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From the ghost land of the easy life.

Which Revenge of the Sith Character are you?
ghost writer Ambrrrr at 7:09 PM

Mystica. :

I am a gypsy soul. Sometimes because I want to get up and go and sometimes out of necessity. I like change and traveling. I haven’t done much of the latter but the former is my total A Number One buddy. Don’t know why.

I know I’m psychic. Go ahead and laugh. I have dreams about my future – sometimes years in advance. I always remember them. I read tarot cards with frightening accuracy I’m told. I have practiced palmistry, hand writing analysis, I Ching divination, reading playing cards and writing fortunes for my friends. I know when the phone’s going to ring, when something bad is coming down the pike and it irks me when someone says “What? You didn’t see this coming?” – I’d be rich by now if I had that kind of access to the universe. I don’t know if it’s a gift or a curse, I do know people will pay you to tell them things they already know. They also act like you are somehow a giant psycho freak when you talk about these things. I don’t actively do readings for people anymore. Moved around too much to keep that going, but I still do my own. I don’t think your cards can be read over the phone/internet, so I’d never pay a dime for any of those services. I have my own astrology software so I can do chart readings and used to be gung ho about learning all the stellar trines and transits.

Things have passed me by. I want to learn Linux but I’m finding it hard to convince myself I can do it alone. Practice makes better users and I even had a copy installed on my computer last year but I couldn’t figure it out and no one I knew used it. Like the astrology dream, no one I knew was interested and it fell by the wayside as I pursued living and making the rent. It’s funny how you can be meaning to do something, put it down and forget it even exists. That happens with so many things. I’m a little hopeless at remembering things for very long. Like the months I spent learning guitar. I tried everyday to learn 2 chords. No big deal I can do that. I’d play until I couldn’t physically hold the guitar anymore, I got callouses. I broke strings. I never did remember the next day what chords I spent hours practicing the day before. Couldn’t for the life of me remember where to put my fingers to make that sound again. I went to bed praying, “Just let me wake up and play G.” It never happened. All in all I tried learning A, D and G for about 4 months. People came by to cheer me on and ended up learning the chords instead of me. Eventually I sold the guitar; I knew I was pursuing futility.

I went to school for a very long time. I like learning and excel at standardized tests. If it doesn’t have complex math questions or those damnable sequences of subtly different shaded shapes where they show you 4 more and ask which one you think is next (they all look the frigging same to me) – I’ll ace it. If I could remember half of what I forgot, Ken Jennings would be quickly off the Jeopardy top winner’s list. I know he’s second now but I can’t recall the new winner’s name. It’s a curse I swear. The worst part is knowing the information is in there somewhere, I just can’t access it. I know it’s there because I’ve pulled it out and used it before. It always happens when my brain hits panic mode and starts screaming, “Don’t open your mouth you’ll look like an idiot!” and then something oh so intelligent and intriguing comes out. Either I’ve got an uplink to the collective consciousness or I knew that tid bit all the long.

It’s pretty scary not knowing what your brain’s coughing up until it falls out of your mouth for all to hear. But I do turn such pretty shades of red. Mental fur-ball anyone??

I don’t know anyone who wants to look bad in public, drunk or otherwise. I don’t know many things, yet. Someday I’ll have more knowledge in this oversized head of mine. I’m sure of it, and who knows what I’ll have to forget to remember all of it J Oh and I do have a big head. One of my earliest ‘you’re different’ moments in school was the time in grade 3 when we all had to trace outlines of our head and cut them out and frame them for whatever reason. I have a full head of hair I hate it, hairdressers adore it – you try brushing it. I had way more hair then though, mom was going through the total I want girly girls phase and I wasn’t allowed to cut it. She didn’t like brushing it and neither did I.

Anyways it was apparent from the first time that overhead projector came on that my head was bigger than the rest. If I were a little thing I’d look like Vanna White. You know she’s just a bad haircut away from being a bobble head and, well, so am I. I have narrow shoulders, I can’t even carry a purse they’re so rounded, and a wee slip of a neck – therefore I am a human bobble head. I have a hard time buying hats of any kind because they don’t fit, whether my head is shaved bald or not. I don’t have a beautiful baldhead either. I look like a bigheaded freak with no hair. Still for some years I did the whole fringe bangs and ¼ inch stubble thing. I got called dyke a lot and asked what the statement was. I just didn’t want to bother doing my hair is all. I’d had enough of it. That phase really let me know about the people I knew. My mother never asked but boy was she relieve when I got married. PS. I’m not gay. There’s nothing wrong with it, I just really like da mens.

So me and my big head went through life with relatively little event. I suffered blunt force-esque trauma only once. I ran full tilt into a brick wall in kindergarten. Got a concussion and a time out for it too. They made my mom come to the school and check me out. She was pissed and after seeing I wasn’t dead or anything left me there to suffer my own stupidity for the rest of the day. I don’t consider being punched in the face/head, or hitting my head on things, or being hit in the head by things that flew at me outta no where part of the list of reasons I have a hard head. I think that maybe why it’s so big, it’s armour plated. Would explain why a guy equal to me in everyway couldn’t knock me down with repeated headshots and barely left a bruise. Of course I’m serious –said guy was my brother in law and I pressed charges all the way. The low bruising didn’t help a lot but he got a year’s probation and I got a peace bond. Could be I’m just really good at taking a punch.

My head, myself. I have little to no luck with hair accessories. Barrettes fall out of my hair. Ponytail clips tend to snap after a few days/weeks use. I never could stand banana clips, combs fail, bobby pins are annoying, and those ready made head bands that look like pieces of t-shirt sewn together just slide up the back of my head and pull off the front 'til they meet like a huge disappointment in a tangle of hair behind my big head. I have long hair right now (my idea of long, it’s mostly past my shoulders) and my arms hurt trying to braid my hair. I don’t do it well at all. I can’t totally blame that on my big head, my manually dexterity relies heavily upon looking at what I’m actually doing and since I don’t have eyes in the back of my big head I’m lost. If I want braids I have to go to a salon and pay for them. Where in the hairdresser will gush or sigh about my big old head of hair.

My big hair and my big head don’t make me believe I have an ability to see the future. It’s not like I can see your future the same way I see mine. Given a little time and some observation I can figure out the kind of person you are and what you’re apt to do under certain circumstances. That’s all being a reader is, being observant and able to pick up visual clues from the person to let you know if what you’re saying rings true. I know myself which is why I’ve been oh so disappointed when I turn to someone else for a reading. It’s never accurate. They never get me right and usually they contradict themselves giving me my future. It must be because I’m so good at retreating into my big head that the reader can’t judge whether or not they are on the right track. Or maybe it’s because I’m MUD.

I’m a Capricorn, born o the cusp of Aquarius. I display traits of both signs, much to my detriment. Being that Capricorn is a workaholic homebody and Aquarius is a nonconformist social butterfly. I often get hog tied by my warring natural tendencies. I’m 2 girls in one, and all my personalities have something to offer and they’re well acquainted. It’s taken years to mix the 2 sides and so I’m either working like there’s no tomorrow or rebelling from it by doing bupkiss in a big way. It’s why I call myself a slacker. While half of me really wants to try it takes so much out of me to convince that half of me can’t be bother that ultimately nothing gets done. In other words as much as I’m all JUST DO IT ALREADY I’m also incredibly indecisive and unable to decide which IT to do. It may have nothing at all to do with my sun signs; it could be my life number has taken a slide to the dark side, whatever it is I’m trying to fix it I swear.

I’m not excessively spiritual. I don’t belong to or attend any formally recognized religious community services. I have my own beliefs and they do well to get me through the daily grind. My body is a temple with it’s own religious iconography – that’s right I have tattoos. I like tats and dying my hair, I wear 8 earrings but only my ears are pierced. I don’t want anything more. I remember asking my dad if I could get my ears pierced and he pulled out the big scare guns telling me how it’d be done with a red hot giant needle and if God had wanted holes in my ears he’d have put them there. I told my dad that it was the 80’s and now they used a gun to pierce ears. I didn’t tackle God; my da wasn’t even religious so despite my wondering what was up with that - it wasn’t a point I wanted to argue. I went on the school trip and my da didn’t talk to me for over a month afterward. I was his wanton daughter then. He never lived to see me paint my rented university room china red. Poor dad woulda beat me senseless for that J Always the rebel – even when there’s nothing to rebel against. Just old echoes of voices in my head.

Onto another tangent. I love being different. I’m getting quite a kick out of being single again. Not really newly minted but feeling fresh enough to go the distance. I’m stuck in a small town though, so the dating pool is so limited. I’m trying to meet folks online – but that bankruptcy thing really limits my online dating site membership. Everything costs these days. Just a few years ago a girl could get online and chat away for free. Good times. For a while there I was even a playa. Well it didn’t last long and it didn’t make me happy. Not permanently anyways, and it really freaked my then friends out. It’s so fun to shatter people’s illusions of you, in a good way of course. I’m not going to go axe murder someone just so people will stop thinking I’m nice, but I’ll tear a strip off anyone who crosses me. They never see it coming. Now don’t go thinking I’m one of those who just goes along being all sweet and then one day BAM I rip you to shreds. I just don’t take no guff from no one. I stand up for myself. Really, who else will?

I do rely on first impressions. How I feel about you, the identifying words that pop into my head when we first meet will always rule how I feel about you. It really doesn’t have anything to do with what you say, do or how you look. I get this little pop up feeling in my head that tells me if I should or shouldn’t trust you and if I go against it, things always end up badly. My feelings about people I meet have never been wrong, but they have changed over time. I didn’t much care for this girl I met once and years later met her again and felt differently about her. We became good friends. Earlier on mustn’t have been the right time for us to meet. I’ve gone against my ‘gut’ feeling many times and always lived to regret it. It works for me and so I believe in it. Saves time and hurt feelings all the way around I think.

The world says to me that I should be many things, buy many things and be happy. I don’t believe any of that. I am a consumer, but I try to be picky, environmentally friendly and involved in my community. If I ever stopped moving around the latter might get much easier for me. I tend to be soft spoken and seem aloof; I like to know what I’m getting into before I commit to anything. Mostly because I have this velcro soul. I get attached to people so easily. I can find something to hold onto about anybody, even those that are not so nice to others or me. There are people out there with no redeeming qualities, I’ve met them, seen them on tv and feel the chill of their presence in my dreams. I hold out hope that one day they will take a good look at themselves and change their ways. See, I find a way to see something good in everybody, I also see the rest of it too. I’m not blind and I’m not into making excuses for bad behaviour.

See I believe we’re all responsible for ourselves here. You screw up you gotta take the blame, consequences and make amends. Some people never learned that, some can’t say sorry to save their lives and others are so responsible that anything anyone does they feel it’s their fault. Been there, done that, cancelled the world tour. I’m on just this side of being responsible and taking it on the chin when I fuck up. I’ve got the karma thing down. I’ve got some good will in the bank and I know when to pull a punch or when to walk away. I know myself. I need some friends. So if you want to, drop a line. Maybe I’ll tell you your future.

ghost writer Ambrrrr at 1:47 PM

the horrible card table excuse for a chair that I borrowed :
Thirteen pictures and one stepping stool later this is the aforemnetioned chair. I like the blue. Since I'm a perfectionist I'm compelled to say ,"It was the best Picasa and I could do."

the chair Posted by Hello
ghost writer Ambrrrr at 11:41 AM

30 May 2005

Human Concentrate. :
There’s a certain convention that dictates that paying attention to something, to the exclusion of all else, is bad. Okay maybe that’s the slacker convention, but really I have the attention span of a gnat. I make stuff up. Welcome to me.

I miss Sparky (the ferret) the most. She was a fabulous pal and smart as a whip. She loved raisins and died one weekend while I was in Toronto. She has been missed.

Cats are just little dogs if you ask me. I have trained all of mine to know there name and I have one currently who actually loves to play fetch. He’s a jumper too. You can get him to jump for play toys and treats. If they made catnip Frisbees I think he’d learn to fly. Even if he didn’t he’d be an excellent Frisbee cat, I guarantee it. He won’t be mine for long, my allergies have gotten the best of me so shortly he will be finding a good home with this couple. It’s really bonus for him because there’ll be someone around all the time, which is way more than I am. He’ll have the constant attention he craves. Really I’ve never met such a demanding cat. He must have been a famous in another life and just can’t stop begging for the spotlight now he’s moved down a notch.

This is all true by the way.

I got myself those new maple flavoured frosted mini wheats. I haven’t tried the giant whack of maple flavoured candy bars and other such thing that have appeared as of late. I did enjoy the Star Wars dark chocolate M&M’s; the creepy pastel shaded milk chocolate peanuts really aren’t my thing though. I like dark chocolate, always have and it has those yummy anti oxidants so it’s now a sort of health food. Just knowing that gives me the whole “Look at me being the good girl and all” buzz while I’m eating them. Like all the sugar is in anyway ‘good’ for me. Really I’d still eat it if it came with a giant warning saying I could get cancer from it. I could get cancer from being near a computer all day too – I’m taking my chances and living dangerously.

Back to the whole Idea of concentration. I’m an entirely different person when I concentrate. I get tunnel vision and my hearing tunes out everything else around. I can’t sustain this kind of concentration for more than a few hours. My body gets tired way before my brain does and then my body demands that I take it, at least, out of the horrible card table excuse for a chair that I borrowed – I don’t own any furniture outside of some shelves, a dresser and a bed – if not take it out for a walk.

Once my concentration is broken by said demands I then need a few hours/days/weeks to be able to get into the groove of fine focus again. I’d love to say the act of concentrating becomes all encompassing but as far as that goes it’s not. I have to work at. I’ve become very aware of when I’m concentrating too much on some unimportant thing and I pull back from it and remind myself I need to save that energy up not spend it willy nilly. It can be hard to come by and harder to hold onto but it really gets the results.

There is this thing that happens to me sometimes. I get this expression of complete and utter concentration and people will actually come up to me and ask me if I’m alright and why I look so serious. At those times, and this is a huge secret that no one I tell it to can believe, I’m actually thinking nothing. If you were to open a door and look into my brain you should be seeing a giant empty room with tasteful light hardwood floors of course. It’s what I see when I think of total emptiness; you can see what you want to see. Insert your idea of emptiness here.

When I concentrate for real I tend to make faces. Any girl worth her salt knows that applying mascara has a trick to it and being that I have a small depth perception problem I need to concentrate to do it. This usually involves making a face of some sort. Usually mouth open, varying degrees of tongue sticking out. I bet at any given time you can get a glimpse of my tonsillectomy scar as I tilt my head around trying to colour, curl and separate. It’s not as hard as getting my contact lenses in, I swear I have flat eyes the way those suckers keep popping out – but it’s close. Usually concentrating feels like I’m reacting to a conversation that really isn’t happening. I can feel my face moving around from smile to interested to whatever other looks. I’m not that interested in watching myself so there ends the list.

I used to concentrate on tv. There really is no better way to turn my mind off. Really it’s so sedating and I like my tv to be all fantasy. I don’t watch the news if I can help it. I’m old fashioned that way, I prefer to read my news that way I can give it the emphasis I want where I want it. I can’t do much for bias, except read many different accounts of the same event. Just like listening to reviews of movies or music I think, never take the first thing you hear to be the ultimate truth. And let me tell you I’m a full on personal-experience-rules person. No one will ever be able to convince me of something because so and so said or because they didn’t like it. The first time I had Mahi Mahi (a type of fish by the way) I ordered it Cajun style. I broke out in hives from it, and I am not allergic to fish - it was the coating it was in, I’m sure of it. I’d still eat Mahi Mahi again just not Cajun fried. I’d tell anyone who wanted to know if it’s good to try it themselves. I don’t remember much about the meal other than I broke out in body hives about an hour afterward. I was concentrating on something else, also known as the third date.

I’m trying to limit my daily tv to a few hours; since I used to be a marathon coach potato this is a big thing for me. It’s like losing a good friend in a way. Something that has always been there to fill up my wasted time and life with colour and some ludicrous but funny stories. Let me just say I make no apologies for liking tv. I like tones of tv. I adored Buffy and Angel. Lived for the X-files from season one ‘til the very last episode of season 9. I saw the movie and I will see whatever else comes out to do with it. I am a fan. I enjoyed Sex and the City, got Lost this year, spies are a thing for me so I keep up with Alias. I liked Eyes; it was my kind of humour – figures it got cancelled. I like Star Trek – all of it. I like Star Wars 4-6; I’m hoping that #3 redeems what happened to the franchise. Star Wars 1and 2, for me it’s been all about the droids and Yoda so far, and that said there hasn’t been enough of them. I hear Yoda kicks ass in this one and since I’ve seen the rest why stop now. How long ‘til it hits DVD? This place doesn’t have a movie theatre.

I’ve been told that a person can’t like both Star Trek and Star Wars. I don’t see why not. They’re both about space and people and aliens and spacecraft. Loads of similarities here, not much reason why not. I think the people that say that are narrow minded. To me it’s like saying you can’t like pizza and beer. They are very different things that can be enjoyed together or alone. I’m sure saying this is some sort of sacrilege to Star Wars fans, maybe Trekkies too, but hey I’m being honest so don’t come out of the wood work to school me in my naiveté While I welcome your opinion, it will never be mine. I like NCIS, Marc Harmon rocks, Tony Danza brightens my am and if I’m home and it’s on I play Jeopardy. I’ll watch anything in a pinch and have worked French tv into my life in an effort to help me learn some of the other official language. I won’t be getting a PPP rating on fluency anytime soon but it can’t hurt right?

I find it best to not concentrate when I watch French tv. I pick shows I know from watching them in English, but if I concentrate all I end up doing is trying to lip read the actors and determine what they said. I totally stop listening to the spoken French and that is the entire point of watching in the first place. I figure if I get really good at it I can graduate to original French programming and learn from it. I do understand more than I did, now if only I ran into people who spoke in tv cadence I’d be set

Once in a while I find that concentrating is like kryptonite to me. I try to stick with it and keep going but the harder I try the tougher it gets and then comes the sandy eyes and the low grade headache that tells me I’m seconds from being fried brain dead. And the cat sits here waiting patiently for me to get back to playing fetch. Go figure. I throw the toy and the cat skates across the floor to get and then brings it back to me. That’s fetch right? Or am I hallucinating? No I’m concentrating too hard on getting all this out into Word to be hallucinating. Well I was and now I’m multitasking again. Type then toss, type then toss. I hope the new owners can keep up with him.

Ah yes kryptonite, well the fact is it takes all my power away and I have to go climb into my coffin to rise later on in a better condition. At least that’s what it feels like. I don’t actually own a coffin though technically if I get one of those burial plans I’d own one eventually.

I digress.

Concentration takes time, effort and stamina. All of which I possess, in varying degrees, on different days. Today I’ve about run out of steam. See you tomorrow and happy concentrating.
ghost writer Ambrrrr at 11:02 AM

29 May 2005

Avoidance theory. :
For seventeen years I had no voice. Even when I did speak no one seemed to hear me. I got old enough and made a break for it and spent ten years learning how to get by in the real world. It wasn’t easy but following the things I already knew like keep your mouth shut and your ears open, keep your head down and blend in – I figured out how to communicate with, relate to and be friends with real people. I still find it a useful exercise to make and maintain friendships. It helps me stay focused outside of myself and it sharpens my empathy and relational skills. I need them to do my job.

I work in a call center. I really do love to talk and since I began to realize how easy it is to get people to listen I haven’t really stopped. I like to make up stories and I can practice them on any one of the hundreds of people I talk to in a day. Talking doesn’t keep me grounded but it doesn’t hurt my time in the world either. Over all the years I have never learned how not to talk in the voice I use in my own head. I talk to others exactly how I talk to myself. I know that people who hear voices are considered to be mentally unstable or even mentally ill but I’ve always heard voices. Mostly I hear my own voice talking away. My thoughts make sounds, they all sound like me, which I consider a good thing.

I also hear music. Ally McBeal stole from me with that. Everyday has a soundtrack and so does every dream I have. I don’t wake up everyday with a new song in my head because I tend to like to listen to the same music over and over again but I often wake up hearing music. Sometimes a piece of a song gets stuck in my head and I can’t let go of it until I hear all of it and then I have to play the song to get it unstuck. Other times I like a song so much that I listen to it again and again but can’t for the life of me remember the words. So I take the time to write them down. I guess I can get a bit obsessive about what I like when it comes to music, but given that I’m so very untalented and can’t learn an instrument to save my life all I have is singing along and even if I can’t do that in tune I still do it. Karaoke anyone?

I’ve always wanted to be a songwriter. To write a song with someone who can read and write music of course. I have my talents and I begrudge no one else theirs, I’d just like to find someone who knows how to share. I think it’s something I’ve never given up because it’s something I can’t wrap my head around. I like a good enigma like everyone else and when things don’t come easy to me I either get frustrated and leave it – like advanced mathematics, or I get kind of mystical about it and set is a goal to try to attain – like the search for the Ark or the Holy Grail. Yeah that’s it, my Holy Grail is to write a song. 34 years in the making…

When people ask me about myself my first reaction is to say I’m a talented underachiever. I learned early how to get by, fly under the radar and not make waves. Funny thing is the older I get the less point I see in any of these, my life long tenets and the more I seek to find out why I gave up what really makes me happy. I get really delirious sitting alone in a room, with or without TV/stereo background noise, with a keyboard and desktop word processing program or just paper and pen. When I am actively writing I hear nothing but the words as I put them to paper and it’s more like talking out loud than hearing my own thoughts. For a while my mind and body are so in tune it’s silent in my head and I feel at peace.

It’s not the easiest thing to explain to people, that you have a busy head. I have so much going on in there that I have trouble speaking complete words and sentences much of the time. It’s as if all the words get stuck trying to come out of my mouth and then what gets out is more like gibberish than language. I like to say English wasn’t my first language, even though it was, because it makes it easier for the person I’m talking to, to understand why I can’t recall the word or expression I need to complete my thought, to feel better about my stuttering, or laugh at the fact that my last statement came out sounding more like someone dyslexic reading Shakespeare. I’ve heard that this phenomenon could be considered ADD. Well I’m not too sure about that but whatever it is it’s kept me in daydreams and on the social sidelines for quite a bit. But I’ a trooper, I keep trying to make it into the game of life no matter how afraid I am.

And there in lies the rub. I am afraid. I have fear from way back. It was my bread and butter growing up and though it didn’t turn me into an adrenaline freak, it didn’t make me the strongest presence either. It seems odd to me that I could enjoy horror movies and books so much but be afraid of simply living my life. It’s deep and ingrained and I’m working it out but the suspicion remains. The suspicion that I’ve missed something and the big bad is coming to get me may never really fade but lately I’ve been thinking and I know something that I didn’t want to know before. I make my own life up like I make up my stories. Choice A leads to thing D that causes option O and so on and so on. My reality is full of missed opportunities bad choices and questionable characters but with practice I’ve become ready willing and able to step up and be responsible for what ever I created. I got over the whining and crying and why me-ing a long time ago but the residue of being irresponsible and out of control took much longer to wear off.

I was 33 when I woke up one day and knew that if I didn’t stop being a bit player in my own movie then I was going to get killed off in the second act. That I would have actually written it that way for myself was the hardest part to accept. Thing is I woke up. Once I was awake there was no denying the facts or what was happening and I could see it all playing out like it had already happened and I was remembering a dream. I could see my husband, in a booze and drug filled rage, killing me. I knew that if I really believed in myself and believed that I could do anything I had to get out of there and live with whatever happened because of it.

A few addresses, a couple of jobs, a bankruptcy and minor depression later I am single/separated going on divorced finally getting back to feeling alive and ok in my own skin. I’m still the detached observer I always was, able to shut down my whole psyche in the twitch of an iris but I’m not hiding in there anymore waiting for someone to see me. If anything I’m desperately trying to figure out how to deactivate this built in protection system designed and activated from years in a severely dysfunctional family. I escape into words as I always have. I tell me stories; truth and fiction mixed together and hope no one feels sorry for me. In many ways I have had a hard life but there are others out there who have gone through worse and live with less. I know I am a shell that has a purpose and even though I’ve been good at interior design it’s time to for a full renovation. I am making plans – something I really never do. Plans with timelines. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes, reinventing the ghost and all that. I hope to live with the fear and get people to read what I write here. This is step one. Putting myself out there and seeing how people react. Step two may be attracting more attention to step one but we’ll see. Keep reading and have a nice day.
ghost writer Ambrrrr at 10:58 AM

28 May 2005

Ethical Dilemmas. :
I cheat at Ghost Recon. I play all by myself and I can’t for the life of me figure the game out, all that sneaking around. I keep getting gunned down – so I cheat. Even in easy mode. I just want to figure the game out, but it’s so easy to keep going with the cheats on that once I start I don’t go back and play it for real. I’ve never been good at sneaking around. I’ll break off a relationship before pursuing another, no matter how much I like the first one if I’m so interested in the next one I won’t lie or cheat. I know I’ll be found out. I wish everyone believed that too then there’d be no one out there lying and cheating and feeling they’ll never get caught. I always catch people in their lies and deceptions. I’m actually listening to what you say to me and I’ll call you on your inconsistencies too.

Because I’m listening to you I expect you’re REALLY listening to me. More often than not I find that’s anything but the case. But hey I talk to myself, apologize to inanimate objects if I bump into them and I will talk to/yell at characters in films. I don’t do it out loud in a movie theatre but I do it nonetheless. I can occasionally be way more entertaining than the actual cinematic event. Hard to believe I know.

Thing is I don’t need to cheat at video games. If I try hard enough I can eventually work the game out in a few days stop getting killed in area A and succeed at moving on to getting killed in area B. I’m not patient enough to do that and there’s something that offends my time sensibilities in the expectation that I actually have that kind of time to waste learning the game. I like wasting my time in other more productive ways like watching Jamie and Adam bust myths on TLC, watching my hair grow, deciding what I don’t need in my life anymore as I’m growing and evolving into someone who doesn’t even have time to watch their hair grow. Ah aspirations.

See I haven’t really gotten everything I want out of life yet, but at least I’ve managed to pick my focus up off the highway, where I left it years ago, dust it off and convince it I’m not going anywhere without it again. It’s a real tough customer, my focus, but I’m tougher than the rest. Now chasing down my dreams is a tougher thing. They’re all tough nuts to crack and they scattered to the winds like the ashes of my dead father would, if my mother would ever take the urn out of the box it was shipped in 16 years ago. I deserted my dreams and now it’s like they deserted me. None of my dreams included being an ace video gamer, so I’m safe there. I’m worried that I may have to start cheating and adopt other peoples’ dreams, like Ed Norton’s character did in The Italian Job. Of course I’m totally not talking about materialism – I don’t dream of owning things. I dream about doing this actually, but doing it all the time for that sordid little thing called money. That we all know it makes the Western World go round doesn’t make it anything better than a necessary evil.

I’ve always hated money. I grew up in Northern Manitoba. I knew early on that money made all the difference in what you had and who you were perceived to be. My dad had a good job and one that could have effectively given all of us a great life. We lived off credit. My dad had debts up the wazoo because he was a huge drinker who never drank alone and paying friends or buying booze and mix for two every weekend, vacation and holiday day- plus smoking up to 5 packs a day between Mom and Dad – well that just takes a lot of money out of your pocket. I went to work babysitting as soon as I was legally old enough to do it, and my Dad was always there at the end of the night to take the money when I came home. Occasionally I got to buy something with the money I got. Mostly I got books and records or tapes. I’m not old enough to have bought eight tracks but a friend of my dad’s, a reverend, gave my dad a box full of eight tracks and 2 players. My sister and I thought we had hit the mother load with that because there were actual Kiss tapes in there, something we couldn’t get anywhere in town and no one else had. Turns out the reverend took an electromagnet to them and erased all the ‘devil music’. Still don’t know why he didn’t just throw them away then.

I felt cheated. I still do just a tiny bit. I had heard of Kiss at that time but never actually heard anything they had done. Back then my awareness of music was peripheral. I knew there were bands out there like the Beatles and Rolling Stones but had heard little or nothing of theirs. All I got to listen to was music my parents owned. Country and crooners like Englebert Humperdink, Tom Jones, Paul Anka and other idols of my mother’s youth. I knew all the words to Harper Valley PTA but never heard a lick of anything new until satellite tv brought our little slice of the world music videos. I was hooked and though I don’t watch them too much anymore, they all seem like beer ads to me now, I still remember what it was like to hear music in the land without radio. There was no way to cheat that unless we got a great snowstorm and someway somehow a signal from Kentucky found it’s way to the radio in my bedroom at 1 am on a school night. It always was a school night and the signal always faded away before the song ended.

I watched videos every night that I could and eventually lovely CBC north started up their own video show. The first time I ‘talked back’ to my dad was over that show. It was the first time I didn’t get punched in the face for the infringement and it was the beginning of the end of my relationship with dear old dad. He was complaining about something and I told him he should write them a letter and they might change it. There’s a back-story here. About a week before I had come home from school after spending the day hiding out in the resource room reading about spousal abuse and staring teary eyed at posters proclaiming tell someone, I went home and told my Ma that I didn’t care what happened to me or them or if I was believe or who was arrested/kicked out of the house. If Dad ever laid another hand on me I was going to call the cops, go screaming down the street, whatever it took to let EVERYBODY know. In hindsight I might have wanted to include my sister in that statement but I was 16 and wasn’t thinking that far ahead. Our little family didn’t talk much to each other and I had no idea what if anything Daddy did to anyone other than me. One little house, 4 little worlds being run within it.

I cheated you see. I broke the golden rule. I threatened the threatener and I got taken seriously. I was so wondering when and how he was going to kill me I couldn’t see anything else. When he died instead it was a massive relief. No one ever understood that. Everyone thought my old man was the coolest dude. Even if they did have an idea of what life was in our house no one ever asked me or talked about it with me. And I would have talked. I’m a cheater and I AM the weakest link. I think my father saw that in me. He was conflicted. A child of WWII. He grew up in Berlin and his father was an SS officer because, my dad said, “Everyone was if they wanted to live.” I don’t know jack about the family on my dad’s side. He said they all died in the war and when he died we found pictures of them in 1967, must have been a wild ride for those old Germans to be killed in Vietnam

My dad was someone I never really knew. I knew his anger, wrath and scorn. Once in a while I knew his laughter and kindness. I don’t really remember so much anymore, and that’s a good thing the way I figure. I knew a scared conflicted man who would be so drunk at nights he’d have been on the floor if the kitchen table wasn’t there holding him up. He’d call me down stairs to the kitchen where he was hanging off the edge of the table bleary-eyed drunk and tell me stories. I always went because you didn’t disappoint Dad. I went whether I had to go to the bathroom real bad or not. There I always met this sat red-eyed broken man who talked about being a kid and seeing his friend on his brand new birthday bicycle cross a bridge and get blown up. A slurring unhappy man who swore that poisoned chocolate bars fell from the sky and that he never really knew his parents or step mom because he was moved around a lot to be ‘safe’. I am my father’s daughter in so many ways. I have that sadness and conflict within me now. I am the product of his internal war alone not any widely known historical conflicts.

In his haunting stories my dad let me see him a little bit. The real him not the façade he put on to get by. He cheated me my whole life by being someone else. By not letting anyone ever know him he cheated the world. It’s not why I cheat at Ghost Recon, but it why I find cheating a complicated moral question. Everyone cheats a little bit; at least I’m honest about it.
ghost writer Ambrrrr at 8:38 PM

I’ve Got the Music in Me. :
I was, and in a lot of ways still am, a top 40 baby. I enjoy music. I possess vast amounts of vinyl, cassette and cd recorded music. I have a real hard time parting with it. If my house were to catch on fire I’d mourn the loss of it – all I’d grab would be my briefcase that has all my writing in it. My music, the music I listen to and buy and share with all, is very important to me. When it comes down to crunch time and I have to sell all my wordly’s I’ll be suffering Post Traumatic Stress over the loss of my music collection. Take everything else but don’t leave me in a world without music. At any given moment my list of 5 records for a deserted island will be different than the before or after it.

In a perfect world it would be what gazillion songs would you put on 5 solar powered I-Pods to take with you to the deserted island. Do I seem intense about this? Well I am. I like music - I like it a lot. I’m not a full on audiophile but I did run a radio station for a school year and was music director at a different one before that. I was in love with the CD Ten way before most people heard of Pearl Jam and I still am the only one I know who has and will buy anything Matthew Good puts out. I used to have a silly theme song that anyone who remembers the John Cougar Mellencamp years will remember. Small Town. It really says it all about my background and actually where I am now in my life. Recently I’ve decided that I Will Not Go Quietly by Don Henley is more my theme. Add a side of Bruce Springsteen’s Tougher Than the Rest and round it out with Alright by Pilate and with some Replacements, Matthew Good Band and Psychedelic Furs you have a fairly solid list of what’s playing in my head

Jukebox Amber at your service. I learn all the words and even when hearing new material in concert can be counted to sing along. I’m a fan. Not a rabid drooling fan either. I saw Matt Good walking downtown in Ottawa last year. I knew it was him, I saw him on Rideau Street twice, but I didn’t bother him. It was cool enough for me to just see him but now that I live in the boonies and may never get to see him on the street again I wish I would have talked to him. If I’d stopped him I’m sure he’d have been as impressed as Blue Rodeo was the time I won back stage passes and only had napkins for them to sign. I’m super smooth that way. If I can look like a total dork and smile vacantly while doing it I’ll find the way! I’m the go-to girl for complete star wars-esque music idiocy. I wrote a poem to U2 back in the Joshua Tree days and jumped up and down when the hand written post card from Celia came. The people in the local post office were never so afraid :)

When I was younger we didn’t have a radio station in town or anywhere I could get reception. I put my musical tastes together with varying degrees of dedication, trail and error and Columbia House guessing. I used to order LP’s and tapes from Columbia House by groups I’d never heard of, soundtracks from movies I’d never seen and even just because the songs sounded interesting. I still have all those recordings, not that my judgment was always sound but because there was something in some song that spoke to me and I had to keep it. The first album I ever bought was Madonna’s Borderline. The first one given to me was Michael Jackson’s Thriller and I didn’t want it but my Dad got it so I had to listen to it. It grew on me. The easiest and cheapest way to get music was by compilation and I still have all the ones I ever bought. I still have the ones I made myself to suit my moods. I still have all this because the music is my snapshot, every song a photograph and that moment in time when I needed it most comes back to me with the song. Oh yea and I’m a pack rat – but you already knew that right?

I was, am and forever shall be a Duranie. I will listen to anything, literally and have. I will try most anything once and then if it was bad never again. If I’m undecided I’ll try it again and with that in place it explains why I can find a way to like all music I come across. I can find the time to listen to it because I can multitask and music goes with everything. Walkman, earphones, battery pack and away we go. Somewhere in the universe there’s a radio on and if I could hear the music I’d wager I’d like it. Maybe not forever and always but it would always remind me of where I was when I first heard it.
ghost writer Ambrrrr at 8:35 PM

Quiet Desperation. :
I don’t believe desperation is really quiet. It’s out there running the streets in supped up cars, pumping base at hearing loss inducing rates, getting drunk in bars every night of the week, picking on the weak, giving you and F on your term paper, spitting in your food at the diner and smiling at you with dead eyes in the grocery store. None of that seems quiet to me.

I have many lists. Mostly because my mother cursed me. While watching Romancing the Stone she saw that Kathleen Turner’s character had sticky notes and little lists everywhere to remind her of things. She looked at me, smiled and said “that’s going to you.” Medically speaking I have a learning disability that makes remembering sequences of more than four or five steps impossible. Something will get deleted/forgotten for every new thing I have to recall. Makes it hard to learn Linux commands, write C++ code and memorize phone numbers. I always remember faces though. I hardly ever remember names. If I ever meet someone I knew before I recognize them, unless I wanted to forget you then it’s blank stares and “you’re who?”, “I knew you where/when?” - all the way around. My steel-trap mind is going to snap shut one day and take my whole head apart I swear :)

It’s may be going to rain again today and I’m thinking yippee. I like the rain. It doesn’t depress me unless I’m out walking in it and someone drives through a huge puddle and soaks me. When that happens I hate the rain. I know the whole getting splashed thing isn’t the rain’s fault and I’m far more raging against the person(s) in the vehicle – hoping karma kicks their ass and all that. As far as I know I don’t have any mood disorders brought on by Seasonal Affective Disorder or the rain. I tend to be more affected by the moods of the people around me and it can be hard for me to disconnected being there with feeling how/what others are feeling. I think it’s because I’m a big fan of happy and smiling and wanting others to smile and feel better. If I was a superhero I’d probably be smiley girl, turning them frowns upside down.

It’s because I don’t like the darkness of my own mind. I don’t like to contemplate that there’s anyone out there thinking anything like the stuff I think about now and again in a day. I’ve been depressed before, clinically and medicated for it. I’ve had brief bouts with social anxiety and even had Post Traumatic Stress and took medication for that. I’m a watcher so I know how these events changed me and how I interacted with the world. Some of that I have tried to hold onto being that I’m 100% natural again. The darkness was always there creeping around the edges, crossing the sun and blanketing my day in its gloom. The shadows of my past walk beside me and sometimes I hold their hands and tell them it’s ok, we’re all going to be all right.

In the sunlight, in the moonlight, I notice so much. Even on the hurried walks home after work near midnight all alone (Gasp a girl going out alone after dark!) I try to keep my mind open to the sounds and the scenery. I don’t want to focus exclusively on the worries of being a girl in the dark all alone. I’m not silly, I watch tv. I know there are things out there in the light and the shadows, things that are happy to kill, maim, destroy. Whether they do it to you with their bare hands, implements, their petty jealousies, razor sharp words or other weapon of their choice – they are there waiting for the opportunity to take control and have power over you. They are truly desperate and if you are quiet sometimes you can hear them breathing in your nightmares. No matter how desperate you think you are you can always remember about them and fell a bit better about the state of your life.

When I was a kid I firmly believed Dracula had a trap door under my bed. A vampire movie was the first horror movie I ever saw. I developed a fear of the dark basement stairwell after that and had to put the light on before crossing in front of it. For endless nerve-wracking seconds I would stand beside the closet door trying to steel myself to reach around the corner and flip the light switch to turn on the lights to the stairwell. I couldn’t get to the bathroom without doing it. I was always 100% convinced that an icy giant hand would clutch mine and pull me into the blackness. None would hear my screams, I would just disappear and not a one would miss me. It never happened but every night I had the same attack of fear. I know it was irrational but I believed it more than I believed I would be better off dead. Every night for years I followed the same ritual or ran upstairs to the bathroom, whichever one was better lit.

Thing is I love horror movies. I keep up on all things vampire, monster and supernatural science fiction. Even thought that clown doll in Poltergeist reinforced my fears of the thing under the bed and these days I still don’t sleep with anything hanging off the edges of the bed, I’m still going to watch horror movies. Not because I love being scared –it’s usually the music or the way I think about it later that really scares me, not what is on screen. I read a lot. I have a history degree and read a lot for that. Believe it or not that was fun, all that reading. I enjoy learning but I’m the-learn-absolutely everything about the subject type of girl. It can make you squirrelly trying to get all angles covered, see all sides and form an informed opinion. It keeps me away from politics – too much like school ground ravings and I hated going to school with a fiery passion that has never cooled. Part of my slacker ideology was built on the utter contempt I have for all organized institutions be that of learning, government or religion.

I’m a D.I.Y.er to the very end. I want to know how to do it myself and then do it. I’m not into adverse cruelty to anyone or anything and I think a lot of what is happening in the world today is ultimately senseless – the true believers always have a point and are willing to work to carry out the plan(s) they made to make that point known. Desperation isn’t quiet in the Middle East. Desperation wasn’t quiet on 9-11. Desperation may be running the local video store and buying guns on e-Bay for all I know but I’m willing to listen. I still believe there has to be a better way than the way of the gun.

I took a women’s studies class while I was in University and basically spent the majority of the class being held up as the example of the ruling class that has suppressed and denigrated all other women for eternity. As a small town kid who got new clothes once a year, her birthday presents l6 months late or not at all, and has been working since I was 12 it pissed me off. I didn’t agree with the professor’s assertions that I was the prime example of evil done unto single mothers everywhere.

Of course I realized later on that she saw me as a rich white kid with money to burn. She didn’t know I was drowning in debt trying to live on part time campus jobs and my ever-ballooning student debt. She looked at me and saw a picture distorted by her own perceptions, beliefs and prejudices. My friend at the time, a single mom who had a built in babysitter and firmly believed partying 'til you puke and getting laid were top of the tops – worked that prof for all she was worth and then some. Every class missed due to hang over was because of baby or babysitter issues, every missed deadline or assignment or exam because this week’s boyfriend would/wouldn’t come over and or dumped her was a family emergency –baby’s sick/doctor’s appointment. Funny thing is all that disengenuity and that girl got the highest grades in the class. She switched her major to Women’s Studies, became best buds with the prof and proceeded to use the poor woman to smooth over problems with other profs in the department and as a reference to law school.

I never worked that hard in school and never found the balls to actually manipulate someone so completely to get what I wanted. I’m just not shark enough I guess. When it comes to competition I want to believe in the merit system. I want to even as I’m staring down the fact that it’s all whom you know and whom the people you know know. One day when I have a full head of greys I may be someone in the know who knows others to know. I’m not kidding here. See I used to be a desperate housewife. Lost three years to make a happy home my husband just messed up again. When he started shooting things with a bb gun my desperation catapulted to a fervour. I never said a word to anyone about all of that but I never stopped complaining about every thing else. I was insufferable, even to myself and this is the real reason I think there is no such thing a quiet desperation. You can be desperate or you can be quiet but no one is ever both. You may not come right out and tell the world what you are truly desperate about but there won’t be soul who sees you in a day that won’t know something’s going on.
ghost writer Ambrrrr at 3:58 PM

Amusing :
I think it's amusing that at 34 yers old I have very few of the things society says I'm supposed to have. I had a lot of those things just a short of a year ago and I don't wnat any of them back (well ok I want the stereo but I'm still living right?) In my past I have seen and done things that no one should, but still life isn't as bad as all that the previous characters conjure up. Thing is I'm feeling very Rutger Hauer at the end of Blade Runner where he tells Harrison Ford all about what he's seen in his life. It's been a long hard haul but at least I haven't reached my built in expiry date ...
ghost writer Ambrrrr at 1:35 PM

Blog Blog Blog :
Fell of the map there for a while. Sorry about that. It was a long season of nightmares and disillusionment but I'm back. Don't know yet if i'm better then ever but I'm faking the walk pretty well :)

I'm not the most political or deep person I know. I am the only blogger I personally know and that just adds to my anomaly. I think that everyone is a mystery waiting to be solved - thing is if you don't figure yourself out first no one else ever will. Theories of a woman wanted dead I suppose.

Ooh that sounds so dire. As I type this I realize how totally in need of typing practice I am and now I'm thinking I may be killing 2 birds with one keystroke. I'll be improving my typing and putting my thoughts out there for people to discover.

Anyways here's a super intereseting thing to read if you dig languages like me :

The Rosetta Project: Rescuing languages


Nifty huh?
I'll be getting more up here as time allows. Keep posting and have a nice day!!
ghost writer Ambrrrr at 12:45 PM

31 May 2005

Yoda my Yoda Zen :
You scored as Yoda.

SEE? Posted by Hello

MenTal fUrbAll