Saturday, December 11, 2004

This is my little Christmas present to you. Please spend it all in one place. :)

Marion's Cookies - A Chintzy Little Christmas Story by Mackenzie MacBride

Last night I attended a C budget local musical pageant called "The Christmas Rose." It was in a glorious domed downtown church that I'd walked by for years (has it been that long?!) but not entered until last night.

In the past I tended to avoid going into restaurants and churches that I can see from my loft window. In case I'm forced to look at them later and remember the "good times" that have slipped away. And basically be tortured by the memories. Lately I've been trying to subscribe to the philosophy "it's better to have the memories than not".

This little musical pageant was complete with child singers, divas playing singing monks and a little orchestra. The plot concerned, as one might guess, a Christmas rose. Basically the characters spent the entire pageant chattering about and disbelieving in the existence of a rose that blooms every Christmas Eve. At the end a little child walked out onto the stage when the lights were low and dropped the Christmas Rose in front of everyone. Plop. There it was.

I was reminded of Sunday school pageants I participated in when I was little. One of our pageant's plots concerned a Christmas bell. The children sat up in the choir loft in front of the congregation. Singing songs and acting out little skits I've long since forgotten. It seems the children were not told what the ending of the play would be.

I just remember at the end of the pageant when the long-awaited, mysterious Christmas bell was supposed to make its entrance we kids looked down into the pews as the senior citizens who made up the choir, including my own dazed and awkward old aunt Ira, pulled big gold bells out from their shimmering blue polyester choir gowns and rang them with guilty looks on their faces. Guilty like they'd betrayed the fact that there was no Santa Claus. (A fact I still refute.) These were the Christmas bells. These were the Christmas bells?! I remember looking out at this bell ringing episode and thinking "Who's fool do you think I am? The seniors in the choir rang the bells. Not angels." I guess that was the start of my moth to the flame appeal/ contempt for B movies and C grade church pageants. I can't help but enjoy the laughs these productions inspire.

Sunday school was an especially tortured experience from start to finish. It was operated by a purple haired hair dresser named Dina, her over-bearing and mean high school woodshop teaching husband named Irwin, a quintessential grandma named Marion, and a few other shrews from the surrounding area. Dina's two sons Mark and Rick were in the Sunday school and always given preferential treatment. They got to stand in the front of the lines. Use the best markers. Bully the other kids, including myself.

Irwin, the father, was a bully too. During preparations for the previously mentioned Christmas Bell pageant I tripped on the stage. Looking back i guess I did do it for attention. Irwin yelled, "This is not a stumble show!" I yelled back, "I know." I remember that show down as one of the first times I ever stood up for myself. It's no wonder when Irwin later showed up dressed as Santa Claus I refused to accept my bag of treats and instead sat on the church steps waiting for my father to pick us up. This was very controversial behaviour at the time. But I refused to accept Irwin as Santa Claus. And I still believe anyone who could accept this was seriously settling for less.

The Sunday school format was always the same. My brother and I would be chased out the door into a whatever used car my father was trying to sell at the time and driven at full speed to the next village where we were deposited in front of the church, hopefully before anyone got a look at whatever car we were driving. We would then stand in the front of the church in a line with the other kids and sing songs such as, "Jesus Loves Me" and, "Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rock".

We would then go into the church vestry to complete some religious themed craft. Some of the more memorable crafts were: 1. trying to take ceramic hand-held sized versions of the 10 Commandments and paint them brown with watery water paints and having them come out looking like they were china plates sprayed with diarrhea instead of the ancient slabs of mud rock that the 10 Commandments were said to have been written on. And 2. Irwin deciding we were all on "God's team" and therefore all needed to wear these hideous matching black team tee shirts with gold numbers on the back. And all of the tee shirts had #1 on the back. Because we were all #1 to God. (Irwin thought this craft was a real brain wave.)

The morning would always finish with a snack of watery McDonald's putrid orange drink and white short bread sugar cookies with coloured crunchy sprinkles on top. For years we ate this. Years! My brother would always get us laughing by sarcastically saying, "Got to get some of Marion's cookies. Yum Yum" And we'd laugh even harder in the pews during family Sunday, as we stood next to our father and watched our mother sing louder than everyone else from the choir loft, when my bother would say, "Now we turn to the E- piss- els". (Epistles being a book from the Bible. Duh.) Where did those days of innocence go? One day they just seemed to vanish. Along with the cookies.

Every spring, when the Sunday school would close for the year, the "Perfect Attendance Pins" were handed out. To get one of these lovely golden pins in the shape of doves or crosses the child had to have made it to all but 2 Sundays through out the year. For some reason my brother and I were rarely successful in attending all but two Sundays. So every other year we were humiliated in front of the entire congregation by being handed these chintzy little consolation pins that said "God still loves you" with red foam hearts sticking out of the centre of the pins.

Mark and Rick however got their "Perfect Attendance" pins every year. Not that they made it to all but two Sundays. They would go to Florida every winter and miss more than 2 Sunday's. But purple-haired Dina always had a flawless plan to help the boys cheat. Dina explained to the congregation that she personally administered the Sunday School lessons to Mark and Rick on the road. Thus they had not missed any Sundays and were entitled to receive their "Perfect Attendance" pins.

And it went beyond just pins. Each child's name was then put on metal plate and applied to a wooden plague constructed by Irwin, Dina's woodworking toad of a husband. Beside each child's name it was listed how many "Perfect Attendance" pins they had received. So by the time we all grew up Mark and Rick had 15 "Perfect Attendances" where as my brother and I had two. This plaque probably still hangs in the dusty old church today.

The cheating continued for Mark and Rick when their father took over the local Cub Scouts organizations and the boys had soon, I'm told, won the Cub car races and collected every badge there was to collect. Up to and including the "Pet Care" badge. Which was possibly the biggest farce of them all since they didn't even have a pet. The excuse given for why they should be able to wear a "Pet Care" badge on their sleeve when they had no pets was - they looked after the neighbour's dog for a day. Gave it some water or something. This was the beginning of my long standing disgust for cheaters, liars and patronage.

So I thought of all these memories as I stood in this foreign church hall during the intermission of, "The Christmas Rose". As I simultaneously: 1.stared down sneering children, 2.glared at little Cosmo girls who'd apparently wanted to date my boyfriend in the past, 3. fended off an obnoxious gay man who was telling us to, "Eat drink and be ferry" and that "Santa Claus really brought out your claws" and who only left when I asked, "Do you rehearse this stuff?" and 4.Ate a corner of my boyfriend's short bread white sugar cookie.

"I can tell these aren't Marion's cookies- they're missing the coloured sprinkles."


Note: Names have been changed to conceal the identities of the guilty.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

The Reasons for My Failure

I had it all planned out in my mind. I would ride the bus to Montreal. One year to the day after I rode the same bus to the same cultured city to make some big steps forward in my life. A year ago I rode with my friend Angie. She held my hand as well pulled into the Berri Guam bus terminal. She waved to me as the black limo then carried me away into the rain to an uncertain fate. For all we knew the Grim Reaper could have been in the driver's seat.

It was my plan to meet Angie there a year later. To go to an arts fair. To launch my new single. To give away 50 copes of the new Cd. To show myself that I was moving on with my life.

But it wasn't to be. These are the reasons for my failure.

1. It goes without saying that there wasn't enough time. There never is. I'm sure the day I die I'll sit up in my bed like Beethoven did, shake my fist at the heavens and yell, "I wasn't finished yet!" I had only 1 month to put the record together.

2. And on top of working a day job to finance the music, I was sick for 3 weeks of this month.

3. Plus I stopped everything to try and finish my book. Which didn't get finished either.

4. When I did sit down to record a giant circular saw started whirring at a construction site near the recoding studio. And it didn't stop slicing and dicing for 3 days.

5. I finished the CD booklet Saturday morning. At which point my computer announced it would not print the booklet. it took several people and hours to determine that the computers hard drive was too full to think. By 4pm we were out on the street trying to find a copy centre that was open. After 1.5 hours All of them shut. Except for Staples which refused to do the copying unless we used their proprietary paper. Talking at this corporate piracy I slammed my special papers into the printer when the clerk's back was turned. Pressed "copy". This hopelessly jammed the only colour copier in the store. So we ran out onto the street like bandits and went home.

It was sinking in that I was 'beat". I was supposed to leave for Montreal in 12 hours and I didn't even have the Cd booklets done. It was proposed to me that I could go back to Staples and buy those expensive little ink cartridges for my printer and print out the labels myself. Since it was my only remaining option I ran back to Staples. it was 6 pm. They were just closing. Closing like the doors of the bus closes between the end of your nose and the back of the person in front of you in line. It was that close. So I ran around to the front of the store. I banged on the door. They did let me in. I was clutching the ink cartridge that I'd ripped out of my printer to show the clerk since I didn't know how to describe what cartridge I needed. this proved to be a very BAD idea. Once inside I discovered that I was covered in red, green and yellow ink. All over my brand new cream coloured pants, white mittens, sun glasses and face. I was such a sight that the clerk just gave me the cartridges and I went home.

6. But with all of the running through the allies at top speed and banging on the doors of the store I had swisted my back and pinched a nerve in my spine. So within an hour i was walking around like a right angle triangle and in a lot of PAIN!

7. Thanks to the circular saw, the day job and dozens of other time drains like the fact that I had to eat here and there I still wasn't done recording the single. So I stayed up all night. Hundreds of takes later and at 5 am it was done.

8. Exhausted and in pain I dragged some recording equipment over to the piano and tried to hook it up to record. For some reason. likely because it was 6 am, the equipment would not connect properly. In the struggle to move the equipment I feel down on the floor between the piano and the plants. Laying in a heap I giggled hysterically. Even though all that was funny was how pure my bad luck really can be some times.

9. I tried to cut one of the CD booklets with scissors. It was a slow and tedious job. After completing one side of one booklet I realized it was a lost cause. It is in my nature to be determined and to try to persevere to the end. Which is what I did in this case. But usually I prevail. In this case I did not. I was beaten. I went to bed exhausted and mortally disappointed. the would be no reunion trip to Montreal.

So all and all it was a who's who of everything that could go wrong did go wrong. It was a full on comedy of errors. It was such an "all talk and no action" episode.

If I've said it once I've said it 5 times now, "Britney Spears never had to go through all of this!"

Weeks later I reflected on the final product. Yes the cd did eventually get finished three days after the arts fair. I had to ask myself why I viewed all of this as such a failure. As I listened to my new record, I realized I should have said success.

I had done what I said I would. I made a new CD. An original, fun new CD. I had been true to the words of Angie,. Words I've mentioned on previous occasions. But worth repeating.

"When you finish a new project, that's a step up. And there's no going back on that."

Friday, November 19, 2004

Hope For the World

Two things caught my eye recently that gave me hope. One was a letter to the editor from a reader slamming the Ottawa Express, the local pop culture describing rag, for dedicating a cover of one of its recent weekly issues to the "Bridget Jones" movie sequel. The reader pointed out that she hoped the Ottawa Express got paid for the ad (the cover of the magazine blatantly advertising a trash Hollywood movie) as opposed to using the cover to support/ advertise a performance of any indie band playing a gig in Ottawa.

As all the girls in my office argued amongst themselves about which theatre they'd all go to see the sequel in, I felt encouraged that others had shared the contempt I had when I first looked at the advertisement for this generic, mainstream-catering, mind-numbing travesty called a movie on the cover of the Ottawa Express rag. I had intended to reprint her letter here. But since I, of course, lost/misplaced in a mountain of papers at the end of my bed the issue containing her letter I will content myself with paraphrasing the writer who said something along the lines that seeing this pop culture garbage at all, and especially on the cover of a rag that's supposed to support local artists had "hit her gag reflex." Well said.

And the second thing that gave me hope was going into my laundry room and finding a message on the bulletin board. Someone had written "the key to an open mind, is an open heart." on a yellow post it note and pinned it up. The person had even taken time to arrange all of the remaining thumb tacks into the shape of a heart. In the 2 years I've been going to this laundry room I've not seen anything on this bulletin board except for the odd stray sock. then suddenly this enlightened message.

So, more than ever, I'm hopeful that I'll be meeting up with smart, courageous, outspoken and sensitive people in this city.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

The Santa Claus Parade

Two days after Remembrance Day (Veterans Day in the USA) the horns and tunes of the Santa Claus parade could be heard going up a street less than a block away. the parade takes me back. It was during the Santa Claus parade two years ago to the day that I moved into this place. (Note to self: Never move during a parade- it's a logistical nightmare.)

The day started out in another province with some rough and rented on the cheap movers showed up to help me get my stuff out of one of the worst apartments I'd ever lived in. it had been on the ground floor. Requiring me to keep all the curtains closed. There was a nosey hooker hanging out right outside my door all the time. The carpets were blak along the walls. The halls reeked of bleach. And worst of all it was cursed. At least 4 different friends who came there to visit ended up leaving my life on bad terms within the next year. So it was good to get out of that hell hole.

Upon arriving at the new apartment building the movers I'd hired immediately abandoned the truck with cargo doors open to go for a coffee on the clock. when they were back one of them went to my brand new washroom 4 times in less than an hour. And my other help was a couple of toxic (though I didn't know it then) of older people masquerading as friends. After I paid the bum movers and the others had gone, I was left alone in the apartment. After all the years of struggling I finally lived in Ontario. I remember thinking, "This is where I'll live during some of the biggest moments of my life." And it turned out to be true.

One year later during the Santa Claus parade I was heart broken two times over and looking down the barrel of the biggest test of my spirit's determination to survive on this earth. I rode the bus to see my friend Angie. After I hung up from a heart wrenching call with a guy I walked along with Angie to the Reno Depot where I got two lamps. To say I was numb would be an understatement. I didn't want to come back home that day. To the disappointment to the despair. That the apartment seemed to gather retain and magnify like a sponge that wipes ups a cup of water holds onto it for a really long time and then wrings out an ocean.

This year's Santa Claus parade saw me wake up in love. Together. So together I didn't even make it to the parade. My good fortune stood in stark contrast with the previous upsetting and lonely years. it was such a blessing to be able to look the powerful passage of time in the face and be able to say for once that at least the passage of time had brought me to a long sought and dreamed of better place. A place I'd never been to before. Even though I'd already been living there for two years.

Friday, October 22, 2004

The Songs of “Glam Rock Revelations

If you’re wondering what the songs of “Glam Rock Revelations” are all about,

Missionary Position

A song with a message of fun defiance and deliverance to improved self esteem. It has a soul born out of a path that begins with the discouragement, torment and loneliness of interacting with lying, closeted, self-phobic “guys on the internet”, otherwise known as “eels”, who are chasing “chicks with dicks.”

The path rounds a corner and uncovers 1. the self respect needed to refuse degrading sexual encounters entered into to try (in vain) to feel love by some external ( in this case skanky “eels”) source; and 2. the freedom and courage to refuse incorrect fetish labels and define ones own self.

Incidentally: Once the girl in this song fends of the “eels” and finds those higher level people with their gender politics and bedroom moves working in delicious harmony, I’m sure she’s got lots of time for the Missionary Position.

I’ve Got Your Picture

A true loved ‘em and lost em – if ya really had ‘em to begin with ballad. Originally a very long song with numerous piano interludes, this song was shortened to it’s present form.

Incidentally: Haunting new words were laid over the third chorus after some tragic events and cruel events conspired to bring on the fate of knowing in your soul you will love someone for the rest of your life, but will never see them again.

Everybody Start

This song is about the apathy surrounding the Bush invasion of Iraq. When people weren’t entertaining themselves with this “spectator sport” war, they were distracting themselves from the horror of its blood shed with all kinds of devices. “Having Sex” and using “peace marches as pick-up joints” were chosen as the examples of the distractions used because they just might be shocking enough (and that’s a big MIGHT BE) to jar people out of the comatosed state they’ve been lulled into by mass media, political spin doctors and a hedonistic, “gimme gimme gimme”, material acquisition based North American culture into the realization that earth is “d”evoling into a barbarian “eye for an eye” cruel hell hole (yes it is a hell hole – you just can’t see it from the suburbs) where more and more innocent people (children and the poor) are losers. A realization that hopefully will give rise to the conclusion that, like the 60’s, in the new millennium there should be at least as much peace making as fucking.

Incidentally: this song first appeared on the Lady Fest Ottawa 2003 compilation CD. It was put on the cd as the last track, I was told by the organizer, because (as I later confirmed), it was the best song on the CD.

Would You Ever

It’s a rhetorical question. The strong “NO! – I would never have a sex change!” reaction this song evokes in 99% of the people who hear it is supposed to enlighten those same 99% of listeners that the remaining 1% of listeners feel EQUALLY as passionate that “YES, they need to have a sex change”. That this surgery is not a want, a pop culture joke, a sickness or a fetish. It is a real medical, emotional, social, spiritual need some people were born into. A need to align their bodies with their spirits and their opposite sexed brains.

Incidentally: On my way to the Toronto CD launch of the “Glam Rock Revelations” EP I was subjected to watching “White Chicks” (without volume) on the bus. It was from the same ill informed, tranny as comedic gag genre as 1995’s“Too Wong Foo” (Patrick Swaysey’s career never recovered) and 1982’s “Tootsie” (Dustin Hoffman’s career didn’t recover for a long time). Only this time black cops dressed up as white “chicks” to get this bus load of fat heads laughing as we, ahm, dragged down the highway in the rain. It was then that I was proud of myself. Even though I was spending $200.00 on travel, not to mention exertion, to give away $300.00 worth of CDs to strangers.

Proud. Because this song actually tells the stories of people who’ve been singled out as comic relief by Hollywood, and even the small screen (can Law and Order get through even two episodes in a row without making reference to a “tranny”?) the real story is these people aren’t just for laughs. They are struggling. They are trying. They are smiling. They are crying. They are living. They are looking for work. They are going gray. All of these things. Just like everyone. Except on top of all this – they were “born with the wrong crotch.”

How many would have folded their cards rather than folded, if they had been dealt the wrong crotch. As many people who were laughing (at themselves unbeknownst to them) during all those bad drag movies. Less smirks. More respect for these brave, wrong-crotched souls.

Ms., Miss or Mr.

This song describes all of the many hilariously, poetic and tragic “miss”haps that happen to people who are “the third in an either or option.” “Miss” haps most “either ors” would never even think of, let alone experience. Bottom line: Being constantly scrutinized and ogled by people who are trying to “figure you out”, in many cases as a distraction for avoiding figuring themselves out) is a lot to deal with! That’s why “flower power” and Glam Rock will always be such necessary allies.

Incidentally: My brother always laughed at this song. Before it was even finished. And because it wasn’t finished. Laughed in a loving way. He thought it was a fun idea. He’s one of my biggest fans. (He just didn’t know he was for years.) Well on that note, after 3 years, whether it’s Ms., Miss or Mr., it’s finished. And it’s only just begun.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

No Going Back

Sunday I attended Toronto CanZine at a haggered, holed and otherwise "had" old relic of 1890: the Gladstone Hotel on Queen St. West. This place really had character. Something like the set of the Muppet Show.

There were 150 vendors lined up shoulder to shoulder at little tables, not as wide as your arm. Selling their zines. I was there, dressed in a wine coloured boustier outfit, for my Cd release party. I gave away copies of my now finished (after almost 3 years) EP "Glam Rock Revelations". I took 102 copies but could only Give! away 65 copies. Despite sitting at my table from Noon til 630 pm. And actually hocking it. "Do you like Glam Rock music? You know - early Cyndi Lauper?!"

A very humbling music carreer moment. Plus someone stole/ aquired my wallet. I came home that same night in a car full of ass-dragging misfits (me being the most misfitish of all, ofcourse). The Toronto cops had found my wallet by Monday night. The Toronto police are still coordinating the couriering of my wallet.

Incidentially: I did get 65 people to sign my mailing list. So when I have a new announcement about my music I can send it out. It's something. My friend Angie who gave away her zines (including titles such as "I Hate Latte Drinkers" and "She Was Debbie Gibson, I Was Martika") said most people never try anything, let alone finish anything. So this EP and CD release party is, "a real step up- which there's no going back on."

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Watching Myself Do The, “You Go Girl!”

I walked through the stationary warehouse store picking up the blank cds, jewel cases and labels. Tom Waits was singing “I Aint Missing You” on the speakers.

It’s a hard call to say which version is better, Waits’ or Tina Turner’s. I have to pick the former as I have more history with it. (I can remember listening to it over and over as I drove the 5 hours back home to the other seashore from Nova Scotia's St. Francais Xavier University where I’d been auditioning to get into the Bachelor of Jazz program (which I'm retrospectively happy to not have been accepted into) and hanging out with a guy I had a crush on – but later turned out to be gay (though he's still in the closet to this day).

“I Aint Missing You.” I think of all the people who’ve stampeded in and exploded out of my life in the nearly 3 years it has taken me to create my EP, “Glam Rock Revelations”. And it seems that finally, triumphantly even, I’m NOT missing these people as much, if at all, any more.

I feel vindicated to realize that I am carrying on. Somewhat lighter from dropping the tears and toxic people. Somewhat heavier from the memories. With a few more scars from the evil done to me. But overall much more free from the past. And confident, based on a quick glance into the past, that I can persevere through almost anything, and anyone.

I’m carrying on.

Beyond persevering now.

To thriving.

To putting out my EP.

To fulfilling my dreams.

I’m carrying on.

As someone who was listening to a few of my stories of battling everything from anorexia to agoraphobia said in her wonderful German accent,

“ Mackenzie... All these things. All these struggles. But overall the message is:

Look how far you’ve come Baybay.””

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Going, Going, Gone*

(*And this deal doesn’t come with a mail in rebate – so don’t bother fishing around in the bag for it on the drive back to the suburbs.)

I think one reason I don’t relate to some people is we don't want to talk about the same things. For me, I want to talk about what I've learned, what I've seen, what I've experienced, who I've loved, what I dream and why I'm "here". This doesn't go over very well in the lunch room.

Instead I hear some (or most -depending on where I'm listening) people talking about their "stuff". These people are living a very materialistic-oriented life. Talking about their cars breaking down, getting fixed, the new furnace they’ve installed in their second home, swimming pools, new home gadgets, it’s endless. And it literally is.

Materialism breeds more materialism. The more stuff that gets bought, the more accessories it needs and the more fixing it requires. To the point basically a lot of people I listen to on a daily basis are servants to their stuff. I picture the servants all dressed up in black and white sitting around the servants' table in the kitchen of the maison bitching and moaning about how awful it was to work for their masters today. I don't find I have a seat at this servants' table. Sometimes I catch myself feeling lonely. When really I should be glad I don't have anything to contribute to this mindless slapping of gums. I'm glad. Maybe I have zero to say because I don't have a house, car or any other materialistic master (aside from maybe computers). But even if I did, I don't think I would discuss this "stuff" to the point of exclusivity.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting, working for, and getting enjoyable stuff. Even I want some stuff! But I’m talking about people for whom the getting of the stuff is all there is. Listen to them talk. There’s your first clue. If they do manage to talk about personal relationships, listen closely. It’s usually in relationship to stuff.

(Note: That’s stuff they can’t take with them when they go.”) Which doesn’t seem to bother most of them as they don’t have a concept that one day they will “go”. And they certainly don’t have a concept of where they’ll “go to”. Which, I suppose, stands to reason since they aren’t “going” anywhere in their lives, other than materialistic consumption and acquisition, so why would they go anywhere in their deaths. Death being a concept they would not apply to themselves. This is the only explanation I can come up with to explain these people who seem to have so little concern for leaving something behind. For creating a legacy, other than the kids they popped out – which aren’t legacies, but are in fact just more stuff. No interest in scratching the glass of infinity with a message that says,

“I was here.”

All they’re going to leave behind is their stuff.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

I’ll Always Remember

He ran through the rain to give me the lunch I’d left behind. To kiss me and tell me he loved me. This certainly doesn’t happen every day. In fact, I didn’t think it would EVER happen in my life. Which makes me appreciate it happening even more. No matter what else happens, this has to be a good day.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Who Could Have Ever Predicted?

Who could have ever predicted I’d get the storage tubs purchased from Wal*Mart home to find that they are all broken at the hinges? Thus requiring two trips to Wally World in one day? (I declined to make the second trip since being in a Wally world twice in one day is a soulless fate I wouldn’t want for an enemy- let alone myself.) That I’d be able to "snap out of it" and have the head space, positivity and sheer will to want to clean out all the junk in my closets that were required to initiate getting the Wal*Mart bins in the first place?

Who could have ever predicted that I’d be riding from west to east with a view of downtown Ottawa emerging in front of me, in a virtual car with an ailing fig tree and orange tree in the back seat?

Who could have ever predicted that I’d look at my music and say, "Where the F. did I leave off?" and starting to work again. As my friend added, like a voice-over in a classic movie, "There’s something to be said for getting yourself off your ass." That I’d be that prepared to forgive myself my procrastinatings and set backs. That I’d be willing to honour where I’m at personally and creatively. That I’d have the opportunity and gratitude to acknowledge the opportunity to say with a smile and a wink, "I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve been doing while I havn’t been producing records."

Who could have ever predicted that I would later be carrying along Bank St. a total of 3 high heeled shoes (not four) and a pair of jogging pants to my friend for her nudie photo shoot, along with the same orange tree, as my skirt started to fall down to reveal I had no panties on? (How Cheap- but done with such Class!)

Who could have ever predicted that after all the careless and cruel rejections from (in retrospect) immature, uncommunicative, snore-fest eliciting guys who’s "crank I didn’t turn", I would then sit with a guy, who’s hotter and more worldly than all of these previous average-joe suburbian raskals, (and who’s crank I do turn) and eat cat fish for the first time.

And this was just one day. Yesterday!

It is often difficult to notice this as one sits in a sterile office cubicle in the sky, but :

Life is an Adventure.

One never knows what will happen. For good or for bad. Or for Ugly!

It is true (and somewhat haunting too) what Dr. Phil says:

"One year from now you life will either be better or worse than it is today. But it won’t be the same."

I can confirm to anyone who’s thinking of giving in, cow towing, or otherwise going tits up:

When one perserveres (an I do mean perserveres) through the ugly times, Life, God, the Universe, (however one chooses to term it) will reward the person with some goodies, some adventures, some love.

Who would have ever predicted that this morning one of the most persnickety office workers I’ve encountered in a good while would say to me, "By the way, not many people could pull off wearing the colour of eye shadow you’ve got on. But you do it."

A new day of adventure has begun...

Monday, July 19, 2004


I've concluded human interactions are typified by ackward introductions and cutting walkings away. It so important to enjoy the often all to brief goodness of knowing someone that goes on between these beginning and endings. Beginings and endings that seem to be as predictable and inevitable as the rising and setting of the sun.

Human relationships are so beautifully difficult. It is hard to hold onto anyone in this world. It takes two people to have a relationship. That must be noted. So far it's been other people's issues not my own that causes them to disappear from my life. (Even though most of them tried to conveniently pin it on me). This realization has not usually made it easier to see the people go.

Still, I've been forgiving myself for trying I did in the friendships/ relationships I've had that ended terribly. Increasingly I'm finding the bravery to say that I would have still picked up the telephone the first time to call these now departed souls, even if I'd known how ugly the final hanging up would be.

French Saying:
Les choses que tu resistes, persisterons.
Les choses que tu embrasses, effacerons.

What you resist, persists.
What you accept, erases.


Mackenzie MacBride

Tuesday, April 20, 2004


Well. It is two months away from my birthday today. I like birthdays. They indicate success. I am still on the journey.
("I am still in the game.") This is why I celebrate monthly birthdays. For me they are the 20th of every month. A reminder to enjoy every day's good moments.

I recently put up a string of patio lanterns on my balcony. They really brighten up my downtown view. I've been in my apartment for going on 2 years. Why didn't I think of this before? I've had patio lanterns on other balconies in the past. (Never mind that they were the stick in the ground kind which I won from a radio contest. They worked.)

I didn't think of it before now because I was taking care of the basics. And I mean the basics. Stuff most people never have to think about. The work that is invisible to most people as it is what I had to do to get to ground level. To Zero. The place most people started from. So why would they consider the work those of us who start in the negative numbers have to do to get to Zero?

So yes. My mind was "St. Elsewhere". What a great experience to have the 1% brain functioning free to conceptualize putting up some lights. Next I hope to replant my Peace Lily Plant. One of my favourite gifts ever from one of the dearest people ever. I've got the pot and the special dirt. Soil I suppose the manufacturer wants me to call it. So therefore I call it "the dirt."

One of my quotations from the Winter of 2004 was "Fight the Zero". Meaning: Resist stagnating. Resist being like everyone else. Stop "Keeping up with the Jones". Resist being a number. The joy to life is not in the "status quo". Make a contribution. Be remembered for something special. Put a scratch on the glass of infinity that says:

"I was here."

Thursday, April 08, 2004

The Bus Stops of Life

There is a bus stop in downtown Ottawa, Ontario, Canada where I find myself almost everyday. Waiting for some bus or other. People watching. And certainly being people watched! Thousands of people living out thousands more stories pass through there everyday.

I actually can’t stand this bus stop. Concrete is all around. It is such a contrast from the greenery and nature that surrounded me in the past. People most often seem grim and down on their luck. At the very least they are impatient. Impatience breeds more impatience. It is infectious. I can’t wait to get out of there each time. I close my eyes.

Recently I reflected on two of "my stories" that involved this bus stop:

December 15, 2003: I was in a lot of physicial and emotional pain. I had just been deeply hurt by a barage of mean and accusatory words from someone very special to me. Amidst the miscommunications and fear based decision making there had been the old faithful declaration that we would “never speak again”. To me it was a huge loss for both of us. I had to drag myself down the street. Crying and sobbing. My dear friend Angie was there to prop me up literally. I did not want to go on. I was consumed by grief.

March 15, 2004: I sat across the street from this bus stop at a fancy Asian restaurant with the same special someone having one of the best times of my life. Laughing and talking. Healing scars. Transcending our tendancies to gravitate into misery. Participating in happiness with each other.

Great Realization: With the assistance of the passage of time, one single place can be the backdrop for vastly different perspectives, events, lows and highs.

Ofcourse, Murphy’s Law, my life is sure to take some more tumbles. So, next time I feel like GIVING UP I will remember this bus stop. If I had given up in December, 2003 I would never have known the joys of 2004. When a person holds on through the hard times they can arrive at a place where they “get the goodies”.

Perserverance in a word.

See you at the bus stop.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Take The Ride - A Metaphor For Love

A child dreams from age 2 to age 12 about going to Disney World. Finally the parents say "We're going to Disney World". After years of waiting, wanting, and panicking that it will never happen, the child arrives at Disney World. It is hot. The waiting in lines begins. The child had not thought of all these messy details. The child realizes the Roller Coaster ride is like 1% as long as the wait. And come to think of it the the child thinks the Roller Coaster is as scary as it is exciting.

The child must resolve that taking the ride is better than not taking it. Even though the end of the ride will be a DESPERATE feeling, the experience of riding the Roller Coaster is one all children should have. The child must then find the wisdom and the courage to enjoy the ride. Also,to practice self-awareness during the ride. As the child will learn more about themself from taking the ride. The child must activly resist obsessing on the ride's end and thereby miss the joys, lessons and brief rush of glory that the ride has to offer.

I am this child.

Oh well, I'm a long way from Orlando, Florida this morning. Yet only a 10 minute walk away...

Thursday, March 18, 2004

The Last Time

Do you ever, in the midst of a moment of one of your most cherished activities, find yourself saying - "There will be a last time I get to do this." Or worse- "This may be the last time I get to do this." ??? I do. Yikes!!!

Note to Self:

1. Some people never get these most cherished moments. They can only dream about them. I have had cherished moments. I got to passionately kiss the guy I wanted to kiss. That's a gift from the universe that many people never receive.
2. Be grateful for the moment in the moment and don't step out of the moment to try and hold onto it. I guess.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Sandstone Hearts

I may need to be reminded of this later but:

I guess just because a love affair may not last forever doesn't mean it isn't worth it at the time, and that I should forget after it ends that it was, for the time it existed, a gift from the universe. Lasting forever is not a good criteria to evaluate the success of anything beacause Nothing! lasts forever. Even the sandstone cliffs of my childhood home have eroded and changed so much that someone wouldn't recognize them from looking at a picture taken of them 10 years ago. If rock can change so can the hearts of humans. I remind myself daily to enjoy and be grateful for the moments I have with loved ones.