Posts Tagged ‘life’

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.


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.


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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.


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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So, again, In Ether has pointed out something that I’ve also realized myself lately.  Just yesterday I mentioned to a friend how my entries have tamed down quite a bit.  How could that be?

Is it because I’m a temporary escapee from a city that I sometimes loathe?


Is it because I’ve managed to avoid an apparently treacherous winter?

Most likely.

Is it because I’m living on an island that I love?


It’s so foreign to me to write about happiness and all things related to it.  I can’t poke fun at happiness. I can’t tell it to F off.  I can’t smother it with sarcasm. I can’t yell at it.  I can’t point out all of its faults.

Well, I suppose I could do these things, but that would be some bad karma right there.   So instead, I sit here wondering why I am not all too disturbed with things that would otherwise bother me.

Like the fact that my shower has been broken for two days now.  My mom, aka The Incredible Hulk, managed to pull the knob right out of the wall.  In her defense, the thing was already broken and on it’s last legs, but I still found it pretty humourous.

Yet, if this happened to me back home, I’m pretty sure I would have blown my gasket by now.

I won’t even describe to you how I don’t exactly smell like a bouquet of roses, or how my hair gives the impression of being wet… but yet, it’s not.  Mind you, I haven’t left the house, and don’t plan to, until I am properly cleansed.


So uhm, help me out here people.  This ‘happy’ business is new to me.  I’m sure I’ll be back to my normal self once I move back home, but for now… I’m a little lost.

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Alright. So it’s settled.

Next weekend I will take my first surfing lesson.


I’m super excited, and scared shitless at the same time.

I’ve always loved to watch surfing. Maybe it’s because I’m a water sign and feel drawn to it. Maybe it’s because I’m in love with the ocean. Maybe it’s just because it looks cool.

Who knows.

Last weekend I found myself at a friends watching some random channel with surfing, for what seemed like hours.  It was mesmerizing.  It wasn’t just the beer that made me say,

“I really want to do that.  So. Awesome.”

He surfs, and connected me with a friend of his who teaches. So it’s really going to happen. Whether I was talking shit and running off my mouth (like usual) or not, it’s going to happen anyways.  I’ve wanted to surf for a long time, but

a) Canada’s obviously not the best place for it, and

b) although I’m a pretty stronger swimmer, I’ve always had a fear of being swallowed by the ocean.

So this is why I chose surfing over my other options.  I figure, it’s something I’ve never done, and it’s also something I’m apprehensive about.  What do I have to lose, right?

Other than my dignity, of course.  I’m pretty sure I’ll make a fool out of myself, but you know, whatever.  I embarrass myself enough in general, so this will be right down my alley.

Wish me luck, blogland, and that I come back in one piece.


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On customer service…

Lady: Can I help?

Me: I need to put money on my pre-paid Digicel.

Lady: We don’t do that here.

Me: Oh, I thought the sign said you did <gestures to sign>.

Lady: No, we only do Digicel.

Me: Uhh… that’s what I wanted.

Lady: <Walks away and mumbles>

Me: Sooooo where do I go to get it then?

Lady: <With much attitude>  I don’t know what you want!

Me: <Raises eyebrows> I guess I don’t know either.  I want to top up my Digicel.

Lady: Is it local?

Me: Yes.

Lady: <Points> Go pay to her.

Apparently the confusion stemmed from the fact that I didn’t say ‘top up’ from the start.  I suppose without those two words I must sound like I’m speaking a language other than English. Either that or it’s brain surgery <— notice I didn’t say rocket science?  I’m taking the advice of an interesting post by In Ether, which I completely agree with.  Rocket scientists get all the credit, and I generally use the phrase

a) out of habit, and

b) because I’m too lazy to think of anything to put in it’s place.

Although, I have noticed I use it quite often, and now I believe I will come up with much better inserts.  It should be pretty entertaining… stay tuned.


On marriage….

Air Conditioner Man: Are you the new tenant?

Me: No, my mom lives here.  I’m here also… for now.

Air Man: Oh, well I bet your husband will follow you here.

Me: <laughs> Nope, not married.

Air Man: What?! Why not?! What are you waiting for?! You should be married.

Me: It’s not me. It’s them.

Air Man: <laughs> Mmm hmm.  Well, I have been with my girl now for over 10 years.

Me: That’s great! Are you married?

Air Man: No.

Me: So, what are you waiting for?

Air Man: <shrugs>


Later that day…

Mom: The air man was talking about you.  He went on and on.

Me: Mmm hmm. We had a discussion about marriage.


On arms…

Random Stranger: I would give my arm for you.

Me: Uh… that wouldn’t be wise.

Random: Why?

Me: Well, you would be less an arm that you need, and I would have an extra arm that’s not needed.

(Yes, I realize that I’m a total ass sometimes, but hey, that comes with the package. This could be some insight to my marriage-less lifestyle.)


On politics and friends….

Random Navy Dude: Hi, I noticed you from over there <points>.

Me: Uh huh.  What’s up?

Navy: <general introductions and small talk>

Me: <rambles on about politics>

Navy: I can’t believe a girl like you is so into politics!

Me: Why? Because I’m female, or because I’m Canadian?

Navy: <Shifts eyes and changes subject> I noticed you from over there <points>.

Me: Yes, we’ve established that.

Navy: So why are you here alone?

Me: I’m waiting on my friend <points to ice cubes melting in rum and coke>.  He’s in traffic.

Navy: Is he your ‘friend’ or your ‘friend‘?

Me: My ‘friend’.. the platonic kind <wonders where the F friend is>.

Enter Friend

Navy: <introduces to friend> so you are ‘just friends’?

Me: <bugs out eyes to friend with a look that says ‘save me‘>

Friend: Yes.

Navy: How come? She is a good girl, you know <rambles on many more reasons why I’m ‘good’ and grabs my hand>

Me: <feeling awkward, guzzles back rest of drink> Uh, it was very nice meeting you, have fun in the navy <begins to leave and starts humming ‘In the Navy’>

Friend: <Mumbles>

Me: <Falls down steps while trying to escape.  Hurts feet and ankle tremendously.  Embarrassed as hell, but continues on>

Friend: Hold on.  Shit. Are you okay? Wait… stop… <catches up>

Navy: <shouts as I’m leaving> I’ll be back in March, I’ll be looking for you.

Me: Uh…okay.

Friend: <Laughs>

Me: <limping, ponders life, wonders if I’ll ever meet a man that will put up with my bullshit>


On Heckling…

Truck full of Randoms: <to the woman walking out of the instant teller> Weeee! Whooooo! Gyal! Psssssst!

Woman: <while munching on a  KFC snack pack> You do not have what I want.  Ain’t got what I want at all. <takes bite out of fried chicken>

Me: <laughs and thinks, that’s a good line… I’m going to use that one>

Randoms: How ’bout some of dis gyal <points to groin area and shakes it around>

Woman: I said you ain’t got what I want <devours rest of chicken leg>.


On group tours…

Visitor R: I went on the rum tour today.

Me: Cool, how did you like it?

VR: Well, I was the only one on the tour.

Me: Awesome. Your own personal tour.

VR: Ya, well, the tour guide still treated me like I was a group of people.

Me: <laughs> What?

VR: Ya, I tried to ask her a question and she asked me to hold my questions till the end to avoid disrupting the rest of the group.


On being a dick…

Me: <sitting on patio>

Visitor T: <shakes on door from inside> Boo!

Me: <sarastically rolls eyes> It doesn’t work from the inside, you know.  You can only scare me if you do that from the outside.

VT: <laughs> What? I said Boone.  Boone! The name of the character from LOST we were trying to remember all night?

Me: <laughs> Ohhhhh. I thought you were trying to scare me.

VT: <laughs> You’re a dick.

Me: <nods> Ya.


On confusing the unwanted…

Visitor M: Watch this.  All I have to do is speak French to people who bug me, and they totally back off.

Me: <laughs> That’s such a good idea.  I wish I was better at French.

VM:  It doesn’t even matter what you say.  They don’t know the difference.

Me: Like, ouvre la fenetre? or l’anana? or telefrancais? or ou est la toilette?

VM: Yep.  Oh, here comes some <motions with eyes>.  Watch this.

Randoms: <various pick up lines and offers of drugs>

VM: <speaks French for 2 minutes>

Randoms: <laugh hysterially while backing away cautiously>

Me: So. Awesome.

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Call me crazy (like you haven’t already…), but I love washing cars.  I don’t know what’s so intriguing about it for me.

Is it because I get to play with bubbles?

Or, could it be that I get to play with the hose?

How about because I get a nice tan while doing it?

Maybe, it’s the way the water bounces off the car and mists onto my face.

Is it the way it looks so shiny afterwards?

Or, is it the sense of accomplishment because I made it look so shiny?

Is it because I like to clean things?

Well, definitely not the last one.  I like things clean, but would prefer things to clean themselves… other than cars, obviously.

Hmmm.  Really, I’m stumped.

Anyhoo, today I washed my mom’s car… mainly because she had clients flying in and I left enough sand to build a castle inside. So I figured, after I de-sanded it, I would give the exterier a nice washing.

I literally took hours (I’m on island time, remember).  I found it so peaceful and relaxing.  I popped on my ipod and gave that sucker a scrubbing it will never forget.  I refused to finish until every little smudge and watermark had been eliminated, and I could see my reflection.  It didn’t even upset me that my brilliant wash eventually got rained on.

Many passers-by took notice of my impeccable car washing skills.  I swear it.  It wasn’t my car washing attire, which included a bikini underneath a tube top and cargo cut offs. It was the skills.  Really, it was.  It also wasn’t because I was belting out the tunes on my ipod.  Nope.  Skills, all the way baby.  Skills are hard to come by.

Wax on, silentorchestra-san, wax on.

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So the day has finally come.  And what a sweet day, indeed.  My countdown is complete, and I have finally made it to my favourite destination.  

Ahhh… Barbados.  

My flight etc was rather uneventful, which is a plus, since generally I travel on Air Canada, US Airways or American Airlines and it’s always hell.  West Jet, however, you are my saviour.  So much so, that you even got us there early.  

Please pause, as I bow down to West Jet….




It really didn’t hit me until I got off the plane.  I walked down the steps onto the runway and felt the warm breeze through my hair.  

Warm. Breeze.  

Wow.  Those two words are so much sexier than wind chill.  

As I tried to gather my carry on luggage and winter coat in an acceptable fashion, I wondered why my face was twitching.  

Then it hit me.  That twitch, my friends, was a smile.  

What?!  She’s actually happy?  

Yes indeedy.  I forgot what happiness felt like.  And this is it.  Seriously.  I am absolutely in love with this island.  Like how you feel when you’re in a relationship.   That kind of love.

I forgot about that feeling… the last time I had it was July, which was the last time I was here.  It’s like a switch goes off and all the stress and negativity disappears.  The feeling increases even more when I realize I’m not just here for a few weeks, but four months.  



Is it crazy that I have a human being relationship with an entire geographical land mass?  


But I don’t care.  It’s full blown true love.  Heaven.  

Now please excuse me as slip into my flip flops and sit my ass on the wrap around porch filled with palm trees, aloe plants and birds of paradise.  It’s time to suck back my third Banks Beer, feel the warm breeze on my face and watch the planes take off overhead.  


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