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Archive for the ‘Creative’ Category

Sometimes I like to make stuff.

Morning Walk: Day 5

Posted by melagee on March 4, 2011

I had the best morning.

I didn’t hit the snooze button. I woke up as soon as my alarm went off, and I felt rested and alert. This was a huge change from the zombie-like movement of my usual morning self.

This morning I took Neil Gaiman on my walk with me. He was reciting the introduction to his book, Fragile Things, and then started telling me a wonderful story about Sherlock Holmes. For the whole walk I was entranced by the sound and inflection of his voice. I had read Fragile Things several years ago, but listening to him read his own work was like discovering it all over again. The only flaw, if there is one, is that I am enjoying the audiobook too much. I kept listening to it while on the bus to work. I should be savoring this; instead I am loving it like a fat kid loves cake.

When I got back from the walk I made myself breakfast. I made eggs Benedict for the very first time ever. That included poaching an egg, for the very first time ever. People, let me tell you, poaching an egg is ridiculously easy. I used a pot of hot (but not boiling) water, some vinegar, and a slotted spoon. BAM: poached egg. My Benedict was built from a crumpet, sliced tomatoes, and the egg in question. Topped with a yummy cream cheese-based sauce, and a few rashers of bacon on the side. This is most definitely the best breakfast I’ve ever made.

I’d like to say that I had such a good morning because of any of the things I’ve already mentioned, but I don’t think that’s what did it. Last night for the first time all week I had the opportunity to slow down and do something just because it was fun, not because I needed to. I spent the evening with two lovely people, talking about the nerdiest of topics. I think we dwelled on Dr Who for about an hour. I got to just be nerdy and drink hot chocolate and not spend a few hours doing something fun. It shouldn’t surprise me that the next morning I woke up feeling energetic and happy.

The good news is, I learned a lesson. It’s important to socialize and relax. The bad news is, it’s not going to make much difference. I’m as busy as I ever was, and no matter how nice it is to slow down and geek out, I still have a huge amount of stuff to get done during the week and will probably still stress myself out trying to do it all.

But at least I had a nice morning. 🙂


Posted in Buds, Creative, Nerd Talk, Personal Challange | 1 Comment »


Posted by melagee on February 19, 2010

In an on-going effort to grow and push myself beyond my limits, I am trying a few different things in my life.  I can’t promise that I will update these experiments regularly, but I can try.  In the meantime, here’s what I’m doing.

1) Although I’m not a catholic in even the most remote sense of the word, I am interested in the idea of lent.  I think it’s a pretty good exercise to give up something that you really love for a limited period of time, just to prove to yourself that you can do it.  I’m pretty sure I’ve done this one before, but for lent this year I am giving up pop.  I will be forgoing both diet and regular pop for the duration, although I have given myself permission to take a break for my birthday because birthdays are the best time to sin.

I’ve been off of pop for uh three days so far and I am already jonesing.  As a lifelong pop-drinker, this will not be an easy thing for me to go without.

2) I have decided to read Twilight.  CRAZY, RIGHT?  But I’ve been joining the bandwagon in making fun of the thing without ever really knowing what exactly it is all about – I haven’t even seen the movie yet.

So far I am a few chapters in and the thing is just dreary.  It is not the most boring book I’ve ever read, but it feels like it’s been targetted at a much younger audience than I would have guessed based on the thickness of the book.  I can’t even say that it’s poorly written – it would have been right up my ally when I was 11 years old, but my tastes have advanced a bit beyond that level.

3) I’ve mentioned the writing experiement before, and so far it’s been going really well.  I’ve been keeping up with it every week, between writing blogs and fiction, and I am already learning some things about my style and process.  My end date for this experiement is the end of the year, but we will see how it goes as time progresses.

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It’s Too Soon to Wuss Out

Posted by melagee on January 21, 2010

I made myself a promise last week.  I promised myself that instead of devoting more of my time to doing volunteer work, I would do something for myself.  It’s a selfish promise, I know, but I am okay with that.  I think it’s good to be selfish sometimes.  I promised myself that I would set aside every Thursday evening to work on getting back into something I used to love more than anything: writing.

When I was a young girl I wrote all the time.  I still have the stories (my favourites are my Star Trek: TNG fan fiction, and the trilogy I wrote about a witch and the boy she loved) and they’re not very good, but I think they were good for my age.  And they were fun.

I felt good when I was writing – I felt like I was home.  It came so naturally to me.  There was never a time when I felt blocked or worried about how my words sounded. I don’t know when it happened, but somewhere along the way I started to worry about how “good” my writing was.  I worried that I sounded trite and silly, that my ideas were stolen from other, better writers.  As soon as I realized that others might judge me as harshly as I was judging myself, I lost all of the joy I used to get from writing.  It became more about being “good” than about just having fun.  That’s what I want to get back to.

I want to be able to sit down at my computer and just let the words come out, without even thinking about it.  I want to be able to make up a story that pleases and delights me and never have to worry about what anyone else thinks.  I don’t want to be critiqued or edited or made to improve, I just want to write.  I want to create something that is just for me and not worry about how I will be judged.

So here is my project for the year: I will write something at least once a week.  It may be a blog post, it may be a movie review, it may be a short story, hell it might even be a poem.  I don’t know what it will be, but it will be something.  I’m not promising to blog every thursday – I do have other blogs that may be better suited for certain topics – but I promnise myself that I will write something whole (with a beginning, middle, and end) at least once a week, and this will happen on Thursday evenings.  I will do this for one year and see what happens.

This post counts as this Thursday’s offering.  Yes, I am wussing out just a little.

Posted in Creative, Essential Melanie | Leave a Comment »

Guest Blog: Dear Diary

Posted by melagee on July 26, 2009

Dear Diary:

Today I tried to spark a geo-political standoff for giggles.  First I thought of involving Iceland, but really, that guy’s been through enough lately.  I settled on Poland because he struck me as needing a little excitement after his 15 minutes of fame from the Coalition of the Willing had faded.  And remembering that it takes two to tango, Argentina seemed a natural partner; besides, she so much fun in ’82.

So I waited until Poland was standing near Argentina, then I leaned over and pulled her hair, hard.  She turned around, furious, glowering for the puller.  I, being an official UN arbitrator, immediately offered my services: “Argentina, while I think that Poland’s actions in these past moments have been reprehensible, don’t forget his important role in stabilizing NATO.”

Argentina, now acquired of target, spun the remaining degrees to square with the back of Poland’s head.  The front of it was so engaged with his towering, sweet sekacz that he had failed to notice what I had been cooking up.  The attacker spent seconds weighing the severity of her reprisal, then settled for accidentally destroying the external wall of the ballroom addition of the Polish Embassy in Argentina.  While the Argentine Republic fully acknowledges the sovereignty of that Polish soil, certain wrecking balls amongst its citizens were unaware of such sacred boundaries.

Poland, of course, was both confused and suddenly at sea with regards to where the Saturday bingo should be held for his emissaries to that southern land.  But oh, how good is that sekacz!  How did he long not to be distracted from it by the present strife!

At last, he turns to face her, eyes not leaving her still smoulderingness, and leans over to Brazil saying “what’s the deal with Argentina, dude?”

Brazil says nothing.  It sits resplendent in its vast rainforests, its mighty rivers, its respectable iron ore and soybean exports, and it says nothing.

Poland, ponders this, knowing that words indeed are nothing compared to the sheer expressive power of a decent space program and the seventh largest metropolitan area on the planet.  And these silent national possessions speak one thing loudly: “don’t upset the apple cart, don’t rock the boat, and for the love of god don’t disrupt the regional economy – our exports to the Euroregion are sizable!”

Poland nods, wisely, and offers no rebuke.  Argentina, seeing no ill intent in Poland, backs down.

Overall, a major bust.  I think next time I’ll dump a drink on someone’s head.

Heath Johns is the co-founder of the fabulous Urbantastic, and an all-around lovable curmudgeon.  He is possessed of a brilliant mind, an incredibly exciting energy for good ideas, and a very soft pelt of fur.  I enjoy him muchly, and now you can too.

Posted in Blogathon 2009, Buds, Creative | 1 Comment »

Guest Blog: Zippy, the Finger

Posted by melagee on July 26, 2009

Bonjour, mes amis! I am Zippy, zee finger! Formerly I belonged to a zpecial branch of zee police forze that was uzed for tezting zee boyanzy of donuz, but hard timez have cauzed me to looze my jhob wiz zee polize forze, and now I am working 'ere, in Mellony's maison, as your tour guide! Pearhaps we get ztarded, no?



Zut alors! Zee mezz in zis aparmen iz aztonijjing! I am appalled!  Why I am zo zhocked I ave momentarily gone blurry!

Zut alors! Zee mezz in zis apar'men iz aztonijjing! I am appalled! Why I am zo zhocked I 'ave momentarily gone blurry!



Och, ow orrible! Zis aparmen is an absolutemont dizaztare!  Je suis cannot comprehendevous! Zee abomination!

Och, 'ow 'orrible! Zis apar'men is an absolutemont dizaztare! Je suis cannot comprehendevous! Zee abomination!


Ugh, I guezz I may az well zee whatelze zhe 'az done to zis pla-gasp! Quest que c'est?!


I muzt move in for a clozer look -- what iz zis ztunningly beautiful creature? I muzt know more!


Allo, mon petit. Je m'appel Zippy. Enchante! I am delighted to meet a madameselle of your obvious ztature 'ere in zis plaze. S'il vous plait, may I come yet clozer?


Oh! Oooo! Madameselle flatters moi wiz 'er attentions! You are too too kind, chere. Oo, ow, chere, a little less teeth, non? Zat lazt bite almost broke zee zkin, and we wouldn't want-





Posted in Aminals, Blogathon 2009, Creative | 1 Comment »

The Boyfriend List #6: Leonard Cohen

Posted by melagee on July 25, 2009

are you shocked?  Don’t be.

I almost went to bed
without remembering
the four white violets
I put in the button-hole
of your green sweater
and how i kissed you then
and you kissed me
shy as though I’d
never been your lover

I heard of a man
who says words so beautifully
that if he only speaks their name
women give themselves to him.
If I am dumb beside your body
while silence blossoms like tumors on our lips,
it is because I hear a man climb stairs and clear his throat outside the door.

The man is the embodiment of sex.

Posted in Blogathon 2009, Boyfriends, Creative | Leave a Comment »

Plans of Fun

Posted by melagee on July 3, 2009

I decided when I first moved to Vancouver that I was really eager to get into some of the fun free events I’d been so used to back in Toronto.  I’d had so much fun participating in street games and festivals and open conferences and meetings.  Unfortunately, it seems as though there really aren’t that many opportunities for such things here, which I found really dissapointing.

To be fair, some of it is probably that I still don’t know the city that well.  But I am an impatient person and fun and free wait for no woman!  so I decided that if I can’t find the kind of events I want to attend, then I will just have to make them.  If newmindspace is any indication, it doesn’t require a lot of out-of-pocket expense, just a little bit of leg work, and in exchange I get to have buckets of fun.

so in the interest of having fun, I present to you: Yay! Gee! A new group designed to use public spaces in Vancouver for fun and games, and subsequently make Vancouver a more fun place to live.  I have a few ideas for things we can do (the Bubble Bash is already in the works!) and am also interested in receiving input from others.  I’m not an island, and other people may have some fabulous and amazing ideas.  Yay! Gee! is really just about giving people a voice for those ideas, and maybe some helping hands for implimentation.

So far it’s not been easy getting people to care, but I’m spunky and determined and I refuse to give up (thanks, Heath!).  Yay! Gee! is going to keep coming up with fabulous ideas for how to use our public space in fun and exciting ways, and you, the people of Vancouver, will have more fun than you ever thought possible because of it.  🙂  I have faith in this.

Posted in Creative, Plans of Fun | Leave a Comment »

More Poetics

Posted by melagee on February 17, 2006

I hate you
and the way your too-soft touch
falls lightly on my arm.
I hate the way you
hold me
and breath gently
into my ear
The very feel of your skin
brushing against mine
is cause enough for
goose pimples
to rise up on my body
I shudder at the very thought
of your embrace
and cannot bear to consider
that eventually you will be
inside of me
But most of all
I hate the way
you do all of this
and yet never do it

Posted in Creative | Leave a Comment »


Posted by melagee on December 8, 2005

I found this story that I wrote in my third year of University. I was taking a creative writing course, and I wrote this for my portfolio. The person who graded it completely tore it apart with the most ridiculous comments I have ever seen. What do you guys think? I’m not claiming it’s a great work, but I found the comments this person made to be completely incompetent. I want to see if any of you have the same critisisms this person had.


Lights flashed and spun on the walls in larger and larger circles. Colourful streams of red and blue playing on the white of the living room. She closed her eyes and let her head fall slightly, relaxing her mind in preparation of what was to come.

Bing Crosby played on the radio, promising happiness and homecoming for Christmas. The men stood outside her door, tapping softly, unsure of the situation inside. The screaming had stopped, and the crying had lessened. But in the wake of all of that, the music seemed somehow ominous. The neighbors would be standing at their windows clutching their robes tightly shut to keep out the imagined cold.

All eyes would be on her house, but her own eyes remained tightly shut, letting the music fill her. Peace could be found in the voice on the radio; in a song that had always inspired a deep, indefinable feeling in her. She lifted her head up to face the music, and felt her legs pulling out from underneath her to support her body, as they’d been taught to do years ago.

Her legs shook slightly, having grown attached to the absence of circulating blood. She stretched her toes, filling out her red-splattered socks. She rocked her legs back and forth slightly, getting them used to the movements of life, and taking herself deeper into the safety of her own mind.

She swayed her body and let her head circle limply around her neck. Her arms lifted and weaved around her. Two feet shuffled in small paces around the floor. With eyes glued shut, she danced like air.

Moving one step too close to Him, she felt her toe brush against his sweater. A cold chill went through her, and goose bumps became clear on her skin. Quickly, she moved away from him, knowing, even in her current state, that He was where she didn’t want to be.

Her arms floated upward, pressing too hard against her temple and causing her to wince in pain. She moved her arms elsewhere, trying not to listen to the banging of the men at her door. They called out their named through solid wood, announcing their credentials with an air of learned authority. She ignored them, and pulled back from her brush with reality too slowly to prevent a tear from escaping her closed eyes. It rolled over her cheek, mingling with the blood at the corner of her mouth, and sliding off her chin to crash on the ground below.

She didn’t mind the blood on her lips. It was her own blood; it was familiar, like an old friend. She was used to the cool solidity of it as it seemed out of one cut or another. She wondered if she would miss it now that it wouldn’t be the constant companion it once was. It was his blood that frightened her. The wildness of it seeming through the cloth of her socks an din between the cracks of her toes. It stuck to her like the memory of a spider crawling on her arm, and surrounded her, bringing an unhealthy atmosphere of reality to what she had done.

Her brow wrinkled in distress, and a small moan slipped out from between her lips. The music moved in a steady rhythm towards it’s end, and she eagerly flew to the darker corners of her mind where He had never been. She could be safe there. She moved her body faster, trying achingly to keep up with the tempo of the music, unable to force her physical form to do what her mental one could. The stillness of her mind and the whirring of her body latched together to create a kind of calmness she had never been able to find in all her years with Him. Or maybe it was just the knowledge of her final release from a man whose touch she’d come to know too well, that had set her mind at ease.

She almost couldn’t hear the men throwing themselves at the door of her house with increasing urgency. Almost was wonderful, but not quite enough. The lock snapped out of place as the sound of feet thumping into the room reached her. Muttering voices too soft to make out, even if she had wanted to, and feet sweeping over the carpet. She flew around the room faster, fantasizing that she was a silhouette on the wall.

There was the soft swish of polyester rubbing against itself as one of the intruders knelt over her husband and murmured something final, and a click across the room as the music ceased abruptly. She allowed her body to continue its movement for another full moment before she realized her music had left her. Solace would not be found that night, but she refused to let the physical world retake her so completely. She stopped moving. Keeping her eyes hidden, she let her arms dangle silently by her sides.

Callused hands gripped her arms lightly, avoiding the bruises present there. A voice softer than a baby’s hair came at her from the darkness.

“I think you’d better open your eyes, now.”

Her eyelids rose slowly, and a stranger’s grass-green eyes enveloped her, taking the last part of her from the only happiness she’d ever known.

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Posted by melagee on November 23, 2005

I had the strongest urge to taste his skin. I leaned over and delicately licked the bottom of his ear. I felt him smile, but he sat still, otherwise ignoring me. Gently I grabbed hold of his lobe with my teeth. Tugging softly, I purred. Finally, letting go, I said, “It won’t come off.”


There is a need to create trapped inside of me. Like a madwoman clawing at her own face, bloodied, throwing herself around a dark room. Raging; defiant; something from deep down below that has awoken and will not be silenced. My spirit has tasted the bitterness of quiet and once more longs to scream and sing and laugh with hysteria. Lose control. Abandon yourself.

Waves rise and fall and my heart pumps with new energy. It’s been too long. I’ve been lost, trapped inside my dignity. Reality pushing down on me, one on top of another on top of another until I’m suffocated with compliance. No other recourse but to dig in deep and draw blood. Climb out, pull myself free from the dark glare of mediocrity.

Calm yourself; tame yourself; remember to forget. Quietly drown in the memories of what was, all the while smoothing the lines in your face. Worry lines become laugh lines. Hide behind your happiness. Don’t be whoever you are because you can always be someone better.

There’s so much – there’s too much. I can’t keep it all straight. It all flies right through me, lays eggs in my heart, takes pieces of my mind. I am my own assassin. I’m dying, I’m losing, and no one has noticed. I’m crying, screaming, begging, but no one can hear me. There is such a thing as too pleasant.


I can feel – I can almost see – electricity coursing underneath my skin. There’s so much inside of me, I can’t even begin to describe it all. I can’t even begin to understand it all. I’m saying something right now but I barely know what. I simply open my mouth and let the words pour out, independent of my mind. There’s so much. I can hardly see through all of it, and it’s everywhere.

I make no sense. I’m raw – both with being unrefined in order, and with delicate sensitivity. I can’t be touched, but I long to feel. I can’t commit, but I solicit promises. I’m a contradiction about to explode. A tornado in a jar.

My uncertainty, my confusion, my hysterical blindness, is like a drug to me. It shoots me up, it takes me high, it spins me around until I don’t know my own name anymore. And then it lets me go, drifting back to Earth on a cloud of mind-numbing space. My mind has blacked out – cut off all communications with my heart and soul. I can’t even hear myself screaming anymore.

I’m blanketed and bubble-wrapped and contained safely in my cocoon. Too much for me to handle, I turn a deaf ear to my own moans. Lock the tiger back in her cage, but leave the key within reach for the next time she grows restless. Contained chaos – uncontrollable peace.


I sat on the bottom step and listened to the sound falling down on me from above. She was screaming and mumbling alternatively, unsure of whether she was furious or confused. Small pieces of words slithered into my ears. I tried to block them out, but lacked the self-esteem to put my fingers in my ears. I was young, but already so old.

I’d been bad. I didn’t know what I had done, but it was wrong and I was being punished. My punishment was a sound thrashing of my spirit. The wounds scarred. She was an expert in her trade, working with words the way an artist molds clay.

I was too young to know what I was supposed to do. I knew that she was aware of my earshot range. She had placed me on this step herself. I was within feet of the front door, waiting for the knock that would stop my heart. They were coming to take me away. I’ve called them, she said. Family Services. They’re coming to take you away.

From my station I could hear her pick up the phone and speak, ordering some entity to come and remove me. I don’t deserve a daughter like her, she raged. Screaming, yelling, crying out: They’re on their way!

And I sat there and waited, and wondered what I should do next. They would be here any moment.


This wasn’t what I expected. I had expected to feel more of an impact, as though I were marking my life. As though I were betraying HIM. I expected to feel as though I were doing something that required permission. A deeper shame than sin and religion could ever beat into me. The betrayal of a memory that had kept me warm on more than one night.

I had expected that this time would be easier than the first. The agony of decision, the confusion of possible regret, the shame of inexperience. All of these things were behind me, freeing my troubled mind to enjoy the moment. Abandoning my past as easily as a leopard changes its spots.

In truth, it was neither of those, and a little bit of both. The decision was easy to make, on instinct alone, though my common sense battled valiantly. The embarrassment came afterward – a subtler form of shame. Not for what I can done to HIM, but for what I had done to myself.

What did I owe my past, aside from my respect? Am I o hold myself hostage with an unreasonable allegiance to a man I once loved? In giving myself to him for a moment, is he then obliged ownership of me forever? Instead my concern lay with the possible betrayal of myself. As someone who has prized romance as akin to a sixth sense, how have I turned on myself in committing so brutal an act?

The part that concerns me the most is that I’m not overly concerned. I accept my actions with minimal regret, and dwell only on how this changed my perception of myself. I consider who I am and how I’ve changed. Sex, for me, has become a tool for introspection.


My soul is a boomerang. Wherever it goes, however it feels, in the end it always comes back unto itself. No feeling, no matter how wondrous, ecstatic, or horrific, is permanent. Every turn of emotion has its expiration date.

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