Sunday, 29 May 2011

i've given you all sorts of tests and you've failed them all

treasure: the new mantra

i am worthy. i am worthy of flowers
book dedications
love from a man (read: not a boy)

(her obnoxiousness is
born from her whistler-fed
uncertainty that she will ever
be loved
be known
by anyone
... again)

i will wait for you, unknown arms
and a voice, ready to make
words of warmth, peaceful breaths
certainty in the face of the world.

i am worthy,
and i am worth more by far
than all that this temporary place
can offer me, in the way of love
(certainly lust is here, but why bother
to make an aquaintance who is
lost to a hungover morning after?)

i am worthy, motherfuckers
i am worthy of flowers.

secret: love poem for no-one (nov 24, 2010)

if your arms
are longer than my arms
your reach further
and i am enveloped
where i can do nothing to fight it
(if your arms
are longer than my arms)
then i shall concede defeat
wrapped up by you.

but if my heart
is bigger than your heart
my love larger and warmer
and you are, perhaps, unknowingly
smothered, a claustrophobic envelope
and you are too quiet to fight it
(if my heart
is bigger than your heart)
then i shall concede defeat
and walk away from the warm wrap of
your long long arms.

Monday, 16 May 2011

if you get a feeling next time you see me
do me a favor and let me know
cause it's hard to tell,
it's hard to say
oh well, okay
oh well, okay

- "oh well okay", elliott smith

treasure: writing.

it probably doesn't come as a surprise to anyone reading my blog that i do, at some stage, plan to be a writer of some kind. the blog was meant to be an outlet for all the random shit i want to say, knowing there would sometimes be some kind of audience.

a blog, however, is not a book.

my ex wrote a book, well he wrote 2, but one he self-published. he dedicated it to me, which was incredibly sweet, possibly the most touching statement anyone has made (in the romantic sense) about how they feel about me. a book is hard work. i say that not as an author of a book, not even as an attempted author of a book, but as the past-girlfriend of someone who wrote a book.

totally an expert.

a good book is a book that persuades you into admiration, devotion, commitment. a good book leaves you a little different than you were before you started with it. it's like a relationship, i suppose. or perhaps it's that i'm a commitment-phobe and very tentative at the start of a book. most of them don't convince me they're worth it until the end, and sometimes not even then.

so i guess a good book draws you in at the start, makes promises, make you feel safe and calm. it takes a lot of faith to shut off most of your senses and focus your active mind on just one thing. for me as a reader, i do expect a certain level of seduction. it's that wierd thing though, where if the book tries too hard, is too obvious in it's intention, i'm less interested.

similarly if the book is too aloof, expecting to get by just on the fact it's a pile of bound pages, i feel snubbed, but normally am stubborn enough to keep reading.

i've just read this back and it sounds like i'm talking about people, as this is pretty much my outlook on them too. ah well, books are people sometimes. bad prose is a bad personality. insistence on unnecessary adjectives is over-doing name dropping.

to re-focus myself here (i have a lot to say about writing and books, them being my favorite topics for most of my life), i think the issue that is going to undo me in trying to write a book myself is my habit of looking ahead. i'm certain i will be struck with writer's-block-style anxiety if i don't know where my writing is going to end up before i even write a word.

i want to leave a reader with something, something resonant, some sort of revelation, or even just the sweet warm feeling of being understood at some level by someone in the world. this is what books did for me, and never so much as when i was an adolescent.

so i know my target audience. i've referenced here, months ago now, reading a series of books by john marsden that i got so involved in as a 12 year old that when my favorite character died in the third book, i cried all weekend. a little pathetic to admit i suppose, but i was so connected to this person that her death seemed a tragedy.

not that i'm saying i want to write books that make teenagers cry. that's a little what it looks like i suppose.

my impatience with my writing right now is driving me crazy. even my blogs start off seeming like they're going somewhere, only to peter out and end abruptly, normally because life has gotten in the way in the form of a housemate getting home, or the realization that it's 1am, or just a sudden loss of inspiration.

i'm scared that if i ever sit down to write a book, i'll go nowhere, or in circles, or end up somewhere completely different. disappointed.

for the moment i will just continue to research, which is basically an excuse to keep reading. i do have some stories i want to tell. so i will be trying them out on you, dear readers.

thanks for your patience.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

treasure: a may (almost) powder day

so to be honest, the powder day was yesterday.

but sometimes, and i know this will shock you, dear readers, i am a little slow on the uptake... guess i got the wrong day off.

whistler is really quiet right now. it's just locals and tumbleweed blowing along the village stroll. maybe a little less tumbleweed on the weekends, but generally, it's "shoulder season", or more dramatically, "dead season".

which makes me rub my hands together with glee on a day like today: bluebird and a $5 breakfast at la brasserie. friends, housemates, hangovers (not mine, i was in bed by 11 and dead to the world by probably 11:02), roughly 5 cups of coffee... we dragged ourselves up the hill by 12, which i feel is an admirable effort.

kate and phill were my shredding crew today, and let me tell you there is no finer brother/sister combo out there. i will not be challenged on this point. there was witty banter, there was heavy encouragement from kate to try ollies (i tried, i had a reasonable success rate even), there was bare arse (yeah thanks phill, keep it in your pants buddy, i don't care how many GNAR points it's worth), there was sunburn, there was a pitcher of beer thrown in the mix.

i'm not going to sugar coat it for you, the snow was pretty shitty. sticky mcstickerson is the correct terminology i believe. it's a wierd feeling when your body is expecting to go faster than your board is actually going. we had a run down seventh, and despite there being "fresh lines" it was pretty tough going. props go to fabel who finally hiked (or should i say, made his bitch) DOA. i was a little nervous for his life when i saw they'd actually closed the bowl due to high avalanche risk, on threat of revoking your pass... they were serious. but so was he. it's a pretty good story, but his to tell. for me, it's on the list for next season. just gotta grow some balls before then, not sure how to do that...

we rode down glacier, and i got about 3/4 of a fresh line. all to myself, basically. chyeah i know how jealous you are, i'm even jealous of me. haha.

riding lower down the mountain is definitely better when the snow is sticky up high. it's hard to explain, but it looks a little like grains of sugar, all slushy. the sound it makes under your board is different.

it made me happy to be up there. life has been more than a little hectic for me lately, but the peace (dare i say serenity) of a board under your feet, some tunes in your ear and some good friends around, plus the glorious vitamin d beaming down on me, was just right.

life crystallizes and everything is very simple.

and that's why i suspect it's probably all going to be o.k.

secret: that thing

that thing where you have a friend and you spend an awesome night with them and have an actual conversation, where there are so few on offer in this bubble that aren't fueled by alcohol or otherwise.

you get to talk about art, and life outside of whistler, and black eyes.

and you realize something that you already knew, that this person is someone really special

and you wish that maybe it could happen again and you could call it a date

but nobody dates in this town, and this is not a romantic comedy

and if something was going to happen, it would have happened already.

that thing. that headfuck of a thing.

so instead you make a cup of tea.

it's not the same thing. just sayin'.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

treasure: my mum

it was mother's day on the weekend. hugh won, because he had a bottle of moet chilling to greet mum with upon her arrival to brisbane.

me, well, didn't even manage to talk to her on the actual day- although in my defense, i talked to her on canadian mother's day. and i'm basically a canadian. well not really. but yeah.

so hugh totally won. but he doesn't have a blog, and mum has just started reading my blog, so i shall have my revenge...

the photo above was taken on the banff gondola, in summer 2010 when mum came to visit me in canada. to tell the truth i didn't think she ever would, but i guess she was faced with the prospect that i mightn't be back in aus for a while. it was a bit of a funny summer, not terribly warm until july when mum got here. blissful two weeks off.

we went for an adventure. we hired the ugliest car known to man, we booked hotels, i spent lots of time on google maps "planning" things (part of the fun of the holiday is looking forward to the holiday) and then off we went...

highlights include:
  • the near-death experience in kamloops where mum forgot we were driving on the other side of the road and we nearly got t-boned by a fast moving vehicle

  • the drive between banff and jasper where it was rainy until mum commented " i think it's snowing"; me, as the knowledgable local insisted that it was just rain... then had to concede 5 mins later that yes, it was in fact snow

  • the picnic we had in our hotel room in kamloops on the bed

  • getting to see lake louise on an overcast afternoon without the billion tourists, and then again in the sunshine the next day... with all the billion tourists.

  • the scenery. the rockies. can't help but love it. my memories of the drive to banff probably hardly do it justice. ridiculous mountains. epic, in fact.

  • the many small arguments you inevitably have with a person when it's just the two of you travelling together, and it's your mother/daughter.

  • kelowna, the sunshine, the window shopping, the unexpected heat... the hot conceirge.

  • that time i got us lost getting out of kelowna and we took a scenic route... added 40 mins, through hell-boring scenery.
once back in whistler, we spent a few days chilling on the couch watching grey's anatomy. i have never been so proud to call louise taylor my mother as the point where she commented "we're out of beer... better do a beer run".


there are many wonderful things about my mum, the least of which is how much she loves us all, even though we're all alcoholics who like to wrestle in public places (more stu and hugh than me). she is the most dedicated, compassionate and generous person i know. i am honored to call her mum.


Friday, 6 May 2011

secret: some things i wrote once.

2009, i think:

it is thursday, and i'm alive. i am not an idealist- i am not poor and doing what i love, paving the path of truth and righteousness. today is my day off from 9-5 drudgery. there are many ways in which i could make the most, so many i cannot choose one.

our washing line, in the block of flats where we live with an assortment of toothless simpletons, young strugglers and strange middle-aged men who appear to be home all day, has pegged to it a large pair of black nylon women's underwear. they are unclaimed for who knows how long, waving in the breeze.

it reminds me of the last biscuit on the plate, the one everyone feels too greedy to claim.

very late 2008: not a little bitter and twisted, but it cracks me up.

she gets home and the house smells like gas again but when she goes to the oven there is no gas leaking from the stovetop.
she has had this horrible day with phonecalls, phonecalls, codeine and tampons and write-your-own referall letters.

everyone is asking questions she doesn't have the answers to, and pride demands she not drop the ball, so she calls them all back and she juggles and juggles (funny when her schizophrenic ex demanded she learn to juggle, how resistant she was; what she might have pointed out is that it's hard enough to juggle your multiple personalities, you cunt, hard enough without involving inanimate objects (avoiding an obvious joke about balls), and quite frankly, juggling is just another way in which you find yourself to be superior to me).

the juggling of their demands and her time and the several orders she wants to place on for books by bret easton ellis, one short stories and another a relatively recent novel she had actually owned for almost 2 years until she finally picked it up to read it, and promptly left it on a train, not far enough into it yet to identify what she had read on the blurb at the back of another of ellis' novels.

so. she got home and the house smelled like gas but apparently there just was no gas to be found.

her and her partner had thought their gas problem had come to an end, unlike the electricity problem which happily had just begun- a bill significantly larger than either one had expected, her partner saying "I don't use a lot of electricity" emphasising the "I" in such a way that it almost seemed to her as though she was accused of something as heinous as leaving all their electrical appliances running at one time, as though perhaps she had been giving it away, as though she lived such a greedy, consumer driven lifestyle that it never even registered with her that one might wish to conserve electricity, conserve anything at all; energy, petrol, environments, whales...

she couldn't be sure whether her partner's comment was driven by a desire to save the planet or save the wallet, itself a recycled object.

she couldn't be sure which of these 2 possibilities offended her more, but certainly she was offended; that is, of course, assuming that there was undue emphasis on the "I" in the original sentence, an assertion highly contested by her partner when questioned, both parties defensive but unavoidably drawn into the argument purely upon it's merits of uselessness, irrelevance and misdirection of underlying unaddressed frustration, a pimple that should no be touched except she could. not. help. herself.

so here it was, a gas problem, back on the to-do list excepting the fact (or perhaps accepting it) that it had never really been fixed in the first place: a boy dressed to look like a man who called his boss before he did anything, masquerading as a plumber, had come over quite soon after she and her partner had moved in and hit the stove top with things like a wrench and a screwdriver, lit the hot plates more than 50 times (not an exaggeration) and pronounced the problem related to them, the new residents of this rundown flat, and their so-accused inability to turn off the knobs, as though this was something either her or her partner might struggle with, as though they had been born without opposable thumbs, as though they would not have thought of this already at some point, as though he had done all he could; hit it with things and then blame them.

the gas continued to leak for roughly 3 weeks after this loud, insultingly ineffectual visit, a fact both she and her partner noticed and spoke about, before the gas stopped for no apparent reason, disappearing from pop culture, and thus their tiny little goldfish memories.

the best way, always, to knock something from the to-do list was to stop noticing how much of a problem it was. it was in this way that the toilet had been flushed with a bucket that was once an office garbage bin for almost 2 months before anything was done, but that is another story for another time.

she stood just inside the flat and smelled the gas. her first act was to take the 5 steps from front door to stove, groceries still in her hands, and bend to sniff the stovetop, trying simulaneously to listen for the hiss of gas, checking (guiltily, even now) the knobs were turned off, even though she knew they would be, even though part of her knew that neither of them was dumb enough to leave a gas tap on.

despite what the plumber said.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

treasure: myself and my sanity

sometimes you just have to concede that 'most everything is completely out of your control.
  • i cannot make people think what i want them to think

  • i cannot create favorable circumstances for myself

  • i cannot control the weather

  • i cannot make boys fall in love with me.
if i were to complain, these would be some of the things. these are all rather immediate concerns though, and i guess i've tried to think about it in a somewhat mature manner (as mature as a person who wears tshirts saying things like "beer: it's what's for dinner" can be).

the wisdom that whistler has given me is the realisation that i'm alright, as far as people go. and so i will do alright in this world.

people will think what they want to think, and the less i have to do with their twisted little minds the better.

the weather is just generally wet and so it will continue for the next 6 weeks or more, and i just gotta suck it up.

and as for boys, well, the mantra i'm working on is that there are nice human beings out there who aren't solely swayed by breasts, legs and coquettish laughter at everything they say. there are boys who enjoy these qualities, and then there are men who appreciate them but hopefully realize that being friends with the person you love rates a lot higher. men who approach this whole relationship thing with enough wisdom to recognize the wonder of meeting someone who always makes you laugh, or at least smile.

have to say i haven't got much faith in this mantra just now, but that's why it's a mantra, right? the more times i repeat it, the more strength it will hold for me.

i've really had it beaten into me the last few weeks just how important it is to keep people around you who you love and who love you, who actively want the best for you. without people around us, everything is so much more lonely.

i am lucky to have some wonderful friends who never make me feel like anything is demanded of me, like choosing sides, or letting unacceptable behaviour slide... these are the ones i will want to be writing letters to even when i am 85. these are the ones i'd do anything for.

i learn so much from all of you. and i'm grateful.

deep, huh?

Monday, 2 May 2011

secret: it's hard to keep secrets.

happy birthday ellie

the cake is a lot... smaller... than i'd hoped it might be.

Dear Ellie,

I love you.
You are my best friend.
Sometimes I am very lazy and don't talk to you for a long while. Then other times we text and play Words With Friends a lot.
I hope, overall, you understand how significant a part you play in my life. Even when my life is over the other side of the world, as it has been for quite some time now.
I think my favourite thing about you is the way you know so much about quite specific things. I know it's due to dedicated internet time, but I respect the fact you remember things, as it turns out I never remember anything about anything.
I had so much fun spending time with you in Sydney during my visit. I think my favourite was when you patiently explained to me how to get to King's Cross (really a lot harder than it should have been, but we know what I'm like in Sydney don't we) and once I got there we ate many dumplings... then after that ordered some more and sniggered at all the suckers waiting for their food. A whole bottle of wine. And then some good quality golden gaytimes on the train ride home.
You and I have a pretty special connection. Like the way you read my mind. And the way you always say the right thing. By the way, I do need to dissect the (lack of) love life with you again soon, no new developments but more to tell. And I can promise you, you're going to be on my side. That's why I love you.

You are lovely, witty and charming.

And your bunnies, while very noisy at times, are also quite charming.

Love you love you!

Happy birthday sexy legs.