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Cassathon 2007's Journal

Below are the 25 most recent journal entries.

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  2007.07.29  10.00
That's a wrap!

Wow. This has been a pretty insane 24 hours.

I think I want to do it again next year - but I'll need to con some people into doing it with me and taking on a project, I think. I'd love to write (and maybe perform) a script in this length of time, or make a movie, or record an "album" of cover songs (or even originals if we had songwriters enough.)

THANKS PEEPS! I'll still be lurking around for the next few hours.

There's still plenty of room on my head, if you still want to sponsor my charity, Doctors Without Borders and see your phrase on my scalp.


  2007.07.29  09.35

Half an hour of mandatory blogging to go. I feel... well, probably better than I felt at about 4AM. But this is likely a fleeting thing. Coffee is nice. I like ham. Your mama.

At the moment I'm engrossed in catching up on the "24-hour film" project. They're blogging for the same charity as I am, so I think I'll throw some sponsorship their way before they finish off their movie. I wonder if I could get some folks in on something like that next year...


  2007.07.29  08.58
One hour to go...

It's interesting to be at work at this hour, assigning calls to technicians first thing in the morning, figuring out what the scheduling problems are going to be for a given day. I'm used to walking in and having these issues passed off to me, sort of second-hand.

I'm going to steal someone else's chair, though. The one I have is a lemon. Ahh, call centres.

So... tired. So... bored. Need... sleep. And a cure for... rampant ellipses.


  2007.07.29  08.37
I am writing up technician schedules in the dark


I am sipping on the only Tim Horton's coffee I have ever actually enjoyed in my entire life.


  2007.07.29  07.59
So close.

Well A-shift folks, we are two hours away from the finish line. I wish I could say I was going to bed at that point, but I'll actually be only a little ways into another 10 hour shift of work. And then I have rehearsal for two hours. By the time I get home, I plan on being pretty freakin' bushwhacked.

Who knows - if it's a slow Sunday, I might just get a little time to nap between calls. It's all a call centre monkey can ask for, eh?

Now I'm off to walk to work, and possibly pick up something bad for me on the way. And a coffee. Oh yes. A coffee or EIGHT.


  2007.07.29  07.24
Hur hurr.

I was valliantly trying to come up with one last piece of writing, but then I logged onto the Blogathon IRC room and started giggling at fart jokes. So I guess I'm a little too far gone to keep up with this particular exercise.

I'm pretty happy with what I finished, though. It's a fair amount of exploration to have done in, what, two and a half, three hours? And it's the kind of thing I can think about as the day goes on, so hopefully it'll be nicely ruminated by the time I have rehearsal this evening.

Now it is time to go and fashion myself a salad and some other healthy, fibrous food items so that I don't sink into a pit of despair at work.


  2007.07.29  06.56

Stevie - he's such a cutie! What a quiet guy though, MAN, getting him to open up over the years has been like teaching a fish to talk. A really cute fish. But nevermind.

Mostly we're office buddies, the kind of friend you say hi to in the street and go on about having to "get together sometime" but he'd always, ALWAYS have plans on the weekend, usually with his best friend, Tommy. Well, he called him Tom, but he looks like a Tommy to me. I met him a few times, also a really cute guy, maybe a little more outspoken than Steve, but that doesn't take a hell of a lot.

We wound up hanging around because we were partners in the "new hire" class - they have this thing where everybody needs a "buddy" for shadowing on the phones and stuff. I figure it's because they're CHEAP. Anyway, on that first day, when they were doing orientation and stuff, they mentioned that we were going to wind up in pairs. And of course by that time I'd established myself as a LOUDMOUTH pretty well and he'd hardly said "boo" all morning so everyone was all like, "tee hee, wouldn't it be funny if they were paired up." And we WERE! I'm sure it was on purpose, trying to balance me out or something. Or balance him out. Anyway, I kept cracking at him the whole couple of weeks until I started to get him laughing, and we were chat buddies and lunch buddies ever since.

I knew about Tommy pretty early on. I mean, I didn't catch on at first, I don't know WHY because it's not like Stevie's the most macho man, but hell it's not like a guy's straightness is hard-wired to his masculinity. They were just... always together. I think they even LIVED together, which is probably why he wasn't too keen on inviting me over! BINGO! People around the office sort of joked, but it was so weird - nobody actually asked. I mean, even *I* didn't ask for a long time. I guess I figured he'd just casually mention it some time... ha ha. I should have known. I mean, how was THAT going to come up in conversation? "So I was screwin' Tommy the other night..."

Why did it take me so long to ask him about it? I dunno. I mean, I'm pretty nosy but I figured if he was trying THAT HARD to keep it under wraps, he must have had a hell of a reason. That's why I wound up asking him at work, I guess - that was the only time we chatted online, and I KNEW nobody else would be listening... or watching, or whatever. We weren't even face to face, so if keeping me "in the dark" was really going to make him happy, then fine - I'd be okay with that. But he didn't, which I think is really great. Someone asked him directly, privately, in as gentle a way as I could possibly think to do it, and he didn't run.

Well, maybe he tried, but I got there before he could. HA!


  2007.07.29  06.25

In my early twenties I got really good at not coming out of the closet. You could practically serve me the opportunity on a platter and I would have found a way to turn it down. I was just going through a phase - yeah, that's it. I was just... interested. I was young, and experimenting. I came up with a lot of words for it, but to cut to the chase, I was closing the closet door even as I was starting to come out to myself.

There was a woman at work, Sheilah, who was always making jokes about girls - about liking girls. I thought that's all they were at first - jokes - but they were just so... constant. It's like all Sheilah ever had on the brain were girls. I knew after a while that she must be... that way, but she was just so foolish that it was hard to take her seriously. Laughing at herself must have been her "out", the way she kept safely in the closet while leaving the door wide open.

She kind of - she almost trapped me this one time. I'm sure she knew about me - I'd been coming to some uncomfortable conclusions about myself over the past couple of years - but she didn't ask point blank. We were in the lunch room at one of those awkward times between breaks and lunches, we were both waiting for that one microwave that wasn't either extremely slow or atomically hot. I asked her about the Christmas party that was coming up and she said that she was going to bring Sarah - how many times I heard her name, I can't even fathom - "as a friend, you know, a girlfriend," thinly veiled like that. I was afraid of where she might be going with it, and sure enough, her next question was whether I had a date or not. I stammered through an excuse for why I wasn't going and then I was saved when the evening shift came in and started putting away their lunches.

I ducked out of there and ducked the question. I never did come out to Sheilah, though she did spot me the one time I went to see the Pride parade in that city...


  2007.07.29  06.06
Shower break!

I took some time away from the writing to take a nice, relaxing shower. I feel rejuvenated somewhat, which is good because it's six AM and I'll be up until at least 10pm tonight. Yeek.

I just wrote this as an entry into the latest "game" on the main blogathon.org page about songs we hate:

I have a particularly vehement hate of the song "I Want You" by Savage Garden. It came out in the 90's and EVERYBODY seemed to love it and it played INCESSANTLY on the radio. It's like everything that was wrong with the 80's (tinny, overproduced, notparticularly tuneful music with hardly a chord progression to speak of) combined with the most boring melody sung in the most listless, wimpy,whispery voice. And the message of the song? "I want you! Don't know if I'll care enough in five minutes to actually NEED you or nothin'. But hey, might as well find out." YECH.

Now back to my writing... once I can come up with a name for my character who has a monologue.


  2007.07.29  05.34

I didn't used to think it was all that bad, being a spectator to the world. There's an awful lot of interesting people there, enough that you could get your kicks by living vicariously through any number of them. Where I got short-changed, I think, was where I started living vicariously through myself. I wasn't a man yet, and I certainly wasn't having much luck growing into one. I wasn't a woman, at least as far as the little silhouette on the ladies' restroom door suggests. So what was I, then?

A prankster.

There's a special little thrill that comes from taking someone by surprise. Not hurting them - heavens, I don't have the heart for that - but my mother always said that getting scared a little did wonders for one's character. It was the best way to turn the taunting and pranking right back around. How could I be scared of something I was?

I dare say I was better at it, though. I had a certain... finesse about it. Like the time Mr. Hatfield tried his usual trick on the tenth grade "Theory of Knowledge" class, where he makes them think he's just torn a page out of the Bible. It's a clever trick, and so simple - he simply starts talking about the bible and maybe gesturing with the book in his hand for emphasis, and they all assume the little almanac or whatever it is is a Bible and get terribly upset about the whole business. Only this time I swapped out the books and left him with an actual Bible, which he really did rip a page out of. Good man, he covered for it well, but I saw that little shudder, then the twinkle in his eye. Glad he's not religious, otherwise that might not have been quite so funny.

Cheryl was a heap of fun. She loved this stuff, absolutely adored it to death, but she protested it every step of the way - laughing the whole time. I dragged her willingly into so many little situations while we were in school together. I wonder what she's up to these days; if she ever got out of that city, not that it bothered her so much as it did me. I wanted to try somewhere else, maybe even be someone else. I needed a clean slate to find out who I wanted to be.


  2007.07.29  05.07

Lisa was married when I met her. I won’t lie - I found her attractive right off the bat. Just physically, at first; the rest of her grew on me as we found ourselves in a friendship, hanging out in the evenings when her husband worked late. Her marriage never really felt right to me, though some of that was jealousy, hands-down - even before I knew what it was. That wsasn’t all, though. He was an ominous presence that I hardly ever came into contact with; he was more like a father than a husband, and we were partying in his house while he was away. Maybe that’s why I kissed her that night - what harm is a little kiss before daddy comes home? It’s too long ago now to remember all the rationalization that was going through my mind at the time. What I knew was that I needed to kiss her - she needed me to kiss her. Somehow kissing her would fix everything. I was the experienced one, the wise one.

I have to laugh when I think about how different our styles of “coming out” were. When I told her that she had to tell her parents she fussed about the details. How should she tell them? Where? Should I be there? Should she tell her parents one at a time? It wasn’t as though we’d just gotten together, either - we had been seeing each other on and off (though mostly on - the “offs” were usually mine) since before she’d even been separated from her husband, let alone divorced. That process took a good three years, and would have taken longer if I hadn’t pushed the issue. I had been to family functions as Lisa’s “friend”, where I didn’t have any qualms about mentioning our relationshp, much to Lisa’s chagrin. Her family had to have known already, but I wanted it to come from her, not from me.

When I came out? I was eighteen years old and was graduating from high school. I was going to the prom with Chelsey Marx from Saint V’s - after a sort of awkward lunchtime meeting in the loyalist burial ground I’d asked her to go with me, and I was positiveliy pumped for the rest of the day. When I got home I announced my plans to my mother, who, bless her heart, said “oh, she’s going as a friend?” “No, mom,” I said, “as my girlfriend.” I was ready for a fight - I had all but said it with my fists up - but she didn’t put up a fuss. Her eyes went a little wide and she said: “Oh. What’s her name?” Maybe it was denial; my mom didn’t roll out the red carpit for her or anything when Chelsey came by in her father’s car to pick me up. I think it was my conviction when I said it that deterred her from fussing at me. I considered it a success on my part and took that approach to tellling people about my lifestyle whenever the opportunity presented itself.


  2007.07.29  04.26

Man, the fact that I am awake right now has my cats *totally* confused. They alternate between forgetting I’m here and therefore doing Silly Things that they don’t normally do in front of people (like jump up on the kitchen counters, for instance - *glaring at a certain cat*), and being hyper aware of me in a “ohpleasefeedmefeedmefeedme” kind of way.

I am fully snacked-up and I had intended to sit up here and write, but dammit, even in my underwear (yes, I’m sitting in the kitchen in my undies) it’s too hot for me to concentrate. I need to get cool or I’m going to fall asleep. So it’s downstairs I go now, along with my script, and, apparently, a case of the hiccups. Dangit.

My next post will have some writing, just flexing my brain around some of the characters I’m playing in the upcoming show.


  2007.07.29  04.07
Fuelling up

There is leftover pizza in the toaster oven and I'm just starting on that rarest of all beverages that I haven't had in a long time, before today: Coke.

I will probably get a gross eggy breakfast out somewhere, but sometime in a spare half-hour I'm going to go cut up some veggies and make myself a salad. I am looking forward to Monday, which I have off work. It'll give me some time to rest and recoup and iron out my eating habits. And hopefully hang out with demonblade.

I'm putting the shower off for a bit, until I'm moved into my nice cool basement where I won't be sweating so damn much.


  2007.07.29  03.35
Direction! I have direction!

Aha! I was wondering what I could work on in terms of short, engaging but relatively easy writing exercises here in the dead of night. I got sidetracked and started thinking about how tired I’m going to be for tomorrow (or today, I guess) night’s rehearsal, and how I won’t really have had time to invest in going over my script and getting into my various characters.

And then it hit me - I could turn “investigating my characters” into a writing exercise. So I’m going to do one for each character I play, even the ones without speaking parts - though those will probably be kind of short.

So that’s what I’ll be occupying myself with for the next couple of hours, amid a much-needed shower and a little jaunt to the store for something caffinated. It's raining and foggy, and I'm going to wear sandals and no jacket or hat so I can feel the rain between my toes and on my neck.


  2007.07.29  03.03
An exchange with my mother, just now:

Mom: I hate to brag, but I’m going to bed.
Me: F**k off - I mean, uh, g’night!

I am silently shaking my fist in anger. At least my cat will keep me company.

Once they’re soundly asleep I’m going to go take a shower. The bathroom is right next to their room, so all the plumbing sounds would keep them up, but it probably won’t rouse them once they’re sleeping.

I am checking out music-themed blogs now, and considering getting out my camera to document some things visually. Like the beat-up old notebook I was rambling about earlier. I’m also going to just... damn well... write some stuff, instead of just talk about writing it all night long. And I reserve the right to post raw first drafts that aren’t necessarily wonderful yet, ‘cause this is my dang blog and I’m only a wee baby novice writer, really.


  2007.07.29  02.27
Music Post: Midnight Cruiser

This may be the last music post for the evening, but I haven't decided yet. We're all a bit played out - we played a lot more than we actually recorded. We tried to get "Hotel California" but we just haven't played it together enough. It's best with bass - it shapes the song so much. So I may not bother trying it by myself later.

Anyway, some more Steely Dan for you - Midnight Cruiser. My dad is playing and singing, my mom is playing bass (and has been playing bass in some of the previous songs.) This one also has a "special edition" ending.


  2007.07.29  02.00
Music Post: Razor Boy

We're in Steely Dan mode, now. Here's Razor Boy (2:00). That's my mom singing and playing guitar, and my dad and I doing back-up.


  2007.07.29  01.32
Music Post: Free Man in Paris

Now for a little Joni Mitchell with Free Man in Paris.

An unintended blessing with this whole music posting thing is the fact that I'm being forced to listen to my own performance. I usually try to avoid it, but if I ever want to get better I need to pay more attention to what I do now and what does/doesn't work.

This one is fun, if hard, to sing. My voice is obviously more comfortable in a higher pitch, but that doesn't mean *I* am.

[EDIT] Even though the 'thon is officially over for me, if you want to sponsor me or donate to my charity, drop me a line. I'm happy to reserve a space for you on my head, which will be bald in a couple of weeks and covered with phrases of my sponsors' choice. :-)


  2007.07.29  01.04
Music Post: Tony Danza - I mean, Tiny Dancer

Another Elton John song for you: Tiny Dancer (5:30 ish).

I actually didn't play OR sing this as well as I'd like, but I'd never post anything if I waited for perfection. I do warm up as the song goes on, though, I think.


  2007.07.29  00.31
Music Post - Levon

I thought I'd do one to warm up, a relatively easy one. Here's Elton John's (and Bernie Taupin's) Levon (approx 3:30).

Please enjoy the background sounds, including my father asking for us to play a "GOOD song" and my pet kitty chasing a bottlecap around. Also, at about two minutes into the song, my father unsuccessfully tries to burn down the house. My voice feels very muppety (demonblade knows what I'm talkin' 'bout.)

(Thanks again, epi_lj, for the hosting space!)


  2007.07.29  00.02
We have ignition!

After a brief technical rehearsal, it appears that we have a semi-decent recording device going on! Awesome! It's a tiny little mic so the sound seems kind of far away, but whatever. It'll do just fine for tonight, thanks.

For the next couple of hours, we have musical posts!


  2007.07.28  23.32
Home again, jiggedy jig

Where does that quote come from, anyway?

It's nice to be home with my feet up after 13+ hours of... not. You know. Doing that stuff people do all day. Sitting and standing and stuff.

I'm about to try to convince my parents to play a bit, and I'll do a trial run of my bare-bones recording software. It's pretty rudimentary but hopefully it'll be enough to make it bearable to listen to.


  2007.07.28  22.57
Woohoo! Finally off work!

You know, as annoying as it’s been to come up with content every half hour whilst attempting to hold down a job, I’ve gotta say - it made the night FLY by. Clearly I need to involve myself in some sort of timed exercise more often, I’m likely to be significantly more productive.

I may be able to go on with this music thing for longer than I thought - I had an invitation from the 3rd Shift folks who are just coming in to take over the call centre. Hell, I’m going to be here at 8:30 in the morning anyway, and I’m not sleeping in the interrim. So I may take them up on that offer. But even so, it might be nice to spend a little down-time exploring blogs and doing some writing at home.

I’ll just bring the guitar in at 6AM to wake ‘em up. Poor suckers.


  2007.07.28  22.29
Keep those requests rolling in

... Or, y'know. Crawling in. Request to hear me play stuff here.

A strange thing happened to me this evening. I sat here, posting and working away, and for over five hours I ignored a chocolate bar that I'd bought out of a vending machine.

I knew it was there. And yet I didn't devour it like a starved wolf, as is my usual approach to these things.

Clearly something good is in the air. Something... not addicted to chocolate.

(I just ate it a minute ago. It was DELICIOUS.)


  2007.07.28  22.08
It's all downhill from here - except in terms of my waking hours...

Ladies and gents, we are at the halfway point of this crazy, crazy thing.

I want to take a second to thank everybody who’s sponsored me, commented on my posts and just generally been sending me good vibes. Somehow I have survived a play rehearsal, a trip to the library, and nine hours of service call coordination without pissing anyone off, including myself. That’s a pretty monumental feat!

I’m sorry that I haven’t been more focused on actually writing anything - I get the feeling that I will have plenty of time for that in the wee hours of the night when my folks are trying to sleep. I thought I’d be able to dedicate all of that time to music-related shenanigans, but my folks didn’t actually wind up going away for the weekend after all. This is okay.

But what it DOES mean is that if you have a favourite guitar-type song that you’d like to hear me play, request it now!

I’m pretty familiar with the more known Eagles stuff (Hotel California, Take it Easy, Peaceful Easy Feeling, Tequila Sunrise) as well as some Elton John (Rocket Man, Love Lies Bleeding, Tiny Dancer, Levon, Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters). I know the odd Beatles song (For No One, Eight Days a Week, I’ve Just Seen a Face). Anything in that realm of possibility is good for me, I will try my level best at anything you request.


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