Sunday, 31 July 2011

treasure: the scope, the range, the depth of things

i have a sort of ritual i like to do every now and then. i mainly do it when people are leaving, or when something huge has happened, or sometimes just because.

i get my ipod, i choose one beautiful song, put it on repeat and lay outside on the deck smoking peach flavored primetime ciggarettes. one, or two sometimes. i do this at night time. sometimes i'm a little bit drunk, or sometimes i'm not.

the point is to feel all my feelings, big and small, dry and juicy, itchy and smooth. i'm not always a big feeling feeler. and recognition needs to be given, respect paid to the big events of my life: love and loss, the scope, the range, the depth...

i'm not really a smoker but it seems to fit- a dramatic gesture of sorts.

i can't do this ritual when it's raining. sometimes a little drizzle adds a certain effect, but you can't lay there for a vague undetermined period. my favorite nights are the warm still summer ones. we haven't had a lot of them this summer. in fact, probably no more than 2.

2 people have left me in the past 2 weeks. it makes me furious, sad, wistful, empty, appreciative, philosophical, angsty. so i lay outside listening to kate herzig's "i hurt too"

i lay outside in the dark with all the beautiful pines around me, smoking a slow-burning cigarette and thinking about what it is that i've loved about these two boys. james i only met in may, but due to the extremely genuine and generous nature of that boy, felt to me like someone i'd know a long time. i appreciate and respect his approach to life, his mantra, which is "crushin' puss" (has to be explained by someone with a greater understanding of it than me, i'm afraid). i approve of how much he relies upon wildwood's eggs bennies to get him through the hard hungover times. they really do fix you when nothing else can, and offer hope when all seems dark...

we had some quality hangover work days together. we had some joyful days together, and some ones that dragged on a little. i didn't realize how much i relied on him to distract me through a work day until he up and LEFT ME, motherfucker.

we had dropkick murphys together, an experience that really does deserve its own post (i'll get there sometime).

so firstly i lay in the dark with my cigarette and listened to music that i love, and send out thanks for meeting the lovely james.

the second boy to leave me this past month is alex fabel. and i don't even know what to say about him. i guess his leaving music was "heart of gold". i've posted the stereophonics cover here as it's fucking awesome, as is fabel.

this song came on the radio just after me, annika and karin dropped him back at his house and said goodbye, and it fucking undid me. i have known fabel a while, but in the last few months have grown to realize just how lucky i am to count him as a friend.

we had a lovely moment the other weekend at a houseparty. we were both smashed. i only vaguely remember it happening at all, but we took the time (as seriously as 2 drunks can take anything at any given moment in time) to tell each other how awesome and funny the other was. i do believe the conversation went something along the lines of "you're just really awesome.. and so funny..." "no, YOU'RE awesome and funny... you're really funny" "YOU'RE really funny"... etc.

it gives me warm fuzzies. besides, we ARE both really awesome and fucking hilariously brilliant.

fabel brings out this side of me which is always funny. well... it's subjective i guess, but he always finds me funny, so i start to walk about like i rule the world. which i sort of do. but for me, having someone around frequently to just be there laughing at my jokes is a sort of invaluable experience.

i still owe him dinner. and that's how i know that we'll be seeing each other again some day.

i can't have anyone else leave for a little while, it will break me into pieces. it's hard to explain how it happens, but whistler grabs you and the people in it find little nooks in your heart, curl up there and make you feel the very safest and happiest you could imagine feeling.

i have never belonged anywhere the way i belong here. the sheer love of this place is unreal. i know not everyone who comes to whistler gets what i have, and i know i am beyond lucky to know the lovelies that i know.

i confess right now, if everyone readies themselves to leave at the end of next season, i may have to just be done. because if i have learned anything on my stay here, it's that the people make the town.

the scope, the range, the depth... thank you fabel for the excellence and general improvement of the quality of my life. thank you james for the wisdom and the quiet appreciation of radness that i have learned from you.

with love.

Friday, 22 July 2011

un-treasure: hangovers

kids, i've lost my touch. i'm getting old. i say this not to be dramatic, or ridiculous... i say this because i had a window there where i could handle my alcohol, where i could match beer for beer with the best of 'em (in whistler, no mean feat).

if we're honest, which i feel we should be with each other, blog readers, i was probably pushing it a little harder than i absolutely needed to... various reasons for it, even though i knew better, because one night rolls into the hangover which rolls into the next evening and some beer to make you feel better. plus fuck it, if you can't punish your liver when you're 25, when can you?

the realization that i've lost my touch, or i'm out of practice at least, came in the form of the swedes' midsummer party, otherwise known as 'that time i got into a hot tub wearing my dress' or 'that time i slapped/ attempted to slap Fabel 5 times', or even 'that time i drank too much vodka punch'.

the hangover nearly killed me. i've never EVER let drinking affect my work and i just could not cope, i had to take myself home early the next day. holy crap.

since then i've let it slow down a little... dropkick murphys was pretty crazy, a blog about that very weekend should follow (just saying it should, not saying it will), as well as various times in the last week or so... double long island iced teas is a combination of words that still makes my brain twinge a little bit...

i have had a hangover all day today and i'm over it, i think it's time to try something else... like not drinking. or drinking more.

any suggestions or votes for one option or the other, you just let me know.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

i'm hungry and thirsty and i want everything right meow!

secret: bridget goddamn stewart, i miss you

i got a parcel in the mail from one of my old favourites.

you know that feeling where your heart actually fills up with something giddy and weightless?

hazarding a guess here i'll call it love. with not even one notch of flippancy or sarcasm.

to me, bridget is one of my great loves. i suspect she induces that feeling in all who meet her, but i like to think that on some level i am special to her. bridget is honest and adventurous in a way that i might never be, and the respect and admiration i have for that fact could fill up many balloons and fly them away.

poem challenge: my skin & i

my skin & i, we
have a love/hate thing going on
because we never get any time apart.

you have to play things out til the end
sometimes you already know
the direction, the arrow
but you have to play things out to the end.

your love of music & your culture/nature/nurture
intruiges me
i'm less likely to plead flippancy
i'm hanging by a thread
i want to be as certain of myself
as i was at 21
my convictions the greyest area
parts white and black.

i grasp at poetic
like it's the second coming (or are we up to the third now)
i grasp at words, which once
i flexed like muscles
which lay dormant
door man
i keep grasping eagerly
(or, to be honest, in fits of desperation).

Saturday, 9 July 2011

travel: vancouver, portland and corvallis + what it means to have another 2 years in Canadia

so because i'm australian and i don't actually belong here, as such, there comes a time in a young woman's life where she must renew the visa that got here where she is today. or something.

where i am today is Whistler, British Columbia, west coast Canada. tripping down memory lane a little, i arrived here on one of the beautiful summer days whistler is completely capable of providing, only we haven't seen many this summer so far... i remember being incredibly jetlagged and going in and out of consciousness coming up highway 99 through what is now one of my favourite pieces of road in the world. it was so amazing and foreign and i was so out of it that i didn't know how much of the experience i dreamed...

coming here was a fairly random event for me, born from sheer desperation, and curiousity, and my lovely brothers (they may not get called that a lot, but for me with my lax definitions, lovely is entirely appropriate) basically pushing me out the door and into canada.

i ruined a relationship, it's been mentioned at least once before now, i ran away and was not a bit surprised that it fell to pieces. because of the afore-referenced sheer desperation i shrugged it off, did my best to bounce back. changed my mind about the 6 month stay and knuckled down to find myself a comfy little place here.

boiling it all right down to the barest of basics, i have. i belong somewhere. not always, and not with any real consistency (on days like today with a slight hangover i wonder why i have ended up in one of the whitest, most self-obsessed places i've ever been in my life, until i realise that it's the best thing that's happened to me for the last however many years), i do feel like it's my life and it's happening to me instead of being something that's happening to other people.

totally enlightened.

anyhoo, the above is just a brief observation on and around the fact that i decided to stay longer, and commit to another 2 year visa. i was disorganized about the application process, which is basically my style, but still managed to pull it off and duly made plans to leave Canada so i could "re-enter" less than a week later.

i spent a beautiful day with 2 beautiful swedish ladies, annica and johanna, and we window-shopped to our heart's content in vancouver. vancouver was still quietly and good-naturedly recovering from the riots that followed the canuck's loss at the stanley cup a few weeks prior to my visit. messages of love on the boards that were put up temporarily over broken windows were sort of cool to read. human beings can be pretty shit, but they can also be alright sometimes (and you can quote me on that pearl of wisdom- instant classic).

that night i got to hang out with andy, gianna and crew: a gang of finer folk you will never meet anywhere. i cherished the experience as these two are great friends of my brother stu, and hanging out with them was a little like coming home. andy and i may have set a new record for unrelated high-fives, as we found ourselves agreeing in a beer fuelled haze on most topics that got covered at the pub that night. gianna set me up on the comfiest couch in the world, and demanded andy get up about 4 hours after we went to bed to make the most ridiculously early flight vancouver - portland. andy did what he was told, which ended up including turning around after he'd dropped me at the airport because i'd left my phone (read: my ENTIRE LIFE) in the car. hungover. couldn't be helped. forever thankful, and owe him much beer. for life.

to reflect a little: one thing that whistler has given me is the ability to be comfortable meeting and chilling with just about any sort of people. it was easy chilling with this lot as they're practically family, but the old me would completely have baulked at the prospect of an entire night out with strangers. STRANGER DANGER. etc. i have got people skills coming out my ears now (well, if we're honest, the secret is alcohol, isn't it. and it always was, i just wasn't a drinker until i moved to whistler).

portland was awesome. went to powell's books, a city block sized bookstore with a freakin amazing cafe, and maps to get around. new and used books too. there's a nerdy part of me that i'll never shake that just finds bookstores the sexiest thing ever. i found my favorite childhood book by an aussie writer for $3. i nearly wept it was such an unexpected bonus...

to man up a little after my emotional bookstore visit, i made use of my last hour in transit to visit, on behalf of a good friend yanni, the Rogue Brewery downtown. beer at 11:30 am more than makes up for nearly crying in a bookstore, that's just basic maths. i drank a hefeweisen (hazarding a guess at the spelling) and looked about and wished i could stay and drink everything, one after the other, with the intention of truly getting to know the beers... but i was about to get on a greyhound with all the ex-cons (possibly not true, but i've got an imagination) and i felt i needed my wits about me.

other charming factors include people that walk around portland READING BOOKS as they walk. actually reading books. it was sunny and glorious that day and despite my sleep deprivation, there was joy to be found while wandering the streets of portland. my friend james got me onto this excellent show called "portlandia" which you should check out for a giggle, all about hipsters... there are a bunch of them in portland.

i tripped on down from portland to corvallis, where my lovely aunty sally and uncle bob live. it was the first time i had seen the place in summer, and i have to say it wasn't bad, not bad at all. they spoiled me as the always do with tasty dinners, a hilarious day-before 4th of July party which we pretended was the 4th of July to a few lovely older folk who weren't quite sure what day it was actually, but enjoyed themselves immensely in any case...

i spent a few days in sally's beautiful garden, enjoying the sunshine, reading books (4 of them, and they were all delicious) and drinking beer at inappropriately early times of afternoon. splendid. there is a peace in spending such relaxed time with family. i needed that week, and i am one of the luckiest girls in the world for having the sort of family nearby who always welcome me with open arms, who fill me full of coffee and stimulating conversation.

thank you sally and thank you bob.

landing in vancouver around 11am, i spent an unhuman amount of time in customs line waiting nervously to reapply for my visa. after an hour and a half, the customs officer clarified i was returning to canada to a job, and STAMP STAMP, i was in. he didn't even check my paperwork. as grateful as i am, i feel as though i am nowhere near appreciative enough of how easy it is as an Australian to live in this country pretty much as long as i want. i really wish there was some way to share my luck around, as there are so many people who love canada just as much as i do who can't stay here... they can't.

i sped on home, intending to stay overnight in vancouver and then changing my mind once i spent $100 as easily as breathing in while i was in metrotown... i don't know how, i walked away with not much more than new underwear and a pair of jeans. i had to get out of there before i saw something else shiny, so i jumped on the greyhound and back up to whistler.

the drive up to whistler, as i have noted before, is one of my favorite pieces of road. the mountains are beautiful, and the sun was high, in that wonderful way it is in summer until 10pm. i looked out the window and thought a whole bunch of really profound stuff.

i am in love with this place. and i am so happy that i get to live here, and that my life in whistler has been exactly what i didn't know i wanted all along.


poem challenge: the pieces

i am missing small pieces.
i sit quietly and count them all;
calmly, but
as the number of pieces grows ever higher
there is a part of me quietly starting to
build the steam for
a fucking panic.
these small pieces are tricky bastards, they
slide in and out of place
and around
like those puzzles you got as cheap party favors-
always one piece missing.

even though the aim is to get
the cheap plastic cartoon picture back together
as something recognisable
there is still always
a small piece
which is missing.

not deep. cheap and plasticky.