Friday, August 19, 2005

Edmonton, August 2005

My first experiments with Dad's Canon AE-1. The top one has been triple exposed. Somehow...

Saturday, August 06, 2005

mejones emo!

The Personality Defect Test by saint_gasoline

Emo Kid

You are 0% Rational, 0% Extroverted, 0% Brutal, and 0% Arrogant.
You are the Emo Kid, best described as a quiet pussy! You tend to be an intuitive rather than a logical thinker, meaning you rely more on your feelings than your thoughts. Not only that, but you are introverted, gentle, and rather humble. You embody all the traits of the perfect emo kid. You are a push-over, an emotional thinker, gentle to the extent of absurdity, and so humble that it even makes Jesus puke. If you write poetry, you no doubt write angsty, syrupy lines about depression, sadness, and other such redundant states of emo-being. Your personality is defective because you are too gentle, rather underconfident in yourself, decidely lacking in any rational thought, and also a bit too inhibited.
I probably made you cry, didn't I? Fucking Emo Kid.

To put it less negatively:
1. You are more INTUITIVE than rational.
2. You are more INTROVERTED than extroverted.
3. You are more GENTLE than brutal.
4. You are more HUMBLE than arrogant.

Your exact opposite is the
Other personalities you would probably get along with are the
Hippie, the Televangelist, and the Starving Artist.

Thursday, August 04, 2005


Your Slanguage Profile

Canadian Slang: 75%
British Slang: 50%
Prison Slang: 25%
Southern Slang: 25%
Aussie Slang: 0%
New England Slang: 0%
Victorian Slang: 0%
What Slanguage Do You Speak?

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Sneaky exodus...

I feel violated over there right now. It's beyond strange.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Back from hiding

Hi. It's me. I'm back from hiding in my other blog. I wasn't actually hiding, rather I just got lazy and was only posting in one place. The linky is up there if you are curious about what's been happening.

I have made it through first year. We began with 34 people, now we are 21. We lost three of their own choice through first term, three more were kicked out at Christmas, and we lost 7 more at the end of this term. My friend Jenna, who I was closest to in the class, was asked to go. Also my poor roommate from Nova Scotia. Poor Scotty - he packed up to go the day after classes ended - we miss him. I cried as he got on the TTC bus to Union Station. And waved. But I don't think he saw me. He was in better shape than I - had a lot of weed. We are such a family, our class - we've always been quite tight, with a few exceptions (myself included in the very beginning...I was scary...) who are now no longer part of the ensemble for other reasons.
Next year we are moving into our new building, at 55 Mill Street - The Young Centre for the Performing Arts. It's nearly finished...they will still be working on the theatre spaces when we move in. But we get two more studio spaces, with NATURAL LIGHT (!!!) and we get a LOUNGE. A real melt down area of our very own. Amazing what 12 million bucks can achieve. But for some reason, we still wil not get full length lockers in which costumes can be HUNG as upposed to crammed and dumped. Genius!

The year has finally helped me to u nderstand my most serious personality kinks. The sum of things over the last 4 years or so has left me with a hard, hard edge that I didn't know before. I still find myself wanting to lock up and , cry and hide on a fairly regular basis, though not as frequent.

I went to the dentist this month. I hadn't been in three years. And I only had one teeny little cavity that they don't even have to drill. No alignment issues in my x-rays. Hooray for me. I mention this because the insurance plan provided by my school actually succeeded to reimburse me for 80% of the $298 with no hassle, less than 2 weeks after I submitted the claim. Insurance working? Who knew...

Went in to my Doctor here today to renew my perscription for my med. Wanted to have enough to carry me through the summer -but he was afraid to perscribe that much because a lot of the Pharmacies suspect people of selling such drugs to Americans. Here I was thinking it went the other way...

My place, now that I have it to myself again, and that it's free of dooming school paperwork and discarded clothing, feels like a home. Now I don't want to move out. Unfortunately I still have to.
I will not however, miss the little Mousy friends I have acquired there. They keep leaving me presents to clean up. Anyone want to lend my landlords a cat?

Saturday, December 11, 2004


You Are a Seeker Soul
You are on a quest for knowledge and life challenges.You love to be curious and ask a ton of questions.Since you know so much, you make for an interesting conversationalist.Mentally alert, you can outwit almost anyone (and have fun doing it!).
Very introspective, you can be silently critical of others.And your quiet nature makes it difficult for people to get to know you.You see yourself as a philosopher, and you take everything philosophically.Your main talent is expressing and communicating ideas.
Souls you are most compatible with: Hunter Soul and Visionary Soul

What Kind of Soul Are You?

Wednesday, November 24, 2004


My grandma, Marie Genevieve Rowlands (nee Halpin) passed away quickly and at ease in her home in South Seattle) yesterday afternoon. She was 89, predeceased by my grandfather Christopher Samuel Rowlands, in 1977. She was actually on the phone chatting with her GP when it happened - she hadn't spoken with him in a while, no doubt she was just wanting advice on how her condition was being handled. My uncle Jim, a retired fire chief from Santa Rosa had moved his flight up to be with her, and had arrived the day before. He told my mom that she had felt better yesterday morning, and that they had actually just finished quite a nice chat about her family's history. Then Dr. Bedard returned her call from earlier in the day, my uncle Jim left the room so she would have privacy, and a few minutes later her heart simply stopped in mid sentence.
She and my uncle Jim had had the most strained relationship of all the three kids - he had always been the child in her eyes that struggled the most with discipline, and as an adult he'd married three times. She always experienced great discomfort with his remarriages. I'm find I'm just so relieved that she wasn't alone, and that she had exactly what she wanted - she was in her home, comfortable, lucid and communicating. Making her choices for herself.
And now she's with my grandfather again.
I'm happy that of the grandchildren I came to know her life the best, and had so many happy childhood memories of summers at her house, and her visits to us in Alberta as children. Many keepsakes.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

What to do

Struggling with what to do over Christmas. My grandmother is slipping quickly - she has had kidney cancer and opted not to go for chemo. So her kidneys have slowly been shutting down, and she is now at the point of serious enough toxicity in her body that she is quite in and out in terms of awareness, understanding. My mom has said she sounded disoriented on the phone. I can't quite tell who is there with her - my mom said something about a hospice in her email - but I'm not sure if she's in the hospice or if people from the hospice are coming to her house to check on her. As usual, it's very bizarre - as a lot of you have read intermittently, my grandmother has put up quite the struggle in terms of control, not wanting us to have to help, knowing she needs us to, lashing out at us when we try, lashing out at us when we don't. The strange thing: the soonest my mother and uncles are planning to go to her is December. As with most things to do with my grandmother, outside of the memories I have of her from my childhood, the whole thing feels completely crazy. My grandmother rather sucessfully drove her kids away from her space, so now they really don't seem to feel the impulse to rush to her aid even in her last moments. I wonder if some distance might be the healthiest thing for this situation, rather than being in the midst of the misery during my few days off. I really don't know. I want to be able to remember what I enjoyed about my grandmother rather than how uncomfortable these last years have been. Nearly broke at the moment - not sure if I can travel anywhere on my own. Happy happy credit card. My parents aren't the kind who "offer" financial help - for as long as I can remember, it's been a point of "well, by now you should be able to manage that on your own" instead of "these are our children and they do the best they can." So looking after myself has always ultimately felt better than the belittlement that results from asking for their help in any way. I'm 25, already made it through one degree fine...neither extreme is ideal, but it's not easy to feel out their middle ground. This is the first year I haven't had the means to make it home on my own. I totally can't tell whether my mom wants me in Seattle over Christmas for support, whether I can ask her to fly me out with her - she's always vague this way. Strange. Really not sure what the best thing to do is. I miss the peeps in Edmonton too. But it's going to be one or the other, if at all. I guess first I have to work up the guts to ask them to buy me a plane ticket. I suddenly very badly want to build my own family. Same way I play with legos really. Pick 3 colors, and choose and build my own little family. This time not run out of reds before I'm done the roof. I dunno, maybe a flat roof with a skylight is ok. Rain happens and dries out. (I always had too many 3 hole ones and not enough 4.) I've noticed that I've started to think completely differently about children since I started this program.) Somewhere in the last 12 weeks, the pounding fear that I would be a nightmarish parent who should never ever curse a child with my genes, has subsided significantly. Very very strange. The timing is useless and inappropriate, but 5-10 years from now sort of ultimately...could be healthy? Unconditional reciprocal love and whatnot. Don't think I'm cynical when I say that - I'm quite serious. (ha...) My family is very detached, not naturally affectionate. All about rationale. I'm a wordy chick, certainly, but ultimately, a fairly plucky cuddlemachine. I need to become safe and comfortable with that in myself. Acting class is getting progressively more enjoyable. I'm not surprised I feel more comfortable with Mamet than what we were doing before, which was supposedly "simpler." We're working on Glengarry Glen Ross at the moment. Tough tough text. Pretty great.

Monday, November 08, 2004

The guy is

hyperspastic molasses. But still molasses.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

My voice comes from

In so Many Series of
Strange Splits…
Marie Jones
George Brown Theatre School
For Friday 11/5/04

I took 36 hours and weighed 6lb and 12oz.
Women…speak more frankly to each other about their feelings and fears. When they do so their voices are more open and natural. – Rodenburg, Pg. 77

I never understood why my mother never expressed more condemnation upon admitting to me that I took an absolutely miserable amount of time to be born. I have felt for a long time that I’m in many ways formed by strange dichotomies…deeply affected by many things that occurred without deeply specific reasons.

I was born on September 25th, 1979 at 10:22pm, at Misercordia Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta. My parents are Wallace Jones, originally from Prineville, Oregon, USA and Christina Jones (nee Rowlands), from Seattle, Washington USA. They met studying to be veterinarians at Washington State University, where their adjacent yearbook photo captions were “religious and reliable” (Mom) and “serious and sincere” (Dad). My parents lived in Sangudo, AB, pop. 400, which is about 90 minutes Northwest of Edmonton. They moved there shortly after they graduated and were married, having seen a small classified ad in their school journal for a combined small (Mom) and large (Dad) animal Veterinary practice for sale in this village of etymological Spanish cheese. My father was raised rurally in a farm oriented community and had no great apprehensions towards change. My mom hated city life, wanted some horses and was eager to be well out of my grandmother’s smothering opinionated clutches. So off they went in 1975. Way off. Arriving in snowing semi-frozen November mud to find the only affordable lodging available in the gravel path town was a peculiar 2 “bedroom” shack with no running hot water. They built up their practice over their first winter, being hard workers (also, it was warmer at the clinic). Within a few years they were able to buy a small acreage on a quarter-section owned by the Kastelics, who were their clients, and with whom my mom attended Catholic Church services in town. It was 16 acres with pasture, some hayfield and a barn that was next to the tracks that went through town a mile away. They bought a trailer and had it installed onto the land and hooked up to a well. They splurged for a water heater.

Sangudo was brought together by 7 farmers and tradesmen who each picked letters and added an ‘o’ at the end. Sangudo has a main street with a grocery store, a gas station, a post office, a Chinese restaurant/café, two schools, a CIBC, and the “County office” – the county seat of municipal government. If you lived in Sangudo you worked in the tar mines to the south, on the oil rigs to the north, or in forestry to the northeast. If you drive into Sangudo, stopped on main street, and left, you were a) on the long drive to Grande Prairie and about to wish you had stopped in Mayerthorpe a bit farther up the road or b) a farmer running errands. Then there are my parents. Necessary to the community, but otherwise a social anomaly. Educated professionals. With two different accents, neither of which sounded familiar. They are from the States. They picked a very strange time to arrive. No family…anywhere nearby.
“Good people but don’t really know them. Don’t socialize much.”
Then there was me.
I apparently cried very little. I was nearly a c-section I took so long, but I didn’t appear particularly stressed when I emerged. I probably just didn’t have too much to say off the bat. I was never fussy, was easily occupied if I was awake, liked watching people a lot. I didn’t demand too much attention.
My first word was “baby.” I believe this was because at first a) my mother wanting me to know exactly what I was b) the fact that my parents spent more time discussing getting “the baby” around than actually trying to communicate with me c) if I wasn’t with a babysitter, I was with mom and dad in my car seat at the clinic, where their clients coming and going talked about me as “…the baby…she looks like Wally” and were stunned by the size of my eyes as I watched the comings and goings.
Until I started playgroup when I was nearly 4, my life was spent entirely around adults, almost always women. I don’t recall talking very much, or feeling comfortable asking very many questions. I was a combination of shy and uncertain as to why I couldn’t be around my mom. I hated being made to take naps every day. Frequently my solution to this was to have running stories in my head. I had fun where I could, but I sensed that adults didn’t have time for fun. I had what I had, but I wasn’t supposed to worry about whatever I didn’t. I think learned to speak from listening to the adults around me speak to each other more than being spoken to. I wouldn’t describe their language as complex, but primarily factual. Not imaginative. I don’t know whether my mom read to me, or whether that was mostly my babysitters. I must have been read to…my mom did start teaching me to learn how to write before I started school.
My imagination kept me busy. My mom was usually working somehow, and my dad was always working somehow.
Then there was playgroup. I was terrified of kids. I had no idea how I rubbed off on them. They always spoke about things that I wasn’t familiar with, so I resisted trying to talk to them because I didn’t want to look stupid.

“He or she doesn’t lead the listener like a well-rehearsed speech partner should, but holds us back or steps on toes in a hesitant, stabbing search for the right word, phrase or answer.” (Rodenburg, Pg. 34)

I recall playgroup making me cry and preferring to be at the clinic with my mom, even if it was boring sometimes. I had separate voices to talk to and play with all the animals that came in. I made up stories with the single vaccine doses and empty syringes as my people. I made sculptures out of the bigger drug bottles. Sometimes I got to count out pills for the animals. I loved making things out of cotton batten, tongue depressors, catheter tubing…who needed kids. They all had Tonkas and Barbies…I didn’t. Not having to talk to them was easier than trying to play their way. At least there was Legos. You can build things with Legos and not have to talk. Other little kids were speaking in a way that I didn’t quite understand.

Very imaginative…a pleasure to have in class
It is the unusual and solitary child who does not have this vital need to conform so as to fit in. That fitting in is what leads to habits. – Rodenburg, Pg. 73

Perhaps a response to being bright, curious and sensitive, but not feeling much camaraderie with other kids, and I was reading whatever kids’ books my mom ordered for me out loud to myself by the time I was 4. My mom persuaded me to demonstrate this feat to my farm or town kid kindergarten class. Mrs. Bakos and Ms. Fear, our teachers, were delighted. I’m sure they were glad for the break. I had fun doing it. I think my class was baffled. This was probably more than they’d ever heard me talk. And it was while doing something that they couldn’t yet. This is my first memory of being singled out. I didn’t feel bad, but overall I think the impact was to make me even quieter than I was already. I always played with the same two or three kids, and I always hung on the sidelines until they invited me to play with them.

Regular school improved my confidence in speaking somewhat, but I was very self conscious. My sister was born when I was 6. I remember telling everyone about it the same way that everyone else in my class was asked to tell everyone about it when their siblings were born, and feeling like hardly anyone cared when I spoke. I had tape recorded myself telling some story or another one day out of curiosity when I was 7, because my mother had told me that people never sound like they think they do. She was right. I thought I sounded soft and like a young kind of woman – small adult. When I played the tape back, I remember thinking a) that I talked differently than what I heard at school b) I sounded like I had something stuck in my nose and that c) I SOUNDED LIKE A BOY.
Immediately I began the process of trying to make myself sound better - older.
I was the best at spelling and reading, but there were others who were better at everything else. I remember becoming nervous about speaking in front of my class from one incident on. We had each picked a word from our readers to bring to class, spell on the board, and pronounced. For some reason, I had chosen “principal.” I marched up to the board, wrote it down, and said “picnicpail.” The class laughed. My teacher laughed and had to try three times to correct me – I really couldn’t understand that I’d been wrong. This is the first time I remember being really embarrassed, and because it was at the one thing I thought I did the best, it made me feel even stranger. I was a very serious child. I didn’t laugh very much. My parents were also very serious, so I didn’t laugh at home very much either. I didn’t start to make real friends until I was in about grade 2 – when finally someone else who’s parents weren’t from Sangudo and didn’t have family nearby moved to school. Her name was Leanne. I started to get to go to Leanne’s house. Leanne was also creative. So we talked almost exclusively to each other for about a year at school. Then Leanne started making friends with some of the other girls in class, and that’s how I sort of started to amalgamate. But I stayed quiet for fear of saying the wrong thing much of the time around them. They had never been interested in talking to me before. I was distrustful, and they frequently fought and spoke meanly of each other. I didn’t want to be singled out further. But I was also very happy to have my best friend to myself that I could laugh with about things that made no sense to anyone else we knew.

They boys in school were a different matter altogether. Except for two of them, who were part of the “smart kids,” they were always the first to make me aware that I wasn’t the same. I started getting picked on intermittently in about grade 2 – probably because they were trying to figure me out. My mom’s solution was to tell me to “ignore them.” So I did – I was silent and didn’t fight back when anyone said something hurtful to me. And gradually they ignored me back. By keeping silent at key moments of our life we lay sort of unexploded land mines that will tick away just waiting to be triggered. That trigger can easily be squeezed deeply or voice fully at an advanced stage of voice work. – Pg. 87 From kindergarten through grade 1, having been in school with essentially the same 30 people, there were only 5-6 of them I felt I could trust and relate to at any given time, having assumed that if I was being picked on, that meant I was hated and I shouldn’t argue. In that small a community, the bonds between people are often established by proximity from birth, not curiosity or rationale. So a lot of animosity with how I was actually perceived built up over time. I was always very sensitized to group dynamics.

When I was 9, though I resented not fitting in, I also stopped wanting to. My approach became to accentuate ways I was different. I started singing lessons. My mom started me at piano when I was 6 – I learned things very well by ear, but I hated practicing and my teachers frequently berated me for it. I didn’t progress the way they wanted me to. I was constantly humming music back that my mom practiced at home and music gave me a creative outlet that school didn’t. My singing teacher went to work on correcting the way I spoke right away – she told me that I had an accent, which I did slightly, having been around my Dad from Oregon. She made me pronounce words in a way that sounded very British to me, made me stand a particularly rigid way. I learned my pronunciation very well, and I was always very good at pitches, but when I heard myself on recordings I always hated the way it sounded. I began wanting to have a vibrato, so I went to work trying to force myself to have one like my mom. I learned singing technique easily because I had good ears, so along with being able to read and write well, it became the one component of me that I was proud of. I hated talking to a lot of my classmates, but I didn’t mind being asked to sing in front of all of them.

The largest physical impact that my elementary school years had on me probably occurred that same year I started singing. I really liked junk food at that age. One night at the dinner table, no doubt not being hungry for my dinner, my mom said something to the effect of “you shouldn’t be eating that stuff anyway, you’re going to make yourself fat.” The fact that all the girls in my class were coming to the age where they imagine that being fat is an issue made this comment like a doom bell. My tummy, still pretty round at that point, recoiled, beginning a many-years long fixation with flattening itself that still hasn’t entirely abated. I started wearing baggy clothing to cover my hips as well.

“A good student.”
Laughter can bond groups and exclude others. – Rodenburg, Pg. 97

I was more comfortable with my “fate” in school by the time I reached about grade 8. I resolved that my ability to do well would get me out of there sooner or later. My response to my boredom was to look closer at my creative interests, and to try and imagine myself in any number of professions, only to realize that I would eventually grow bored with the routine of any of them. Somehow I realized, never having seen theatre – only three channels of TV, that actors were free of this routine. They were at liberty to learn and explore any facet of life they could. So I became resolved to be an actor. In terms of my personality and how I expressed myself vocally and with speech, I had always felt closer to being an adult, so I could relate well to my teachers and considered many of them “friends” of sorts. My interest in language deepened as it started to become evident that my ears were well tuned to pronunciations and inflections. Because I used it well, despite the fact that I wasn’t comfortable with myself, I began to rely on being able to communicate complexly in my friendships. An affection for obscure information resulted – I started to become less of a hesitator, more of a waffler.

Many kids in my class had incredible difficulties with reading comprehension that were never resolved, because for most of them, reading well was not essential to their parents’ lives. But I also knew this increased my pariah status, so I always avoided having to read unless I was asked to. I was also asked to comment on things we were reading in classes a lot. Because my vocabulary had always been larger than most people in my class, they frequently misunderstood me. Particularly if I happened to speak metaphorically. So the ones who hated me for not speaking the way they did tried to bring me down to their level by mocking me behind my back until it came to my face later. My reaction was to become even less interested in being easily understood – “the sort of speaker who habitually delights in obfuscation and obscurity.” (Rodenburg, Pg, 33) With my class work, it was an advantage. My teachers were impressed. So it hung on.

During high school, my hormones went to war with my mom going through menopause. Tension built from her constant unavoidable working relationship with my dad had built into a process of her coming home tired and angry, and shouting at me to relieve tension – usually for mess or something related to looking after my sister. But the repeated impact of being shouted at every day my mother worked for reasons I could never predict drove me into my room, further towards my ambitions of leaving. By high school I was focused on attending UofA and becoming an actor. I began to think of nothing else, talk of nothing else socially. Because I felt bad about not being able to reach directly to being an actor from where I was at, a lot of stress amassed inside of me. I started to become upset at school more often, and became outwardly disinterested in other people’s social lives. Most of my class was drinking and partying secretly by this point. I wanted so much to leave that I was incapable of considering having fun with them. So I probably kept myself pretty safe inadvertently – that was my act of rebellion if I had one, along with extroverting myself creatively. My parents never put up barriers for me that way, but my mother’s anger towards my father had its own impact. I started to learn what constant negative emotional stress felt like. My mother’s emotional strain was usually rejected cynically by my father, who has always been very emotionally subdued. His childhood was no doubt quite stressful – his father was an alcoholic who had been blinded at mid-age, and couldn’t work. So his own parents had constantly bickered from the time he was very small. His other siblings each reacted differently to this. For my father, it became about being unusually unemotional, almost gratingly so, when my mother seemed to need his support. He was always very blatant in his assertions that a “man must be strong, clear, assertive, individual, unemotional and wholly beholden to no one” (Rodenburg, 81).

Along with provoking my mother, this aspect of my father had its own impact in creating a fascination with vocal color for me. I always hated his monotonous tone and simplistic humor (my dad is a great fan of EXTREMELY dehydrated humor, and is known somewhat affectionately in town for terrible puns). Both of my parents speak very analytically. So when I reached the point where we were being given poetry and Shakespeare to read, I was more than happy to retreat to my room to pour over it vocally to myself, as well as listen to my music. This kind of activity also helped me to distance myself from the stress my parents caused each other, since I felt they were unapproachable in so many ways by this point. Pursuing things creatively almost became a manifestation of tension, as well as release a...