that you can have a digital copy ready for whenever you need it. You're tired. Your performance was off tonight, but no one in the audience could really tell - so many years on the stage has taught you to recover well. And you think to yourself, Why can't I recover well in real life?
i can't take my eyes off of you
You wonder if anyone else out there thinks that their life is a movie, or could make a good one. Someone once told you that they always pretend that there's a camera to their left at all times. You thought this strange at first (your life is one big act?), but later fully realized what he meant. Last September, running across the road with tears in your eyes and how it reminded you of a scene from a(n unmade) movie, but there was no car to hit you. Tonight, as you stared at the glowing elevator buttons, you imagined a camera closing in on your blank expression and what it looked like to a viewer. Would this make a good scene? Indie films seem to like elevators. On the soundtrack would be Alanis, The Cranberries, among other songs that make you feel artistic and deep.
and so it is
just like you said it should be
You have an exam at nine tomorrow morning, but you haven't done readings for the class since January 19th and you're writing a blog entry though it's past one ay em. You don't particularly care and this bothers you a bit.
we'll both forget the breeze
most of the time
Your roommate wanders into your room with tears in her eyes. She nervously pulls at her oversized sweater. She just watched a sad video and she's crying now. You smile at her and wonder, What's become of us? Why do we rent and watch stupid, sappy, romance movies until two thirty in the morning? Why do we talk about being sad so much? Why do we waste our time and emotions on these asshats? You know that emo sucks.
and so it is
the colder water
the blower's daughter
the pupil in denial
You feel disjointed. Your body aches and your thoughts are a jumbled mess of randomness. But this isn't the kind of randomness that people will find remotely sexy and you laugh at the mere prospect because it is so utterly ridiculous to you right now that you really can laugh out loud. You can do whatever you want because like Counsellor Lindsay said in the fall, People don't care. And you're starting to believe her.
i can't take my eyes off of you
did I say that I loathe you?
did I say that I want to
leave it all behind?
i can't take my mind off of you
'til I find somebody new
That was then. This is now.
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
Right now I feel a lot like I did at about this time last year. Tonight was our first 2005 performance of the Vagina Monologues and it reminded me of the real reasons that I get invovled with things like this in the first place. Sure, I like (read: love) acting and need to be on stage every now and then or else I go crazy, but it's more because of the people I get to work with. The ladies in the cast this year are a great bunch and I've liked working with them and getting to know the people who did the show last year as well. I think that it takes a certain type of person to audition and even want to be in the show in the first place. As a whole, we are a very open minded bunch and comfortable with sexuality and womanhood in general.
When people ask me what The Vagina Monologues are about, I tell them that it's a bunch of women sitting around and talking about their vaginas. But there's more to it than that. The show is happy and sad; moments of orgasmic hilarity are well balanced with somber moments when issues like rape and abuse are covered. We talk about everything, from pubic hair and moaning to vagina workshops and birth. Last year I was the little girl living happily until she was continually raped by soldiers invading her country and then I orgasmically spelled out the word 'cunt' and got the audience to chant it with me. My monologue this year is about an ordinary man named Bob who loves to look at vaginas.
I really do think that people need to see the show - both women and men. The issues as individual concepts are important and so is the overall theme of The Monologues. Girls, remind yourself to be strong and boys, maybe you can learn something. Actually, I think that everyone can - and hopefully, will - learn something.
Before the performance started a bunch of us sat backstage and talked about getting our periods for the first time, short skirts, boobs and bras (and how damn expensive they are!), crushing on boys, and how the bathtub faucet - among other things like vibrating shower heads, carrots, zucchinis, left hands and various around-the-house items - can give us pleasure in unexpected ways.
The funniest lesson of the night was that swinging the other way to girls is not a good idea just because you've run into a few guys who are jerks and now are cynical about the opposite sex in general. I joked about this a lot though I didn't really seriously consider it. I forgot that girls can be, and generally, are complicated. It's weird to say this, but I wouldn't want to date me on one of my bad days - understanding me can be a bitch sometimes. But on my good days I'm lovely. Really!
Tonight was one of my lovely nights. We all sat around and a feeling of camaraderie - sisterhood really - filled the air as we shared stories and laughed out loud. If I can help it, I will do this show every year just to hear a group of women get up on stage and proclaim that they are not afraid. Because we aren't. Not of the patriarchy, not of those asshat guys, not of fully embracing our femininity and sexuality. Sure, womanhood can get on my nerves too sometimes (usually once a month), but I am not embarrassed nor ashamed and I have nothing to hide.
*I have a feeling this title will attract a lot of people on Google who are searching for porn. Sorry folks, you'll have to mosey on elsewhere to dirtier pastures.
Monday, April 04, 2005
Rumination Without Articulation
I'm home again and here to stay. For a bit.
Though Ottawa was wet and cold this weekend, I enjoyed myself muchly in our country's capital. I laughed more than I have in a while (and loudly too - has anyone ever noticed how their laugh changes over time? I have) and made some new friends. It disheartens me a little to think that we've spent all this time together exploring old cities in new ways and yet we will hardly see each other when we work.
The independence I've wanted since I was 10 is really catching up to me.
Sure, there's this work thing where I lead tours by myself (for the most part) and yes, I live and go to school away from home, but I've been having trouble recently with being...solitary. Not alone, not lonely, not single, but a strange combination of those words; I just don't know what the result would be (me?). I told Tanya tonight that I've been trying to reconcile my want for someone to want me and my need for it. Because I don't want to need someone and yet I do want someone. Awful, isn't it?
She told me to go see a counsellor.
I thought her response was hilarious. So much that I had to share it with you.
I've actually got a lot to say about this (the reconciliation, not counselling) and I've been trying to say it out loud for weeks, but I can't seem to get it beyond my eyes. It's sitting somewhere under my skin and it itches, but no matter how or where I scratch, I can't get at it. I have little thoughts that float around in my head and they beg for further thought, elaboration, expansion, some sort of expression. And all I can come up with is this:
People have an amazing capacity to hurt each other.
Cupid must be drunk. He's made a mistake. Many mistakes.
My father was right.
I met a painter this weekend and he is obsessed with texture. His paintings need to be perfectly smooth to the touch. I feel the same, except I don't have an art form that I need to smooth out, just my mind (on second thought, maybe my cryptic-ass writing). Smoothness = sootheness at this point. I feel troubled and caught in some strange paradigm shift. I'm suddenly uncomfortable with myself and the things that I do. Nothing fits anymore, not even my skin.
I am sceptical of others' actions and doubt their sincerity. I was paid wonderful compliments this weekend and came home only to tell Tanya that I didn't want to hear them (or any at all for that matter) anymore. When people say nice things to me I assume that they are nice individuals (is this naive of me?), so that when I find out that they aren't, the disappointment hits harder. I don't know if I should suck it up, lower my expectations, understand that some people are just jerks or cut the bad ones out, keep my idealism and hope for the best.
In the end, it's a delicate balance of half-knowing and half-hoping. But there must always be hope.