Saturday, July 19, 2008

Just one more thing . . . K. D. Lang

I had to add this video of K. D. Lang from her performance on the 2005 Juno Awards.

It's my favourite version of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah and makes me cry every time I see it.


In 1 day, 6 hours, 35 minutes, 40, 39, 38, 37, 36, . . . seconds, I will be flying off to Hawaii (see this earlier post --> from February).

I meant to put up a Sunday Scribblings post about the continuing saga of Debra, but, alas, between procrastination and the inevitable bill-paying, mail-canceling, arranging for someone to take the hanging baskets lest they die a horrible parched and thirst-quenched death because they need daily watering (why does our friend always gives us hanging baskets right before we go away in the summer?), and packing, well, -- I didn't.

I will be gone for about a month. I don't anticipate being back here to post unless I get very inspired (maybe Debra is on a Hawaiian beach) and can drag myself off the beach and into a cyber cafe.

P is for Procrastination

I am the queen of procrastinators. I can procrastinate with the best of them. I could be a professional procrastinator.

From outward appearance, I don't look like a procrastinator. Most people think I am very organized, detail and goal-oriented – accomplishing what I plan - and a glutton for hard work. The thing is, I fool people.

Whereas it's true that I am organized, detail-oriented, et cetera, like the true procrastinator that I am, I leave everything to the last minute. My endless list-making - which makes me appear as though I'm doing something - is, in fact, one of the keys to my procrastination.

Here is my sad and sorry saga:

  • Open an Excel spreadsheet
  • Make a list of things to do (master list)
  • Make sub-lists that detail how I will accomplish the master list
  • Go online and research the things I need to do
  • Bookmark sites I think are useful
  • Take a few detours online via Wikipedia and embedded links from said sites
  • Make a list of the sites I have found online
  • Cut and paste relevant information onto new document, save and print for future reference
  • Re-check original lists and amend according to information found online
  • Print out above lists

You'll notice that I haven't actually accomplished anything at this point, but it looks like I've been very busy.

  • While on the computer anyway, play a game (or two or twenty) of Spider Solitaire; be ready to hit screensaver mode in case somebody happens to walk by and think I'm just goofing off.
  • Take a look at my favourite web forums
  • Check email
  • Take the above printed lists and, with highlighter pen in hand (I like the yellow, but sometimes use fluorescent pink for variety), underline things I want to do first. – i.e. prioritize the to-do lists.
At this point, I will finish one (maybe two) of the tasks.
  • Using pen and ruler, cross out task(s)
This helps me stay somewhat focused and gives me the illusion of accomplishment.
  • Go back onto computer and do same with computer copy (i.e. highlight and cross out)
  • Print another copy
  • Re-read the lists and amend as necessary
  • Repeat from "While on the computer anyway"

I repeat the above until two days before things MUST be done and I realize I've only accomplished about one-half of my to-do list (the master one). I then rush around like a mad-woman in order to finish the to-do items without once looking at the lists again because, by then, I have them embedded into the hard drive of my brain.

This is another Encylopedia of Me post.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

To play without the pain . . .

They seem to me amazingly carefree. They have saved up for this trip and they are damn well going to enjoy it, despite the arthritis of one, the swollen legs of the other. They're rambunctious, they're full of beans; they're tough as thirteen, they're innocent and dirty, they don't give a hoot. Responsibilities have fallen away from them, obligations, old hates and grievances; now for a short while they can play again like children, but this time without the pain.
- From Margaret Atwood's Cat's Eye (1988)

I came across this passage while looking for another quote in Cat's Eye.

It embodies much of how I feel about getting older. I'm not sure exactly when the transition occurred; whether it was a definitive moment or a gradual loosening of binds, but the freedom to enjoy for the sake of enjoyment, to be who I am without worrying about how I look to others only came with my added years. It certainly wasn't evident in my youth.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Confessions of a dance junkie

I love watching So You Think You Can Dance. There. I've admitted it. I not only love watching it, I think I'm more than a tad addicted.

These past few weeks, I've planned my Wednesday and Thursday evenings around the airing of both the performance and results show. Not only do I watch the original broadcast, but I watch the numerous re-runs throughout the week. If that weren't enough, I go onto YouTube and search for videos of my favourite performances. Once I find them, I replay them over and over.

It's all rather pathetic, I know.

I've been watching So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD to the diehards) since the first season (it is now season four).

In past seasons, during the early rounds, I enjoyed watching the dancers adapting to different styles and choreographers; seeing who improved; who didn't. It would usually take me awhile to decide on any real favourites . However, this year, I picked out Katee Shean and Joshua Allen as my favourites from the first Top 20 show.

There are other very good dancers on the show, but what sets Katee and Joshua apart, for me (as Nigel would say), is their total commitment and passion to each and every piece of choreography they are given. They have this fearlessness and ferocity that the others don't quite have. That's not to say they have no fears -- because they do express trepidation of new pieces in their pre-dance interviews – but they seem able to put those fears aside and perform each new piece in a way that is thrilling to watch.

Well, I've gushed on long enough.

Here are a few of their dances:

Their first performance together – Top 20 (hip hop)

Top 14 performance (contemporary)

Top 12 performance (Bollywood)

The couples are split up when they get to the Top 10 (next week), so it will be interesting to see how they look with other partners.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Chance Encounter

(Continuation of a previous SS story).

Not your usual pick up, that's for sure. But who said Prince Charming had to come on a white horse? Besides, she'd always wanted a ride in a hot-air balloon.

As soon as the gate snapped closed, Debra had a brief moment of self-doubt as visions of a news broadcast flashed through her mind, Witnesses said it looked like a giant fireball as the balloon climbed into the sky and then plunged into the RV Park near the U.S. border.

"Oh, stop it! It's only a dream! Enjoy yourself!"

She had a habit of thinking the worst. It was a way to shield herself from the inevitable disappointments in life. Her life philosophy went like this: If she could think of the worst case scenario in any given situation and it didn't happen, then she was ahead of the game; wasn't she.

Debra could still hear the strains of "Someday My Prince Will Come", but it was morphing into something else. She couldn't quite put her finger on it. Oh well, it would come to her later.

She looked up to see the balloon billowing and filling above her head. There didn't seem to be any source to inflate it. Well, at least she didn't have to worry about exploding propane tanks. The basket lifted gently off the sand and rose up, up and away.

Up, Up and Away! That's what the other song was - the Fifth Dimension song. "This isn't a dream, it's a nightmare!"

Now, that she could name it, she couldn't get it out of her head:

Would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon
Would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon
We could float among the stars together, you and I
For we can fly we can fly
Up, up and away
My beautiful, my beautiful balloon
The world's a nicer place in my beautiful balloon
It wears a nicer face in my beautiful balloon
We can sing a song and sail along the silver sky
For we can fly we can fly
Up, up and away

Debra hated the song. She'd always hated it. It was one of her mother's favourite songs; one that she'd play over and over, happily dancing and singing along. "Ha! Lot of good all that happiness did for her."

The syrupy, sweet lyrics made Debra want to gag. It was the antithesis of everything she'd come to know about life. Her life, at least. There is no nicer place, no silver sky, and certainly no "you and I".

How could she get this stupid thing down? And how could she stop the friggin' music?

As her head filled with colourful adjectives, she heard a whooshing sound. A cold wind ripped through the basket of the balloon, knocking her off-balance. The back of her head smacked against the edge of the basket and in the engulfing black fuzziness, she felt herself slide and roll onto the floor.

When Debra opened her eyes, she realized she was back on the beach. Same white blouse, white slacks, white pumps.

There was a figure silhouetted against the blue sky. She squinted to make out details.

"Charles? Is that you?"

For a Sunday Scribblings prompt.