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Dear Silentorchestra,

What’s going on here? You said you were on top of things again.  Where have you been. Dude, wtf?

Love,

Blog.

****

Dear Blog,

Ya, I know, I know.  Moving from one country to another, adjusting, maid of honour duties, family affairs… these things have taken over as of late, but I’m back on track this time… promise?

Love,

Silentorchestra

****

Dear Silentorchestra,

Whatever, man. That’s what you said last time.

Love,

Blog

****

Dear Blog,

I know, I know. But this time is for real. I swear it.

Love,

Silentorchestra.

****

Dear Silentorchestra,

Okay. Last chance woman.

Love,

Blog.

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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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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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I always say how I remember my dreams, and that mostly, they are batshit crazy.  So, let’s reflect on last night’s dream, shall we?

It started off in my elementary school gym (this is common), with a mix of current friends, old co-workers and people I haven’t seen since elementary school or high school (also common).

I walk into the gym and think,

Here I am again. Why do I keep dreaming this?’

I look over and see those old little benches.  I see a friend.  He doesn’t belong here. He cut his hair.  He looks funny.  He tells me to join their group.  I do.

I glance around the gym.  I remember how we used to do flips off the stage onto those oversized mats. I remember the back stage area, with that little room up top.  I remember the room they kept the balls in.  I remember the office that we used to steal stashes of candy and chips from.  I remember writing on the walls of change room.

I take a better look and notice some familiar faces.  Parents of old friends.  Teachers.  Old classmates.  Current friends.

I can’t make the connection.

A firefighter walks from the side of the gym with the weird playground that comes out of the wall.  He tells me we are going to have a competition, so be ready.

I ask what kind, but he disappears.

I sit back down beside Funny Haircut, and try to find out what’s happening.  He tells me to trust him.  So I sit.

It feels like hours….

Suddenly we are outdoors, no longer at the school.  We are in a strange forest.  There are people everywhere.  It’s foggy and the dew is making my feet wet.

There is a massive tree with a handmade ladder that reaches nearly to the clouds.  The ladder seems incredibly unsafe.

An older Italian man in a posh suit starts to climb.  It’s common knowledge that he’s a mafia boss, although I’ve never seen him before in my life.  I ask Funny Haircut what’s going on.  He pushes me towards the ladder and says it’s my turn.  I obey and start climbing.

Suddenly I’m at the top, and see all of the participants below, who now resemble ants.

I don’t know why I’m up there, so I start to climb down.  I’m pushed from an unknown person above, and begin to slide down the ladder.  The tongs break as I slide.

I’m not scared, because I’m not afraid of heights.  I continue to slide. My bare legs hit the leaves and branches on the way down.  They cut me in some places, but I don’t feel any pain….

I suddenly find myself in an open field, surrounded by trees.  I can’t see anyone, except for Funny Haircut.  He tells me this is the next part of the competition.  I think I’m doing pretty well and tell him to bring it on.

I stand there and wonder what is next.  I don’t see anyone.  I hear a buzz from far away.  It gradually gets closer.  I know that sound.  I think it sounds like….

BEES.

I cover my face and lay face down in the grass.  They swarm up my shirt, into my hair, and down my jeans.  I wonder when it was I changed from shorts to jeans.  I can feel them all over me.  Every single one.  The sound is so loud.  I can’t stand it.  I move my hands from my face and plug my ears.

I wonder when the bees will leave.  I don’t move a muscle. I am terrified. I wonder if I’ll die.

I hear a distant voice.  I think it’s Funny Haircut telling me to get up.  I cautiously unplug my ears.

‘Get up.’

I obey, stand up, and most of the bees drop off of me.  They die as they drop.  I frantically fling off the left over bees, while hysterically crying.  They are in my hair.  They are in my shirt, and down my pants.  I get angry with Funny Haircut and ask him why he would do this to me.  He tells me it’s part of the competition.

I check my body and realize I have not been stung.  We walk out of the field, through the trees and onto the next event….

Suddenly I’m in my old neighbourhood, the one I grew up in.

Funny Haircut and I are coming around the bend of the street where some of my friends used to live.  We were all staying at one girl’s house.  I am nervous about going there, since I haven’t seen her since high school and we had a falling out of sorts.  There are a bunch of people out front on her driveway yelling, including her mother.  Her mother frightens me in the June Cleaver/Stepford wife kind of way.

We pass another friend’s house first, and consider going in there.  We stop to say hi to her dad as usual, even though I know he has passed away.  He tells me,

‘Have a nice day Cricket’

He knows I hate that nickname.

He hands me a piece of lunch meat.  Funny Haircut and I share it, and walk over to the commotion.

June Cleaver approaches me and tells me that I owe her big-time.  I tell her she’s crazy and walk up to her daughter.  She still wears her hair the same and sports the brightest red lipstick possible.  She smiles and I politely smile back, because I need a place to sleep.  We walk in the front door….

Suddenly I’m in a car with my mom.  We are driving along the coast road, and I see the waves increasing.  I think to myself as she drives,

I’ve had this dream before.  The waves will flow up onto the road.  We will pass weird people in costume.  Someone will stop for happy hour.’

I wonder if I can change it.

As we drive I see the waves reach the road.  We pass people in pilgrim costumes.  They look out of place.

My mom is no longer driving.  We are in a taxi.  He pulls over and stops for happy hour.  We all get out, and stare at the waves with a crowd of people.  I look and see the taxi driver sucking back a rum and coke.  He’s wearing a pale yellow shirt and laughing.

I wake up.

I check my body for bee stings.

There are none.

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Alrighty, Let it Blurt... it’s on.

Here are 10 things that I love and hate which begin with the letter ‘A’ (I took your advice on the Tao-ness of it all, and tried to alternate my loves and hates, but as you will soon find out, I failed in some spots).

But, first things first, you stole one of my words – anticipation – damn. I had a good one for that. But enough complaining, since that starts with ‘C’.

Ready? Set? Go…

broughtbya

1. Apples.

I love apples.  I love the crunchiness and sweetness of them.  I admire their versatility.  I’m pretty fond of them all by themselves, as juice, in a pie, or especially with cheese. I’ll take any variety I can get, although Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, MacIntosh  and Empire are my favourite.

2. Anxiety.

I have it, I hate it, it’s horrible.  I’ve had about a ten year relationship with anxiety, for reasons I won’t go into (that’s an entire post in itself), and have learned how to control it, to an extent.  I know exactly when an attack is coming on, and play a mind struggling game with myself to calm down.  Sometimes it’s effective, sometimes it’s not.  My only comfort is knowing that I’m not the only one.

3. Architecture.

I have a deep appreciation for architecture.  From a very young age, my dream was to be an architect.  My parents would collect random building and design magazines for me, which I would endlessly flip through for hours.  I drew pages upon pages of various house designs, complete with a variety of brick samples and window treatments.  I went through numerous pads of graph paper, and eventually designed an entire city.  My faux city included everything from gas stations, to silly street names, to garden designs,  to schools, to backyard pools. There was even a bridge that connected one side of the river (the burbs) to the other side (downtown).  I taped all of the pages together, and eventually it became too large to lay out in my living room.  Once I got to high school and was forced to partake in the ‘what do you want to be when you grow up’ lecture, I realized that math and physics were a much needed part of architecture.  I made an effort, especially with physics, and barely passed.  That was the exact point my dream went out the window, and the decision to become an eager onlooker took its place.  I made up for it by engulfing myself in the art history side of architecture, but to this day it is still one of my long lost dreams.

4. Assholes.

I had to do it.  I mean, how can I not if I’m using the letter ‘A’.  Hmmm. What to say about assholes?  And by assholes I’m referring to people that act like them, not the body part.  Well, I must say I don’t enjoy assholes, and can become quite frustrated and irritated with them.  But then at the same time I realize that I am also one myself at times, so therefore, this blurb is a contradiction, since I don’t hate myself.  Hmmm.

5. Argument.

I’m half and half on this one, which I suppose is fitting since it’s number five.  I love to argue, but in the debate sense of the word.  Sometimes I’ll take an opinion I don’t even agree with, to test my own knowledge or  just to hear see what kind of fuel the opposition has…. and I get bored and like to spice things up.  I don’t enjoy arguments that are intentionally or unintentionally hurtful.  These are not useful.

6. Amazement.

I love to be amazed.  It’s an incredible feeling, whether it be by a person, thing or event.

7. Aggressive.

I suppose there can be some advantages to being aggressive, but from my experience I’ve found that some people have a difficult time finding a happy medium between being overly aggressive and not aggressive enough.  It obviously depends on the situation, but I generally find aggressive behaviour a turn-off.

8. Apparently.

I love to use this word, mostly in its sarcastic sense, and find that I use it quite often.  Apparently.

9.  Apparitions.

Well, this is an interesting topic in itself.  I’m a pretty logical and rational person, so keeping that in mind, it would be sensible to conclude that I’m not one to believe in ghosts. My opinion of this was altered when I worked at a historical war site, where things happened that were completely unexplainable, while I was either alone, or in the company of others.  Things that were not just my eyes or coworkers, playing tricks on me.  Things I still can’t make sense of.  I’m still up in the air about this topic.

10. Art/artist

I am an artist, and love all things art related.  I try my best to appreciate all genres and works of art, although at times this can be challenging.  My artistic passion rests in drawing, painting, photography, writing and music.

11. Acquire.

Since I love to break the rules, and also love to acquire things… I’m acquiring an extra number on my list.  Ahhh, that felt good.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve pretty much acquired the majority of stuff that I own.  It’s not a materialistic thing for me as it’s rare that I acquire something with actual monetary value.  Most of it has personal meaning, and/or I really needed it – you know, like a couch or cooking utensils.

Yay! That was fun, and quite the entertaining time waster, for yours truly, the procrastination champion. Thanks 🙂

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As I mentioned in an early post, I’m having issues with my creative juices re: happiness and all.  So I snagged this idea from Let it Blurt’s wonderful post about musical adventures.

It reminded me of a long lost love of mine, that has a special place in my heart.

Piano.

Ahh. Just typing the word reminds me of the special times I’ve had with that instrument.

I haven’t played in years.

I can still remember how it feels to run my fingers along the ivory keys.  I still remember exactly which keys were chipped on the old upright that overpowered my living room.

I can still remember the way my old piano smelled. The way I used to spin round and round for hours on the first stool I had, instead of practicing.  The way the new bench my dad got me overflowed with books and sheet music from its storage compartment and used to always rub against my legs.  The way the sheets of music slid off the wood as I played.  The way I used the upright area as a secret hiding spot for random things.  And mostly, the way I felt as I played.

I began piano at five years old.  Through the years, I had a love hate relationship with it.  I loved to play, but hated to practice.  I didn’t like my teacher all that much, and therefore lacked the motivation to impress her.  Her teaching style was unusual and awkward.  She wasn’t very focused on the technical part, which in the end had some negative and positive results with my style.

The negative part? To this day, I still have to rhyme ‘Every good boy deserves fudge‘ if someone asks me to name a note.  Seriously, if someone says to me,

Play a G and B,’

I’d be like,

‘Uhm… hold on.  Every…. good… okay G… Every good boy… okay B….

The positive part?  In lacking the technical skills, I learned to sight read very quickly.  I am an artist and quite a visual person, so I memorized the picture of each note to match the appropriate sounds and keys accordingly.  This resulted in my ability to sight read like a champ.  I can generally play a piece of music quite well that I’ve never seen, after going through it once.  I also polished this skill with my hatred for practicing before a lesson.  All week I would play what I wanted, and then the day before my lesson, I would learn the song I was supposed to.  This came in very handy over the years.

At one point my dad began lessons.  He is also a musician and played guitar in a number of bands when he was younger (I am constantly reminded of this).  We share the same love for musical instruments.  I remember having to do duets with him.  He is an excellent guitar player, but let’s just say, lacks a bit of grace while playing piano.

I’ll never forget the way we’d squish together on the bench, and I’d freak out when he would bang away, timing off, while we tried to piece together something half decent for the next lesson.  I’ll never forget the way his thick fingers would hit two keys instead of one, followed by random mutters of ‘jesus christ.’  My dad eventually stopped with the lessons, and I was on my own again with my love.

Eventually, I stopped the lessons also, mostly because I really couldn’t be bothered with my teacher anymore.  I thought that would be the end of the road for me, but interestingly enough, it only increased my love for playing.  I bought endless amounts of books, and taught myself page in and page out.  I played more than I ever had.

My favourite genre to play is classical, preferably, Sonatas and Sonatinas.  I can still hum entire Sonatas in my head.  I love the way the piece tells a story.  I love the way I can pick a piece depending on my mood.  Happy, sad, angry… whatever. I also fell in love with playing anything Beatles.  My dad literally had hundreds of sheets of Beatles songs for guitar, which I adapted for piano.

Playing piano was my outlet.  I would sit for hours on end, lose track of time, and just play, play, play.  I’ve always had an issue playing in front of people.  This probably stemmed from the fact that my teacher never pushed it on me, so it was never something I was comfortable with.

It’s very private for me, just the piano and I.

In high school I had a super cool music teacher, and took his classes, be it guitar, voice, piano… every year.  I took the piano class knowing full well that it would be an easy A for me.  Once he found this out, he let me sit in the corner with my headphones, and learn whatever pieces I felt intrigued by.  Instead of the mandatory tests and exam, my exam was to play Imagine in front of the entire school during an assembly.  Playing the song was no problem for me, but in front of the school was one of the most nerve racking things I’ve ever done.  Luckily I had a choir backing me up, so it wasn’t so horrible.

One summer I worked at a historical site.  There was a piano forte in the officer’s quarters that I had to play for guests as they strolled through.  I loved it, although, a piano forte does not have the standard 88 keys, which would frustrate me when I wanted to twittle away at my favourite pieces.  These pieces obviously were not ‘period’ for the site, so I could only play them when there were no guests around.

I moved away from home for college and missed my piano with a passion.  One time I came home for a visit, and the piano was gone.  My dad had disposed of it as he and my step-mom were looking for a new house, and did not want to deal with moving it and/or didn’t feel it fit with the decor.  I was shocked.

That piano was a part of me, and now it was gone.  I didn’t even know.  It was like losing a friend. I wondered how my dad, a fellow musician, could just do that.  I wondered what it would feel like if he came home and his guitars were gone.

It was like a part of me was missing, gone, forever. I mourned for a while, and eventually decided that once I could gather up the cash, I would buy one myself.

Since I move around  like a travelling roadshow, an upright piano is not a practical option.  So I thought about getting a digital keyboard.  Not those outrageous ones with all of the buttons.  All that I need is an on/off switch, pedals, volume and 88 keys.  At the time I was in school and was unable to afford this luxury.  Prices have come down since, but I’ve still managed to find something else more important or urgent.

To this day, when ever I hear that unmistakable sound, my heart melts and I drift off to dream land.  Whether it be recorded or live.  Just a few weeks ago I went somewhere for brunch where a man was playing.  I stood there, frozen in awe of his talent, and of course, a tad jealous that he was playing and I was not.

He glanced over, and I swear he could see it in my eyes.

My longing.  My dreams.

One of these days, I will reunite with my long lost love of those 88 keys.

One of these days…

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I’ve seen this a couple times, and now it’s my turn… since I’m bored as hell, time for another random list of randomness….

The things I have done are in BOLD.

1. Started my own blog 
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower (so amazing)
6. Given more than I can afford to charity 
7. Been to Disneyworld
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis 
10. Sung a solo (in the shower?)
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightening at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France 
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill (many)
24. Built a snow fort (once we built a snow fort shaped like an igloo with a secret door in the back, so that when we threw snowballs at cars, we had a secret hiding spot to slide into like some sort of super hero.  Ahh, those were the days).
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run (Weeee! I miss doing that)
32. Been on a cruise (not a real cruise, I’m not really into that.  But I’ve been on quite a few booze cruises).
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person (born and raised on the Canadian side).
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors 
35. Seen an Amish community 
36. Taught myself a new language (pfft… here is my explanation about that).
37. Have enough money to be truly satisfied (I’ve pretty much accepted that it will ever happen).
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke (and trust me, it ain’t pretty).
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant (no, but I’ve given a homeless person enough to buy a meal, assuming that’s what he actually did with the money).
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris 
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling (Breathing through an air tank freaks me out. Way out).
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud 
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie 
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching 
63. Got flowers for no reason (wow, now I’m depressed).
64. Donated blood
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy (awww, my precious piggy – I still have him).
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar (I’ve tried it… not my cup of tea).
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job (I’ve only been fired once, from a 3rd party collections agency, while I was in training, for being ‘too nice’)
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone (one ankle, two feet)
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book (for work)
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car (haha that will be the day)
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper (When I was 10, I designed the transit mascot for Niagara Falls.  He still makes parade appearances to this day).
85. Read the entire Bible (and yet I went to Catholic schools, how ironic).
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating 
88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury (I’ve always wanted to do this.   I’m still waiting….)
91. Met someone famous (Michael Douglas and Katherine Zeta-Jones briefly in Barbados, and author Austin Clarke… I got to chill in his amazing pad of billions of books.  So. Awesome.)
92. Joined a book club (I love books, but not clubs about them).
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Rode an elephant

50% – not bad, not bad at all.  Well, now that I’ve only wasted 10 minutes, on to yet another e-book…

Countdown status:

1.5 days left of my job…. 18 days left of my winter and away to Barbados I go. Weeeeee!

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