Life from a caffeine hyped point of view

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Archive for May 2008

If Life were a John Hughes film….

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What would your soundtrack be? While cadging a ride with me, jazz friend asked what type of music I liked. All kinds of course. My tastes are eclectic, but you already know that. The music that has the most influence is of course, anything made in the eighties, hence the John Hughes reference. He and John Waters were two of the most popular filmmakers of that era with their made for teenage angst movies. Of course you remember Crybaby, Hairspray, Ferris Bueller’s DayOff, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club. The same way you sang along with Boy George, Madonna and Wham! As with any self respecting teenager, music was a huge part of the landscape and the songs have resonance even now.

If I were a John Waters heroine I’d probably be a cross between Ricky Lake, Lilli Taylor and Christina Ricci. All quirky, not typical Hollywood pretty girl types. Sort of out there, a little weird, not a joiner but a character. That’s pretty much me. Even if I don’t always look it these days! Hopefully I could snag Johnny Depp or John Cusak to be my leading man. Also not conventional actors.

What would be on the soundtrack:

The opening credits would roll over Mathew Wilder’s Break My Stride for sure!
Linesman for the County – Glen Campbell (played incessantly on the jukebox of the bar across the Main Road)
Leaving on Jet Plane
Your Song/Daniel – Elton John (these would be in my personal Top 10)
Staying Alive – The Bee Gees
Sweet Child of Mine – Guns and Roses
A Little Help from My Friends/Let It Be – The Beatles
Don’t Stop Believin’ -Journey
Feels So Good- Chuck Mangione
Imagine – John Lennon
Blue – 3Canal
LA Woman – The Doors
Kind of Blue – Miles Davis
Rivers of Babylon – Boney M
Redemption Song/Waiting in Vain – Bob Marley
Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough/Thriller – Michael Jackson
Every Breath You Take/Every Little Thing She Does is Magic – The Police

The list is endless really. What would be yours?

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May 29, 2008 at 10:03 pm

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Building expectation

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Oh. My. Gosh. Dance class. Why did I open my big mouth? Now that I’ve said it all of a sudden, people have expectations. Can anyone say, chicken. Not that stuff fried up by the Colonel, though right now chicken and waffles sounds good. Sorry, I’m hungry, my Kiss enriched bread and lemon pepper turkey sandwich did little to fill the gnawing hunger that arrived at 10:00 am and has not left. Could it be that giving up my intravenous coffee was a mistake?

Notice how cleverly I segued away from the topic? I was hoping to distract you into forgetting. Dance class! Argh, eek, gah. Public exhibition, flabby bits on show.  Just what I need right now. As I gird my loins in anticipation of the debacle, I wonder if purpose could be better served by maybe attempting something easier. Like rock climbing, marathon running or cave diving. Okay, calming breaths, I can do this. I can actually finish filling out the form without having to breathe into a paper bag. I used to model and be on tv for heavens sake. What’s a little hip action? 

Now has anyone noticed the crack about giving caffeine? From a person called COFFEEwallah, writing a blog from a CAFFEINE hyped point of view. Okay, as it happens it was a suggestion from last week’s coach. He thought, though pleasant, fun, lively, interesting etc that I should be less so and maybe cutting the coffee might be the answer. The result? Ask my staff, they’re cowering outside my door, they know, me not on coffee is like, Godzilla in Tokyo or the Joker let loose on Gotham. Okay, maybe not, despite what I might pretend I am a decent-ish manager but my drop in caffeine is never pretty. Like recovering alcoholics, I get pretty boring without the coffee fix.

And while some people may like boring, it gets tired really fast. Oh Sod it, what the hell does he know. Right. Where’s the nearest Rituals to here again?

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May 26, 2008 at 6:14 pm

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The Dance

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How many of you out there like to dance? Are you a throw yourself into the spirit and move to the music or are you a closet dancer? How many of you, when no one is watching, find yourself moving to music wishing that you too could glide around the floor? Admit that you watch Dancing with the Stars, not for the stars but the dance aspect.

It seemed like every little girl I went to primary school with went to ballet class. I was a tomboy, those tutus were godawful and too besides, my parents weren’t going to waste perfectly good money on something like dance class. Boy did I envy those girls. even though they were a part of that secret clique, separated from the rest of us by their shared language of jete, pirouette and turned out toes.  For a non-girly girl like me, a non-joiner at that, it’s a bit schizophrenic, I can only think it must have been the grace and beauty in movement, because I’m also fascinated by good ballroom dancers too. It’s kind of weird because I was as introverted as hell and had a horror of public anything.  Though I figured in the lead of a couple of school plays I really hate being in the public eye. Yes, it’s true. And that includes the television years when I was in FRONT of the camera. It does not come naturally. 

However, on the dance floor I’ve been known to turn into a regular exhibitionist a time or two. Okay, it’s understandable, I’m Trini, we dance from  cradle, with varying degrees of competence of course. I’m a fair dancer by all accounts though I have yet to take a dance class. Mostly it’s just around the living room floor with the hound as an audience.

But that’s all about to change. As part of my development plan, I can’t believe I just said that, dance class is on the cards. Move over Blue, I’m joining you at Belly Dancing class even if it kills me. It’s going to be interesting if nothing else. Wish me luck. As soon as I can hit some unsuspecting prey over the head, we’re going to ballroom dancing. 

Jah help me.

 

 

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May 22, 2008 at 3:24 pm

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….and melt with you

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So  I started this on the other side.

Having someone to share with does not negate the fact that you might want someone to cuddle with. You can have all the higher consciousness in the world, able to free your mind etc and still want to feel some holding you, a lover who will stroke your back while you sleep. The heavy man thigh, thrown across you, comforting in it’s weight, solid, real.  To lose yourself in the oblivion of endless lovemaking, your senses alive, tingling even if for just that moment. 

In addition to physical pleasure, you may also crave someone who stimulates you intellectually.  There is someone I find physically unappealing, I would not wish to take my clothes off for him, but his MIND, enough to make you come in your pants. 

These are a few of the things we take, put together to make us whole.

 

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May 21, 2008 at 2:00 pm

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A wedding story…NOT

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Some years ago I was interviewed by a newspaper reporter for a story she was doing on being left at the altar. Why me? I’d never been on either the giving or receiving end of such a dastardly deed. The genesis of the interview was a conversation I’d had several days earlier on the subject with her editor. He’d mentioned it and I related my experience once removed. Small wonder that the reporter was having trouble finding someone who’d ‘fess up to being dumped at the altar, embarrassment notwithstanding, who’d want to relive the pain and humiliation.

 

An acknowledged cynic, marriage is usually one of those topics I avoid in polite company. It causes too many problems and I’ve often to defend my position,  tiresome. Yet here I was being interviewed not because I’m an expert on marriage, rather for being in the right place at the wrong time or something like that. In my long and varied career I had a  stint as a Communications Officer in a Government Ministry responsible for conducting and recording marriages.

 Marriages used to take place on given days and it was not uncommon to come across several couples waiting on the benches outside the Marriage room. Lots of stories, as an inveterate collector of stories I used to find time to stop and talk whenever possible, on several occasions I even stood in for missing in action witnesses. It wasn’t sheer macosiousness, more a desire to understand people and what made them tick. To anyone claiming that civil marriages are impersonal I’d say see for yourself. People choose to have a civil ceremony for any number of reasons, religious differences, money, whatever. Some people still turned up in full dresses, families in tow; singing, grinning grooms, little kids with their parents, we saw it all. The people at the Ministry try to make it as nice as they can and different Registrars have their own innovations. One would invite you to hold hands with your partner and look them in the eye while reciting your vows. But it’s never all business, how can it be. This is about people’s lives.

 

That’s why this particular story stood out so. Busy morning, the contrast was startling, the previous couples obviously happy and these two so not. He changed his mind as he was walking into the room. The whole business had been arranged, he was sweating, she however, did seem to want him. There was much arguing outside the door while we all stood around helpless. I’m not sure if it would have been better for her to be surrounded by family and friends. Hopefully she would never have to see us again. I marvelled though at the clerks who at the moment of truth went into action to offer comfort and support to this total stranger. I know every effort was made to make sure she was comfortable before the next marriage took place. I also know that even though the prospective groom showed up weeks later with another young lady he was shown the same professional courtesy.

By far, most of the people choosing to marry at there do. Even in my jadedness, I still appreciate the occasional slice of wedding cake and pictures that used to turn up on my desk from people I’d so briefly met. What is it about weddings that make us suddenly friendly? One of the best memories I have of my time at that Ministry is of the couple that married in full regalia posing for pictures on the back steps of the building as they would have at church. The radiant bride all in white with yellow bouquet, head thrown back looking up at the groom who looked like he’d won the Lotto. How could one not be moved by all that hopefulness. Whatever the case, we wished them all well.

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May 19, 2008 at 6:15 pm

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Dancing lady

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Stuart Hahn, a local artist, did the work of art you see here; I was first introduced to his work by a teenage boyfriend who lived down the street from the Hahn’s. If memory does not lie, the work was a black and white drawing of an anatomically correct male figure being subjugated, the technique showed great delicacy though the subject matter was, to my untrained eye, a trifle risqué. I was fascinated and hooked ever since.

 

Though I am not equipped to do scholarly art reviews, I’ll leave that to the pros, I have been around the art world long enough to know, Stuart is special. He does not dabble, flitting from this media to that and his work is not a series of trite “sceneries”, and he remains true to his form and works at perfecting it. However, his art is not the basis of our friendship. You see, I admire him for many other things, most of all his courage and conviction.

 

It cannot have been easy to walk in his shoes, and though it is not my place to reveal his life, let us say that though he is a middle class white man, he does not stick to type. Some days, when I need to take a break from the constant pressure of work, being able to barge into his life via telephone is what helps to save my sanity. In a way, it is like having Carlisle back, they’re both quite irascible but so am I. We talk about lots of things, his work, mine, life in general, love, he respects my opinions though he does not always agree with me, and I his. It is a generous giving of that most precious commodity, time, it means a great deal to me.

 

Stuart’s work reveals much about him; it is meticulous, time consuming with attention to detail. He cares about his work, while it is for sale,that is not what drives him to create. When he uses colour it is in overlays, using coloured pencils instead of paint. The art critics refer to it as illustration and they are right in one respect, he illustrates a depth of feeling that is hard to get from other more robust media. Some of his work has a naughty joy to it, there is a particular piece, the inspiration is from One Thousand and One Nights. The Caliph is fondling the breast of his paramour, his expression is priceless, one day I hope to own this piece for the pleasure it gives me to look at it.

I envy him, he his true to his calling, he has chosen to make his way in the world doing what he has to do.

Written by coffeewallah

May 19, 2008 at 6:03 pm

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Influences

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The aim of any writer is, to be read. Via the worldwide web and blogger, my friend Blue has found an audience while documenting her fight with depression. It’s a hard read sometimes, all too familiar. She has managed to connect with so many people on so many levels, we rejoice when she comes out the other side and is back to her other self. Beat the black dog blues another day. Then she writes about other interesting things. Slacker, who has described me as his bete noire, is chronicler of his pain over the degeneration of his relationship. It’s disturbing to be called someone’s “black beast”, I take it to mean he relishes that I push him to write, it might even be a compliment but that might be wishful thinking.

 

It was Mike Royko and journalists like him that made me want to be a writer. Now deceased, Mike, writing first in the Chicago Sun-Times and then the Chicago Tribune, was an inveterate commentator of Americana. His syndicated columns appeared across the globe, despite what one might consider their limited interest. They talk about life, those things that matter somewhere, to someone. It is that seemingly random cataloguing and documenting of life that made his columns so interesting to many people. They recognised themselves.

 

This was before the Internet, in those days, we read our news and features, not off a computer screen but on actual printed paper and somehow, that made it seem more real. My first experience in public writing came early, a poem I had written appeared in a collection of work. Nice, but not me. I am not a poet.

 

Nor am I interested in doing more than reading fiction. I want to document those moments and incidents in actual life, it is far more fascinating and I want to write about it. Live and direct. Since that early poem, I’ve written hundreds of articles for magazines, websites; speeches, advertising copy, scripts for documentaries and my work has even been used in textbooks.

 

I wish I had Slacker’s easy facility with words, if his is the perfect salad nicoise, mine is the house salad with oil and vinegar vinaigrette. I want you to see you as you laugh, cry, walk down memory lane, identify, get mad and whatever else comes out, as you read these words. 

 

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May 18, 2008 at 12:17 pm

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