Thursday, 31 March 2011

travel: armidale (scene of the crime)

i really don't know what to tell you. shit got epic.

this is a snap i like of us making our way down to the wicklow hotel in armidale, nsw. these boys had already been working quietly on a pub crawl since 1pm. just ahead of them, which you can't really see, are cam, scully and evan. ex-whistlerites. and 'whistler loose', a particular type of looseness, was on the cards.

after the newcastle weekend, we dragged our sorry selves back to armidale, more specifically, kentucky, to the house i grew up in. i mowed the lawn, i watched many movies, i even got to sit inside watching a thunderstorm and listening to the rain on our roof. fuckin' a.

the thing i love about being in the house i grew up in, even though different people live in it now and it smells different, is that i can walk around in pitchblack dark, and find my way to my room. i got to sleep in my old room while i was there; it was finally free after all my brothers and stepsisters moving through it over the years since i moved out. i love that room. i painted and wrote and drew all over the walls when i lived in it, and though it's all been painted over now i'm pretty sure i can still feel the teen angst. fuck did i listen to a lot of radiohead in that room.

cam and scully arrived friday afternoon. stu and i had prepared for the occasion by buying a carton each of pureblonde white. a carton in australia is 24 beers. between two cartons, there were 6 beers left in the morning.

hangover. that is all i have to say about that. also, there was a slug from the garden in my bed.
the party was preceded by a pub crawl through armidale. highlights include the kilda, where i was the only female in the place besides the staff, and who could forget that time when we were in the hotel room getting ready and evan cleared the place with a terrible horrible fart... looking back, sharing a room with 6 boys i was basically asking to be gassed. the party was lovely, with many many family and friends i hadn't seen for ages. while everyone is always interested to hear about whistler sometimes i feel like they don't really get it, which let's face it, you can't unless you've lived it... or survived it is maybe a better way to put that.

there were so many people there to celebrate with us, all there for hugh, because hugh really is amazing. i have so much time, love and respect for that boy. i am incredibly proud to have such awesome brothers, and they were basically at their best that night. even at their silliest they are a billion times cooler than i will ever be. basically i just brag to everyone about how cool they are and funny things they've said, and hope that i can be vicariously cool through them. mostly, that works.

the next day, minus scully, evan and andy, we went back to mum and jons and drank our way slowly through a good portion of his homebrew. quality couch time with stu, hugh and cam was basically the perfect end to a perfect weekend of steady drinking.

i like armidale, but i don't love it, and as a place the reason i want to be there is the people, and the two houses they live in. it seems a little colorless compared with the mountains and the snow and the life i live in whistler. but maybe i'm just not ready for armidale yet.

it was hard and horrible to say goodbye to the people: the brothers, the parents, the step-parents, the step-siblings. i don't really know when i'll see them again. but you have to do it i suppose, say goodbye, and try not to think about it too much... denial: the ultimate coping mechanism.

so i guess really what i learned by being in armidale, the place where i spent the first 18 years of my life, (if you've made it all the way through this increasingly lengthy post i applaud and thank you) is that home is where your heart is. my heart lies in the mountains of british columbia, for now, and there's nothing to be done.

nothing at all.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

travel: newcastle

to be honest, the thing i remember most about newcastle is the beer. oh, the beer.

my stepbrother simon was married in newcastle on the 12th of march. this is a photo of stu, me and hugh at the ceremony.

these are my brothers and i love them. this shall be a reoccuring theme for the rest of my 'travel' posts, so if it bores you, you can just fuck off.

because these two are my favourites in the whole world. they are my best friends, my favourite drinking buddies, the funniest kids i know, the wisest, the most generous, the smelliest, the most comfortable and familiar.

to get to newcastle from melbourne, i got up at 4AM and took a 6AM flight to brisbane, then flew onto newcastle at 8.30. Naturally. why, what way does everyone else do it?! for reasons beyond my control (crazy mother who loves to make crazy plans), this is how it went down. and the best part about it was that hugh, who actually lives in brisbane now like a real person, caught the flight to newcastle with me. i have been on a lot of planes in the last month, and i can say without a doubt that company on a plane, especially long-lost-beloved-little-brother company, is the best kind. company on a plane is surely better than snakes on a plane.

although for some people, i guess snakes are company.

newcastle is a beautiful place. a large country town rather than a city. it's a little rough around the edges; in an attempt to cut down bingedrinking and resulting problems of violence, you cannot buy a shot, and after a few jugs of beer the barstaff start to make excuses. or maybe, ahem, that was us in particular. anyway. newcastle is all clean sea air and blue water, beaches for swimming, surfing or just admiring from afar whilst sitting in a coffee shop.

the wedding was beautiful and very sweet. tahlia and simon are a lovely couple, and if anyone suits being married to each other it's those two. stu, hugh and i sat next to each other, drank many jugs of little creatures bright ale (drool) and then, inevitably, danced.

words cannot recreate the magic of stu's dance moves. it's hard to dance when you're laughing that hard. i think the reason he pulls them off so well is the absolute seriousness of his face.

mum was worried that hugh and stu were going to start wrestling on the dancefloor (it wouldn't have been the first time) and suggested that i might distract them with something shiny and coax them into the taxi.

it worked.

then we drank some more beer at our motel. then we slept (or, maybe i slept and the boys went out on the town again. we shall never know).

the brewery was the site of our sunday session, featuring such favourites as bec and nat from whistler days, and amy, of high-school times.

sadly, once you've been drinking at the brewery past a certain number of hours, and i shall randomly pull a number out of my hat here and cough *six*, it turns out they turn you out, as they, similar to mum the night before, are certain you will start wrestling.

in true australian battler fashion we found another place to drink, and more people to meet and be friends with.

the next day started with a pie and a vanilla slice, thanks to My Good Friend Phill's recommendation. $1.50 pies! crazy town! my kingdom for a meat pie! you just can't get them like that in canada. so are we keeping record here folks? coffee. meat pies.

i think the moral of the story, with "travel: newcastle" at least, is that most of all, i remember the beer.

there's another moral, but you will have to ask hugh, or otherwise file it in 'another story for another time'.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

treasure: poems from 2010

a love poem, june 16

broken upside down
missed beats and popped buttons
i love you
i can't help it
it makes me furious.
love is the loneliest
empty hands
a pain in my stomach
bitey pins and needles.

why else would i drink til i forgot?
and the holding of breath does me no good
and the suspense of disbelief
takes the ground from underneath
until up is down
until up is down.

i cannot invent a single thing
i guess and grab at hollowed-out hope
i question the choices
that have put me, malleable, into your willing, working, worried hands.
i love you. i cannot help it.
it makes me furious.

a list, july 13

i want to write stories
i want to move to Banff
i want to own a car i can road trip in and drive in winter
i want a dog
i want to stop falling in love with every nice boy
i want to sell all the stuff i don't use
i want to ride a downhill bike
i want to see Melbourne again just for one week
i want to visit the US for Thanksgiving
i want to move to Revelstoke
i want to play my guitar everywhere, all the time
i want to go out every wednesday night
i want to go dancing once a week
i want to live out of a suitcase
i want to tell everyone what i think of them
i want
i want
i want

24 november 2010

i'm collecting;
i have pockets and handfuls of reasons and excuses but no way of getting myself an answer.

you leave me to draw a blank
on my own blank slate
ornate unknowing
i cannot get further than clueless.

we're really just
swimming in and out of handshakes
making the best
make a no into a yes
treading water, and choking on my smile
daydreaming my way right into car accidents.

travel: Melbourne

Melbourne is the city I would want to be if I were, in fact, a city.

There are loads of pretty things and pretty people, and pleasant places to eat breakfast for lunch, and drink for lunch.

I must confess I see the city differently now I am, shall we say, a drinker. I both admire and enjoy the many and varied watering holes a lot more than I did when I lived there. I will not be giving an eaters/drinkers type tour blog, but I did want to make sure you all understand just how much I love Bar Etiquette, a humble bar on Sydney Road Brunswick, with delicious drinks and (much to my delight) happy hour lasting from 5 to 9pm, between which hours, all jugs are a mere $10. And boy oh boy are they tasty.

I wasn't drunk all the time (although I did meet up with my ex, with whom I split up over the phone from Whistler some 18 months ago, and a drink or two were definitely necessary)...

Non-drinking highlights include:

  • summer. Yep, the sunshine, the general light, air, warmth, blue skies, green grass... not to be underrated in the slightest. It was humid, I did fear that I might melt, but I got through it mostly in tact. The morning I left Whistler, the lovely token Candian Lisa (whom I really do love, lots) came to pick me and and we got the car, sort of, accidentally caught in the 17cm of snow that had fallen the night before... coming from that to Australian summer in all its glory was delightful, if a little shocking (don't worry, i had tow-truck connections, and we were rescued in time to get me to the airport... happy day!).

  • acting the faux student at the highly prestigious (read: full-of-itself) University of Melbourne. I was once lucky enough to be allowed to be an Arts Student there (and let's face it, isn't an Arts student a faux student anyway?), people watching all the absolute hotties that are laying about in the sunshine, just, y'know, learnin' shit ... It's a fashion parade. That was why I never really fit in there. I refuse to wear heels to uni. Heels?!?! But the boys are darn attractive, i'll give 'em that.

  • the coffee, ohmyfuckingod the coffee. North America, give it up. your coffee does not even deserve to be in the same UNIVERSE as the coffee of Melbourne. Religious experience.

  • the amazing bread selection at Queen Victoria Market. just grand.

  • a lazy day in bed with Thea, my lovely, who cooked me the best breakfast ever, with much bacon (because again, North America, your bacon is a travesty) and then let me lay about admiring her new house/room/ bed specifically and the one-eyed cat who i'm pretty certain believes he's her boyfriend.

  • vege bar tastiness with willow and laila... and the breakfast/second breakfast catchup the next morning too... ohhh coffee mmmmmm

  • my hostess with the mostest, beth, whom i love and who, joyfully, is coming to visit ME in less than a month.... wahoo i say!

Melbourne certainly felt familiar and friendly, with many close friends to see and catch up with. But I confess: it's not home no more.

It was joyous and rewarding to see my friends Mat and Tash, who are about to have a bebe all of their own, who I was relieved and pleased to realise really DON'T hate me despite the fact I left their best friend (the ex) high and dry and moved to Canadia.

It was great to be at uni too, for a second (oh, i also saw the black swan, boy is THAT a messed up movie) but I do not belong there. I don't dress well enough, like I said, and this is a pattern repeated all over town. It's all fashionistas and hipsters and fuck, i just like my hoodie/denim/sorels/toque combo. it's how i roll, right?

with some careful thought (not really, i've barely had time to pick up a beer, let alone a pen) I think that maybe no, Melbourne is not for me.

so on to the next place in search of an answer to the vaguely annoying question that has been haunting me of late: am I over Whistler yet? is there somewhere else i'd rather be?

And i just realised while typing this that I forgot to have dumplings. Fuck.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

secret: 10 minute blog

i am just about to go out with my lovely girls, to have beer and then dance our night away at bill's. i haven't been at bill's since australia day.

it's trashy, and sordid, and sometimes the music is unacceptably bad (as opposed to acceptably bad, which i find most pop music to be) but i love it there.

and it's snowy, and i have been granted a late start tomorrow, so i can go riding until midday...

and i am doing fresh tracks, which means getting up mega early and getting in an extra half hour on the hill, with other friends and their parents (who, in a twist to the story, are friends of MY parents).

and after friday, i do not have to work for close to a month.

because i am going back to australia on saturday.

these reasons, and many more, give me a simple kind of happiness and satisfaction that money can't buy...

and that is my ten minute blog.

now i have to go warm up my dancing muscles. so i can whip my hair back n forth.

chyeah i did.