Monday, 31 January 2011
Friday, 28 January 2011
a) we get renewable 2 year visas up until we turn 31
b) australia doesn't have mountains like this, but for some freakish reason we all love snowboarding
c) it's a party town, and we sorta like to party.
so on australia day, residents of whistler fall into two categories: Go Hard, or Go Home.
we started out the night before to celebrate the triple j hottest 100, an annual countdown that happens on australia day in australia, which means we were listening to streamed radio until some ridiculous hour of the morning.
i was rather pleased with number 1, as i lurve Angus and Julia Stone. I saw them play in Vancouver in dead season with Keltie and Nicole (loveliest housemate of all time) and i loved them even more, and that love grew and grew, so that when they won #1 with 'big jet plane' it was quite an emotional moment for me. julia stone is so gorgeous, and angus is all quiet and cute, and you should go to youtube and look at them playing big jet plane live:
so now you can love them just like i do.
after this victory of sorts (it is always cool when an aussie band wins the hottest 100), we struggled out of bed the next morning for the offical 26th of jan, the whistler aussie day.
Initial plans to meet at 8 were nixed and replaced with plans for a 930 rendezvous. so factor in a hangover or seven and 10am saw us making our scraggled way up the creekside gondy:
as much as they used to make me cringe in my previous life, i am in fact wearing an australian flag. the inner snob in me still finds this more than a little embarassing, but the larger, more brain-damaged-by-alcohol part of me says, "fuck it, when in rome ...".
let everyone please note that mitch's inflatable aussie flag hand was MINE, and he stole it from me after pretending he was helping me out by "holding it".
i documented the first few drinks on facebook, personal favorite photo being first beer at raven's nest:
drink of the day goes to my double extra spicy caesar at roundhouse, because godDAMN do they know how to make a caesar... anyone not in the know, a caesar is a canadian bloody mary made with clamato juice instead of tomato. yes. clam juice. yes.
i was suspicious initally. and now i pretty much always drink them. i think i like them better than most other types of beverage. heck yes. dusty's makes them with celery, a pickled bean, and a stick of beef jerky. that's a meal in a drink, people. a meal.
but i am off topic.
the joy, the gloriousness of it... the weather up there (remember, we're back in the mountains of whistler on australia day, stay with me) turned spectacular. sunshine. clear views across the valley, with epic clouds sort of sitting on top of the village... there was an inpromptu footy game at chick pea hut with strangers, there were men skiing and riding round in shorts, there were sneaky beers on chairlifts, in gondolas, there was a naked arse at whistler peak, there was snowboarding holding beer (please note at no time, even with all the falling over, was a drop of beer spilled), there were loud obnoxious noisemaker things emitting loud honks.
we did dave murray downhill, we rode green chair, we hit harmony and nicole rocked another blue run (not bad at all for a beginner), we shredded the saddle and finished up with peak to creek. a warm day gave us almost spring-like riding conditions coming down that epic final run.
i really like peak to creek. i only rode it once last season, on christmas day with little brother, and then no more. i don't know what i was thinking last season, was i crazy? it's a lovely long run, with the right music playing and comfortable snow (anything more than about 10cm of fresh) it is, for me, one of the joys of my life. plus you end up at dustys, which is one of my favorite places in whistler.
as the rest of the day was a blur of dustys, subway (a girl's gotta eat), home then crystal's, bill's, tapleys, and finally fat tony's and home, i'd like to reflect a little.
in australia i never really got into aussie day that much. during uni i was always working at retreat hotel, my trusty trashy local/employer. before that i don't think it rated, maybe as hottest 100 day, but not as anything more significant.
i'm not sure i'm so patriotic that i'd chose australia to live overall. i mean look, i'm half a world away in whistler, canada. i'm happy to be an australian for the opportunities it has afforded me: renewable 2 year visas in canada, the fact i grew up speaking english, the comfortable middle-class upbringing i enjoyed, the fact australians are still welcome (or at least endured) in most/all coutries in the world... these are aspects i have taken full advantage of.
but really, patriotism is a little beyond me mostly.
i did think of making snobbish comments about southern cross tattoos and crocodile dundee, but with all my worldly experience these days i shall instead observe that a good day was had by all, nobody (that i know) was too badly hurt, or arrested, or made too much of a fool of themselves.
in a town where the focus is on fun, i will have to say: success!
thanks going out to: nicole n mitch (ultimate housemates and best friends), kate and phil (hottest couple in town), kate "janice" (she gave me some of her breakfast, and shared much boy-related wisdom), karin (my swedish fiancee, aren't i the luckiest), toby (everybody's new bff), ben & grey for various entertainments (and for wearing shorts with thermals underneath, so fucking ugly), and the glorious amy schilling for all that whipping our hair back and forth at bills. plus all the others that were here and there and dancing. only the ones that danced get thanks.
ah, and special thanks to kate and karin for all the photography. nothing like waking up the next day/day after that to see that you have, in fact, been tagged in no less that 39 photos on facebook. nothing nerve-racking about that AT ALL.
xx happy australia day kids, until the next one.
Monday, 24 January 2011
Monday, 17 January 2011
no matter how hard we try to fight it, or how carefully we walk, or how far out we spread out our arms for balance, sometimes our legs go our from underneath us quite suddenly.
sometimes, it's hard to get back up again. sometimes we've hurt ourselves falling. sometimes we're scared we're just going to fall again once we're up, and it's easier to lay on the cold ground contemplating staying right where we are.
you just can't fight the ice. it is what it is. in difference circumstances, in different forms, it becomes something else, something we look for, long for and ache for... snow, for riding or skiing on, flat manicured ice, for skating on. it's a vital ingredient in a refreshing gin and tonic.
this week, i have found it exhausting. i have tried to make it work for me, but it just doesn't, and every time i go anywhere i am almost certain to fall over. i'm black and blue and battered.
i'm working hard on that whole 'feel the fear and do it anyway' mindset, but really, would it be such a bad thing to stay home?
i think that tomorrow is the start of another week, and we shall see.
Friday, 14 January 2011
we've had some truly amazing powder days so far this season. anyone not in the know, when i say powder i mean fresh snow; the more the better.
snow freaks get all turned on by powder, get up when it's still dark, get aggressive with queue-jumpers in line, pushy on chairlifts, make loud whooping noises as they drop off things and into things and over things. it's the only forum where you can use the term "faceshots" with your mates, as a girl, and have a 50/50 chance that noone will snigger at you.
my all-time favorite thing to see on a powder day is how stoked everyone gets. on christmas eve, we'd had a huge dump of snow overnight. we uploaded from creekside, and when we got to red chair, jumped in the line. waiting there we hear all these wooping noises, and then 4 guys pop out of goats gully, a black run that ends right at red, covered in powder from head to toe. it was like they came out of nowhere, part of the mountain... 4 canadian boys on skis, and all you heard out of them was typical skibum banter: "duuuuuuude, that was fuckin' EPIC" ... "did you see the air i got off that pillow?" ... "shiiiiit, it was all faceshots".
it's hard not to be stoked when you see such infectiously happy skiers, and i hadn't even done a run yet.
granted, the pow was pretty heavy over christmas, and the lift lines were sort of crazy, but we snuck in some great runs. my mate phil had decided that every time i stopped in front of him he was going to spray me with snow... a trick he found somewhat hilarious, and i couldn't help but giggle a little myself, all the while looking like i was trying to camoflage into the mountain... snow ninja styles.
there was boxing day, where 4 of us headed for seventh heaven on blackcomb after lunch, along with everyone else... it had cooled down a bit so the powder had dried out a little, was a little less cement-like, but it was crazy windy up there, and it's hard to enjoy riding when you can't see anything, while getting blown off the side of a mountain... once we made it down out of the wind we had a fantastic run down the left side of seventh.
i loved that run the most because everyone fell over and had to hike out of various parts but me. the run we picked had a few spots that were steep, followed by flat- a good skill to be able to keep momentum up to get over to the next steep. up til now, i had found i was over-thinking, the inner monologue going something like "here's a flat bit keep your speed up don't fall over keep your speed up" ... BAM (that's the part where i inevitably fell).
but this time i pushed a bit, took on a bit more speed than i normally do, and it worked out.
and this was the beginning of my powder confidence (or cockiness... pretty sure i bragged to everyone in obnoxious fashion about just how awesome i was).
i went up last friday and i owned it, all day. riding my sweet $12.50 board from the thrift store i work at, all set up for powder, making it so damn easy to lean back and embrace the pure, unadulterated joy that is powder riding.
everything i knew so far, plus all the well-meant advice i'd been given, just fell into place. click. the mind turns off and the body turns on, and you go, and everything is good.
sometimes, as a learner, you get too much advice. i myself am guilty of giving this same advice a few times... it's all coming from a good place, the person just wants you to love riding as much as they do, but sometimes it seems a little irrelevant and generic, like, listen man, i'm just doing what i can do, stop patronising me and let me get there on my own...
which i myself finally did last friday.
in the morning we kept it fairly simple and sweet, hitting some trees to the left of the park on whistler, then back up to do chunky's choice, then across to franz's meadows... i'd not done any of these runs before, but i was in the mood for new things, and lucky to have my mate andy up the hill with me to suggest them. it's great riding with someone different- everyone has their favourites for whatever reason, and you see new parts of the mountain. it's nice to share them with mates.
andy left us, and me, marty and the lovely karin headed over to harmony, as we'd heard a rumour it was going to open. we queued maybe 45 minutes. it was getting cold. i couldn't feel my fingers. the queue started a snowball fight and the snowballs were getting harder and icier. we had made the call to give it 10 more minutes. 7 minutes later, at 2.05 pm, they opened the chair.
in writing this, i admit i really can't do those runs justice. we got 2 in before they closed the chair at 2.45. the first one, it was so windy up there it was hard to see... we snuck down the ridge and out of the wind. marty convinced me to drop off the side of pika's traverse, the green that heads back to roundhouse. i was more than a little scared because i couldn't see a fucking thing. i had to trust him. down i went. i was petrified and heel-edging it, wasting good powder, until i decided "fuck it, the worst that can happen is i'll fall over". what followed was the best and most amazing fresh lines of my life. we did mcconkeys and then some trees at the end... i hit a pillow by accident and got some amazing air. i stomped it and rode out. i was a rockstar.
there really should have been someone filming me... that's how shit-hot i was.
then we did it all again.
i have to be honest with you, i did eat shit in a huge way coming off the lift the second time round. i don't even know how i managed it, but i went down hard, right off the chair. thanks go out to marty for laughing quietly to himself, instead of loudly in my face, while i scrambled around, all embarassed. my lifty mate rob saw it too. i bet he laughed not so quietly... but he did ask if i was ok, so there was SOME compassion...
the second run was as good as the first, with so much untouched powder there was no real way to go wrong... except getting stuck on a flat, which i didn't, because (if you didn't already figure this out) i am awesome (instead i got stuck a week later, yesterday, but that's another story, and i won't tell it, it makes me look bad).
i shall make the proclaimation here:
(although as you well know i'm hardly the expert these days).
sex and boys can let you down, which they frequently do, but powder never pretends to be anything other than what it is. if it's there, it's there. it's so good it should probably be illegal.
powder makes me happy in a way that nothing else has so far in my life.
and that's all i have to say about that.
Wednesday, 12 January 2011
sometimes i'm bored of being myself. sometimes i wish i could be doing something that might actually help someone.
but then there are other times when i just feel like i have things to say. lately i've been saying more but less, because i started thinking about who might be reading my blog. i don't fool myself, i know mostly that hardly anyone does, but somehow it made me start curbing the things i was saying. i wouldn't call myself an artist, i wouldn't even call myself a writer yet, but i can call myself a blogger.
i'm lonely in my head, and a little bored. i think it's coz i'm bummed out about hurting myself this week, wondering why i'm here when if i were anywhere else in the world i might meet someone who i could really like instead of a drunk boy on a dancefloor, which leads me me wonder why i even feel like i need someone else in my life, when i already have so many wonderful friends who bring me chocchip pancakes when i feel sad ;)
i don't even really like people that much.
and i have to confess, dear blog, that i keep a diary too, to tell all the real secrets and truths, to name the names, and that is something no-one gets to read!!
Monday, 10 January 2011
boys and beers and epic powder and more beers
then collisions and people leaving town, and ice, ice baby
this song is the one i like right now:
(golden years by bliss n eso)
It's the warmth when it's cold and it's stormin It's driftin off to the sound of the rain It's gettin up, gettin goals in the mornin It's liftin up from the ground with your flame It's the strength to with stand life lessons It's the clock as the hand strikes seconds It's my movie, where every memory's a color I collect to expand my spectrum It's the simple days, Childhood here now, then it's gone in an instant Back when the wall around my world was a little to high to see beyond in the distance It's the smell of my mitt in the fresh grass Little league, and the times that I'm so free It's snow days, Martachello park When the sleds hit the hills and their flyin through the oak trees It's the kid who collects cards, back in 91 summertime comin out the store and It's the fact he's unrappin the pack with a smile on his dial cause he's scorin the Jordan Past times, I hold em dear. It's Maryland Virginia, bold and clear The way the leaves on those trees in the streets would fall in the fall, all to paint my golden years and yeah Chorus: X2 When the Sky's gray, I live on light rays I've written every page of my life's play I've drawn through my eyes I've colored outside the lines Tryin to hold these golden years that are flashin by
Saturday, 1 January 2011
not to overshare, but yeah, 2010, no sex.
this is the first full year i've been single since i was about sixteen. i love it. i think boys suck. i am not getting romantically attached to anything less than a man next time. for those of you curious, a man is someone who possesses a semblance of emotional maturity, possibly reads books, possibly is capable of fixing things, has opinions founded on knowledge rather than stubbornness.
just thought i'd put the list out there.
it wasn't intentional to have no sex. it happened because i can't, despite well-meant advice, sleep with someone i'm not attracted to just because. even drunk, i am remarkably picky. there was that time when i got face-raped in the back of a friend's van... i still maintain that he fell onto me.
i felt my lack of sex this year just ending deserved a post because, despite what they say, i did live through it. but i will not do another year the same. i may have to leave whistler. i don't want to catch anything, after all.
i think 2011 is going to be different.