Almost imperceptible witticisms

If
caile

Say there's a failing I'd like to reform
I try to be clever when I could try to be kind
I come off cold when I'd like to be warm
Failure to connect's what I usually find
And I use words like the palm of the hand
Of a filmic dame who's been suddenly kissed
Sparring in syllables I never planned
Every joke like landing a fist

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Summer never ends, right?
caile

I can't even tell you all the things that have happened. Awesome students who make me notice new things. Spontaneous roadtrips. Becoming roadies for a Scottish band. Skinny dipping. Bonfires. Volunteer catering a friend's wedding. Queen or beaver. Dances. Catchphrase. Sex on the beach interrupted by a sudden thunderstorm. In jokes that I'm in on. Replacing all the tea bags in the office with cotton balls to prank our piper, and then having our CEO go to make tea first. My first gig. Storytelling. Summer stars. New friends. Shots that taste like bubblegum. Loving teaching Gaelic. Naps. Late nights.

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The walls
caile

This morning I got up and I had energy, for the first time in ages. I felt good for no reason and I made a to-do list and I did a bunch of the things on it and I went for a walk in the sunshine and I felt happy. Just happy!

The past few weeks have been a blur of sleep and sadness and weird dizziness and a soft, futureless, pastless cocoon. Which is to say, I haven't been thinking about what I am going to do next.

My sisters made me talk about it yesterday though. My most pressing problem is that I haven't got anywhere to live at the end of the month. My mom said I could come home if I need to, but there actually is not room. And my sisters were like, no, don't do that. They made me a list of outside the box options and it included "Buddhist monastery" and "Celtic roundhouse" so it did at least make me laugh. When I try to think of a real solution it just causes an anxiety spiral.

Whatever, I guess I'll read up on wattle and daub construction.

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Love song (or at least a song about looking for love)
caile
Oh hey, here's a video I made recently for my cousin Val, in which I am super dorky and sing a song about love and technology:


Yeah. The lyrics are:

It's complicated, dating in this modern age
he defriended me on facebook, I guess we have broke up
but he texted me to say it would be okay
if I wanted to meet him for a hatefuck

Well, I had a friend and I could not pretend
my feels for him were less than what they are tho
but he was horrified, looked at me and cried
"I think of you just like a kind of girlbro"

There's plenty of fish in the sea and maybe there is one for me
so I signed up for a gentleman correspondent
but as time went on and messages came along
I grew more and more despondent

it's "show me your tits" and unsolicited
attachments of naked cock pictures
this may just sound strange, but can we arrange
for the internet to have some sort of strictures

And I know it's tough, looking out for love
sometimes I fear it's passing like a train
when you lean against the sill and everything feels still
as if Earth is moving past your window pane

when you lean against the sill and everything feels still
til you jolt and judder into life again

(as always, lyrics are not entirely based on my life! Not entirely.)
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oh *headdesk*
caile
So, those Canadians who downed a plane in Bermuda because the whole damn family was trying to smoke? Yeah, from my hometown. So I posted on facebook that it's an embarrassing day to be a Mabouer, and my uncle commented to say, uh, that's our cousin... Yep. The woman is my Dad's first cousin. The next person who says I don't understand the feels involved in having a trashy family is gettin a puck to the mouth.

I am so behind on work today because I spent an hour shovelling out my car and so was late, and my boots did not stand the test (oh mink oil, how you've failed me) and my feet and legs are slightly wet and the window next to my desk is stuck open and I am so cold SO COLD and all I want is a hot shower, a cry and a cuddle with someone who makes me laugh. Instead I've got eight hours of work ahead of me and no dry clothes to change into. I guess I can have the hot shower and the cry tonight, but the cuddle is out of the question. Ugh.

Goal setting
caile
I am doing kathrynrose's goal setting workshop. This is today's assignment: "Now we sit back and fantasize a little. You have a magic wand, a fairy godmother, a crystal ball or enchanted mirror that shows the future you, successful in every way. How far into the future is up to you, but I recommend at least five years. Look at how amazing you are! The fates have smiled at every turn. Life is good; you've never been happier. You're doing exactly what you've been wanting to do. You look great; you feel fantastic! If these past few years have been a race, you are in the winner's circle. Flowers and flashbulbs and festivities surround you.

Linger in this image. Take a good look around -- at yourself, at your home, at your entire life. What do you see? What do you look like? Who are you with? What are you doing? Where do you live? What new things do you know?"

It's not even a year since the days when I couldn't think about this, because I couldn't see a future. Today I'm ready to be honest with myself about my dreams. Not in public though.

Anyone who is interested in joining in can find the series here.

Writing heroes
caile


I bought Shane Koyczan's album after realizing he wrote this song, but I haven't listened to all of it yet. I keep trying but I can't make it all the way through. It's too good. It's too raw. His writing tears out my heart.

"Our heads bent towards each other like flowers in the small hours of the morning, while light wandered in like a warning that time is passing and you right along with it, bit by bit every day.And all I could say is if I could I would write you some way out of this, but my gift is useless. And you said no. Write me a poem to make me happy."

(no subject)
caile
My thoughts on ikebana after seeing an arrangement made at a recent workshop: if I wanted something six feet tall and ugly in my life, I'd be on okcupid.

Home game: The stage
caile
We are an amateur theatre troupe, but we perform in a 500-seat theatre with a full fly tower. We could fit a circus rig in here. We could, but we won't. What we will do is make people laugh, make them laugh and laugh until their eyes leak tears, until they walk out with their faces sore from laughing so hard.

We are an amateur theatre troupe, but we try not to be amateurish. We read scripts in the basement at the local newspaper office, after hours, hashing out what we want to do and what our audience wants to see. We rehearse upstairs at the municipal recycling depot, in a room where there's always a faint odour of dirty bottles and a closet full of composters shaped like giant Darth Vader helmets. We pace in the hallways, muttering lines. We muff our entrances and miss our cues and mess up our lines and mug so much the director has to tell us to dial it down a notch. It seems hopeless, and there's always a moment where we think the show is going to fall apart. And then it clicks, and suddenly he nails that monologue, holding us spellbound even though we've heard it a thousand times already, and she gets across the pathos under the humour in her character, and I really go for it in the slapstick moments, bruises on my ass be damned. And it works.

The months of rehearsals, rolling in uncaffienated on Saturday mornings, staying late on Tuesday nights, lead us to this. The set gets built in a hurry. We only have two days in the space. There's a flurry of hammers and plywood and foam sculpting and paint. Who's got gold curtains? The arm's fallen off the dummy again. Does the volunteer fire department own a Santa suit we could borrow? Why do we do this?

We do this for the moment, backstage, when the curtain goes up. I stand a little too close to him in the darkness, elbows touching surreptitiously. Then the audience laughs for the first time, they get it, and we smile at each other, adrenalin surging. I step away to become my character, ready to go on and earn my own laughter. The stage is better than any drug I've ever tried, better than anything you can do with your clothes on and a lot of what you can do with them off.

We do this for how it feels when it works, for the energy we'll have when we come off stage on opening night, for the sheer joyful high of it. Even when it goes wrong and the audience laughs at a dreadful thirty second pause where no one can remember what happens next. We'll hug backstage on closing night, already thinking about the next production.

Are you hooked? I asked him after his first show, the one where we kissed endlessly and awkwardly for the director, long before we kissed for real, are you hooked? Yes, he said, I'm hooked.

______________________________________________________________________________________

caile is going to dress rehearsal tonight. She is sessile and unprofessional, but she has been inspired by many of whipchick's entries about life on the road as a performer.

Home game: Break the Mode
caile
Tal paused to wipe the dust from his face, smearing his linen shirt sleeve. A hanky, that's what he needed. He remembered the old cowboys carrying them, a flash of red in a back pocket, one boot up on the rails, when he'd been a steer roping boy back at the Chippewa Cree Rodeo.

He picked up his finest brush and reached up to sweep more dust off the inscription. The shapes of the symbols didn't look familiar in any of the languages he knew: English, Cree, French, Sanskrit, Egyptian (both hieroglyphic and demotic), Greek, Latin, Michif. But why would they? The creatures who'd carved them hadn't even been human.

The portable tritium lights filled the space with a greenish glow. Tal squirmed along slowly, letting the heat from the stones under his back seep into his bones. The team had taken to calling this place the tomb. A natural conclusion, with its underground pictoglyphs that called to mind endless holovid remakes of The Mummy, but in truth they had no idea what this place had been used for. Not no clue. Tal had plenty of clues, but he hadn't been able to put them together in a way that made sense, yet. He wished they'd had a better sense of what these aliens had looked like physically.

He scanned the indentations as he moved along, not really analyzing them. Analysis would have to wait until he got back to the ship. But he was paying attention. There, he thought, that shape, like a bird in marsh grass, repeated. And again, here and here. In English, a solver of newspaper crytoquotes would guess that symbol for "the." He'd been better at crytoquotes than steer roping. But not all languages had a definitive article.

He let his fingers drift up to trace the shape. The lines felt smoother than he'd expected, incised rather than chiselled into the stone. Done with acid rather than tools? Redwing blackbirds flashed through his mind, hopping from stem to stem in the barrens. The symbol lit up with a soft blue glow.

"Oh, shit," said Tal. Glowing was never a good sign. Interplanetary archaeology was a hazardous field. Poking around in the mysterious remains of alien civilizations had led to a few incidents. That thing on Darvos V, officially they said it was all down to pockets of hallucinogenic gas, but you heard things in hushed voices at conferences. And the Morden debacle. And Tiffany Gallant had grown an exoskeleton after picking up something in the Alniyat mission, he knew that one was true because he'd run into her at an alumni event once, after.

He grabbed his kit and scrabbled away from the inscription. The light spread from symbol to symbol, seeming almost to leak from one to another. He pulled out his camera. It was too late to worry about the hazards of archaeology now. And anyway Tiffany had said having an exoskeleton was quite useful in some ways. Putting the viewfinder to his eye showed the machine was notched up to the thermographic setting and-

Tal jumped up, hitting his head on the low ceiling. He rapidly snapped pictures of the shapes that showed up in the camera's grid, a mass of globular blobs drifting between him and the exit shaft. Cold sweat beaded along his arms as he worked. There was no way out. The shapes floated closer. He tore the camera away from his face. Nothing. His eyes saw nothing except the eerie light from the pictoglyphs mixed with his portable lamplight. Nothing was swarming him. He could walk right out.

He raised the camera again. There was one shape right in front of him now, close enough to touch. He balled up his free hand and held it stiffly by his side. He heard a high pitched whine, felt the close air sucked from his lungs and fell with a whump.

He lay, unable to move, with his eyes closed, for a while. The stuffy dustiness was gone from his nose. He would almost swear he could hear birdsong, probably from the little birds circling his head like in an ancient cartoon. No, cahcahkaniw, a high slurred whistle, terrr-eeeee. He opened his eyes.

The swampy ground under him squelched as he shifted. He saw a flash of red as the blackbird flew away. He sat up gingerly. This was definitely not the tomb or the team's base camp on Ruchba III. He stared at the horizen for a moment, taking in the blue sky with a few high white cirrus clouds. This wasn't anywhere on that yellow-skied planet. In fact, he'd lay money that this was the slough out back of his uncle's place in Box Elder.

He lay back and began to laugh. That inscription must say "Thank you for choosing Air Transmat", he thought. Unless I'm dead, and the afterlife is a lot like Rocky Boy.

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