Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Haiku

I read a book recently that was a rather good suspense novel, Death Match by Lincoln Child, a bit predictable, but a good ride nonetheless. However there was a piece of haiku poetry quoted in it, a piece by Kobayashi Issa, that struck me while I was reading it.
Insects on a bough
floating downriver,
still signing.

What an amazing and powerful image. As well as lovely, impactful, and serene. I can see the cicadas humming their midsummer night song as a tree branch floats lazily down the river, the heat of the summer and the cool of the water causing the songs to be more melodic than the regular hum associated with steamy nights.
I love finding little bits of beauty in unexpected places. Words have always held a strong sway over me, and poetry, good poetry mind you, can stir the senses in ways I can not replicate. Of course, poetry can be non-verbal and unwritten as well. A moment shared, a vision glimpsed, a memory unbidden, these can all be poetic and in their own right, poetry. But the written word. That holds itself separate. Haiku is so evocative, so simple, so full of the senses, it can stay with you for days. As this piece has with me.

Its that time of year.....

Little pieces of salvation, written in red ink on tiny pamphlets, handed out at the Harvard Square T stop by women speaking without pause about Christ and his ever lasting love and your ever lasting damnation. If only it were that easy, really. To read conflicting words of faith and persecution in a badly written, misspelled hand out where the expectation is that light will shine down, the error of your ways will be clear, and blind faith will spring forth and save your constantly wavering soul.
I wonder what people two thousand years from now will say when they are studying the old religions of the 20th century and the crude techniques employed by the patriarchal church to keep people in line.
But the sort of devotion that it takes to stand for hours during the morning commute, attempting to make contact with people who try desperately to avoid contact with you, all in the hopes of "saving" a soul or two... it boggles my mind. I don't know whether to be impressed or dismayed. I do know that it never ceases to amaze me that there are still people out there who believe so ardently that they are willing to pass out pieces of salvation to Boston commuters at the subway.

Monday, December 18, 2006

this, that, and the other...

Another year older. And hopefully at least a little bit wiser.... although that probably remains to be seen. I am just not sure how it is that I managed to achieve the age of 35 without feeling as though I got older. Curious..... Of course it is lovely that one of my dearest friends also turns 35 at the same time I do, well, I am one week older than she is, but it is nice to have someone who ages right along with you whom I can confer with and call up to say "I don't feel old, do you? I don't think that we are aging at all!"

But here I am, one week away from the holiday, and I can finally catch up on some rest and relaxing, considering that I was actually diagnosed with exhaustion last week (yup, Lindsay Lohan is not the only one with that diagnosis, although mine is not a cover), it might be a good idea to actually take some time for me and slow down. Plus hearing your doctor say to you "You need to slow down and chill for a bit!" helps with that decision. Of course, what with the holidays now upon me and barely any shopping done, I wonder how that will work out. Well, at least I bought presents for my goddaughter, so at least she is all set, but it is just everyone else I need to take care of. Ah well, it'll happen, or it won't. I am not going to stress myself over it and people will still love me (I hope!).
I am not exactly feeling any sort of holiday spirit this year, I am more exasperated at the masses. They all seem to be infected with holiday spirits. Drivers are more aggressive and short tempered, don't even start me about the long lines and grumpy shoppers in stores, incessant insipid Christmas music where ever I turn, and there was a stabbing outside of Symphony Hall, not 100 feet from where I work the other night! I believe that the Charlie Brown Christmas woe of the holidays being commercialized, marketed and packaged for the lowest common denominator of consumers is fully realized. Maybe next year I will go on a trip somewhere away from the insanity. Maybe somewhere quiet... south of France? West coast of Ireland? Scotland? Some island somewhere warm..... my family would not be happy, but I could be selfish and go during the crazy period and then come back and spend time with my family without all the hype, hoopla, and horror shows of the holiday season.

Sun flare..... new topic... ;-)
So, I learned something new last night. Presence. In tango. Damn difficult to do along with all the other things I need to remember. But I managed to finally get it, almost. But now along with "Don't walk like a duck!" I get to hear "More!" shouted at me as I try to keep my knees together, not move my feet into ballet positions, keep my posture, oh, yea, and move with rhythm. Right. But I am making tiny steps of improvement I think. And S has yet to tell me I am hopeless, so all in all, not too bad. In his words "Might make a tango dancer of you yet, eventually..." Can't wait to hear what the instructor says when I start classes in January. Should be interesting to merge S's teachings along with class. heh heh heh, I rather like having an edge when it comes to things like that!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

calm descends....

It is funny, looking back at yesterday's post.... the photo I posted.... I really do like it, but it certainly was an appropriate image for the day I had. Coming out of the dark into the light. My descents into the darker side of life never last long, and usually are forgotten about very quickly, what can I say... I'm Sagittarius! But that picture struck me as curious, being the one I chose to post on a day when my patience ran away. However, today is another day. And I am fully in the light again. I managed to talk to the caterer this morning when they set up breakfast and discovered no one had told them about my specific dietary requirements, they just told him to have vegetarian dishes available. He was very concerned at my not being able to eat and promised me a good lunch. And boy! Did he deliver! I had a lovely salad, humus and pita bread, some sort of tomato, cucumber and vinegar salad, and some wonderful fruit. I was esctatic, and thanked him for being so good as to bring me a special meal and take care of my food issues. It was really lovely to be taken care of in that respect.

Monday, December 04, 2006

temper temper temper....


I almost never have temper tantrums. My mom has said that my sister and my personalities were defined from our births. I came out calm, quiet and asleep. My sister was screaming before she cleared the birth canal. It take a lot to ruffle my feathers, and my fuse is really long. But today, I reached the end of it. And over something really stupid, but also really essential. Lunch.
Sounds weird, doesn't it. But hear me out. My day stared at 4:15am, which, as you know, is not exactly an hour that I want to even think about prying my eyelids open, never mind getting up out of bed. But there you have film life. So, up at 4:15. The hotel, of course, does not serve breakfast at this hour, and naturally there are no 24 hour Dunkin Donuts in the area, so we have to wait for the caterers to arrive on set at 5:30. At which point the hoards of actors descend, whom we dress and get ready for set, so my first cup of coffee and morsel of food happens around 8 or 8:30, makes me somewhat growly, but I try to cover that as well as I can. Then, off to set, and today was brutually cold, and we are shooting summer scenes, naturally. Curious thing about film, they shoot summer scenes in 30 degree weather with a wind chill of nasty proportions, and shoot winter scenes in August. Back ass-wards is you ask me. But anyway, so there these poor guys are, wearing next to nothing, and freezing their toukuses off. So I am not only attending to costumes, but on blanket duty too, wrapping people in blankets in between takes, checking their costumes when I remove the blankets, all sorts of fun. We break for lunch at 1:00. Mind you, this is now almost 7 hours since I got up and so far I've had some coffee, a banana, and a granola bar. So we head back to the building for some heat and food, and when I get there what do I see? Absolutely nothing that I can eat. Shepard's pie, both meat and non-meat, but covered in creamy potatoes that would kill my day if I ate them and their buttery goodness. Now mind you, I had an in depth discussion with the production manager about my food restrictions and allergies so that catering could have food for me to eat. And not one day this entire shoot has their been a meal where I could actually eat well. There was always something I could eat, but rarely was it substantial enough to last me. Usually a roll and some iceberg lettuce salad, or some fruit, which lasts me about.... oh... an hour before I am hungry again. Well, today there was literaly nothing I could eat. Not one damn thing. And I pitched a fit. It was spectacular. All I knew was that I was tired, cold, and hungry and yet again, they forgot to accomodate my food restrictions and I was left without. And I was done being nice about it. The last thing I need to think about while working on set was what or how to eat. That should be taken care for me so that I can do my job. And my working a 14 hour day on an empty stomach was not the best of situations for anybody. So I had possibly the best temper tantrum I have had since I was 5. And although it might have been justified, I had an out of body moment, watching myself and thinking "Damn, you need to calm down!" But I could not. So I ended up storming out, driving to some horrible Chinese place, ordering some "interesting" asian food, driving back, and eating while people needed to get back to the set. And of course, I don't want to cause problems for the actors, I like them, so I inhale the bad chinese food, get everyone ready, send them on their way, and sit down feeling like I wanted to vomit and cry at the same time. I did neither, thank whatever powers that be, but I really wanted to. It is amazing that such a small thing can have such huge consequences!
Anyway, they paid for my lunch and promised me a food happy day tomorrow. We'll see. Attached is a picture from set. I rather liked it!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

stop. breathe. be.

"Live in each season as it passes;
breathe the air,
drink the drink,
taste the fruit,
and resign yourself to the influences of each."

Mister Henry David Thoreau


There is no better description of my outlook on life.

This hangs framed in my bedroom and I hope to remember to follow through every day that I live.

Working fourteen hour days on a movie shoot can often blur out your edges, insulate you from the world at large because you are so immersed in the work and the world of the movie, that remembering to stop, breathe, and be, if only for a moment every day, can be difficult. But today I had a carifying moment. Standing on set, scissors around my neck, garments draped across my arms, back sore from said garments and being on my 10th hour without sitting... I was feeling the exhaustion wash over me and my mind was dulling as the next shot was being set up and I had nothing to do but wait. So I stretched my neck back to release a kink that had been bothering me, and looked up into cerulean blue that was enhanced with tree branches raised up, eagerly reaching for the infinite blue of the sky, creating a gorgeous pattern that made me draw my breath in sharply at the beauty. I only had about half a minute of this vision until "Wardrobe!" invaded my ears and I was brought back down to earth to attend someone's breeches that were misbehaving. But it was a 30 seconds that I needed to remember to stop. breathe. and resign myself to the influences around me.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

bitten by the bug

The tango bug that is. I went to a Tango festival in Montreal this past weekend, rather spur of the moment, but there you go, it was an "Oooh! Shiny!" moment for me. Who am I to say no to a road trip that promises fun?! And Montreal is one of my favorite cities in the world. So why the hell not. So, off I went with my new friend, S. the reason I got bit this weekend, but more on that later. We get to Montreal, and it is cold. Damn cold. And it is not even the dead of winter yet. Makes me shiver thinking of it again. But, I was not there to be out in the cold air, I was there to experience tango, which I rather did. So, first night, milonga. Was rather lovely, I really enjoyed watching the people dance, paying attention to the things S tried to teach me before we left. Balance, posture, embrace, communication. Damn, if I can get the communication thing down, and not constantly be thinking about what is supposed to come next... I'll be happy. And I bet I would stop frustrating my first tango teacher, the day I stop hearing "Let GO!!!" I will be a very pleased woman.... But I digress. So, watched the dancers. I saw examples of what I should aspire to do. I saw examples of what not to do. And I saw examples of absolute sublime moments. There were various instructors who performed at the milonga, and while most were entertaining, one couple stood out to me. So much so that I could not stop referring to them the whole weekend. They just looked like they were having the best time, thoroughly enjoying each other and themselves, and moving to the music in such an intimate way, on so many different levels, watching them was like a sugar rush.... YES! I want to do THAT!
I also enjoyed watching S do his thing, try to see if he was pleased with the tango or not. My curiosity was just getting the better of me, which amused the crap out of me.
Next day, exhausted but feeling good (the milonga lasted from 9pm to 3am - if you are dancing the time goes by quickly and you are tired, but if you are not dancing, the time does not go by so quickly and the exhaustion is not the satisfying exhaustion of exertion.) but not exactly up to watching another milonga, so S and I poked around Montreal a bit, he went off to class, and I went exploring. Then later that night I found a little jazz club called The Green Room where I heard some really good local jazz, really mellow, relaxing and invigorating. Good stuff. Up late again. Got in around 1:30 or 2, I think, but S was up dancing until 3am again.
Next morning, exhausted again, curious that.... But still feeling good, the music last night has been really good and S was pretty hyped from the tango, and so the day started. He went off to a practica and I went up Mount Royal. Was lovely up there, despite the biting wind that seemed intent on stripping every molecule of warmth I had managed to create for myself. So after an hour or so, I had to head back down to the relative warmth of Avenue du Parc and, yes, the shops. I LOVE going through all the different local shops, finding the really good vintage and consignment shops, talking with locals (only had to shake out my terrible french a few times, thankfully, as I did not brush up before we left and I am sure I sounded like a 2 year old who desperately wants something, but does not know how to ask for it). And guess what I bought. Yes, indeed, I bought shoes that I thought might be good for starting tango. 4 inch heels, comfortable arch, snug fit, angle strap, and sexy as anything. Well, sexy to me. I have yet to fall under the spell of the uber-sparkle shoe that most women tend to favor in tango. But we'll see. It could happen. For the moment, I am happy with my sexy black heels.
Then, met up with S who was on a tango high from having a fantastic practica, off to find food to appease our riotous stomachs, and we ate way too much (Greek restaurant, how could you not eat yourself sick!) then off to the last milonga of the festival. This time, S educated me on the proper etiquette of refusal and how to show that you are not interested in dancing without having to actually say so. So, off my shoes came. I placed them very neatly and very obviously in front of me. And I avoided making eye contact with men, which was strange for me as I do not normally avoid eye contact, but there you have it. And despite all of this, I was asked to dance, repeatedly, and almost aggressively. They were beginners who were asking me as most dancers who walked by would look at the shoes, then at my feet perched beneath me, gave a little smile and walked on. But the ones who asked, would not take a "No, thank you, I am not a dancer" as the end. They tried to convince me to give it a try. Now, I KNOW what I was doing, or more appropriately, what I was NOT doing when S tried to teach me the basics and there was no way on this good green earth that I was going to embarrass myself out there by having any sort of ego about dancing tango. I am no where near ready, I have too many predetermined wirings from years of ballet and modern dance to reconfigure before I get the courage to step out on the dance floor. But, it amused me greatly, especially when one of the gentlemen came back and asked S if I could dance (!!!), you can guess how well that query went over with me..... ;-)
But, again, I had a great time watching the dancers, learning from what I saw, and taking pictures. S let me use his camera to try to capture a few tango moments of my own. And a couple of them actually came out really good. So I was pleased.
And now I am determined to learn.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

That crazy feeling in your toes...

What is it about a first kiss, even if you have been kissed innumerable times before by others, that makes your stomach drop to your toes, your skin prickle with lightening, and all those happy crazy thoughts run through your brain? Feeling that first touch of some one's lips, that first connection, that softness that comes from a first touch. And while your lips are being soft and pliable, searching the other's, your mind is screaming aloud "YES!! HE LIKES ME!! This is more than a quick peck... he's a good kisser, THANK GOD, oh that is nice, let's make him do that again!!!"
There really is nothing like that first kiss, no matter how old and jaded you get. When everything goes right and you are both into it, it is just beyond anything else one can describe. And when he leaves you wanting more... well.... that is when you know that you are in trouble...
And I, my friends, am in trouble.....
And I like it.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Curious world


I decided to try out the internet for dating, why not? Seemed possibly safer than the real world, less tricky. Turns out it is basically the same as the real world, just allows you a wider range of people to meet, and removes the awkward approach factor. It is much easier to send someone you don't know an e-mail as opposed to walking up to someone you don't know and trying to find a way to start a conversation.
Where did I begin my internet dating journey? Good old Craig's List. I know some people who had good experiences meeting others there, and it's free, and it is a bit more eclectic than, say, Match.com or E-Harmony (don't those ads bug you? They bug the crap out of me! And have you ever noticed that in the ads the people look EXACTLY alike! Ethnicities are the same, hair color, eye color, everything is the same.... kinda creepy if you ask me!) So here's what I posted:

Ten Things you should know about me:
#10 - One of my favorite feelings is waking up without an alarm and laying in bed with that half awake, half muzzy sleep feeling where your limbs are completely relaxed and everything just feels good.
#9 - Lloyd Dobbler was my first crush. I will go see every John Cusak movie because of Lloyd Dobbler. Even the bad ones.
#8 - I am not a "romantic" person in the traditional Hallmark sense. The things that make me melt are a man who remembers things I forgot about a shared moment, or bringing me coffee made exactly the way I like it.
#7 The greatest love story, in my opinion, is The Princess Bride. And I am talking about Max and Valerie, not Buttercup and Wesley.
#6 I love thunderstorms.
#5 I am as comfortable in jeans as I am in silk and heels.
#4 If you ever bring me to a book store, expect to be there awhile, the shortest time I have ever spent in a book store has been about an hour, and that was a forced exit because of theatre tickets.
#3 I promise to never, ever ask "Do I look fat in this?" And if I do, you are allowed to say "Yes, like a hippo."
#2 My favorite flavor is vanilla, and I do not believe that is a boring choice. Ask me what Victorians thought about the power of vanilla...
#1 I think that the sexiest thing about a man is his sense of humour, and if he can make me laugh - really laugh - lung searing, eye tearing, stomach cramping laugh, then I am a gonner. I always thought that "You had me at hello" was a bit saccharine, but if it was "You had me when I laughed" then I might have bought it.

And I posted a picture. The one you see here. I thought it was a good posting, and actually gave an insigh into me without listing a laundry list of stats and wants. So far the responses have been interesting. From the thoughtful and interesting, to the banal and aggravating. I can not believe the number of responses that I received where either there were misspellings galore (maybe I am unusual in that I read over everything before I click on "send", you never know what your subconscious may have typed while you were distracted) or they looked like a text message:
"Ur kewl. U wanna IM?"
Uhm..... no..... I don't.
I got responses from men more than 20 years older than me. Thanks, no thanks, I already have a father figure and I love him dearly, I don't need a father figure lover. Cause that's creepy. And I received responses from men in their early 20's (I'm 34) looking for an "older woman with experience". Uhm, again, I gotta pass on that. I don't fault you for wanting experience, but I am not interested in teaching a seminar on how to please your future girlfriends. And then there are the men who are used to getting by on their looks, so they send me their picture with a one liner. Something like "We'd look really good together, e-mail me back and tell me about yourself and how much you liked my picture." Well, as tempting as it is, I have to say that I already told you about myself in my ad. And if what you are interested in is the "Me show" (Me meaning You), I do not tend to play the role of a groupie very well. So good luck with finding the vapid, lacking confidence chit that will give you a captive audience.

But I have met some interesting men as well. Had a couple of dates. One of which so far was promising (at least I think so), in the sense that I really liked him, we had a good time together, and now I am beginning to obsess about the fact that it has been a couple of days and he has not called. We've e-mailed since the date, but no call, so my mind has inserted some estrogen and the "Does he like me" nerve has been hit. Which is all good, I am really liking being back in the dating pool, just need to remember to take it easy. Might have another date with someone else soon too. So all in all, we'll see where this path goes. At the very least, I am having fun. :-)

Monday, November 13, 2006

time is fluid

Well, I am guessing that I need to actually pay a little more attention to this if I want it to actually be a blog. So here is my attempt to be more attentive and write more often.

If you'll indulge me, a little more Shakespeare seems appropriate this fine, damp rainy autumnal day....



To sleep: perchance to dream: aye, there’s the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause.

Poor Hamlet. So full of philosophy, so short on action.

But he hits on something there. What dreams may come. Although I do not think we need allow Death to take us on a date in order to allow us to reach beyond our scope.
To dare to dream, to allow Lord Morpheus complete access to ourselves, to break the fourth wall as it were and really allow all that we could be to take shape, or at the very least present itself.
I wonder if that is the object which we are all trying to reach within this little kinked world we have jumped onto. To reach deep within and find that dream as we offer up our very selves. Find that gossamer thread of the Grey Sisters and recognize it for who we are, and then dream to be more.
To question, to ask why, to really pause and take in this world that we inhabit, to feel more than rote response.
Maybe I am asking for Christmas 366 days of the year.
Maybe I am full of rot and speaking out my sphincter.
But maybe we could all just pause and see what dreams may come.

In that vein, I was walking through the South End the other night, when it was so blessedly warm out,and was amazed at the community of little store fronts; shops, cafes, salons, bistros... All of the glass fronts lit up with warm, welcoming glows, highlighting their wares or foods or the pretty people already strolling inside, sipping their cappucinos or looking over the latest over priced accessory. The voyeur in me eagerly going from window pane to window pane, taking in the fluxuations in sight and sound. And as the gloaming settled into evening, the lights became evenly spaced beacons along the stretch of road, I fell in love with this city once again. I was almost purring as I made my way down the avenue, breathing in the warm air that held that very specific scent of leaves changing and cool nights to come.
I love autumn, it makes me believe in dreams and love.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Virgin Blog No More

I was encouraged to start a blog, to allow the ramblings in my head to exit into the ethernet and share the stories that I normally only inflict on those I hold near and dear... perhaps this was a clever ploy by my loved ones to no longer receive those stories... perhaps... perhaps not. I liked the idea of having a space to myself where I can let loose, allow the inner workings to become outer workings. To rant, rave, purge and share.
I hope that it is less than painful for you.

My blog name I stole from an someone who is an eternal gentleman, scholar, and his mother dressed him well. Sir Will S.
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

-William Shakespeare
I read this sonnet at two of my dearest friends' hand fasting ceremony, and it was made more lovely by the knowledge that my favorite sonnet was personified in them. Of course, being romantic and mischevious, they also had Sonnet 130 read, "My mistresses eyes are nothing like the sun." And although most people found this odd, I found it perfect and refreshing. We are but human, no one is the personification of perfection, no one is beyond reproach. And yet we love. Passionately, Deeply, Truly. Sometimes we love too much. But we love the imperfections that make our lovers that much dearer and sweeter to us. Yes, their dirty socks on the floor drive us insane, but that unselfconscious ear tug when they are thinking seriously about what you are saying, or that deep restless sigh that issues from them as they turn over three times in order to get comfortable in bed, and that soft little divet just below their belly button that makes your lips yearn to kiss and makes them blush because they "could lose a few pounds" make us wild about them. Perfection is boring, it has no place to go. But imperfection, that holds the promise of an ever fixed mark.

Be well