Friday, December 30, 2005

it's batteries and diaries and passageways

Well, you know what they say... absence makes the heart grow fonder. Sorry for the lack of posts, i have been busy with Christmas - er, Christmas presents - er, And Then There Were None computer game. Just call me Fred Narracotte.

My money is on Vera... No secretary/school teacher dresses like that.

I like to put on headphones so all i can hear is the overly dramatic music and then make up lyrics as i'm playing the game:

somebody skuttled my boat
can't get home, can't get home
can't get outta here
just walk away
just walk away
but it rains
it's only in your brain
only in your brain

some batteries
some batteries

a diary. a diary. A DIARY?!
what's it mean? what's it mean?

some batteries
some batteries

there's a secret escape
where's the secret escape
there's a secret escape
where's the secret escape
some batteries... please?

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Conclusion of the Christmas Countdown

The bear looks sad doesn't he? Maybe he got 'kitten mittens' for Christmas. Maybe he is trying to sleep while his family sings 'Oh Holy Night' at the top of their lungs. Maybe he made himself sick all day with nerves waiting to sing 'Oh Holy Night' solo at Christmas eve mass only to be bumped for Silent Night sung three times over. Maybe things just aren't going as he had imagined. Maybe he wishes he were somewhere else.

I feel ya little man.

You all thought the countdown finale was going to blow your mind, didn't you? Well, that's what happens when you get your expectations up there... nowhere to go but down. Refresh the page, and this time try to mask your disappointment with a face that says 'i love it!'... now practice that over and over and you will be ready to open presents.


The eve is officially upon us. As much as i hate to have to do it, i will be spending tomorrow searching frantically for the perfect Christmas present for my dad, who is the only one left on my list. My dad is especially hard to buy for because he doesn't like recieving gifts and any slightly excessive amount of money you might spend on him just detracts from his enjoyment of the gift (maybe because he knows the money is just coming out of his pocket). So i have to find the perfect balance of suitability and thrift. Other than this one task, Christmas eve can take me in a number of directions and i can never be sure what that is going to be. The unknowable is partially exhilerating and partially anxiety provoking.

Oh the joys of Christmas.

ps. the 23rd - the day i still consider myself to be a part of, despite the fact that it's past midnight (even though my blog will tell you otherwise, because of the messed up posting times) because i have yet to go to sleep - is eddie vedder's birthday (for all your ignorant folks out there, eddie vedder is the lead singer of pearl jam). I hope you all did your best to celebrate his birth in a respectable fashion.

Friday, December 23, 2005


"89.1!!?... gas has got to be cheaper closer to home"

Followed by the car running out of gas just metres short of the gas pump at the next station. The going rate at this station: also 89.1. dumb.

Now that's an hilarious situation.

Rounds of the game were cycling rapidly tonight. Newcomer's interest in the game peaked quickly and confusion was minimal, unlike many past introductions.

I think i have to sleep off the game for now.

Friday, December 16, 2005


Home at last
Home at last
Home at last

You never realize how much you miss your own bed, until you are gone away from it for a while.

I've had a Christmas brain-wave, so i may make it through this one after all.

I work better under pressure.


I am running out of time. It's the same thing every year. But this may finally be the year that i run out of time...

Stupid court of appeal. Stupid opposing lawyer. Stupid stomach flu. Stupid Toronto. Stupid Christmas.

I want my own bed back!


I knew this day would come. Five days to go and my Christmas shopping list is nowhere near fully checked off. I am certainly not looking forward to spending the last few days frantically spanning the malls to find those last minute gifts and hearing the same old Christmas carols playing on the loudspeaker. All that stress and frustration packed into one building is enough to bare on its own without that mind-numbing version of jingle bells playing like the soundtrack to my decent into Christmas madness.

This is why i celebrate Christmas for the first couple weeks... i know about the bahumbug.



I drank too much last night... correction: i didn't drink enough last night - water, that is. I'd be fine now if there had been more water. Silly girl. I never learn my lessons. But i'm paying for it now.

Vertical is not a good position for me right now.

I learned some interesting things about my childhood last night. And with me not well and lying in bed all day while my family eats breakfast and shops, i have nothing to do except explore my mind.

It's fascinating in here. So much i don't understand.


I called up my friend with eight fingers to take this picture.

"I'm not a freakshow, ab. You can't just put me up on your blog for all your friends to gawk at."

"Don't worry about it, no one reads this anyway... the only person who does has webbed feet so she'll probably take comfort in you freakishness. No one is judging you."

My eight fingered friend is so paranoid.

I bought him gloves for Christmas. I hope he likes them. I couldn't find eight fingered gloves so i just cut a few extra holes in them.

In case you are wondering, he can't do anything special with his extra fingers. The hand works just like yours or mine, except for one thing. You know how people often say 'my hand has a mind of its own'. Well, my friend's hand doesn't exactly have a mind of its own... but those extra three fingers do.

I think that's why he's so paranoid.

If you take a look in the picture, the extra fingers are the two on the ends, and the third one - the head honcho - is fourth from the left. They have been well placed to infiltrate the rest of the hand, and have easily gained control over all the other fingers and turned them against my friend. The thumb - yes that's right, he has 8 fingers and one thumb - hangs out alone, and the other fingers taunt him. I promised thumb that I would do my best to hide him in the picture because he doesn't like to be associated with the others. People always assume the thumb and the fingers are in on everything together. It's a misconception.

Yesterday, i suggested having the extra fingers surgically removed and the hand slapped my so hard it left a print on my face. Thumb's print is there, too, but i don't blame him. I know he was there against his will.

I could tell that my friend considered the option, because the hand slapped him, too! Unfortunately for my friend, the extra fingers can read his mind, but he can't read theirs. There would be no point for this anyway - even if he were to know that he was about to get slapped, he could not get away... he's always an arm's length away.

My friend would like it noted, for the record, that he never agreed to this picture. The fingers, on the other hand (well, the same hand), are exhibitionists and rather liked the idea of people gawking at them on the web. I told them i get a lot of blog traffic.

Fingers will believe what they want to.


Went to see Chronicles of Narnia last night. Maybe my memory is confused, but i seem to remember things differently from when i was a child. It was a good movie though. My only complaints are that the battle scene was slightly anti climactic and made it seem like this whole thing could have been over a lot sooner if the lion would have just made his move earlier. And the relationship between young lucy and thomnas, the 100+ yr old fawn, seemed a little creepy... but maybe there are special rule of war and pedophilia in Narnia. You've got to suspend your own reality. Statutory Sarah - that's her new nickname - would probably know more about the latter than the rest of us.

Christmas Chad - that's his new nickname - kept losing the game all throughout the movie (the game, you lose) so i would be sitting there in Narnia and Christmas Chad would lean over and lose the game for me, and i would be thrust back into reality for the next ten minutes while i tried to forget about the game. It was all very disorienting.

The sis is playing the game now. She wanted so much to hate the game. But it's a sneaky game and before you know it you are playing and loving it. I will spread the game to married sis and the hubby when we visit this weekend. We'll be playing it for the rest of our lives.

"Easter Al and July First Jen had a falling out."

Upon deeper analysis, the whole situation is more appropriate than anticipated.

Easter Al

Thursday, December 15, 2005


.Mistakes make perfect.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Five Plus Five Plus One

I guess teacher's college wasn't meant to be... what a waste of $170.00! And at Christmas time no less, when i really could have used that money.

Maybe the cosmos are telling me that it's time to cry; i haven't done that in a while.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Twelve Days Till Christmas

The kitties have been formally introduced to catnip. Apparently it rocks their world. We will need more catnip and more mice to fill up with catnip, since they do not share well. Ray has a more interesting relationship with the mouse, tossing it around, flipping in the air... Timo on the other hand, well, he just won't stop licking it. Eve has yet to get a chance with the mouse, but she had a handful of catnip to herself and was writhing with pleasure. She is now in the same room with the boys and has not hissed once. Progress? or catnip?

It's a good thing the border cops didn't go through our car because catnip looks suspiciously like marijuana.

Monday, December 12, 2005

'There's Thirteen!'

The number's a little blurry, isn't it?... oh well, i'm sure you get the point.

Sissie home tomorrow, and on top of how wonderful it is to have my sis home she is bringing me her keyboard!

I've got the 'dust sickness' and i resolve to dust on a weekly/semi-weekly basis once i get my room in order.

I'm very tired... cats were up all night exploring the new arrangement and knocking around everything that shouldn't be knocked around.

Time for work... peace.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Fourteen days... That's only two weeks, people!

... i'm running out of hand gestures.

Rearranged my room this morning and now it's more of a disaster area than a room. Going Christmas shopping with sg while the dust settles in here. Hopefully when i return i will be able to finish without all the excessive sneezing. I'd post 'after' pictures, but without the 'before' there is nothing to compare.

I think i'll reformat my computer while i am in the 'winter cleaning' mood. Get everything ready for the new year.

Played at church last night... I think the songs went well. The instrumental was fine i'm sure and my brother tells me the other went well... but he is my brother and might just be saying that. There is a better synopsis of the event at if you are interested... will post photos later

Saturday, December 10, 2005

'Footsie Fifteen'

D id fifteen give anyone else a panic attack?? At least i got my Christmas mail-outs done... but i haven't even started on gift shopping. And i don't even know what everyone wants!! What happened to my leisurely - get everything done early - Christmas??

There is a Christmas show tonight at the church. I am supposed to perform with ck but i haven't seen him for two weeks, and at that point we didn't even have words for the song. Since i was in charge of lyrics anyway, i wrote them on my own, so i guess we would only need to get together real quick and make magic happen before the show; me, hoping that he liked the lyrics because i don't have time to write anymore.... i just hate last minute.

I could always play my piano-version of Silent Night. But i've only ever played that on our severely out of whack piano at home, so i can't exaclty be sure it sounds the same everywhere else. I'll have to go in early and whip out the church keyboard. Maybe i'll spend a little time with ck's bass while i am there... which reminds me: zo, keyboard?? just a reminder. this rickety piano just ain't doing it for me. I forgot when you are coming home again... remind me. How are you getting to kk's next weekend?

I haven't talked about my cats much, so that needs rectifying. The kitties have torn up the tent that the bro so gratiously bought for their first birthday. I broke it a little more, as well, so i've done my part. They love that tent, but for fighting more than for sitting in. They trap each other in it, by flipping it so the door is blocked by the floor, and then they collapse the tent on the cat who is inside. It's hysterical, and i will videotape it at some point... i wonder how you get videos up in this space?

Eve (mommy cat) has taken a new liking to mom (real mom) and follows her around the house and sleeps on her bed, and her couch, and her office desk. Mom doesn't even like her, although she is starting to come around to her a bit. She still thinks eve is psycho because she's a little wild and continues to hiss and swat at the babies. I keep trying to tell her that is just what cats do... she has to play her cards like that because she could easily be dominated by two huge boy kitties; she is maybe half the size of the boys, but she keeps them in her place because she's been showing her dominance since the day they were the size of a fist.... seem heartless, but it works. They don't mess with her, even though they easily could.

Actually, i don't know that they could take her... she's much more agile, and an incredible hunter, and claws that just don't quit. hmmm... bets, anyone??

the game - you lose.

Friday, December 9, 2005

'Sock it to me Sixteen'

Suddenly a women's voice breaks through my sleep: "Please hang up and try your call again..." huh? what? what's going on? what time is it? she was done with her shpiel and it was definately early enough to go back to...


what the f*&%$... that's a horrible way to wake up.

before i knew it, i was awake and standing in the hall. i'm not even sure if i walked there, or if the beeping scared me enough to fly me across the room.

it's early still and the whole house is a bustle. everyone agreed with me: that's a horrible way to wake up. although, just across the hall, my brother is still soundly asleep. the whole house could crumble around his ears, and he would still manage to sleep well into the afternnon, waking only after considerable harassment from my mother.

for anyone wondering how the 'phone lady' was invited into our home abruptly this morning, my conclusion is that timo called her. he's a smart kitty, and is always coming up with interesting ways to wake us up in the morning. the only other reasonable explanation is ghosts... always a possibility.

Thursday, December 8, 2005

My name is Alison, and I have an addiction

I’m addicted. Hopelessly, and helplessly. What? you ask, is the object of my uncontrollable desire.


That shiny blue aluminum can, cool to the touch. That hiss of escaping carbonation when the tab is pulled open. The sweet delectable taste of the thick beverage, and the rush of sugar and caffeine.

I feel I must explain how all this came to be. I was a devout coke-head not too long ago. But then my brother-in-law took a job promoting Pepsi, the fine salesman that he is – Quaker to be exact. Since then, Coke is forbidden in this household, and all things Pepsi flow plentifully… too plentifully. The refrigerator is constantly being restocked, just when I think I may be getting a much needed forced withdrawal period. In fact, I find myself drinking it faster just so that it is gone, and cannot taunt me from the shelf in the refrigerator in all their aluminum glory. But just when I am getting close, maybe two or three left, a whole new case finds its way magically into the house. How do it know?

In an attempt to alleviate my guilt and thwart your growing view of me as a person of no will, I must point out that I have a medical condition. As a migraine sufferer, the necessity of caffeine in my diet fuels my Pepsi addiction. For anyone who doesn’t know, a migraine attack causes the blood cells in my wee little head to swell up, causing pain as they attempt to fit into places they just aren’t the right size for. The caffeine counters this effect by shrinking the blood cells so that they can pass easily. It’s a fine balance of course – too much caffeine and I get a migraine, no caffeine and I get a migraine, just enough caffeine can keep the migraines at bay, and when my caffeine levels are low I can often take a quick shot of my liquid gold and the migraine usually subsides.

Does it mean anything that I have never had a drop of coffee in my life?

Everything is bad for you nowadays, anyway. And the negative effects of caffeine have been greatly exaggerated, as have the dangers of so many other things. That’s societies kick: keep ‘em scared, everything is dangerous. Well, I like to live on the wild side.

Everyone is addicted to something. I’m just willing to admit it.

The game, you lose.

Christmas Collection (Disc Two): Second Week of December

  1. Copeland – Do You Hear What I Hear

  2. Dave Matthews Band – Christmas Song

  3. Dido – Christmas Day

  4. Dismemberment Plan – This Christmas

  5. Eels – Christmas Is Going To The Dogs

  6. Jimmy Eat World – Last Christmas

  7. No Doubt – Oi To The World

  8. Pretenders – 2000 Miles

  9. Queen – Thank God It’s Christmas

  10. Sarah Mclachlan – Song For A Winter’s Night

  11. Sheryl Crow – Blue Christmas

  12. Sheryl Crow & Eric Clapton – Merry Christmas Baby

  13. Sufjan Stevens – What Child Is This Anyway

  14. The Beach Boys – Little Saint Nick

  15. The Beatles – Christmas Time (Is Here Again)

  16. The Eagles – Please Come Home For Christmas

  17. The Flaming Lips – A Change At Christmas

  18. The Long Winters – Christmas With You Is The Best

  19. Weezer – The Christmas Song

  20. Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas

…. I am running out of Christmas music, though. The third week mix may be sub par. Stay tuned!

... one day at a time

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Days, that is....

still not lucid... it should be so obvious, since I am in the most random places, with the most random people. stupid, stupid, stupid....
Am I dreaming?
Am I dreaming?
Am I dreaming?
Am I dreaming?.....

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Sticky Tab Countdown Continues

... Last night i dreamt that i was in some random bathroom with windows all over the door and the lights wouldn't work. Now, silly me missed a weird-bathroom-typical-alison-dreamsign on top of missing the obvious lucidity test of flicking the light switch and not having it work. I'm so dumb, i just thought to myself 'how do these stupid lights work?' I hate missed opportunities... so far my quest for lucidity has not been working out, but i will continue trying. Send me dream vibes!

Monday, December 5, 2005

The Awakening

So, if at the moment of lucidity we are suddenly ‘awake’ in our dreams and we have this somewhat heightened perception, and we are able to make things happen than prior to that moment, we must have just been running on autopilot and we didn’t notice anything was wrong. Clearly the experience did not feel substantially different to us from our waking life that we even notice an oddity and deduce that we are in a dream. Even through wild romps through strange lands fighting giant robots. But anyone who has been lucid will probably tell you that being ‘awake in a dream’ is a totally different experience from either waking or dream life. What does this say about that way we live our waking lives?

I’m struck now by the importance of this limbo period in my life. Limbo though, now, not the most appropriate word, for I see it now more as my ‘awakening’. The recent attraction to dreams, the early summer dream journal, the limited means for outside social contact, the office in my bedroom, the title of my blog… It’s been staring me in the face this whole time. It is the time for lucid dreams. It is the time for learning in my sleep that which I cannot learn while I am ‘awake’. It is the time to overcome all my personal demons. It is the time for sleep….

“Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.” ~Thoreau

Let The Countdown Begin

Saturday, December 3, 2005

I must be dreaming

I’m a lucky dreamer. I can do everything in dreams. I can read in dreams, I can taste in dreams, I can fly in dream, I can stay in dreams when I’m lucid, I dream in colour, and I seem to be able to remember at least one dream every night. Most people I talk to say they don’t dream and of course they do, they just don’t remember them. My life would be that much less interesting if I didn’t remember my dreams. As for the lucid dreaming and the waking memories of dreams, I believe all this takes is a little practice. For example, if you try flicking the lights on and off in a dream and they don’t work then you are dreaming. If you look at a clock and then look back and it doesn’t say the same time, then you are dreaming. But you have to start remembering to do this in waking life as well, so that it will become habitual and you will remember to do it in a dream. Once you are lucid, many people express difficulty staying in the dream. I’m sure this just takes a little practice too… I’ve read about some twirling technique. But I never really looked into it, because I never had a problem with this. Lucid dreaming is a fascinating experience, and apparently you can make a lot of the experience and learn a lot from the people in it if you are asking the right questions. All I ever do in a lucid dream is fly. I don’t know why… it’s just the first thing I do and then I get all wrapped up in flying. It’s exhilarating. But these are all things everyone can do, it just takes a little practice.

What I really wanted to talk about was the other things that I’ve heard other people can’t do. Let me first discuss dreaming in colour. Now, I don’t think I have ever found anyone who does not dream in colour, so if anyone reading this has experience black and white dreams please let me know because I’m beginning to think this is a myth. Moreover, how do these people not know they are dreaming all the time?? Seems like an easy way to lucidity. But then again, some pretty bizarre and unrealistic things have happened in my dreams and with my ‘reality checker’ down, I couldn’t figure out it was not real. It’s probably the same thing with black & white dreams. I’d like to have one of these non-colour dreams… like you are part of some old-timey movie. Not just filming it, but actually trapped in it. Cool… and bizarre.

Then again, I’ve always wondered if more people dream in black & white and just remember it in colour later, because our minds fill in the blanks. If this is the case, I still know that I dream in colour (at least some of the time) because I remember dreams where colour played a distinct role. You should have seen that huuuge shimmery technicolour horsefish lost in the rainforest jungle. Now that was a killer dream.

Reading in dreams is another experience that most people do not have in dreams and this one I have verified. Most people agree that they have never read in dreams. Some say they have tried and it’s blurry, but others say they don’t think they have ever tried so can’t be sure. (as a side note, reading appears to be like looking at the time, in that if you go back to read again, the words have changed and this is a sure fire way to achieve lucidity if you can get past your own confusion over the discrepancy which can become a frustrating focus of the dream if you can’t get past it. Since we don’t remember details when reading over long distances in waking life anyway, this test doesn’t work when reading long passages, but for signs and IM messages and such, this should work). Overall it seems as though I am part of a small minority of people that can read in dreams. I always wonder what this means about me.

One time I read a nautical book. It was a long book and basically I spent quite a long period of time simply reading the book, which is interesting because I know nothing about sailing and the book was full of terms and pictures which I must have been making up. I should have written down some of the information I learned when I woke up to see if I was making up the right terms, which would mean that I was accessing some sort of storage of facts that must not have come from me, or at least not my present life. Which has important implications for the study of past lives and universal consciousness.

Last night in my dream, I read a letter that was sent to me by a friend. In it, he told me he didn’t drink coffee because it would interfere with activities such as rock climbing, hiking, yoga, etc. The letter was three pages and typed, but I couldn’t remember having gotten it in the mail, so it took me a while to figure out I was reading a letter. Probably something like having amnesia.

I wrote a dream song on the piano last night, as well. The mapping between the pitch and the key on the piano became mapped out perfectly in my head, and I hope I can hold on to that intuition when I get my waking life keyboard soon – YAY YAY YAY!

To conclude today’s blog, I will provide you with a list of some of my favourite dreams:

  1. I was putting on a concert, playing a song that I must have been making up in my dream. This part is cool enough, but to top it off I was playing to a crowd made up solely of the Beatles (dozens of Pauls, dozens of Ringos, dozens of Georges, dozens of Johns). The Beatleseses were totally grooving to my music!!!

  2. I got lost on some beautiful island but unlike waking life, I wasn’t nervous about it at all. I adventured all over. I got some amazing aerial shots of the whole island because I was in the air for a some portions of the dream. I wasn’t flying in my regular way, but rather was being carried by some invisible force and I would decide where on the island to be dropped. Talking about the dream later in waking life came up with some interesting thoughts on reincarnation. I got some weird singing sandals later in the dream and then my waking life/dream boy and I went to the grocery store.

  3. I was at a Pearl Jam concert and they were playing some amazing songs I had never heard before. My best friend was with me and he ended up on stage with Pearl Jam, his waking life favourite band, and he sang a song with them. At this point, he jumps into the crowd for some body surfing. He was crushed in the crowd and died – I did not love this last part. It actually made me so nervous that I called my friend the whole next day to make sure he was alive. I couldn’t get in touch with him all day which made me incredibly anxious. This is one of my favourite dreams because when I told him about the dream, he thought it was so amazing and was happy to have lived it in my dream. The most incredible part of this story is that he actually did live to meet Pearl Jam in waking life, and incredibly but unfortunately he also died in waking life. I will keep the memory of this dream alive for him.

  4. I once had an adventure/thriller dream, running around some strange town with Matt Good. There was a guy with nails in his head, and a mob chasing us for stealing something, which I think we might have actually done, but I recall there being a valid explanation for thieving but there was no time to explain that to the angry mod. Amidst all the panic and fleeing, I made out with Matt Good – as a side note, has anyone seen his wife? I recently stumbled upon her entertaining blog (, and daaaamn she’s a fine looking woman. I even have a bit of a girl crush on her. For some reason I never expected Matt Good to marry such a well put together girl… but then again, he is a rock star with all the typical rock star appeal. On the Beautiful Midnight album there is a song called ‘Jenni’s song’ and I wonder if that is just a coincidence or if he has known her for a long time and if she did in fact ‘kill her dad with her car’. If I wasn’t listening only to Christmas music now, I would put on that album right now and listen to ‘the Future is X-rated’ over and over again for old times.

  5. I used to have this recurring dream where my uncle would place me on this broken down wall overlooking a foggy, dank water setting. He would then leave me there, and from there on the dream would be different. But every time I would be kidnapped by a stranger – these dreams stopped when my uncle died in waking life and I believe they were predicting the abandonment. Anyway, in this particular version of the dream, I was captured by red stick people. I suppose it was terrifying at the time, but it’s one of my most interesting dreams. I was pretty calm in the dream though, and the stick people told me to sleep but I couldn’t sleep without my pink stuffed elephant (I was quite young at the time). I convinced them to let me go get it and I would come right back. Of course, I took off to my mother’s side as soon as they let me out, and hid there. I really pulled the wool over their eyes! Red stick people… damn, that’s so weird. I never even noticed I was dreaming!

I could go on about dreams forever… so I won’t.

Damn, I just lost ‘The Game’ again.

Friday, December 2, 2005

'The Game' - you lose

I spent the whole night dreaming about ‘The Game’, Soul Crucible and blogging. It wasn’t restful. On top of that, I couldn’t get to sleep for hours thinking about all the productive things I am going to do with the house to myself. I will need to add shoveling to the list, as it seems the snow has returned…

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Not that I wasn’t enjoying the oddly mild winter we were having so far, but the snow suggests that the weather is just about right for rink making. I can’t wait for the outdoor rink to open and I can strap on a pair of skates at any hour of the day. I need the exercise desperately. I tried the whole running thing a couple weeks ago. I hate running… it didn’t last long. I told myself I would skate when I got the chance so I wouldn’t feel guilty about giving up on another exercise regime. But it’s taking longer than I expected. I need to get out there soon. This motionlessness is seeping into my bones and it makes me ache.

I just thought about ‘The Game’ again – you lose.

The radio has started its crusade against Christmas carols. They play the most obnoxious Christmas tunes on the radio in this city. I should send them my list, but I don’t listen to the radio enough to care. The only time I hear the radio is in the brief moment after I wake up and before I slam the snooze button for the hundredth time. (I ‘snoozed’ for three hours this morning before I rolled out of my bed and into my ‘office’ – the chair next to my bed). But one of the most upsetting ways to wake up is with a crappy Christmas carol assault. I slammed that snooze button with a little more attitude that time.

I have big plans for this weekend. I’ll keep you posted.

Anybody want to make bets that I don’t do a damn thing, and dream most of the weekend away?... it’s a pretty safe bet, but then again I am feeling a little manic these days.

Christmas Collection (Disc One): December First

As promised, I have come up with a killer Christmas Playlist. Killer, that is, if you have the exact same taste in music as me. I hope to come up with one for every week of December. It’s tough coming up with 80 minutes worth of traditional and non-traditional Christmas music that won’t drive you insane. The Christmas theme is in your face just enough to remind you of holiday pleasantries, and is subdued enough to allow you to listen again and again. I hope that throwing that goal into blog space, I may feel more pressure to actually do it. That would be a nice Christmas collection – I love alliteration.

I should point out that 70% of the music from the OC’s Christmas Mix makes it onto my list. It makes up well under half of the full set, but still speaks to the OC’s ability to pick music – I’ve been fighting it since Imogen Heap. I still hold a special place in my disgraceful pile for the OC, without ever having seriously watched one full episode, but I must admit their mixes often pleasantly surprise me. But it seems like most shows these days have exceptional music editors (if that’s the correct job title)… I suppose it is their job to know music.

So here it is:

  1. Ron Sexsmith – Maybe This Christmas ( my personal fave
  2. Matt Pond PA – Holiday Road
  3. John Lennon – So This is Christmas
  4. Beatles – White Christmas (rare)
  5. Death Cab For Cutie – Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)
  6. Rooney – Merry Xmas Everybody
  7. The Who – Christmas
  8. Ben Kweller – Rock of Ages
  9. Smashing Pumpkins – Christmas Time
  10. Coldplay – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
  11. The Raveonettes – The Christmas Song
  12. Leona Naess – Christmas
  13. Bright Eyes – Away in a Manger
  14. Marah – Baby it’s Cold Outside
  15. Binto Family – Is Christmas Tomorrow?
  16. Eels – Everything’s Gonna Be Cool This Christmas
  17. Elton John – Step Into Christmas
  18. Paul McCartney – Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time
  19. Low – Just Like Christmas
  20. The Flaming Lips – Christmas at the Zoo
  21. The Kinks – Father Christmas
  22. Greg Lakes – I Believe in Father Christmas
  23. The Travelling Wilburys – Christmas All Over Again


"I'm going to have dreams about that huge sword tonight. And I'll be angry in every one of them."

She's not lying. She speaks on both our behalves.

"I'll be better next time, I'll kick your ass."

"I think I'm retiring my character.”

I want another chance at him.

“I can’t believe we just played four hours of video games.”

I can’t believe I played four hours of video games. I couldn’t even drag myself away. I loved it. I reveled in it. I swore too much. I got my ass kicked and I kicked some ass.

The adrenaline is still pumping fresh. I finished off the night in dramatic fashion taking down ‘TheGame’, Chad’s Self-Made Special Creation who just so luckily managed to get the longest sword imaginable, which made him practically unbeatable. I must admit now - as honesty is heightened also by ‘TheGame’… *but, more on that later… You all lost by the way, just now- that my advantage was somewhat increased by my never-ending energy supply. Of Course Chad could have always thrown me off the edge in typical Chad fashion, so there was still a challenge involved; I just had to eventually tire him out and try to stay in the ring. Maybe if I had gotten the special stick turn ramming log, but luck wasn’t with me. Let Chad have his glory tonight.

Soul Caliber III
hasn’t seen the last of me.

I have grown quite attached to the character Astaroth. This picture doesn’t do him justice. Despite the tough exterior, he has a sort of friendly protector thing going on. and one huuuge axe. We bonded.

I was initially going about it all wrong. Mashing away at buttons, not paying attention to patterns, and basically watching my characters sporadically pull a great move while I hadn’t the slightest idea what they were going to do next. I was just playing around. I wasn’t taking it seriously. Gradually I learned that you must stick with one character and eventually you start to notice the patterns and you can begin to progress. The most important realization upped my game substantially: You don’t watch yourself play, you watch the other guy and you just kind of feel your reactions and be one with the game, and suddenly your hands are very naturally pressing the correct buttons. It must be that someone very accurately mapped the motion of the fingers to some kind of process in the body that imagines the action. It’s incredible, and mind boggling. How could someone actually code something like that. Either that, or the result on the screen has little to do with the buttons on the controller and more to do with the imagination. Both explanations are hard to believe.

Before tonight I hadn’t played video games in years. The last time was a brief stint during first year of University when someone conjured up an old MarioKart game. We remembered then, the reason why I had stopped playing video games at some point in my youth – in fact, most games at all. I’m too competitive. Not only do I love to win, and act out violently, but in my egocentric mind I believe that everyone would be experiencing loss in the same way that I do so that when I win I feel bad for what they must be going through. It’s a no-win situation. I’ve managed to subdue the violent rage or, more accurately, direct it onto more inanimate objects.

I learned a valuable lesson in the arena of game playing: laughter. It’s simple and it very efficiently releases a lot of negative energy. Chad was instrumental in this area. He kept his head. He kept us calm. He kept us laughing.

Sarah is also very competitive. I love her for it. It’s much easier to play games with other competitive people. You are on the same page. The string of gibberish cursing and temper tantrums into the air are more appropriate, less embarrassing and, it should be noted, when not repressed to hide this ‘flaw’ – though of course, flaws are all relative – are quite a cathartic release. Teamed up with laughter, the tension is sufficiently eased while still maintaining that edge necessary to dominate in this particular arena.

During extra tense moments, I spent my break immersed in my guitar. This worked to quickly take me away from the game - *we just lost again, by the way – and the somewhat pleasant frustration that often came along with it, but it also removed me too far from the game, so when my turn returned I had to waste precious time getting back into the game. My energy was often drained three times over before I got my bearings again. It’s hard to get into that Zen mindset.

It’s all practice.

Another way to practice this is to play what is called *‘The Game’ – or so that’s what we call it. Basically, you play like this:

  1. don’t think about ‘The Game’; and

  2. when you do think about ‘The Game’ you have lost the game and you have to tell everyone else that you lost ‘The Game'.

It’s simple, and it runs on the honour system and it’s kind of continually running. You are probably like me and are thinking right now how dumb the game sounds. But once the idea is in your head, it’s kind of hard to stop it. Basically, the game starts to get good when you play it with people you see a lot, or talk to a lot because when you think of ‘The Game’ and tell everyone you lost ‘The Game’, essentially everyone is now thinking of ‘The Game’ and everyone lost. When you start losing because someone else lost and told you, you realize how attached you are to the game, cause you are slightly peeved that you lost ‘The Game’… and you are addicted. Just see for yourself. Apparently, it’s a game started up a number of years ago and it’s going on in lots of places in the world. That’s random information sort of pulled from hazy memories of the evening, so I don’t know how much of that is true… but sounds true enough. I just started playing, but apparently it becomes a pretty big game and a source of purpose in even the most meaningless of tasks.

Voicemail message: “We’re just calling to say that Sarah and Chad just lost ‘The Game’.”

We’ve been losing all this time, damnit!

Not only does it become quite a fun game, but I believe it is also a good mind workout. After playing for a small period of time, you quickly notice that you realize you are thinking of ‘The Game’ much faster than initially – you learn to recognize your own thoughts much faster. Also, you learn to clear your mind faster – at first, it takes a short while for you to get thoughts of ‘The Game’ out of your head, before you can officially start ‘The Game’ (basically, someone announces the loss, and then people are thinking about it, and then you don’t talk about it and eventually you aren’t thinking about it anymore). Eventually, ‘The Game’ drops quickly from your mind. Essentially, meditation, which takes great mind control, teaches you to quickly recognize thoughts and disregard them quickly, enabling you to hold onto a state of conscious thoughtlessness for longer and longer. Alongside mind control benefits, this game also begins to strengthen the honesty reflex. Originally, I thought to myself ‘this is a dumb game and these guys are idiots, because I am going to win by just not saying anything’… if you think that, you just try to play ‘The Game’ by not thinking about ‘The Game’ when you are trying to not think about how you are cheating at ‘The Game’ the whole time. You develop an honest reflex, or you go mad. That and you are peeved at yourself for losing the game and want to bring the rest of the players down with you. All in all, fortifying these habits through this game, ensure greater mind control.

It’s all practice.

Eventually we’ll have the whole world onto ‘The Game’. You’ll be standing at a bus station amongst strangers when someone mumbles forcibly, “The Game, damnit,” followed by a collective groan and everyone will go back to work erasing their minds – a universal bond. We’re all in the same race, we might as well be playing the same game.

Can you hear the hum?

It’s called collective Zen.

We’re all a part of it.

Thursday, December 1, 2005

Merry December First!

The Webcam. Who would have thought it would be so much damn fun?

I messed with the settings so it doesn't look backwards to me... but i guess that means it looks backwards to everyone else. but who really cares? i also figured out how to make it black and white, which means i can record videos and have them seem all old-timey. i should make an old-timey christmas recording.
Speaking of Christmas: it is now December 1st, which means (a) i totally forgot about making my loan payment yesterday; and (b) time to listen to only Christmas music... which may sound like it would drive you insane, but I have been searching all November for the right mix of traditional and non-traditional to make this December's music that much more enjoyable. I don't usually make it all the way to Christmas listening to only Christmas music, but I am going to try hard this year.... a little punk Christmas, a little rock Christmas, a little indie Christmas, a little Hip-Hop Christmas, a little jazz Christmas, a little blues Christmas... even a little Country Christmas, which of course because of the alliteration makes it the best one to say despite it being my least favourite of the list. Am i missing anything? I will post my definitive list of Christmas favourites sometime soon, even though no one reads this... but since when does that matter?....But getting back to the original topic: here are some webcam pics with my precious kitties, because of course, they are just so damn cute... for anyone who's counting: the black one is ray, and the gray one is timo.

Happy December First... rock on Christmas!