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Archive for April, 2009

roger moore

I’ve had  a handful of friends pass away in the past while, and one that is always and forever on my mind is Noel.

I never got over it.  I never had closure. I still have a hard time believing that he’s gone.

It’s pretty difficult for me to talk about this kind of thing, even though technically I’m only writing it.

We met in college, and instantly formed a tight little crew that was always up for ruckus. Nothing but good times.

He was a unique, old soul.  He idolized Dean Martin.  He belted out Sinatra tunes. He could pull off a smoking jacket like nobody’s business. He always had a sarcastic remark on the tip of his tongue.  He always made me smile. Always.

He loved his cheap ass Roger Moore 007 collector’s addition lighter.  He handled that thing like it was a prized possession.   I swiped it from him once.  He never knew it was me at first, but eventually caught on since I used it constantly.   I tried to make it up to him by replacing it with a Sean Connery 007 lighter, but to no avail.

I never returned that lighter.

A few years after school, a bunch of the crew went their separate ways.  We planned a reunion around Christmas holiday, since everyone was back in town.  Noel wrote a good friend an email expressing his excitement to see everyone. She still has the email.

He never showed.

After the holidays we all went back to our respective dwellings.  I was living in Barbados at the time, my good friend was in Vancouver… etc etc.  A few months passed and I received an alarming email forward.

One sentence, explaining that Noel had passed away, months ago. We were all in shock.  None of us knew.

How could we not know? Why were we just finding out? What the hell happened?

I was so angry.  It broke my heart.  It was not an ideal way to find out a friend had died… months after the fact.

Months.

His exwife was the one who sent the message.  Although there were many attempts to find out what happened to him, the truth never surfaced.

I still don’t know.

I’m confused as to what the big secret is, and I will never have closure until I know.  Never.

I think about it all the time.  My friend and I talk about it constantly, and try to use our pro-star investigative journalism skills, but always come up short.

A few years ago, I was in my mom’s hometown at her storage unit.  I glanced at the top of a large pile of garbage, and saw the Roger Moore lighter sitting on top.  I was shocked.  I hadn’t seen that lighter in years.  And there it was.  Almost strategically placed on top of a pile of junk.  I picked it up.  I tried it.  It still worked.

That lighter appears in the most bizarre places.  Always.  Still.

Present day:

Two weeks ago I was on a cruise.  As I was getting ready for bed, I opened my bag, and there it was.  I don’t remember seeing it before I left Canada to move to Barbados.  I don’t remember seeing it the entire time I was here. At all.  I was groggy, smiled, and threw it back in the bag.

Today he popped into my head.  I thought about old times.  I wondered all the things I’ve wondered in the past. I opened up the bag, and pulled out the lighter.

The copyright date is 1999.  His teeth marks are at the bottom. Parts of Roger Moore are faded.  Some of the plastic is peeling off.  The metal part is rusted.

I tried it.

It still works.

A smile graced my face.

I miss you Noel.

This one’s for you, buddy.

Cheers.

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funny-cartoon-posters2

I enjoy making random lists of meaningless crap.

That’s right, you heard me.

Lists of important, to-do information… not so much.

So, meaningless crap it is. Specifically, in this case, fortune cookie fortunes.

Hooray!

Right. Now that we have that settled…

Recently, I ate a massive quantity of fortune cookies.  Mama buys in bulk.  This sometimes works to my advantage, depending on the merchandise. At any rate, I’ve never taken the fortune cookie junk seriously, obviously since I’m such a cynical ass,  but these are some doozies:

1.  A letter of great importance may reach you any day now.

Wow. Really? It may reach me any day?  Good one.  That couldn’t be more obscure.

2. You or a close friend will be married within a year.

Huh. Doing pretty well with that one, eh? I mean, I almost always go to a wedding at least once a year. But, I especially like how they stuck the ‘you’ in there… ya know, to give that teeny, tiny glimmer of hope.

3. You will reach high levels of intelligence.

What? Are you implying that I haven’t already? Asshole.

4. Hidden in a valley beside an open stream, this is the type of place where you will find your dream.

Cheese! I mean, come on now fortune cookie fortune writer, let’s get practical, shall we?

5. You will have many bright days soon.

Soon? Ha. How uplifting.

6. Your ability for accomplishment will follow with success.

Doesn’t it generally? Thank you captain fucking obvious. I especially like the use of synonyms in this one.  ‘A’ for effort.

7. You are a considerate and thoughtful person.

Damn straight… mostly.  At least they got something right.

8. Your place in the path is in the driver’s seat.

Soooo… I should take up racing, then?

9. You will win success at whatever you adopt.

Win success? Is this a game? The game of… wait for it, waaaiit for it…  life? According to fortune #6, technically I will ‘accomplish’ success. Right.

10. You are realistic.

Okay, first of all, what the hell kind of ‘fortune’ is that?  Second, if you knew I was realistic, you’d know I think this is a load of crap, and would have probably written something more to the effect of,

11. Stop procrastinating, you sarcastic ass.


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I know you’ve all been waiting for this.

Come on, stop pretending like you have no clue what I’m talking about.

You’re excited. You know you are.

I know you’ve been wondering, right?

No need to be ashamed.

I know you’re thinking,

“Hmm… I wonder what ever happened to that girl’s neighbour, Barbados the  Cable Guy, and his rocket launcher that took up the entire backyard. Has there been any unexplainable sightings? Was there an official launch? Do the children still climb on it?”

Well, you are in luck, my friends.

It just so happens that Barbados the Cable Guy has made some… uh, adjustments, that are quite amusing indeed.  Last week I counted five space technicians… (lacking their appropriate outfits of course), fiddling and twiddling with the mighty launcher.

There was some serious fiddling going on here, people.

Serious.

They brought out the plastic lawn chair and everything for this.  Special occasions always need a plastic lawn chair. It’s just not special without it.

They also dragged more poles, and what-chu-ma-call-its into the yard.  Even the children were involved.  This was a very important event.  I was hoping they’d finish last week… but you know, island-time and whatnot.

I only have two weeks left and I’m afraid I’ll miss the official launch.  This upsets me greatly.

And yes, the children still climb on it.

I have yet to witness any unexplainable sightings, although I did see a family of monkeys pointing at it,  huddled in a nearby tree.

Are the planning to destroy it, or use it to their benefit?

Only time will tell.

I took the liberty of taking a picture from the second floor window (mind the glare), so you can have a bird’s eye view and whatnot.  Still, this does not do it justice.

And yet still, I sit and stare at it, wondering what on earth could possibly be the point.  But then again, maybe earth has nothing to do with it….

And so the mystery continues.

The Mighty Launcher

The Mighty Launcher

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So…

Last week I experienced my first ever cruise. Hooray for cheap travel deals.

First, so as I don’t come off as a total and complete asshole, let’s start with the positives.

I mean, don’t get me wrong… I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity of a travel-filled, work-free, 4 days.

But you know me, right? or if you don’t… well, there’s always something, because, if there wasn’t, then that wouldn’t be me in my finest form.

So, take it or leave it… whatever floats your boat <— wow, how’s that for cliche, huh?

Nice.  Anyhoo, right… positives:

a) Got to spend time with the mama.

b) Caught up on my reading.  It’s been a while, and it was nice to escape into fictional dysfunction.

c) Loved visiting the islands we stopped at: St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Kitts, San Juan.

d) Had the honour of borrowing a SLR Nikon digital camera with two superb lenses… which is something I’ve wanted for a very, very, long time.  It was  extremely difficult to return it to its rightful owner. The camera became a part of me on that trip… and… well, yes, I miss it.

e) Love the ocean. Loved being on the ocean.

f) As if I needed to state the obvious… no work, equals happy.

I suppose since I’m not much experienced with the term, ‘Fun Ship’, the Disney meets Vegas on water extravaganza was at first, ultimately overwhelming and surprising.  When they say “carnival” they really mean it.  Really.

It was literally as if the population of a small town, floated along, unaware of the rest of the world.

Over 3000+ passengers, excluding the crew.

Feeding time was definitely the most interesting and entertaining. Name your cuisine – it’s there.

In monstrous amounts. Literally.

Piles of it. Piles of it being shoveled onto the plates of pushy, obnoxious vultures passengers.

I mean, think about people.  It’s called ‘all-inclusive’ for a reason.  The food’s not going anywhere.  There’s enough to feed the entire boat, 3 times over.

No need to push.

No need to cut in line.

No need to shove someone aside to get to the eggs first.

There’s more.  Really. Piles, I tell you.

Piles.

Another amazing thing about feeding time, is the inclination that people have with the buffet.  I have never, in my entire lifetime, seen so many people wolf down so much food.  Yes, the option is there… but, is it necessary to try and eat as much as humanly possible?  Some people literally filled plates with enough to feed a small army… and continued to return for more.  Wowzers.

Blows my mind.

Rules are a must on a ship like this.  I mean, obviously.  How else could you control such a large amount of people? Surprisingly, the bulk of the passengers followed them quite effectively.

I, on the other hand, not always so much.  I’m not too fond of rules, you see.  Rules are made to be broken.

What if I don’t want to eat at 6pm sharp?

What if I don’t want to sit at table 583 with two women that apparently don’t understand the concept of ‘friendly chit-chat’?

Orientation? What orientation?

Tell me to be back at 3.30pm or the ship will leave? I’ll be back at 4pm. Wait for me.

What if I don’t want to pack at 9pm the night before and leave the luggage outside of my room for you to pick up only for you to neglect to leave the tags and therefore also our disembarking zone number so that I have to stand in a line of 50 people waiting to talk to a service agent that can’t help me and all I want to know is when I can get off the damn boat?

Every few hours we were greeted with the overly caffeinated voice of ‘Squishy’, announcing one rule or another, or promoting whichever event was planned.  I wish I had a soundbite of his voice. He was definitely cruisin’ for a bruisin’…

<ding, ding, ding>

6.30am

“Goooooood morning cruisers!!!! It’s your fave pal SQUISHY! Good, ya?! Hope you’re having a lovely day and just a reminder that…. (rule a, rule b, rule c, rule d, rule e, rule f, rule g, rule h)….. oh and…. <static> …… Ooops! Silly me… seems I’m not sure how to use this intercom-thing-a-mi-giggy. …. <Static>…. OOPS! okay… there we go… right.  So, RISE and SHINE cruisers… here’s what’s on for today…..”

I almost half expected Squishy to announce something to the effect of,

“Now remember, cruisers, one foot in front of the other.  Left… right… left… right….”

Mama and I had quite a laugh, while trying to avoid mass herds of people… everywhere.

And yes, I realize… cruise… boat… enclosed… people… what did I expect, right?

I know, I know.  But I believe the outcome would have been different if there were more like, 300 passengers, and less… spectacle.  We didn’t partake in much of the events or shows, although I did enjoy the piano bar… and the piano man… until he repeated the same set for the third time in the same night, and then, well, it got a little old.

I don’t know, I guess for me, I don’t need much to be entertained.  A little bit of dinner, a little bit of good company, a little bit of chit-chat, a little bit of live music, a little bit of wine, and a lot of nice scenery… meh… that’s enough for me.

The amount of options of things to do on this ship blew my mind.  Comedy night, magic show, trivia, casino, dance contests, spas, games, etc etc…  And ya, great for families.  I mean, brilliant idea… there’s no way the kids could be bored in that environment… well, unless the kid is like me, and I’m an oddity, so, well… right.  So really, thumbs up for that.

But you know, it’s interesting.  Here’s a however many day (we hopped on in the middle, thank god) Caribbean cruise.  You would think, maybe just a little, that maybe, just maybe…. some of the passengers might be interested in, oh, I don’t know, Caribbean culture?

I mean, on the rare occasion that I actually heard some Caribbean music on the boat (just once to be exact), I overheard about 3 people wishing they would, ‘turn that crap off’ and I assume, turn up the latest Rod Stewart’s Greatest Hits Album.  And also, although there was an endless amount of food, there was not a drop of Caribbean cuisine.

So, basically, you choose to travel to see new places and experience new things, so long as you are still traveling in America, the boat version.  Then only to get off the boat and shop at the exact same duty free shops you saw at the airport, and every other docking port.

I don’t know.  To each his own, I guess.  But my favourite part of the trip was wandering far, far, away from the port, getting lost in search for the bus station, talking to strangers, exploring historical sites, taking tons of pictures, and drinking beer illegally in a paper coffee cup on good Friday… but you know, that’s just me.

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Hmm.

I’ve never had so many wrong number incidents like I’ve had here.

Ever.

Sometimes I think people just close their eyes,

reach for the phone,

and hope for the best.

<Ring, ring>

Me: Hello?

Random: Ya, uh huh. I called you earlier, what happened?

Me: Huh?

Random: Haha. You playin games? Four o’clock.

Me: Whaa? Who is this?

<Silence>

Me: Hellloo?

<Silence>

Random: Who is this?

Me: Who is this?

<Silence>

Random: What? What do you mean? Who is THIS?

Me: Ha. Seriously. What do you mean, what do I mean? Who are you trying to reach?

Random: What? Who is this?

Me: Okay. Ha. What number are you trying to dial… on… the phone.

<Silence>

Me: Hello?

Random: <gives number>

Me: Hmm, no. Wrong number.

Random: What?

Me:  Wrong. Num-ber.

Random: Ohhhh wrong number? Really?

Me: Huh. Ya. Apparently,  really.

Random: Oh, so, so, so, so, so, so sorry dear!  Oh yeah, so sorry!  Really, dear. Yup. Sorry.

Me: Okay… ?

Random: Okay have a good evening. Really, dear.  Okay.

Me: You too… ?

<click>

sorry_wrong_number_4

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Dear Silentorchestra,

Why, oh why, have you neglected me so?

Where have you been?

Are you hibernating?

Was it something I said?

What happened?

Are your fingers broken?

Is it writer’s block?

Huh?

I believe I am entitled to an explanation at the very least,  Silentorchestra.

Why?

Love,
Blog.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Blog,

Yes, it seems I have been quite absent as of late.

First, please accept my sincerest apologies.

Blog, understand that sometimes these things happen… distractions.

Rather than listing a bunch of excuses, I’ll just say… here I am, back again.

Good?

I promise that I will not neglect you again.

Promise.

Pinky swear.

Do you forgive me?

Love,
Silentorchestra

~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Silentorchestra,

We’ll see.

Love,
Blog.

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