Whimsical slumber and other such nonsense

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    I must profess that my sub-conscience has an unusual and excellent way of keeping me entertained while I sleep.  Last night I had a dream within a dream. I woke up to find myself in a horse-drawn carriage travelling along city streets I wasn’t familiar with, in the dead of winter. It was a little eerie as there was no driver, and as previously stated, the area was unfamiliar to me. Yet I wasn’t cold despite my meagre garments, and the houses along the streets were quite pretty. Sometime after finding myself safely returned to my bed, I discovered that it had been a painting an artist had put me in. I was tracking him down trying to determine why he did so but I don’t think I received a definite answer.
I have been in a horse drawn carriage only once in my true wakeful hours; on my trip to Montreal this past summer with my parents. It is a popular tourist activity there and we all enjoyed it; the only aspect that makes it less elegant than one would imagine is the smell of horse deposits that line the streets one travels on. Despite this, I sometimes have a fanciful wish that we all still travelled in carriages all the time. I think my mother would be rather inclined to the idea also; at least, if cabs were only ever horse-drawn affairs because she always feels that cab motorists drive dangerously fast. Her nerves were shot in the cab from the airport to the hotel on our first day. On a somewhat unrelated note, I also had the opportunity to view the inside of Notre Dame church while I was in Montreal, and it is intricately vast and beautiful. It was a treat to look at it, but it does make one wonder as to the odd… how I shall I describe it?  Almost arbitrariness of religion. Art is painstaking but does it really satisfy our souls or our attraction to extravagance?  No exquisite sculpture of Moses ever put a meal in any impoverished person’s stomach.  But it is an old conflict I suppose, residing in the hearts of fortunate humans almost as long as time itself.  My, I seem far less caustic and more philosophical than yesterday. Both states are rather tiresome I suppose.
On another note, in the past couple days I have found a new magnum opus for myself, which is good (will never forget what the original animated Charlotte’s Web film did to enrich my vocabulary). I have a play script in the early stages of development; it is intended to be a mild comedy inspired by Oscar Wilde’s delightfully sparkling dialogues. He has been a great companion to me this past summer, and a lovely muse, I must admit. I very much hope to see this project through to completion, I have a habit of deciding my work is not up to par and giving up part way through.
                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

the future, exams and death

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My friends just left after coming over to spend a pleasant evening playing board games and chatting.  Everyone is trying to put their futures together, which is an extremely involved process in Newfoundland.  Essentially the weight of the world rests upon public examinations, these 3 hour extravaganzas which are worth 50% of one’s entire grade.  Upon entering grade 12 you have a year of preaching ahead of you to look forward to, all your core subject teachers are going to preach all year about the importance of the public exams and remind you incessantly that you are taking a public exam course, just in case there are any particularly fanciful members of the class who are waiting for their fairy godmothers to show up and turn the public exam course into an automatic diploma.  You get to write this set of public exams twice, as most teachers will insist you write a practice public which is still worth marks.  If you get overwhelmed by your course load and all of these publics, and end up failing one, you then have to wait until more than half the summer is gone before receiving your final grades — basically the report card you receive at the end of the school year is meaningless, and not worth waiting for during the five hour assembly at which people get awards for everything from being unbearably chirpy keeners to showing up at a mentor’s meeting once in their high school lives.  If you do fail a public,you then have two week’s notice to prepare for the exam all over again — in August you can write a supplementary,in which you get a new public on all the same material.  You can end up writing one or two publics 3 times in total if you’re unfortunate: you have your "phony" prepartory public,followed by public take one and then public take two. If you fail public take two,then you may as well forget the word "university" even exists because you’re not getting into one without a lot of hassle. Which unfortunately is the case for a couple of my friends, luckily not for me!     
 
                              
 
 
My pal Susan wants to compare schedules so we can determine when we’re on breaks at the same time so we can meet up (we are both attending Mun in the fall.)  That will be nice, I don’t want to be too lonely my first semester. Brandon is crackers and is going to be busy all day everyday basically; he’s taking every science course under the sun on top of math and English. He has the intelligence for it but I don’t envy him.
Right now I am thinking about the fact that close to the end of the school year a student at my high school died (one I didn’t know) and a lot of people seemed shocked (which I thought was kind of odd, people of all ages die all the time) and many people were cynical (which wasn’t odd at all) commenting on the opportunism of certain students (ones who went to the lobby during class to look sombrely at his memorial although they did not even know him, etc.) and a number of people did not seem to care one way or the other, and the teachers all seemed to think it was unfortunate, but naturally they mainly just wanted everyone to focus on their public exams.  For whatever reason I’ve been fixated on the seventeenth century the past few days, not due to anything unique about the period, I simply keep thinking how everyone who was alive then has been dead quite a long time. Well, I am quite tired and I suppose I ought to go to bed, to rest myself for another day of purgatory which is the best my life has had to offer lately. I hope I’ll be happier when September arrives.
 

Holly, Edgar, Luca and me

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I spent the afternoon at the home of my friend Brandon, at which I had the opportunity to learn what my singing voice sounds like (far more feeble than I had thought) via a karaoke video game which records your work, and view an episode of Doctor Who for the first time. I also inadvertently almost killed one of the dogs and am sure I shall now be banned from any further Scrabble games at Brandon’s house, or board games of any kind for that matter. Aw,I lie, Brandon spoils me, he forgives me everything.  I later had a chat with my therapist in which we agreed I should be ok on my own, at least for a little while, so that was good.  (Fortunately the incident with my canine friend Holly wasn’t too traumatic for me.Smile)  I indulged some literary tastes this evening by reading Edgar Allen Poe, and I discovered a lovely little grim tale entitled "The Oval Portrait", which echoes some of the themes within the story of Dorian’s portrait, though in this case the fault was the artist’s, rather than the subject. What grave implications paintings seemed to have had in the nineteenth century!  I am clearly in need of an English course; fortunately September draws ever nearer. God, August can be a dull month. Well, I just looked at pictures of my cousin Tyler’s baby on his brother’s blog. The baby’s name is Luca, I really like that name. His mother is Italian. I’m trying to figure out what I am to Luca, a second cousin or something else? Anyway, that’s it for today.

Midsummer Night

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  Yesterday my parents and I went to Cupids, one of Newfoundland’s small communities "out around the bay" so to speak, that now predominantly serves as a unique cultural stronghold. Trinity has its annual historical pageant,taking you from the grief of fishermen’s widows within a lovely church to humourous judicial proceedings relating to petty crime, right by the sea. Now Cupids, in honour of its 400th birthday, has the New World Theatre Project. The Project has constructed an outdoor theatre called the Indeavour, created to emulate the Globe Theatre, which it intends to tour with nationally and internationally eventually (the stage being portable apparently.)  My reason for going, was that the company’s choice of Shakespearean productions for its debut are among my favourites: A Midsummer Night’s Dream is my favourite Shakespearean comedy, Ceasar, my favourite tragedy, although I only saw the former. (Ceasar is over and done with, and I doubt my parents would have indulged two separate trips anyway.)    What perfect luck for me, as each year I eagerly await the titles of Shakespeare by the Sea’s summer productions, always hoping for one of my preferences to be among them. And now one of my life goals is accomplished: to see a live performance of Midsummer Night, which has always amused me between its magical, farcical and surreal elements as well as its rich dialogues and emotionally tense speeches.  As much as I appreciate the talent of the casts and crews of Shakespeare by the Sea, New World Theatre presents a more professional and thoroughly enjoyable show.  The Indeavour stage ensures that outdoor theatre need not be weather dependent as there are canopies above the audience to protect from any rain; the enclosed area, as well as the peacefulness of the community, prevents there being any hustle and bustle to interfere with and distract from the performance.  Harbourside Park in downtown St. John’s, though lovely,fails in that regard, it’s not a sensible setting for a production, and it’s preferable to feel that actors aren’t screaming at you over the wind in order to be heard (with occasional success.)  The actors also, lo and behold, bother with costumes, and avoid embarassing attempts to be cool with silly modernizations.  There is no Hummer transporting the two pairs of lovers in their trek through the woods.
Ok, so I am a snob, and a Shakespeare purist apparently, but what of it?  The setting was magical, the costuming effective, and the actors fantastic, making it all "great fun" as I overheard a fellow patron say.  I hope to attend another New World Performance next summer.

Darling Basil

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18 isn’t too old to still have secret dreamworlds, I hope, and I inhabit a dreamworld in which I am a singer/songwriter (I can’t play an instrument to save my life, by the way.) The following I categorize as a "semi-poem", a term I use for something that lacks the structure of a poem, but can’t really be said to be song lyrics, seeing as it goes to no particular rhythm and has no musical accompaniment.  This was inspired by the 1976 film production of "The Picture of Dorian Gray" and seeing as Jeremy Brett plays Basil, he’s truly the magnetic one, not Dorian. Chalk up the inaccurate detail regarding where Basil is stabbed as poetic licence.
 
Darling Basil
Here you lie upon the bloodstained stone
Mercilessly left for dead
Killed by the dagger of your one love
When he pierced it through your head
It’s so frightfully cold in here
And for far too long I’ve lived in fear and dread
Can’t find any warmth or solace when I take to my bed
Sleep should cure my sickness
But I’m haunted by visions of you
 
I still see your beautiful grey eyes
and hear your impassioned words as you pour out your soul
can you not understand
your vulnerability lies in his cruel hands
and how I wish you’d confessed
to one deserving of your tenderness
for I would have sat for you any day
indeed everyday
while my life away with you
and had you regarded me with such reverence
and barely contained pained longing
God praise the circumstance
I would have found myself in your arms
 
He was everything you should have loathed
a brute beast clothed in God-like form of man
You lived a life of serene melancholy
while he pursued vain pleasures and selfish folly
You were born to create
breathe life into the canvas blessed enough
to be touched by your gentle brush
He was born to hate
charm, destroy, manipulate
this truth came upon you far too late
 
I still see your beautiful grey eyes
imagine them filling with terrified surprise
and hear your impassioned voice escalate into pleading cries
can you not understand
where you saw splendour and innocence of youth
I saw darkness and deceit
and took you as the one enlightening truth
for truth is imperfection
how I shuddered at his idyllic complexion
and felt sickened at each angelic grin
certain that it hid a morbid sin
(but where were they hiding?)
and how cruel, through your devotion you became hapless fool
your greatest work becoming his shameful tool
through which he maintained his disguise
 
and I still see
I still see
I still see your beautiful grey eyes
 
*Note: the "grey eyes" theme repeated throughout is entirely coincidental, and not related to Dorian’s last name. If wondering how it’s possible for one’s eyes to be grey (as I used to), I’ve discovered it occurs when someone’s eyes are a very faint shade of green, appearing at times to be grey.
 

First Blog

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There, that’s a sufficient (albeit predictable) title.  Here marks the humble beginnings of an ego-indulging project, in which a young girl dangling precariously on the cusp of adulthood (cusp is rather a delightful word, and for some reason makes me think of creme brulee, which is a dish I’m actually not fond of) decides to fool herself into thinking that her diary is somehow relevant to the rest of the world.
Unfortunately, August is rather a dull month, and it will likely prove difficult for me to believe such an illusion as summer wanes, for I must admit I give way to a grave vice during summer: over-indulging myself in empty delights such as television and food, and giving way to physical as well as mental lethargy.  Freedom isn’t liberating, it imprisons one within oneself; therefore I eagerly await autumn and the return to a structured and somewhat restricted situation: school.  The major change this year, is that it will be my first year in university, which I am moderately looking forward to, not wanting to prematurely attribute anything too life-altering to these seemingly pivotal years which lie before me.  So it is that I endure these lazy hazy days of purgatory, and await my new beginning.  First blog, first year at uni, how fitting.