carnival flash fiction friday
since it is, after all, that time of year, and i magically found a seat on a flight and flew home carnival saturday night just in time to wine @ dawn (the fete, and corresponding time of day) here's a voice i haven't used for fff before.consider this a crash course in sweet trini carnivalbig-up jj for the setup:Remember? How could I forget? I recall it specifically because the man standing there next to us in the road when it went down turn out to be working for the papers, and next morning, her picture splash out on the front page for she mudda to see, boy!
how you mean, if i was there?
i was the one who tell she in the first place how robert was getting on with that red woman. rubbing heself all up on her, acting like he ent have no wife in the section right behind them.
well yes, i had to tell her. you doh let that shit slide when is yuh friend business. so after i collect my beer i wait for our section to reach me and fall back in by her one time. and i ask, gyul when last you check robert?
and she tell me she was looking for him not too long ago but didn’t see him by the right side of the music truck where he say he and the boys was, and she didn’t bother to search because she have the car keys and he know to find her after we cross the savannah. so i just lean in and tell her quiet what i see robert getting on with because i think, as the man wife, she have a right to know what going on. she pause and watch me, but when she see my face she know i wasn’t joking.
all i hear she say was, is so?
then she smile a kinnah half-smile and tell me come go with her to find robert and tell him he ass walking home. cool, cool, she say it, like it was nothing, like she was just going to tell him she bounce up somebody he know.
i figure is best i go and make sure she safe.
so we cutting through the band, and she not even looking vex, she not hustling, nothing, but she still cutting through like she have a purpose. me so, i woulda be vex no tail, but she not saying nothing neither, so i just following and trying not to lose her in the crowd – you know she done small already. so i running behind her, studying what the ass she going and do when she reach up on the scene, and next thing i know, as we reach robert and them section, before i look round twice, that little gyul run up on the man – mind you, he still carrying on with the red ting, cyah see nothing but that bumper backing-back – she jump on he back and swing round her standard so it come up in his neck.
i never see nobody move so. in a one, she jump on him and choking him hard with the standard.
it take the red ting a minute to realise she ent feeling no wine back and pull up. but when she look round behind her and see what going on, she try to ride out in a one.
well, me eh know what come over me, nah. but after i see misslady mashing up robert so, i was inspired. i ent even recognise meself. before i catch meself and remind meself who my mudda is, i grab that red woman by she weave, break off the top of my carib bottle on the edge of the pavement like if i know what to do in bottle fight, and bawl, doh feel you going nowhere!
well i not really sure what happen after that. some people come and rescue the red girl – i think once i realise what i was getting in i wasn’t so hot up for no bottle fight – but doh worry, she lose that weave in my hand that carnival tuesday, yes.
i tell misslady, forget robert, it have plenty man in the band and she have the car keys. plus, he boys was looking little bite up anyway, so we ride out and leave them to mind the sore neck.
well after that we had a ball, but if you had only see the pictures in the papers next day, you would’na be asking me if i remember when misslady nearly kill robert in the road...walk good.
today, while walking home from a shakespeare gig, i was accosted by a dude who took credit for being one of the people who honked horns @ me while i was walking home from a shakespeare gig the other day.he said he was in his car, so i assume he wasn't the dump-truck driver because anybody who'd think it wise to try and get my attention while driving one would prob'ly also think he should recall himself that way, since he made a memorable impression. i don't think this character had the sense of understatement required to refer to the dump-truck as his car.anyway, shakespeare- since i spend so much time with his work, people tend to assume i know a lot about the dude and gimme shit when i don't, so i'm creating a disclaimer: i don't care who shakespeare was, and don't care that i haven't read the full canon. whether he was the earl of oxford or some no-name dude who technically didn't have the education to have written what he wrote, whether he wrote alone or not, whether his name was shakespeare or not, whether he was a he or not, whether the dark lady was wife, mistress, or boyfriend, shakespeare's dead and all i care about is the body of work left behind. and while it may be true that knowing such details (especially about the dark lady) might provide deeper reading of said body of work, i simply engage whatever subtext seems fitting and interesting, or whatever subtext fits my director's (production) vision. and as for not having read it all- well, he wrote a lot and recycled everything, and i don't think i need to read it all to love it all. i've read enough to know the basic recycled plots and devices (twins, shipwrecks, girl-dressed-as-boy, mistaken lovers, adventures in the woods, gulling, play-within-a-play, dangerous ambition, revenge and murder most foul) and the various characters that pop up time and again under different names and/or disguises, and already have a thorough appreciation of the writer's way with words. anything i haven't read yet, i'll read when i eventually work on it, and i feel no need to be able to talk like an expert, so i'm content. so there. it doesn't lessen my groupie-dom or make me a bad shakespearean. and when people ask, i'ma continue responding with, "does it matter?"i started thinking about all this because this week i ran into somebody who reminded me again of where i started- a certain pottevil commented on my blog and when tracked down, their journal only listed 1 favourite, which was the blog of somebody i know and want to be reading (and you do too). for some reason this led me to believe that they were both her journals and she was linking them to each other, so i brazenly sent an email. the reply i got said that pottevil wasn't who i thought, but he turned out to be somebody i knew nonetheless- we met when i was a teenager, through my director and mentor, john isaacs.so big up pottevil (relatively new blogger) for reminding me that i keep promising myself to post about the amazing aunty noble douglas.it's that time.i wouldn't be where or who i am without john isaacs and noble douglas. i have amazing parents and the best extended family, and john and noble were more than teachers, doing as much to raise me as any family.i started out doing ballet at the caribbean school of dancing where pat roe delighted my dancing feet- and i must digress to point out that this is how easily our choices affect our lives: my mom asked me if i was interested in ballet, and @ first i hesitated because the class clashed with saturday morning cartoons i didn't want to give up, but she convinced me to try 1 class, and i fell in love and never looked back- so i started ballet and loved it, and one saturday my dad was late picking me up and i wandered into the front studio. in the front studio were aunty noble and the lilliput children's theatre drama class. she and then-director brian invited me to join them while i waited because in trinbago, the village still raises the child. i loved it, and promptly told my parents i wanted to take drama too.in retrospect, it was financially a lot to ask- 2 daughters dancing, and now a drama class- but they didn't balk, and i joined lilliput.brian soon left and was replaced by john, who was with us until he died.lilliput does an annual production, which had previously been written by (adult) artistic directors, based around the costumes/characters designed for each year's carnival band. after a few months with john, when we were about to start working on the upcoming show, he pulled me aside and told me he wanted me to go home, write a play, and bring it back to workshop in class the next week.i was 10.he gave me a plot and the cast of characters and told me to write it. he said it like there was no doubt i could do it, so i never thought it was hard and just wrote a play, like he said, in a week. i brought it back to class, we workshopped, i edited, and it was the show we performed that year. i was a performed playwright by the time i hit high school, and kept it up until i graduated and started working for the newspaper. lilliput members continue to write their own scripts.now, when i write anything, especially dialogue, i question and doubt every word. but then, john's faith that i could do it made it possible. and again, i never looked back. i wrote the annual lilliput show for the next few years and acted in it, kept taking ballet, and decided theatre was my life. agreeing to try ballet, in spite of saturday morning cartoons, led to my future happiness. i have no idea what i'd want to do when i grow up otherwise.john isaacs was my mentor, and still is. i miss him like i miss my grandfather basil.he treated us like adults from day 1, like we had limitless talent and potential, like we were intelligent and thoughtful and had valid opinions. he never said he thought we were ready, he just handed it to us, and creative failure never crossed our minds. he made us think. he made us experience more than we thought we could handle, and we handled it fine. he told us when we did shit. he walked out on us when we weren't prepared to work. he encouraged us to run our own warmups and classes and we felt like we had learned and loved learning. he trusted us and taught us to trust our creative impulses. we would not be here without him.noble douglas is my aunty noble, mine and hundreds of others.she still runs lilliput theatre- we (my drama class, john and herself) decided to drop the "children's" because we kept tackling issues that our poor, shocked parents couldn't reconcile with "children's theatre"- as well as the noble douglas dance company inc. (adult, professional, and they call her aunty noble too). she knows the name of every single one of her hundreds of students, past+present, their whole family story, and whether they need a drop to+from class (ent nico, couldn't let that go). she nurtured us and buffed us proper when we deserved it (over a megaphone in queens hall so you could hear it all out in the carpark). she gave us everything and let us get away with nothing. she trusted us, and trusted john as our leader when others doubted that "children" should be experimenting with the subject matter we chose. she choreographed us and introduced us to music we couldn't stop listening to.she loves us.going home for lilliput's 30th anniversary gala last september was wonderful and sad. i didn't know how much i missed it, i didn't realise how much it had given to so many. i didn't know how much i wanted to be there, working with manwarren, the mentor and friend who's thankfully still with us and working and inspiring us, to share what he and john and noble taught me.i didn't know how bad aunty noble's rheumatoid arthritis has become and how it would break my heart to see her struggle to move, she who danced with graham and ailey and never scratched her fire-engine-red-nailpolish. i didn't know how it would make my heart dance to see her choreography performed again. or how it would break me again to see john's mother onstage with aunty noble and remember that they lost him too.eventually, i'll be back, to help aunty noble and manwarren teach the upcoming youth what they gave me- the knowledge that we can make our own choices and our own lives.walk good.
dude! i heard crazy squealing tires, screeching, then a huge crash, and looked out my door to see some large dude in a too-small car, trying to peel it off the parked police vehicle he'd completely smashed (police vehicle which, for the record, was illegally parked in the bus stop).he backed up slowly (and i could literally hear the metal+plastic unfolding from the metal+plastic of the other car it'd become one with), then looked around right quick, and thought he could just drive away (it's the police, but then again, it's the police), but as he inched forward, the uniforms ran out the house they'd been in, and he got in trouble not just for hitting their (parked) car, but for trying to hit+run.if it weren't so damn cold i woulda been the nosy neighbour and watched the whole thing go down- they were still out there lambasting him 45minutes later and just towed the police car (it was that bad) almost 2hours after the big noise.walk good.
the great motivator
without advance knowledge of an impending trip to sweet trini for carnival, getting back in shape is hard. it's making me wonder if the reason america struggles with obesity is partly because they don't have carnival (and accompanying culture). i mean, there's mardi gras, but how many americans make that the fixture their calendar revolves around? i think if this whole country had carnival every year they'd be a healthier, happier people. of course, the timing'd have to be different because half the country's in shit weather right now, which doesn't help motivate anyone to get fit either- all winter motivates is sitting on the couch with blankets and comfort food, the polar opposite of carnival. speaking of which, a week and a half ago, we got 9inches of snow dumped in our backyard. a week ago (mid-february, remember) the temperature soared into the 60's and melted all the snow in a hurry. after 2/3 days of that, we plummeted to barely-30-degree highs, then we made it up to 50-ish degrees yesterday. this morning, i looked outside and it was snowing. not that it stuck, but still, d.c. weather is bullshit!the one thing i can kinda look forward to in the usa in february is black history month programming. but this rounds, every single tv channel is full of ads that suggest there might be programming, that never materialises. everybody managed to splice together the great old photos and footage of black american icons that we've already seen a million times, underscored by curtis mayfield, cut in alicia keys saying how inspired she was by stevie wonder, or roberta flack, or whoever, ending with some attempt at a meaningful affirmation. but with the exception of bet (which technically doesn't count since it's all "black" programming, all the time already) and comedy central's "galaxy of black stars" or whatever that is, i haven't seen anybody actually do anything but recycle the photos and footage, adjusting the focus accordingly for sports or entertainment. and maybe it's because i'm not watching the right channels, but i do look through the guide before making a selection, and i ent seeing shit!i've been consoling myself for weeks with the faint hope that maybe the evo morales' salary cut might inspire change somewhere, but now it's all i can do to repress the instinctive wish that dude would die so dick cheney'd finally get in trouble, rather than apologising to the man who shot him in the face. i've been not discussing it because i feel like an even worse bad person- i never wished real death on a complete stranger before.i won't even go into port-security drama. i'm just reminding myself they're not my ports. perhaps you can tell that winter is not my season...in an effort to lift the gloom of winter and cheney's continued freedom while he revokes everyone else's, i offer you an amusing, horrible cautionary tale about dick:the other day while chatting with the gremlin (who already reach home for carnival) on the phone she mentioned to me that a friend of hers recently broke his dick.said dude apparently slipped out of his chosen orifice, mid-intercourse, and as he prepared for re-entry, decided to 'go hard'. which woulda been fine, except that he missed, and banged his penis off his partner's pubic bone instead. this resulted in immediate pain and swelling, and the end of intercourse for the night (and as we shall soon see, for weeks to come). the gremlin said the swelling was terrible, and commented on "the pictures". needless to say, i asked why there were pictures, and she explained that initially, broken-dick+pubic-bone-partner thought it was painful and inconvenient but not serious, and pubic-bone-partner, amid much laughter, took pictures which are apparently an awful sight.then, as the swelling and pain only worsened, broken-dick and pubic-bone decided that the emergency room might be in order. they tried to dress broken-dick, but the swelling was so bad that they literally couldn't get any pants on him. not even his sweats. so they gingerly covered his lower half with a towel for the trip.broken-dick's broken dick was medically confirmed as being 'broken' (an odd term for damage to a mostly muscular appendage, but i'ma work with it because it's funny)- with surgery required, and the logical decision that since it'd be outta commission anyway, it might as well be circumcised while it was in the building!so broken-dick and pubic-bone-partner are on hiatus for some weeks (months? i was laughing so hard by the end of the story that final details are hazy) and let that be a warning to you:caution advised on re-entry...walk good.
and to think i didn't think i'd need another one...a word to the wise:when you are driving the dump truck, do not bother to blow your horn in a misguided attempt to get chicks' attention (especially mine). allow me to guide your future attempts with these words- you and your trailing refuse are not cute. dump the fucking truck first.also, when i'm about to step off the curb into the intersection, blowing your horn at me as you drive by will not make me notice your cute (you think) face and your hot (you think) ride. rather, it will make me jump back onto the curb, clutching my belongings and my person in fear and horror, because it seems only logical (although, it seems, only to me) that if a car horn is directed at me as i'm crossing an intersection where we're the only traffic, it must be the driver's signal that i'm in danger of getting run over. surely you didn't think it was a good time to grab my attention so you could creepily wink at me, so i'm left to assume that in addition to being hideous, you're crazy or dumb, or both. especially when you then drive straight past, without ever actually entering said intersection.walk good.
sweet trini's urban folk tales: wordcloud
found this idea over @ spinning girl's and had to see what mine'd be like.i think my result's nicely representative, and the wordcloud dudes can create one from your blog too, and even make you a shirt of it...walk good.ps: ever notice how, like michael and janet jackson, patrick stewart and ben kingsley are never seen together...
holy shit batman! (twice edited)
so i just posted about "nextblog" taking me to stamp collecting and then hit nextblog again, and this time got taken to analvideoreviews: find adult xxx video reviews, porn star of the month, free trailers...damn.walk good.edit: after i published this post, i went to it to check that the links worked, and the analvideoreviews link took me to a different site with the same url. i'd kept the other window open, so i now have 2 windows open with the exact same url, but one is a blog on a pink background (the 1st, which you may not be able to see) and a green sales site (the 2nd, which the copied+pasted link takes you to)- how can you set up 2 different sites with the same url? grims just reminded me of links that take you to other links but don't tell you where, like pop-up ads...2nd edit: i just republished this post, and of course, rechecked my link, and, of course, was taken to a 3rd, completely different, black+grey site.anybody who actually uses the link, please comment and lemme know the colours and format (blog or obvious shopping site) you get...
i just used the "nextblog" button and was taken immediately to the stamp collecting round-up: interesting news, resources and links about stamps, stamp collecting and postal operations.i promised tommy t. from d.c. that i'd at least try to make him famous, as i sat scribbling in my notebook @ the grand hyatt bar, waiting for grims to come go get mom. he went to law school in miami, is currently working on his mba @ marymount, has something by ashlee simpson stuck in his head ("you know the one...", "no, tommy, thankfully, i don't...") and pretends to play the piano when one of the ladies in the area asks him to turn on the recorded music that's piped in through said piano when there's no actual pianist, which is most of the time- it seems every lady in this bar except me is learning to play the piano (am i a lady? in the sense that they are? i was the only one who got carded, but age isn't the only determining factor, is it?).i opted not to point out to tommy t. from d.c. that since neither he nor anyone else in the area has any idea who i am might suggest that my mention will, alas, not be one that makes him a household name.i tried, though, tommy t. from d.c.i had the fortune (good or bad, notwithstanding) to be @ au's newish (i.e. built long enough after i helped pay for it that my theatre dgreee didn't benefit) greenberg theatre watching the mystery of edwin drood the other night because grims required his students to see the show, and thus had to go too, and every now and then i get it in my too-quickly-forgetting-head to be a supportive wife.i hate shows that require audience participation. i don't mind shows that use it, once it's not a requirement- when i pay for a ticket, i choose how active i wanna be. and the mystery of edwin drood is one that drags out unnecessarily. and i wished somebody'd pick up a cue like they'd rehearsed it to look spontaneous. and the singing was much better in act1 than act2. that said, act1 didn't hurt too much, except for the number of songs being much too big for someone who'd received no advance warning that being a supportive wife involved musical theatre. the list of musicals i willingly watch is plenty shy of requiring all my counting digits.walk good.
some places, the dark knight gets the recognition he deserves! (and yes, those are batman socks peeking out from my blue chucks- i go all the way for my heroes)
and this is how tough i am.@ barely over 5' tall, i'm a viking!these moments brought to you by the land down-under and grims' trigger-finger, with batman jersey gifted by the gremlin, who knows her sister well.walk good.
i wear my sunglasses @ night to spy on my girlfriend...
for the 2nd time in 48hours i made a note-to-self to mention something here, then found myself in discussion about it with someone who brought it up to me 1st.i like darkers.i recently figured out why i've always refused to buy expensive ones though- it's because i treat mine like atd's (all-terrain-darkers). when i wear them to the beach or the pool, i don't believe that when i'm ready to go in the water, somehow my eyes suddenly no longer need protection, so the darkers go in with me. when i wear them for jouvay come carnival, i have no problem letting them get covered in mud and body paint. and when i put them on to leave the house, i usually wear them the rest of the day until i get home and take out my contacts because i'm less likely to lose them when they're on my face and not falling off the top of my head. plus, i just like wearing them, even at night. they make me feel hidden and surreptitious. but spending big $ on a pair of darkers to abuse makes no sense.and speaking of expensive darkers (zed), the early tales of the gremlin+me seem to have gone over so well that i wanted to give credit where it's due: the evil genius that possessed me to tell zed those fabulously terrible things was passed down from basil, our grandfather.our grandfather was the best, and sadly, i have to credit one of the worst teachers ever for having brought me to that realisation. suzanne silvera (who i despise) made our class do the 'old people project' (her words, not mine) in high school, which required me to spend a certain amount of quality time with an old person. i chose my grandfather because the scrawny chinee seemed cool, i'd heard he was badass, and i wanted to learn to weld.basil was a joy.he gave me great books to read, taught me to weld, told me hysterical stories, became a good friend. i won't get all maudlin about him being gone- i try to remember that his being born with 2holes in his heart, being told he wouldn't make it past early adulthood, then happily drinking, smoking and fucking more than anybody else i knew until dying in his 70's, means he lived the way he wanted and lasted longer than expected, and i shouldn't be mad.his doctor told him he had to quit smoking and basil replied that he'd dance on that doctor's grave, and did. basil married twice and still ran around as much as he could, spawning children left+right (and my grandmother still adored him so much that she still calls him her husband, even though he horned her repeatedly, left her, and married somebody else).when he was ready to let life go he called the brother he hadn't seen in forever and told him he had to visit, waited just long enough to see him when he flew in, then went to sleep and didn't wake up again. at his funeral, we met his youngest known illegitimate child, who's younger than my younger sister. basil enjoyed his life like nobody else.so this is my homage to the man who did bad things as a child, knowing he would get licks, then wore multiple layers of pants for the next few days to soften the imminent blows.this is my homage to the man who thought proper revenge on an enemy should involve tying said enemy to a tree with his ass firmly planted on an ants' nest.this is my homage to the man who believed in ice-cream, indian weddings, and sex on the beach.this is my homage to the man who prob'ly woulda ponged me for wearing darkers in the dark, then said if anybody told me i shouldn't, i definitely should.this is my homage to the man who told me i could read anything i wanted because schools don't know shit.this is my homage to the man who thought young girls could be trusted with welding equipment.this is my homage to a bad man who never pretended to be anything else and was beloved by anybody who ever spent a moment with him, a bad man who we all agree was one of the best people we knew.walk good.
'monkey' is in style right now.i know of at least 4 bloggers whose tags include the word monkey (and there are so many more bloggers i don't know), there are those ads on tv where the dude says he works with a buncha monkeys, plus some other ads that randomly involve monkeys, there's a tv show called 'love monkey' (or something similar), and i just feel like i've been seeing and hearing the word more and more often in the past 3months.i'm not against it- i use it as a term of endearment. but it's kinda weird to notice a word like monkey being in style because it doesn't seem like it could work mainstream, which is part of why i liked it...by the way, i'm thrilled to have made this post happen because the wireless router broke yesterday, so i'm illegally logged on to somebody else's network and access'll be patchy until the new equipment arrives (by friday).other tales: the other day i mentioned an incident in which a house got flooded due to the bathing of barbies in a sink, and the gremlin pointed out that she, not i, was the perpetrator of said incident. this weekend, while dionne (barbie-bathing co-culprit, and daughter of the unfortunately flooded homeowners) and my mom were liming by us, the story came up, so i can now provide the fact-checked account, and fill in some other previously-unrecognised gaps in these tales i been telling.it was, apparently, dionne+zed, not myself. i guess i thought it was me because i often bathed barbies in the dacostas' sinks...now the 1st thing to know is that growing up in st.lucien gardens (25 townhomes with plenty yard and carpark for playing, bike-riding, killing each other, etc.) we youths had multiple parents- the clements, dacostas and ourselves were one big family, doors were always open to all 6children, and all 6parents would discipline their 2 plus any others present.so dionne and the gremlin were bathing barbies in the sink and managed to flood dionne's parents' house. aunty pat, of course, beat dionne and the gremlin soundly (and deservedly) and play broke up for the day. except that when zed came home crying and fred asked what happened, she said, "aunty pat beat me!"and then when fred asked why, zed said she didn't know.so fred logically stated that aunty pat is not crazy and had to have a reason, so he would trust that the licks were deserved. i can safely say that the gremlin should count herself lucky she didn't get a 2nd cutass, for casting aspersions on aunty pat's licks...(obviously, this conversation came about because we were complaining about the lack of discipline in american children these days.)i also found out while mom was here that the house we were visiting when i almost drowned the gremlin with the "walk on water like jesus" talk was the new(er) home of the family we bought our home in st.lucien gardens from.another thing my mom filled in for me was connected to my irrational fear of falling down stairs with a glass in hand, slicing my throat open, and dying. she was telling me that the other day aunty joan slipped on her tiled floor with a glass in her hand and cut herself so badly as she fell that she needed about 10stitches in her hand (fingers+palm, so it's unusable). i found myself telling my mom about my irrational fear, only to have her tell me that she's always been afraid of falling down stairs too. she hadn't thought about the glass-thing until aunty joan's accident, but it seems odd that we've both had this fear for so long without knowing it was shared- or does everybody who lives with stairs have this secret fear? the house in st.lucien gardens where we still live (as well as our house in dc) has stairs...the last story for today (and maybe until friday, depending on wireless access) is something i wanted to post about when i completed the most recent flash fiction friday, then lo and behold, jj's fff entry brought it up, kinda, before i did. so this is the concise version:i feel like a bad reader+writer because i haven't read any updike (among others). i've been meaning to get to him as soon as opportunity presents itself, but i'm more hesitant now that i've finally read kerouac- actually, it started with flannery o'connor.i'll read anything/anyone once. i even finished hitler's mein kampf, which is, without doubt, the worst piece of horseshit to ever defile a page (horridly written, needlessly wordy, pointless, completely lacking in imagination or inspiration, trying too hard to impress with too little and thus puffed up, useless pounds of verbiage without wordsmithing, zero flow, etc.) and unworthy of linkage.so when somebody lent me a flannery o'connor collection and i remembered hearing it was good, i read it. and was disappointed.then i finally got around to reading kerouac, who i and those who knew me thought i'd like, and was bored and disappointed. i think if i'd read kerouac when i was 18 i might've appreciated him more, but alas, we'll never know anything other than the fact that i have no desire to read any more kerouac that the 3 i've read.the flannery o'connor disappointment i could take because it was minor, and once it's not as bad as mein kampf i don't ever consider reading a complete waste. but the kerouac letdown was rough. it just never occurred to me that i wouldn't enjoy him. so now i'm all scared to read any author i've built up in my mind, for fear of a kerouac-esque betrayal.so i'm taking votes, in an effort to avoid literary disappointment: which updike do i start with? rabbit?walk good.
flash fiction friday
i try to keep trying varied storytelling voices, while maintaining my sensibility. thus, i must big up jj for providing me with the opportunity to do so each week.so, this week's flash fiction friday:My hand! Oh, God, my hand…how the hell could i forget my freakin’ hand? who leaves their hand on the table? well, clearly, i do…but what in the hell is wrong with me, leavin’ my hand? you’d think i’d notice. i mean, you’d think i’d realise i only had one opposable thumb (if there’s only one, is it still considered opposable? are opposable thumbs opposing each other, or the rest of the fingers?).
damn. now i gotta go back and collect it. talk about unprofessional. how’m i gonna hack it in this business if i go around leavin’ my damn hand behind? they’re gonna think i lack focus, that's whay they'll think, “yeah, that guy, he’d lose his hand if it wasn’t attached…”
shit. shit. shit!
right. i’m goin’ back. maybe there’s a way to retrieve it with minimal observation. but what’s a good excuse for going back?
of course. the money. i’ll say i left the…come on, asshole, that don’t work. first, they’d expect to see me leave again with the bag, second, they already saw me leave with the bag, and third, then i’d really look incompetent – what kinda bag man leaves the fuckin’ bag?
you know, this is that little prick’s fault though, checkin’ me, pattin’ me down and askin’ a buncha nosy questions about what was up my sleeve. if that jackass hadn’ta made me take it off in the first damn place…
right. almost there. so what’s my excuse for comin’ back? not the hand, not the cash…what else could i use?
parlay! yeah! i’ll say i wanna parlay with the man, and while i’m in there i’ll just make sure i grab it before i leave. right…
but i gotta say somethin' to the man while i'm in there gettin' it, so what do i wanna parlay with the man about? work? am i tryin’ to pick up some work on the side? does that make me look disloyal to my current employer? maybe that’s not the way in. work would be a good excuse though. important enough to go back and see the man about. ok. so i need to talk about work. what kinda work? do i maybe wanna move up the food chain a little? take on different responsibilities? yeah…that’s exactly what i need to talk about. i been bag man for awhile and i’m tired of playin’ it safe. yeah. i’m ready to step out in the world and make a name for myself, and i figure, with the man’s backin’…yeah…
right. look lively, man. you gotta be convincin’ now. be authoritative and shit.
stop. don’t knock, just go on in. you belong here. you tryin’ to link up with the man on more serious matters…
“what in the hell is goin’ on in here? you supposed to be the man’s right hand! what is this shit? what you mean, what am i doin’ here? i came to see the man. we got business…yeah, business.”
that’s right. calm down and don’t ask no questions about shit that don’t concern you. play it cool. from the looks of things, this could be sticky, and you don’t need no part of whatever’s goin’ down here. all you need is the hand, so don’t get up in his business and keep him outta yours…
“hey man, what you do on your time is your business, right…i’m not tryin’ to make no trouble for you. i just wanna see the man. so i'm goin' in, right?”
get to the hand. get to the hand. don’t let this fool stop you. get to the hand.
“like i said, i don’t care what you got goin’ here. i just wanna see the man, and it’s about somethin’ important, ok. just let me through to the man.”
keep your cool. don’t let this 2-handed shithead get in your way. keep cool and get the hand.
“guy, i can’t promise you there won’t be no repercussions for preventin’ me from dealin’ with this matter. i think you should lemme see the man so there’s no trouble for either of us. otherwise i couldn’t say what could happen…”
don’t get heated. just get the hand. be professional and get to the hand.
“look guy, i know you just tryin’ to look out for your affairs, but i feel obliged to let you know that detainin’ me is not necessarily the best career move for you right now. i am on a mission. i warn you that you should not force my hand in this delicate situation…”
shit! don’t mention the hand. just get the hand.
“right. i see that you have chosen to disregard my helpful advice. so unfortunately, this meetin’-delayin’-meetin’ we’re havin’ is now officially over.”
“sorry ‘bout the spray, i’m still workin’ on lefty trigger control…hello sir, i was just on my way to see you about some important business, and i apologise for this bloody mess, but things got a little outta control with your guy here. well, i’m sorry that you’re so upset about it, sir. i most certainly did not mean to offend you in any way. but if that’s how you feel about it, i’m sure that i can remedy the situation.”
“there. that’s better. and like i was sayin’ to your guy a moment ago, i’m sorry ‘bout the spray. me and my shrink are working on my anger management problem and i promise that i’m workin’ on my left-hand trigger control. i know that a person with my condition should be fully ambidextrous, especially for occasions like this, but that’s not exactly somethin’ i can work on in therapy. it’s mostly a matter of practice, but it wouldn’t do to be tied to too many obituaries and whatnot- i’m sure you understand. i mean, woulda understood."“now, if you gentlemen will pardon me for steppin’ over you, i don’t mean to be rude, but there’s just no way around you and i need to go into that other room and get my hand…thank you kindly, and you have a nice day.”walk good.
i just saw my 1st ever boys gone wild video commercial. no joke. i shit you not.and what's up with "relacore the weight-loss pill" now being advertised as a "feelgood" (their word of choice, not mine) pill? they won't say how or why it makes you feel good, but the ad is now a buncha people "testifying" shit like "i took relacore when i wanted to lose weight, but now, i use it whenever i need a little pick-me-up..."- what the fuck is this? it looks like jj's demerol cruise line may not be that far off... damn.walk good.
strippers wrapped in sheet music
i just had something lovely happen, but 1st, a psa for posterity:if you're a regular reader here, this won't affect you, but i've edited some recent posts- after my strippers+legos post i had to add momentarily forgotten details in another, separate post, and just decided to go back and incorporate all relevant info into strippers+legos.not that i expect it to happen, but if someone should be led to strippers+legos by a search engine, or if someone wanted to direct somebody with similar interests to the post, i don't think they should be denied relevant details because of a temporary oversight on my part. so i edited strippers+legos to include stuff from short notes on previous themes and briefs, with appropriate notation added to the 3posts in question.if you reading this post, that suggests you're a regular reader who'll be unaffected (unless you want to pass on strippers+legos, in which case, it's complete now) but it makes me feel better about the dissemination of info on my blog to rectify this minor issue. i'm just a little picky about these things.right.the lovely thing that happened this morning was brought to me by aunty noble, knol, and johann sebastian bach's fugue in g minor, also known as the "little fugue".about 10years ago, back when i could still be considered a dancer, i had the privilege of learning and performing one of my favourite pieces of choreography by noble douglas (previously mentioned re: lilliput theatre but also has an adult dance company, and digging up this link made me realise i never posted about her specifically, so that'll come when i acquire said fugue to listen to while writing about the amazing aunty noble). it was about 27minutes (i think) of modern ballet- modern dance with ballet influence, originally done en pointe- called why bach, why not? and set to what became 1 of my 2 favourite pieces of classical music.why bach... was remounted for the premiere of a dance company me+zed were founding members of, we were both cast in this piece, and it was one of the last times we performed together. the gremlin was even the poster-girl for this show. it was a very big deal.but all i knew about the music was that it's a bach fugue, and i love it. the only recordings i have of it are the videotape of the performance, and the rehearsal cassette i'd made, sans liner notes, now in a sad state. but since then, every time i randomly hear this bach fugue, it brings tears to my eyes (like beethoven's moonlight sonata, my other favourite). i been meaning for so long to find out what it's called so i could get a good recording, and this morning, while listening to pink floyd's dark side of the moon and planning my radio show (more on that later) i got the craving.i got online and googled bach's fugues, listening to every one i found for those familiar 3 opening notes. and i found it. it wasn't even a good recording, but as soon as i heard it start, i was crying. and as i thought i wanted to call the gremlin and tell her, my phone rang.i answered without thinking because, of course, it had to be her. but it wasn't.i had that split second freakout when i answered the phone crying and it wasn't the person who'd understand calling, but as i hoped it was at least somebody i know+like, knol asked if i was ok. thankfully, i know+like knol.so i told him the whole sappy story of why i was crying, and he told me that fugue is his favourite piece of classical music, and asked if i'd never heard him play it on the guitar, which i haven't. then he told me that not only can his play this crucial piece of music, he realised it starts with the same notes as the star wars music, so when he plays it, sometimes he'll play the fugue's theme through, then when it starts again, use those shared notes (that i love so dearly) to segue into the star wars music.knol was originally calling me to confirm our lunch date next wednesday, so now, not only have i found my fugue, next wednesday while spending some quality time with a friend, i'll hear it played live, juxtaposed with the star wars music. i'm so excited.here's 2 versions of the fugue: on both pages, scroll down and look for the "little" fugue in g minor.and if you like fugues and other musical construct-type-concepts, check out all in the timing: fourteen plays by david ives- it's a series of semi-related (or not if you don't want them to be) vignettes that can be done all together, or just a selection, and they can cross-reference each other, or not, and his dialogue is often structured like a fugue or a canon or something similar. they're short and very funny, and equally enjoyable read or seen performed, and there's actually a piece in the collection called foreplay, or the art of the fugue (the art of the fugue is also a bach title). we did it set to music from dave brubeck's time out, since ives makes it clear that musical framework was a big inspiration...and here's a little something interesting i found while searching for my fugue, about the bach piece that gets so much play around halloween and in movies possibly not being bach...as for my aforementioned future radio show: today i decided that when i find a radio station liberal enough about playlists to let me play what i want, i wanna do a 'fall in love with your collection again' thing- sometimes i forget how much good music i have, and how varied my collection and tastes are (literally everything but country, and even so, i like lyle lovett and annie mosher, and utah phillips)- i'd love to just figure out my mood, search through my collection for shit i haven't listened to in awhile that might be perfect, and find other stuff i don't own yet, but want to. i think if i did it right, listeners would remember what they own and why they bought it, and fall in love with their personal soundtracks again, while hopefully also discovering stuff they'd like to add to their collections.not that i have any real desire to talk on air- i think i'd start my time slot by stating my mood so listeners could decide if they were down or not, then not talk again, except to name artistes+songs. we'll see if i ever find the opportunity to make this happen...walk good. listen without prejudice.and yes, i did just reference george michael.
in case you didn't notice the new link on the sidebar, i just wanted to say that i finally started playing kingdom of loathing, months after finding it, and i love it!keep in mind that i'm not a gamer- i love tetris (thought i was a master when i got to level 38, then looked @ online scores...) and cards, and the only console (is that the right term?) game i like is ratchet+clank, which i only watch grims play, with no desire to participate except for shouting @ him about what i, with my backseat-player expertise, think he should do. but kingdom of loathing is the best. it reminds me of a text adventure (the only other kind of game i was ever into) but with stick-figure drawings. i'm playing as a disco bandit (although 'seal clubber' was enticing) and to date have fought half-drunk orc-hobos, bats shaped like pine-scented air-fresheners, various haunted pantry items, et al, for prizes such as dried faces, cocktails, meat from yesterday and disembodied smiles, and have only once become so drunk (the only liquid sustenance in the game appears to be alcoholic) that the game kept fucking me up and eventually told me i'd have to sleep it off because i was so falling-down-drunk that i couldn't tell who i was trying to fight from the furniture. my pet mosquito is now 15lbs. and winning some events. this is a game whose currency is "meat", as in "you win 25 meat", and i'm currently trying to gather the parts to build myself a car with meat paste and meat stacks- all of which should tell you that if you haven't played, you should check it out.apparently, hypatia of alexandria, the only ancient female mathematician we know of, died early in the 5th century when a mob dragged her from her classroom and peeled off her skin with oyster shells.is traditional invisibility based on camouflage or transparency?walk good.
jj set me up to break my word 1st, otherwise i'd never add this now...
in australia, among trendy young adults, deconstructed t-shirts are in style. it goes with the 80's music, in a weird way...walk good.
living in another world
for a minute there i was blogging daily, and i realise i slacking but i been in an alternate reality- putting in serious time with my fiction, so i been writing, just not as much here. i'm editing the most difficult piece in my collection (can't quite figure out how to make the concept work) and figuring out how to serialise my sweaty penguin story for posting here.but talking fiction, i realise i never wrote a post containing the links for every section of my previously posted soucouyant story, so if you didn't catch it, here are the links, in order:fiction #1- "soucouyant" part 1fiction #2- "soucouyant" part 2fiction #3- "soucouyant" part 3fiction #4- "soucouyant" part 4fiction #5- "soucouyant" part 5fiction #6- "soucouyant" part 6fiction #7- "soucouyant" part 7and since i'm sure you notice the method behind the post-titles, i should say that when i start serialising sweaty penguin it won't pick up @ fiction #8- "penguin" part 1, because after the soucouyant story i started serialising another piece on this blog, but after several 'chapters', decided it wasn't the type of story that worked broken into pieces, and promptly stopped- it's one of my favourites, and reading it in pieces was ruining it because the vibe was lost. but since i didn't delete the coupla sections i posted, and i'm petarded about such details, i'll be picking up "penguin" part 1 (or whatever it ends up being called) from the next fiction #.also: been meaning to mention for about 9months now, since i started paying attention to his work, if you like reggae, check out matisyahu @ http://www.hasidicreggae.com- yes, he's a hasidic jew, complete with long, curly sideburns, but matisyahu's reggae-stylee is noteworthy. i think his only currently available album is "live at stubbs"- old school reggae feel, but with a more modern, bigger-band-backing.and in the name of random discovery, you might enjoy a visit to fraudutek industries...fiction (and more) sooncome.walk good.
flash fiction friday, just in time...
once again, i'm cutting it close, but thanks to time zone differences, posting my flash fiction friday just before deadline.as always, big up jj for his special consideration of me in this week's setup, this story's for him: i.e. a little odd but in (i hope) an enjoyable way. and grims, i hope that now this story makes more sense- i'm trying to convey something that might require more than flash-length fiction, but i'm sure you'll let me know...Night falls over the Land of OZ. There are ten thousand stories in the Emerald City, this is one…
the most important one.
it started when the pigs came over the hill. we never knew how close they were to the fringes of our mind until they strolled on down, like it was their sunday afternoon constitutional. it quickly became apparent that they were not of us. they were not recognised within the consciousness.
we don’t know who gave them permission to saunter over to the emerald city- we thought there was an agreement. they stayed on their side and we stayed on ours. and as far as we knew, emerald city was ours.
it had been so long since the agreement had been breached that when we saw the pigs coming, we didn’t understand. we couldn’t remember the last time our paths had crossed, and initially thought our group had been somehow broken and we needed to resynch.
we tried to close our mind before they could penetrate but there was some sort of interference and we couldn’t successfully keep them out of oz.
there was a huge noise. we couldn’t hear each other, couldn’t feel each other, couldn’t function. all we could do was watch the pigs run rampant through oz, burning and looting, until they got far enough away that we could regroup. we asked ourself why they had attacked, and came up with no answer. but reasons are often out of our reach. we exist at the mercy of the others, and always have.
it wasn’t until we put our mind together that we saw the full damage.
there was exactly a third of everything left. one third of each building left as the remaining third of it’s neighbourhood. one third of the sustenance of the remaining third of the providers. one third of oz…emerald city remained but diamond mine and rubytown just weren’t…yes, they really did exist before…we remember the time before…
now there’s nothing where there should be something.
we should’ve been able to see the empty hole where the other two thirds of oz had been, but there was truly nothing there. no vacant space. just nothing. we accept it. we always exist at the mercy of the others. and we know that through our history, the pigs had come before, and may still come again.
but that was the first of these long nights. we don’t know if the pigs have that kind of power, or if it was the others, but that night was a third longer, and each night since then has been a third longer than the one that passed before it. but we can be prepared for this existence, at the mercy of the others. by the time our nights grew to what had previously been considered months, we had a system. as our nights get longer, we know the best thing is to sleep until the sun finds us again. take the pill and take a nap, and when the sensors wake us it should be warm.if it’s not warm, we press this reset button here, the red one, and the system will snooze and wait for the next signal of life.
enough story. now we must sleep.walk good.
i feel very on top of things @ home, my personal to-do list is under control, and we ok for $ right now, but the radio station prob'ly won't need me for awhile (everybody fulltime has taken vacation within the last coupla months, so unless somebody gets sick...) and my shakespeare gig is always sporadic. so i feel, once again, like i need a more regular freelance gig, so me+grims can do what we need to. we need to pay off the last of the australia trip, and he needs out of his current job. he likes working for the audio-visual company because he's learning stuff, and working with top-of-the-line equipment most theatres can't afford. but on the other hand, corporate is just not him (we aren't those people) and hotel protocol, the schedule, the suit, and having to take out his earrings every day is definitely getting to him. at this point, he's trying to learn whatever else he can, and find something less corporate for the near future. his teaching gig @ au this semester may expand into something viable, but he won't necessarily know until the end of summer, so i'm feeling a little pressured (not by him) to find a gig that works.i've felt very complimented on my writing the past coupla weeks, which is lovely because it's what i want to be doing- ideally, i'd slowly phase out acting (except for projects that really call to me) and make a living writing. but i been unable to convince anybody to pay me to write. the radio station is a kinda-writing gig, but they won't hire me fulltime because i don't actually have any radio experience, except for freelancing for them for a little over a year, and they're npr, with people begging to be hired who have years of radio experience, and contacts in places like prague and afghanistan. the only time i worked for the media was in trini, pre-college, so i have no such contacts to ease my lack of radio experience. they love me as a freelancer, but i don't bring enough to the table to be hired by npr fulltime.there are lots of promising rejection letters for my fiction, which i expect (remember, i currently audition for a living) and can deal with just fine, but i wish i could somehow pay the bills doing the things i like and am good at (at least, so says those who read my work, but they, unfortunately, don't have work to offer) while i wade through the years of rejection before hopefully getting somewhere as an author.when i went to university, everybody said it's nearly inpossible to make a living in theatre, unless you make it big, but i've succeeded. i've never held a job outside of the arts+entertainment arena, and never not paid the bills. problem is, now i have a family (small, but a family+home nonetheless) so the "actor's diet" (bills paid, but otherwise broke) is no longer an option since it's not fair to put somebody else through that just because i'm cool with it. and grims is holding down a fulltime job so i can freelance and work on my book, but he's a designer, and needs his chance to pursue his creative dreams too. and i know i could wait tables or find an office-assistant-esque thing while i worked on my book instead, so that i could have a regular job and write and grims could freelance, but having gone my entire working life surviving strictly on work in my field (even when i worked as a teen, it was as a counsellor in a theatre camp), it would be a hugely depressing step backwards to do that. but i don't wanna stifle grims. but i don't wanna settle.the other problem with stepping outside of arts+entertainment for financial reasons is that since the last time i left behind something i was good at and enjoyed, i haven't been able to go back. truth is, i unknowingly set myself up for this.i worked for a newspaper in trini before college, and did well. then i ran off to study theatre in dc. i continued to write for the paper when i was home on vacation, but acting gradually took precedence, and once i went on tour, writing for the newspaper @ home was no longer viable (neither was dancing, hence the now-hibernating body i need to recover). now, i want to act less and write more, but because when i was in university i focussed on theatre, i have no relevant work experience as a writer. i know i can do it (and have) but the only stuff i have that's portfolio worthy was written 10years ago (i'm so much better now) for a tiny newspaper nobody here has ever heard of. plus, i only worked there for a year-and-change, since it was pre-uni. npr requires 5years work experience. other gigs require at least 3. and of course, i no longer have a writing gig in trini either (although when i get back there, i can fix that much easier than i can here).it's also relatively hard for me to pick up acting gigs here in dc, because i'm not american enough for black american characters, and apparently have the face of someone in their late teens. it's rare to be able to cast that, and it only works out in children's theatre, or when a company's specifically looking for a diverse cast, an 'outsider' character, or an adult to play a child not related to anybody else in the piece.it's wonderful that those who read my work enjoy it, but @ this point, i may have to give up writing to pay the bills and let grims out of a gig he's not happy with. he's been holding down the fort while i freelance for 3+ years now, and i want to support him the way he supports me. but i don't wanna settle. i wish now that i hadn't let my sunday column go because it's something i could do from here, and i was good- my editor appreciated me and readers loved it- but now i see that leading a double life since coming to dc in '98 has only diminished each, rather than their being supplemental.i'll never be american enough as an actor in dc (and on the odd occasion when i have been, leaving it onstage was very important to me, and i'm upset at the still-lingering adjustments) and i don't have the contacts or experience i need as a writer.but, my life is the best. i adore grims, he's the best husband, we have a home, i'm writing this blog, working on my fiction, getting ready to submit stuff again, doing shakespeare (and another show in a coupla months), and getting positive feedback...so why can't i stop feeling like my life has been hijacked, and if i'd gone back to trini i'd be doing what i love for a living?i need to get off the rollercoaster.walk good.
(some) last words
this is the last post about oz- not that it'll never come up again, but this will be the last dedicated one.i intentionally waited for a little distance and time to consider before posting about this because i wanted to make sure it wasn't a false assumption, and as with everything else i've said about oz, full disclosure reminds the reader that i've only been there once, for 3weeks. but i was paying attention, and this is what i observed.in many ways, australia is very progressive- they were the first to use (very attractive) currency that can wash with your jeans and come back out as pretty and perfect as when it went into that pocket. their brothels are legal, and as such, workers in the sex industry have real benefits, like they should, and can and do get regular medical checkups, and can conduct their business safely. they provide reusable shopping bags (bright green because they're environmentally friendly) to cut back plastic-bag-usage, and just about everybody uses them. they have toilets with 2 flush options* so that if all you've done is pee, you don't waste water getting rid of it. everywhere we went was remarkably clean (in spite of my frustration with the lack of public garbage cans everytime i needed one, leaving me walking around carrying crap i was done with, searching street corners instead of appreciating architecture)- i have no idea how they maintain that, but remarkably clean, nonetheless.so considering all that, plus the other cool stuff i've forgotten because i'm too focussed on the point just ahead, it weirded me out that there was a lack of national identity or culture there. having been born and raised in trinidad+tobago, the most southerly isle(s) of the caribbean, land of the scarlet ibis, home of calypso, steelband and limbo (place that quote), and most of all, carnival (coming soon to a blog near you)- a tiny country that still has its own clothing aesthetic, the best local food, a pervasive national lifestyle and/or attitude (i'm not getting into the questionable virtues of these things right now because that's not the point here), recogniseable culture, and a host of things unmistakeably "trini"- then coming to the usa, which (as little as i may enjoy it) also has a global identity, encompassing (for now) the traditional 'american dream', apple pie, baseball and hotdogs (no accounting for taste, but we 'foreigners' are gradually bringing some good food to this cuisine-forsaken country), jazz, hiphop culture, and the more recent domineering republican empire and polarised people within, australia's lack was very apparent to me.now, there are the aboriginal tribes in australia, and if you make it to the outback, there's a local identity, culture and history, complete with food, artistic style and music (and instruments) but that's not mainstream, and considering how marginalised aboriginal people are by aussie government and society, this could hardly qualify as a national identity/culture- although it's what should, since the aborigines were there 1st. but aborigines are currently camped outside aussie parliament under a tent called the "aborigine embassy" because they're trying to get one established. that's how marginalised they are: they feel they need an embassy for some sort of representation and recognition in their own country- and as previously mentioned, in oz you're pretty much white, asian or aboriginal, and there's little ethnic mixing (by my standards), although i did see about 30 black people in my 3weeks there.when i travel, i try to catch local television programming and local music and eat local food, so i that i can get a feel for real life. what i found in oz (referencing mainstream, not aboriginal) is that there's virtually no local tv except for a few soaps and sports highlights, the local music scene is mostly styled after rock (pre-2000's) and thus doesn't feel indigenous, and there's 'modern australian' cuisine, which is expensively-plated gourmet that incorporates local ingredients (kangaroo, emu, etc- delicious, but high-end, and thus doesn't feel like you're eating what aussies eat) but no plain aussie-specific food, except for stuff like the 'sausage sizzle', which isn't so different from any hotdog/sausage-esque roadside food in any other country. although, i must mention the wonderful aussie dessert called pavlova (it was apparently 1st made for her- for the non-dancers, anna pavlova was a ballerina) which seems as standard as chocolate cake, and is a delight.the flora+fauna is noticeably australian since kangaroos, wallabees, koalas, platypii (which i adore! and yes, i recognise that's prob'ly not how they would pluralise themselves, but i like pi) are unique species and eucalyptus screams australia, but might not be enough for a full national identity. besides, that stuff immediately mentally associated with oz, like kangaroos, boomerangs and didjeridoos should be more associated with the aboriginal population, which, as i said, is hardly mainstream, and after spending some time @ the aboriginal cultural centre, i now know that those aren't even the right words to be associating- 'didjeridoo' is from gaelic(?), meaning 'black man playing a pipe' because that's what white men saw when they got to oz- each aboriginal tribe has its own language, and none of them call that instrument a didjeridoo (we learned it as a 'yaddarkey'- phonetic spelling). and 'kangaroo' means something like 'i don't understand what you're saying' because that was the aboriginal response when the white man asked what they called that animal, for his cataloguing purposes- so even things that seem "essentially australian" aren't necessarily, since australia-at-large doesn't consider its aboriginal people.so i felt like i could clearly see an aboriginal culture and identity, even though there are many different tribes, but not an australian culture and identity, except for the fact that aussie society seems to really enjoy rock music in general and 80's music specifically**, and sports and drinking (preferably together) but the latter also applies to most other countries, including trinbago and the usa...on a less important note, this makes it hard for a person like to me bring back aussie stuff for loved ones- i don't do chachki (not even trying to spell that) so i try to bring back edibles and other useable/wearable items. on this trip, apart from kangaroo jerky and various eucalyptus body-products, i had no idea what to get. i was hoping to pick up something fun and/or beautiful to wear for my mom and the gremlin, but there's no apparent aussie-specific aesthetic (the only pervasive look i saw was strip-club-barbie-doll-stylee, and other than that, fashion held a middle ground between the usa and europe, and no, zed, ug boots are no longer aussie-owned) and i couldn't bring back a koala (besides, i hear if they don't get their green, they get pissy), and as previously stated, little figurines of animals are not an option...i just had to get that observation off my chest because it really bothered me. i love experiencing new cultures, and i had a very good time in oz, but didn't feel like i was in a country i'd never been to before. of course, i admit some of that's due to the fact that oz is in style right now, so there's pictures+info everywhere you look, plus my mom+sis went there when we were younger (dance scolarship for the gremlin) and i saw their pictures, then grims' parents went and i saw their pictures, so by the time we got there, stuff like the famous sydney opera house just looked exactly like every picture and postcard i've ever seen of it, and held no thrall beheld up close, for real. oh well.we still enjoyed the hell out of our trip, and plan to go back for the outback and great barrier reef and various milo products, so if i'm completely wrong about australia lacking a national culture/identity, please lemme know what to look for when i get back there.walk good.didn't wanna stray too far from the point mid-post, but must add:*a word about toilet flushing in oz- we were so looking forward to watching the water swirl the opposite direction in the bowl, but the water-saving flush just sucks the water straight back, sans swirl. lame. also, flushing options are very cool, but you have to select by pushing a button on top of the tank, which is uncool in public restrooms where most of us chicks would prefer to flush with a shod foot, avoiding touching the toilet itself in any way (hence, the hovering). and somebody suggested filling the sink to watch water swirl oppositely, but since nearly flooding the dacosta's house bathing barbies in the sink when i was small, i pretend sinks don't even have plugs...**80's music case-in-point: we actually heard rock on by danny romalotti (not even a real rockstar, but a soap opera one from the young and the restless who was nevertheless somehow allowed to put out a real album) on the radio in a taxi. we heard 80's music everywhere we went, regardless of city, age of driver, or hipness of eatery, so the 80's must fill the radio and playback sources. mercilessly.ps: we did get beautiful aboriginal paintings, though...