Send Me Postcards from LA

One of the funniest tricks anyone pulled on me is when, one day about 8 years ago, I retrieved a postcard from my mailbox at home. It was a night shot of Los Angeles similar to this one.

Los Angeles at night

All that was written on the back was, “Doing just fine! With Love Forevermore, Rachel.”

The trouble was, I didn’t know a Rachel in LA. In fact, the only Rachel I knew was very much safe at home here in Halifax. Weeks went by and I never figured out who Rachel was, until one day I got a call from Lindsey, a woman I had worked with but had since gone to graduate school in Toronto. Sadly, I don’t remember if she’s the one who’d given me that Joshua Kadison cassette, but I do recall how we both loved his rich, sultry voice and his songs, especially Picture Postcards from LA (mp3, 5.5MB, 4:34).

It turns out Lindsey had a friend who visited LA. So, in reference to the above song we both loved so much, she gave her friend my home address and explicit instructions about what to write on a postcard from LA. The friend’s name wasn’t even Rachel.

That song still gets to me — the idea of how we all have dreams but sometimes are too chickenshit to take the plunge and realize those dreams. I often had that feeling 8 years ago, so that song truly resonated for me. Today I feel that, although I’m not always “out there” as I should, I’ve generally overcome the fears and inertia. And to an extent, Lindsey’s little trick — arranging to have Rachel’s postcard from LA finally arriving — may have contributed to my forging ahead. She and her partner Shafik always believed in me, and expressing that belief is the greatest tonic friends can give each other. But perhaps the greatest reason why this song still gets to me is that, as I remember Lindsey and Shafik, I realize I’ve lost touch with them and I miss them.

Young in the ’80s: Ever So Lonely

MonsoonWhen I was in my early 20s, still living in Moncton, my friend Sara and I would go absolutely nuts when the DJ at the Kacho would play this song by an obscure group about whom we knew nothing but its name: Monsoon (see at Listening to this song today brings back good memories even though at the time, Moncton was the last place where I wanted to be. Anyway, it’s pretty amazing considering it dates back to the middle of the 1980s.

Ever So Lonely (mp3, 6.0MB, 6:17)

Meanwhile, remember my confession about techno a few weeks back? Well, the following piece is not quite the genre I was referring to, but I defy you to walk away not cheery after listening to it.

Dreamed of You (mp3, 3.5MB, 3:39)

Or try this for a pick-me-up (note: huge file, but worth the wait). It’s the only techno tune I ever heard played in clubs in Halifax, and that was five years ago!

Life in a Northern Town (techno) (mp3, 12.2MB, 8:28)

And I think that the following piece is absolutely brilliant!

The Beauty of a Witch (mp3, 3.2MB, 3:20)

Startling contrasts of genres that really work: in the case of Monsoon, electronic and Hindi; in the case of the Witch, medieval and rock.

Mating Season

Here are my results on Dating Diversions’ Online Dating Personality Quiz. I think this really awful, cheesy, irreverant dance song (mp3, 4.6 MB, 4:49) might be an appropriate companion for this entry. 🙂

My dating personality profile:

Liberal – Politics matters to you, and you aren’t afraid to share your left-leaning views. You would never be caught voting for a conservative candidate.
Adventurous – Just sitting around the house is not something that appeals to you. You love to be out trying new things and really experiencing life.
Intellectual – You consider your mind amongst your assets. Learning is not a chore but a constant search after wisdom and knowledge. You value education and rationality.

My date match profile:

Adventurous – You are looking for someone who is willing to try new things and experience life to its fullest. You need a companion who encourages you to take risks and do exciting things.
Intellectual – You seek out intelligence. Idle chit-chat is not what you are after. You prefer your date who can stimulate your mind.
Practical – You are drawn to people who are sensible and smart. Flashy, materialistic people turn you off. You appreciate the simpler side of living.

My Top Ten Traits

1. Liberal
2. Adventurous
3. Intellectual
4. Sensual
5. Practical
6. Funny
7. Wealthy/Ambitious
8. Big-Hearted
9. Stylish
10. Outgoing

My Top Ten Match Traits

1. Adventurous
2. Intellectual
3. Practical
4. Funny
5. Shy
6. Conservative
7. Wealthy/Ambitious
8. Stylish
9. Athletic
10. Big-Hearted

Do I take issue with these results?

No, not really. I can’t argue that I’m a “liberal” in the American sense the word is to be taken in this test. Recently, just for fun, I’ve been looking through profiles of …um …eligible bachelors at a site I won’t link to, and it allows for an entry on “Politics.” Strange at it might seem to you, I have to confess that I consider that entry one of the most important in anyone’s profiles. A guy could be so drop-dead gorgeous that I wouldn’t hesitate to drink his bath water …but if his politics are all wrong, the deal’s off.

I’ve heard before that, as we age, most people become a bit (or a lot) more conservative. I believe that’s the case for me in some policy areas. Socially, I am firmly on the left and always will be. However, fiscally, I’ve come to have a more mixed view. I don’t believe in tyranically enforcing balanced budgets, but I don’t believe in spending the next generation’s money. Taxation isn’t evil if, in return, citizens receive good services and a sound infrastructure; some services should remain entirely public, such as water supplies, education, and so on.

My point? I couldn’t date a guy I think has his head up his ass politically, be it the result of him steadfastly holding political beliefs on the far left or the far right. I know myself: at the most inappropriate moment, a thought like “I can’t believe he believes that [fill in the blank]” or “in [fill in the blank]” is likely to cross my mind, and that would kill it right there.

Very Troubling

I remember how the word empowerment meant something good and progressive, until marketing nutjobs took over the word and transplanted it as an amendment of quasi-Fordism. Now, demented pro-gun capitalist whackos are trying to run away with diversity.

In the shadow of the adscam/sponsorship scandal here in Canada, which has me worried about a rise of the Conservatives to power, and after accidentally letting myself click through too many conservative blogs for one evening, I am, at an alarming rate, losing all faith in humanity.