Tuesday, 29 November 2011

i want to play piano. <--- click here

it's the robot talking

treasure: know thyself

"know yourself the best. people don't tell you who you are, you tell them".

On Facebook, at some point in time I hit "Like" on a page called Quotes. Mainly they're ridiculous, and many's the time I've contemplated un-Liking this page. Quotes- words for people who can't make their own words.

This one today got me thinking. And I'm still not entirely convinced it's not incredbily uncool to jump on a be-yourself motivational bandwagon. Fucking hate bandwagons (or maybe I need to research the bandwagon concept... what is a bandwagon anyways?).

There was also a nice blog post this morning about being awesome on HelloGiggles.com. Which was sort of running with the same idea.

I think the important thing to figure out at some point in your early adult life is at least what sort of person you'd like to be. and then accept the fact that realistically, choice and your decisions figures for a portion of your personality, the other parts being how much impact your parents and early life experiences have upon you (read: screwed you up real good).

The hardest part, I've found, is taking that knowledge one step further and realizing the realities of yourself that might not be so nice to look at, the ones you often wish weren't part of you, because they're embarassing, or because they alienate people (or make them run screaming), or because they set you apart from others in a way that makes you feel alone.

I put forward my opinion here, which is that it is these less comfortable bits, the ones that make you uneasy, are the ones that make you who you are. Or rather, the way you negotiate these less-favorable aspects of yourself reveals to anyone paying actual attention the kind of person you are.

Many of my best friends have their little quirks that I sometimes find difficult to deal with, and I'm sure they do too. However, the reason they're all counted by me as best friends is they know, acknowledge and give a wry shrug to their quirks. By no means are any of us perfect.

I used to be really hard on myself about my own quirks. My temper which I can't hide. My need to win, to be right, my unwillingness to accept advice, no matter how well-meant. My inability to let go of the tight control I imagine I have on everything around me. My constant and obsessive habit of planning ahead. I realize now, I'm something of a crazy person.

The best thing I ever did as far as knowing myself better, as far as accepting the crazy Helen, was to move to Whistler, B.C. and take up snowboarding. Not only am I a novice, which I make myself accept on a daily basis (every time I fall over) but I have something which puts me right smack-bang into the right now, and gives my poor brain that second of relief from over-thinking every single little thing.

Riding = winning.

That's what I know about myself. Nobody told me riding would do that for me, because nobody knew. I try to think of the whole deal as a privledge; in knowing yourself you have insight to a whole world at nobody else can really get at. I've focused on the negatives, but the flipside is all the little awesome things that make you who you are: the awesomeness. The HelloGiggles blog noted that the key to awesome is to own every single thing you do.

So, here goes:

Yes, I do love to blog because it gives me a chance to say what I want to say uninterrupted. Yes, sometimes what I want to say is a load of self-indulgent crap. But I don't care! That's what this blog is for me. I've spent a lot of my life listening, and now I'm talking! LOUD NOISES!

And that's why I'm awesome, because I know it.

Monday, 28 November 2011

the people you've been before that you don't want around anymore

Drink up baby, stay up all night
With the things you could do
You won't but you might
The potential you'll be that you'll never see
The promises you'll only make
Drink up with me now
And forget all about the pressure of days
Do what I say and I'll make you okay
And drive them away
The images stuck in your head

The people you've been before
That you don't want around anymore
That push and shove and won't bend to your will
I'll keep them still

Drink up baby, look at the stars
I'll kiss you again between the bars
Where I'm seeing you there with your hands in the air
Waiting to finally be caught
Drink up one more time and I'll make you mine
Keep you apart, deep in my heart
Separate from the rest, where I like you the best
And keep the things you forgot

The people you've been before
That you don't want around anymore
That push and shove and won't bend to your will
I'll keep them still

- elliott smith, between the bars

secret: i don't want so much, just everything

i'd quite like it if someone wrote me a song.

if bon iver, elliott smith, ben howard, or even adele wrote me a song, i'd be stoked.

i like the small quiet moments of love, but i also, being a girl (having seen the "movies" i believe they call them), wish for a moment of grandeur, of complete and utter romance that is stupid and extravagant. one moment so i was sure that someone really loved me.

not too much to ask, surely.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

treasure: things i doubt, and things i know for sure

(put this on now, it's nice)

do you think it's fair and legitimate to fall in love with someone based on a song they like that you listen to one night, cuddled up in bed alone, wishing you were wearing socks, with a cold nose, annoyed because you should have forced your boyfriend to stay over, even though he's tired from stomping epic 360s on the mountain all day, because he's a furnace?

secret: alex, in the story of my life i would give you three pages

he said: "i have this idea in my head that i should write a book sometime in my life, but im definitely not ready... i promised myself to dedicate you a page when i do".

it's just really fucking nice when someone knows the right thing to say, and they weren't even trying that hard.

the quiz: hello saferide

You look nice alright
and I like the way you nod after everything I say
like it actually means something
to you

And I like your record collection
Townes and Jens with a hint of Rickie Lee
And you've cleaned up the bathroom, made a really nice soup
but a bit too much sci-fi in your shelf with DVDs

But there's some things you need to know about me:
I'm weak right now, real weak right now
I need proof before I dare to open this heart
so I prepared a quiz for you:

Would you freak out if I said I liked you?
Do you walk the line?
Is your IQ higher than your neighbour's?
And is it very much higher than mine?

Can you sleep when I grind my teeth?
Do you look away if I slob when I eat?
Will you let me be myself?
Can you at all times wear socks?
because I'm still scared of feet

Do you talk in the middle of Seinfeld?
Do you read more than two books a month?
Do you get racist or sexist when you've had a few?
Is it fine if I make more money than you?

Have you slept with any people I work with?
Is there anyone you'd rather wish I'd be?
Do you still keep pictures of old girlfriends?
Are they prettier than me?

And if I'd fall, would you pick me up?
If I fall, will you pick me up?

treasure: when i grow up ...

... i'll :

  • be able to drive
  • eat vegetables and fruits 7-10 times daily
  • be prepared for unexpected circumstances
  • go to the dentist every 6 months and subsequently never have any fillings
  • give good advice
  • not care what anyone thinks of me
  • own furniture (and not sleep on a mattress on the floor of a room that doesn't have a door)
  • exercise reguarly (let's face it, i'l probably do yoga)
  • have a real job where i am regularly recognized for my hard work (or maybe work for myself, so i can take myself out for celebratory beers when i'm awesome at something)
  • live closer to my family so i can spend memorable occasions with them
  • not be an aspiring alcoholic
  • have political leanings that are well-informed and legitimate
  • respect those who have different values from me
  • go to bed at a sensible bed time
  • never hesitate to tell anyone i love that i love them
  • have plans and goals
  • be better at being a person.

and i also hope i'll be happy.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

secret: why i learned to play the guitar

i learned about music before i even knew to think about it. my mother is the one i have to thank for my musical education: she raised us kids on her mix tapes. we rode in the back seat on long car journeys (sometimes days at a time) listening to the mix tapes she'd made, named after months of the year. i've picked up the habit myself; i make a playlist every month. almost as cool as an old school cassette tape.

we knew all the words. fleetwood mac. dylan. rolling stones. tracy chapman. james taylor. the beatles. neil young. chili peppers, and many more besides. she had an obsession with alanis morrisette's "ironic" which started from the film clip. we had a stereo system set up which meant i could tape from vhs or tv right to a cassette, so mum and i used to tape ABC's "Rage" every saturday or sunday morning and make it into our mix tapes...

inevitably as i stepped into my own PG-rated version of teenage rebellion and angst, there were pockets of pop music. i then went through a snobbish elitist phase at about 15 where i thought i was the only one that "got" radiohead in the whole world, feeling all my angsty feelings that nobody else had ever felt, ever...

at the same sort of time, i asked for a guitar for my 16th birthday. i learned the piano from a young age, then picked up a violin at about 10, and have always been involved in choirs and orchestras through school. music nerd. music camps, the works.

i never really attacked any of these intruments with much persistance, despite taking violin and viola lessons from 10 to 17. the one instrument i do love to use, the one that always travels with me, is my voice. i can sing in tune, i'm pretty sure... crippling self doubt makes me ponder that assumption at times, but mostly i'm pretty sure i can do things in tune. i have horrific stage fright, but i love to sing.

i asked for a guitar at 16 so i could take this show on the road. my first guitar was blue. i loved it even though it was blue. i loved it because it was blue. i learned barre chords. i wrote some horrific poetry and put it to chords. bless.

the first song i learned on guitar was 'house of the rising sun', followed, unexpectedly, by 'stairway to heaven'- little bit of a jump in skill level, but i sucked it up.

i never had any lessons, which is why i plateaued at barre chords. however, i know enough chords now to muddle my way through many easy versions of pop songs i love, which means i can sing to my heart's content in the humble and safe confines of my bedroom. it's like a warm, intimate karaoke-type situation. the songs i've written have also plateaued.

i'm sorry, but in this world of constant self-improvement, bragging and one-upmanship, i do not care that i am never going to be famous. i love music and i learned to play guitar so that on the odd occasion where writing on its own didn't cut it, i had another creative outlet.

i learned to play the guitar to be more alive. i know now i did partly expect to be famous one day, but have since settled for relative obscurity.

i love music more than i love nearly any other thing, just like most others on the planet. it's magical. i want a piece of that action.

coming soon to an open mic near you (probably not).

poetry challenge: some things i said once

i have all sorts of things to say, you know, things i could say in all sorts of poetic ways with you know, words and such. but right now they fail me, through possibly fatigue, or the dramatic imagination i possess.

these are some words i said another time, when i had a better vocabulary and a stronger need to vocalize my hidden pain:

the wind was hot and sweet on the walk home. the scent of candied flower air. the hot nights here are brown, orange, umber, burnt sienna- a list that exhausts my Derwent collection.
our hands held and slipped, slick with sweat they'd made by touching. the heat makes conversation hard. the night we walk through slows and sticks, impossible confectioners mix of marshmallow, toffee, caramel.
i've tried before to make poems to capture to capture my experience of magnificance. they never make it past the first languid line, for to sit holding pen to paper, the waiting for inspiration, that makes droplets which stream down my back, under knees and between crossed legs and ankles.
i lay in bed smelling of my day stuck in airconditioned 9-5 drudgery, but a shower is almost too much work to warrant cool water on hot skin.

actually there's no hidden pain in that one. enjoy.

yeah well, fuck you

secret: stress and anxiety

yeah i know, it's been a while.

been doing things. promise.

the funny thing about doing things when you're doing a lot of them, is that you keep finding more things to do, and the funniest thing is that all you start thinking about is how nice it would be NOT to do any things at all.

this month has been a trial in staying sane. and sometimes i suspect i didn't make it.

stay tuned for more exciting details, some musings, a few scraps of poetry and musics.