Monthly Archives: May 2011

Death and song…and love…and everything else

A gathering happened today at the Manx Pub on Elgin (I named my cat Manx after that pub).  It was to celebrate the life of John Lavery.  I didn’t know him well, certainly not as well as others in the room.  I still miss him.

We had the opportunity to hear him play two songs…they were beautiful – in words and in spirit.  It was hard to hear his voice, his song – but he was there today.  In the room with us.  You could feel it.

Music has a way of healing and haunting.  It did both for me today.

Then, I came home and resurrected a CD that I have not listened to in a very long time.

untogether by Lori Yates.  I wore it out when I first got it.

One song in particular.  Healing and haunting me at the same time.  Damn music.


I loved you like a river

I made myself very clear

Look for me at the shoreline

I’m standing right here

Don’t dismiss it now you don’t need to

—  Sweetest Times



Boundaries and comfort….

I have a little cat.  She doesn’t like people much.  Or, at all, really.  You will never see her unless you are a) me, b) living in my house for about a month, c) the vet (which has only happened the once).

She never comes to greet me when I come home.  Most often she hisses at me as I’m walking up the stairs before she sees me.  Her personality bounces well off my other cat who is a larger lumbering tabby with a whining heart of gold….just feed him.  Otherwise, he’s just annoying.

All of this to say, she will come within nose sniffing distance of my hand if she’s feeling generous.  It’s a mood thing.  The ONLY (and I stress that word for a reason) time she will let me really “touch” her is when I’m lying down, either couch or bed.  It’s like she knows when I’m not threatening.  She’ll come up, look for love, walk on my legs taking the short cut rather than around me, and generally lap up any attention I give her.  She doesn’t have to rationalize her behaviour.  She just is.  I accept her.  She’s a great little cat.  I wouldn’t trade her for anything.

She has her boundaries, but they change.  Not that they make sense to me, but they must be instinctively with her for a reason.  She was a little stray when she was given to me.  Just a few weeks old.  I’ve never laid a finger on her (how could I?).  She just is the way she is.

Finding what you didn’t lose….

I don’t know what has come over me lately, but it feels like I’m regaining a sense of my self, a sense of who I was.  I’ve always been me, but something is different.  I’m not entirely thrilled with the status quo anymore.

Before 2000, say, I always did something different, to stand apart from other people.  I even made all of my own Hallowe’en costumes, for example.  I wasn’t afraid to be different.

Between 2003 and 2007, all I wanted to do was blend in.  I didn’t want anyone to pay attention to me.  I only realize now how truly unhappy I was.  I’m not sure if it has something to do with the work environment, but I think so.  It’s very conformist.

I was born an artist, I have always been creative, and I will continue to be.  I think some people are frightened by their own creative potential.

I might have temporarily misplaced some of me along the way, but I’m still all here….waiting for me to fall in love again.


….I really need to reconsider my music selection for the gym.  My friend gave me her iPod, and I filled it with some songs.  Realized today, when I was listening, that most of them suck ass.  I like really heavy, techie, nasty stuff, and some pop-hair stuff from my youth.  All the rest of it will have to go.  I spent a good part of my time forwarding through stuff.

Modeling….1993-1996 (or so…)

Modeling can be a shallow business, and I took it up between 1993 and 1996.  Something inside me wanted to project beauty.  To be beautiful.  I was a little older, so I didn’t buy into the carrot stick and water diets, or that I had to shave inches off my legs.  I did it for amusement.  I never made much money, and I did bridal shows around Ottawa for fun.  The bridal designers loved me because I had curves, whereas the younger girls didn’t, and I was the perfect size 10.  Bridal material.  I remember Dwight Saunder’s shop down on Somerset.  I loved his stuff.

I mostly enjoyed the ability to become another person through the lens of a camera.  I enjoyed costumes and putting on a new layer of skin.

Even today, I will rarely buy a ready-made costume at Hallowe’en.  I like making something custom.  It suits me better.  Unique.

A product of 80s TV commercials….

I wore a new t-shirt out last night…I got it this week.  It’s a Smurfette t-shirt.  I was thinking today about the consumer culture that I grew up in, and how it impacted me.  I was from a small town, so I was mostly kept away from the lot of it, but damn those TV commercials.  Barbie, Smurfs, Battle of the Planets (G-Force)….damn them all.  There was also Transformers, My Little Ponies, Pound Puppies, Cabbage Patch Kids….what crazy fad didn’t I follow?  I was a child of the early 80s, for sure.

Let’s start with Barbie.  We girls can do anything.  Right, Barbie?

Barbie could be, and was, everything.  Doctor, Vet, Cowgirl, Office Worker (Day to Night), Superstar, Rocker (Barbie and The Rockers….yes, I had her).  And, she was also a glamour queen – Golden Dream (my first when I was 5) Peaches and Cream, Twirly Curl (with rodeo hair 🙂 ).  And that chick, she had everything: a horse named Dallas, a Pink and Silver Corvette (and in the late 80’s a Ferrari) a Motor Home, a Dream Cottage, a bathtub and shower, her own Salon (do you want streaks? LOL!), and lord knows what else.

All in all, she’s had more than 125+ careers…and all the cool accessories that a girl could ever want.

My mom still harbours all my barbies at her house (I don’t even remember how many I had…).  I will have to dig them all out someday.

And, funny enough…I never bought one Ken doll.  I could go into a whole dissertation about why…but I’ll save that for another time, perhaps.

Smurfs – and Smurfette

She was the one girl, in a land of boys.  She was blond.  She was cute.  All the boys liked her.  She was popular.  She was coy.  Enough said.

Battle of the Planets (G-Force) and being Princess

I liked the little kooky one…Key-Op.  Even named a cat after that character (much to the wonderment of some of my friends….you know who you are, Julie.)  Although, inside I probably secretly wanted to be Princess.  She was cool, she wore a cape, and she was the girl that the Mark and Jason fought over.  Or, did I even know what the hell, back then?  Bah.

It’s funny to think of all the hours I spent watching TV and the hundreds of hours of commercials I must have been subjected to….how do they reach kids now since the media landscape has changed?

Things I think about sometimes…

I reread the book The Story of the Eye today.  Compelling.  Have you read it?  It’s not for everyone…  This was the second time through, a borrowed copy, and rereading it so I could discuss with a friend who was good enough to lend it to me….I had a strange dream after, involving this friend attempting to feed me exotic fruit.

And other things on my mind today…..

To be brave is to love someone unconditionally, without expecting anything in return. To just give. That takes courage, because we don’t want to fall on our faces or leave ourselves open to hurt.– Madonna

There’s always one who loves and one who lets himself be loved.  W. Somerset Maugham, ‘Of Human Bondage’, 1915; English dramatist & novelist (1874 – 1965)

“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life…You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like ‘maybe we should be just friends’ turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It’s a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.” — Neil Gaiman