Wednesday, December 22, 2010

... now I know it's better if we don't all sound the same

K is back from Holland, without his wife, though she is back too.  They have decided on another separation.  He isn't moving back in with us.  He has found an apartment in Kits which is sort of miraculous.  He came by here tonight to see Shawn and greeted me by calling me Olive Oyl, which I did not appreciate terribly much.  I wanted to -- but didn't -- ask him whether he meant the cartoon Olive or the Shelley Duvall Olive.  And whether he was referencing my very sexy schoolmarm knot-of-hair (perfect for sauna-ing), my deep husky voice, or whether it was my luscious body that drew the comparison.  I have never been called Olive Oyl before and I do not believe it is a compliment no matter which way I look at it.  I think I am beginning to understand things from K's wife's point of view.


Friday, December 17, 2010

ultimate frisbee

When you pointed out the halfway smile I remembered Don, the stagecraft professor who taught us about stage makeup.  It was the strangest of my university courses, twenty students in a dimly lit room seated in front of mirrors, painting their own faces for credit.  Don wore makeup too, an orangey base colour that ended at his collar.  It seemed peculiar to me that a professional makeup artist would wear such detectable makeup but I have never fully understood makeup and maybe that it is the point.

As I stared at myself in the mirror trying, for some inane reason, to draw a treble clef around my right eye, Don stood behind me watching me in the mirror.  (And that's another thing that has always confused me about mirrors, the way it is possible for two people facing the same direction to make eye contact with their reflections.)  Don made me nervous and my hand was unsteady doing the stupid assignment, drawing on my face.  He told me the same thing you told me, that my symmetry was thrown into chaos by the halfway smile.  I stood in my bathroom mirror alone later making faces at myself trying to recreate whatever you were talking about but my self-consciousness must have altered the crooked expression that happens naturally.

The self-conscious smile was symmetrical but sharp enough to cut oneself upon its edge.  I never recognize myself in mirrors or in photographs.  Only in words.  


Sunday, December 12, 2010

my importantest blood-pumping chest body part

Closing night was odd this time.  I grow weary of explaining why it isn't okay to change closing night into a night at the improv, and I explained it more personally than perhaps was strictly necessary, with details from the last show that surrounded my sister's death.  I sometimes lack rigid enough boundaries.  And sometimes I think that being real like this is the only way to be.  They listened, they didn't pull any pranks.  They forgot to get flowers for BB but I knew this would happen so I bought them myself.  I can predict the future like a psychic.  Teenagers will almost always do something dumb.  Knowing this allows me to prevent tragedies, at least some of them.


The sauna is good, so much better than I imagined.  Shawn concedes that his research was designed to back up the fact that it's cool to hang around naked as much as possible, and I admit that I like the sauna more than I thought I would.  I like heat.  I want to sleep inside it but that would probably be dangerous -- and weird.  


Tuesday, December 07, 2010

I don't wanna make her cry (because I like giants)

When I was in university I lived in a downtown apartment building, walking distance to all the big important offices where all the big important oil guys worked.  My dad was one of those big important oil guys -- but in spite of his title and his suit and tie he did not have a big important oil man attitude.  Now that he is retired and spends his days in jeans and cardigan sweaters I recognize him more easily.  But I knew him then, too, my dad.  I was pretty sure (I still am pretty sure) that he was the smartest man in the whole world.

He worked in an office about thirty floors up in a huge tall building, the kind of building with security guards by the elevators, with soft plushy carpet in the hallways, where everyone talked very quietly, where everyone looked quite serious.  I loved my dad's office, in particular I loved the rolls of stickers, red arrows and multicoloured dots that he would affix to maps, because in those days drilling maps were made of paper.  Even though I was in my twenties, too old to want to play with stickers, I wanted to play with those stickers.  And he would let me.

Sometimes I would meet him there at the end of his workday and we would go for coffee before he went home to suburbia, and me to my apartment.  The security guard by the elevator in the lobby came to know me and stopped asking me where I was going the way he did at first, because I was so obviously out of place in that fancy building.

For some reason at that time, I was under the impression that elevators were soundproof, particularly the ones in my dad's building... because of their solid steel construction, perhaps, and especially because of the detectable change in air pressure when the doors whooshed closed, I felt as though entering the elevator was the same as entering a hermetically sealed vault.  Nothing could get out or in until the doors opened.  Not even sound.

And what would you do in a soundproof chamber if you had access to one?

I looked forward to the doors closing behind me in the lobby and would hope they wouldn't open again until I reached my dad's floor, allowing me the maximum time and minimum interruption to play.  I would sometimes sing (loudly) but more often I would scream.  Not primal-scream type stuff, not angst-ridden angry screaming.  Just making noise with my voice because I lived in a downtown apartment where one couldn't make noise, because I'm not usually a noisy person, because I wanted to hear what I sounded like when I did that.  So I would try to match my tone to the hum of the elevator, or to a note in my head, and sometimes I would practice diaphragmatic control, trying to keep the sound strong and steady for the entire thirty floors.

Usually when I arrived on his floor, I would walk down the hall to my dad's office, say hello to the receptionist, and meet him in his office.  But on the day that I learned elevators are not soundproof he was waiting for me in the hall right outside the elevator.  Like always, I stopped screaming as soon as the elevator bell dinged, watched the doors slide open.  And there was my dad standing at the entrance to the elevator looking wide-eyed and worried.  He asked if I was alright.  I said I was and asked him why he was in the hall instead of in his office.  He told me he had been walking down the hall between offices when he heard me screaming all the way up from the ground floor and thought something horrible was happening.

It was a great disappointment that day to learn that elevators are not soundproof.  I stopped screaming in his elevator, I also stopping doing it in the elevator to my apartment.  I don't think I have screamed in an elevator ever since that day, but every time I use an elevator I still always, always want to.


Saturday, December 04, 2010

je m'souviens

I wish there was a way to sleep in longer on the weekends, a way to convince my mind that it doesn't need to be alert so early on a Saturday, but I don't seem to believe myself when I tell myself it is okay to sleep, to stay in bed until the sun rises.  The pups are overjoyed that I wake up early; they know if they follow me downstairs they'll be given some breakfast, and unlike me they have no trouble going back to sleep afterward.  Four tiny warm bodies, full bellies, noses touching tails, surround me and smother me, snoring into my lap and keeping me warm.  Saturdays are good.


Friday, December 03, 2010

1.  Three days until the show goes up, seven days until I get my life back.

2.  I bought my gift exchange gift and placed it in the anon-box so I wouldn't have to accompany it to the staff Christmas party.

3.  Time until Christmas break = two weeks, ten working days, four of which are fourteen hour days.  Yeah, that's still too many minutes to count.


Tomorrow we have another meeting with our financial advisor.  Boring.  I am glad that Shawn is proactive about this kind of thing because my attitude about it is completely negligent.  Shawn's got plans, big plans, like buying an enormous - like a small house - sailboat, retiring young, and paying off the mortgage soon.  He understands money and I don't, which is why he wants a financial advisor and why I sit in those meetings sighing inwardly and wishing they could just work out the stuff without me and leave me alone until I sign the papers.  I know this stance is not in my own best interest and for that reason I have been trying hard to pay attention in the meetings, but so far I really haven't had much luck.  Maybe tomorrow I'll do better.  It's possible.

Following the meeting as a fuck-you to the financial advisor we are going to go buy an infrared sauna.  Just like money, Shawn knows things about infrared therapy.  He can spout all sorts of fascinating information about healing and muscle recovery, immunity and disease prevention, etcetera and so forth, and he thinks that with this new piece of equipment in our lives we will live longer healthier lives.  I just like the idea of being warm in the winter and plan on hanging out in there until March.  So talk to you later.  In the spring.