Saturday, 15 October 2011

anticipated treasure: the winter, the everything.

i have long harboured a theory that winter is even better when you have somebody to love.

i have written several terrible poems on the subject. they were truly bad.

here are the awesome things about winter, that are awesome even as a single folk:

  • snow falling. quite separate from what it means for the conditions on the mountain, snow falling as you walk home, making soft crunching noises underfoot. as long as you wear appropriate footwear and some form of jacketing, this is pleasant. It's nicest at night time. One time I was making the tiresome hike up the bloody Bayshores hill to home, with the earphones in, and "goreki" by lamb was playing ( ) and snow was falling, quite big flakes, slowly slowly, and my brain nearly exploded with the epiphany of it all...
  • pow. different from snow falling, and yet the same, pow is all about the awesome crazy things you will be able to achieve on a board on a day with fresh snow on the hill. anyone just reading for the first time is oblivious to it, but i must confess i have mentioned my pow addiction more than once in this blog. heaven. happiness. gets your heart beating but keeps your mind in the happiest state of Zen. and i don't even belieeeeve in jebus.
  • rum and eggnog/christmas and new year festivities. i don't know what's in eggnogg, and i don't really want to, to be honest. i suspect its basically a liquified heart attack. but i like it. take ice (cubed, but a handful of fresh pow will make a sort of slushy that has also been found quite tasty on occasion), pour generous amounts of captain morgan's spiced rum, or appletons if you're a classier type of folk, over the ice. then top up with eggnogg. some people like to add a sprinkling of nutmeg (little brother, my favorite Hugh, taught me that one) but you should really just do what you feel once you've added those other necessities. drink it anywhere you want. one time i drank it in a tow truck. a story for another time that i'll never tell because it's not that good.
  • potluck dinners. we did these last season. they petered out a little at the end. but the idea was a different country and a different household every week or 2. it was delicious, because only one of the things there was your cooking and everything else was interesting because it was made by Others. most fun when held after a day of riding epic powder.
  • slow-cooked stuff. sort of works in with potluck dinners. slowcooked chili is the best. but basically anything can go in there. it all tastes good when it comes out 8 hours later. and the best thing is the implied multitasking skill- you can drop cliffs AND cook something at the same time. your friends are always impressed.
  • apres ski. it's where you ride all day then you have one drink and you're shmammered. i heard that term from some french-canadian girls that used to work at spag (it's what people in the know call the Old Spaghetti Factory). The favorites last year for apres were Dustys, with sprinklings of Crystal Lounge. Cinnamon Bear didnt get so much airplay this past season, but i think it's time for a comeback. also, Creekbread, an awesome pizza place, does $10 jugs and is conveniently located. well i hope it is. my future house is close by. well i hope it is.

the things i look forward to now i'm all loved up and gross include:
  • cuddling in front of a woodfire that he has build in an efficient manner
  • having a boy's arm around me on a chairlift
  • a warm body to sleep close to (just for warmth and survival purposes)
  • having someone to carry my litres and litres of rum and eggnogg home from the market for me
  • bullet point lists (that's a red herring for you kate jenkins)
  • kisses in the snow.
  • having someone to hug at the bus stop while i wait in the snow.

yup so that's the stuff.

winter is great. i like it the best. it is my mantra right now because although the last few moments of Fall have been alright, the rain is just all wet, and that's not really what i'm about. unless it's guaranteed snow higher up the mountain. that i accept it as necessary.

winter and love. best.

secret: you're all up in my ventricles n shit

treasure: the wise things I have to say that I forget before I've written them down (or, my shitty memory)

I was going to start with a quote, but in the time it took to click on "new post" so I could write it down, the damned wordses in my head were gone.

Yes, I said wordses. Makes me feel like I'm Gollum; a bizarre aspiration, but, y'know, the dude's got an interesting back story.

I confess that at times when I write this blog, I shake my head at the fact that sometimes I write words just to see them sitting on the page. It amuses me. And so, to the long-suffering (and very loyal and thus very loved) friends who continue to read my blog, despite the occasional lapse in both quality and regularity and, let's face it, maturity, I apologize.

We were talking about memories tonight, or actually this afternoon was when it started, with my friend Andy who is fixing my ailments in the back area (popped my ribs out; careless really) talking about his recall post-concussions (note the plural there). Apparently it gets shitty. I'm always intruiged by Andy's stories about his brain- he told me of one post-concussion incident where he got lost in Whistler village, despite being a local for several years. He luckily ran into a friend and had to confess to him that he knew who he was, and where he was, but not how to get back to his house, or work, or wherever he was going (he probably forgot where he was going too).

This sort of story scares the shit out of me. Stu also told me a story once about his buddy KB who was meeting him on Blackcomb one day, took ages to turn up, and it took Stu a while to figure it out but KB hit his head in the park on a lap through on the way to meet Stu. He kept re-setting, and Stu told me how scary it was riding him down the mountain to the hospital.

My memory issues are a lot broader and less scary or concerning in any kind of serious context. It's more that sort of, "oh crap, I know I came into the kitchen for something, what the bloody hell was it again", generally annoying memory issue.

What I'd like to know is how it happened. Given and acknowledged, I have partaken in the odd spot of friendly, harmless, sociable binge drinking. A few times. Mostly since being in this silly old Whistler town. But how come I forget stuff? Me no likey dumb Helen.

I undermine myself when I forget things. I could be amazing. I could be quite good at things. Like, really quite good. I have potential and shit.

My greatest frustration is having things to say, and starting to say them in a group of friends, and then halfway through the story, forgetting where I was going with the story, then adding a few extra details desperately trying to buy time for my brain to figure out where it was going with that. And worrying that the details I'm adding are irrelevant and I'm telling a somewhat amusing story that goes "yeah so then I turned around and I said... what nice weather we're having, purple monkey dishwasher .... oh yeah, I mean, wait, those are MY shoes!" (cue crickets chirping).

Anyone else get this? Yes? No?

And so I says to Mabel, I says....

I used to be better at this.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

the work that must be done

working so hard on being happy this week.

it's raining
my back hurts
i haven't slept.

i've been listening to a lot of heartbroken music and realizing that i might be in love now, but all that fact is going to leave me later is..... drumroll...


i tell you right now, this is not easy work. this is hard work.

secret: things i am thankful for

not in any particular order, i am thankful for the following (we didn't quite get to it at thanksgiving dinner on monday night, so i am using my blog as a blurtingspace):

  • turkey. obviously. particuarly left-over turkey.
  • friends (present and absent)
  • family... the various, brothers, brothers from other mothers, mothers, fathers, sisters
  • love, lovers, loving (or liking... you know... casual-like)
  • warmth
  • alcohol in moderation (by god you feel so much better in the morning)
  • the mountains, the impending season, oh the happiness and powder...

these are the things that hold me back from throwing myself off a bridge or a balcony while it's raining every day ...

treasure: songs and whatnot.

manchester orchestra:

"Heard don't move unless you know someone you can move
And I bruise just like anyone would bruise
And I know we've got a long way to go
I know I've got so far

We built this house with our hands, and our time, and our blood
You build this up in one day to fall downward and rust"


"I wish I was little bit taller,
I wish I was a ballerLink
I wish I had a girl who looked good
I would call her"

okkervil river:

"When I was younger, handsomer and stronger,
I felt like I could do anything."

foster the people:

"I reason with my cigarette,
And say your hair's on fire, you must have lost your wits, yeah"


"Each shade of blue
Is kept in our eyes
Keep blowing and lighting
Because we own the sky"

i like music. i like music i can snowboard to. i like music that makes me feel feelings.

this one, for some reason, breaks my heart tonight:

Tracy Chapman

"so I remember when we were driving, driving in your car
Speed so fast it felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped round my shoulder
And I had a feeling that I belonged
And I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone"

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

secret: sober october

don't ask me why, but i'm doing sober october.

we've talked about it a little bit (me and the lovely kate jenkins) and i can't help but conclude in following her wisdom that maybe it's just "don't get drunk all the time" october. i know that doesn't rhyme and is therefore a little less catchy, but then, it's not really meant to be marketable. it's just meant to give my body a second to catch its breath before the madness that is winter descends and kills not only brain and liver cells, but also self-worth and dignity.

it's maybe not that bad. although halloween last year was a black mark on my respectable history. at least i think it was. i don't remember things.

5 hours worth of things. that's way too many.

i want to get really really fit for winter, and i cant do that if i'm drunk/hungover. so besides my birthday, and possibly thanksgiving, there shall be no heavy drinking. see? i've amended my goal with kate's sensible input. i had a glass of wine tonight while i ate a delicious meal cooked by ms jenkins, and we played cards (and totally won) and it was very civilized, and i liked it, and i might even do it again.

thanks kate, for teaching me it's ok to drink instead of not drinking for a month.

i like you.

treasure: the first cool onesie story (there are more)

those of us that are seasonal working holiday types are well-known for our love of ridiculousness on the mountain. it normally coincides with an occasion or event, but we love to get out a costume and ride around the mountain looking silly. we normally do it in gangs, so the feeling of silliness is dispersed among many.

those truly dedicated amongst us own a one piece ski suit, all the rage in earlier skiing years, referred to fondly as the "onesie". now, they actually are practical for several reasons, the main being that on a powder day you are safe from the phenomenon known as "powder down the pants".

it's exactly what it sounds like.

one piece suits are never flattering, and if picked correctly, are a little too tight (you'll find it's normally men that go all out with an inappropriately fitted onesie), and are either patterned to look like an old couch, or have trimmings of neon.

i still do not one a onesie, despite being positioned in the very best spot to secure one, the Re-Use-It Centre. there was one onesie i fell in love with one time...

it was the Fall of '09. i was new to whistler, canada, and thus new to my place of employment, the Re-Use-It Centre. i was working as a cashier one day, minding my own business when a customer with a gleam of fanatical excitement came to the counter. this gleam was one i had come to know quite well in my so-far short term of employment at the thrift store, it being that of someone who has found the perfect Something, and cannot believe their luck.

it was an australian gentleman, and in his hands he had the most beautiful onesie i think i have ever seen. it was bright red. it had gold embroidery on the back, and a hood with a red fur trim. it was a thing of beauty, a sight to behold...

with my heart breaking a little, as i knew this onesie could never be mine, i sold it to the excited australian man. it was unpriced, and although i knew i could have priced it overly high to discourage his purchase, i could see love in his eyes. who was i to get between soul mates? i sold the onesie to him for a very fair $20, sighed to myself and let it leave the store.

i thought of the onesie from time to time, but i never saw it on the mountain. i did keep my eye out on those crazy "occasion" days i referred to earlier: i did not see it on Australia Days or Gaper Days for the next two seasons.

just the other day my housemate Mitch celebrated his 25th birthday with a house party in the style of barbeque. many of his work mates came by, and much fun was had. i introduced myself to the throng that arrived, and got to chatting with a nice australian boy. as always happens, we covered the "how long have you been in whistler" and "where do you work" segments of the conversation (you get these out of the way early to discern any commonality, and proceed accordingly). upon discovering that i worked at the Re-Use-It Centre, the australian boy proceeded to tell me about his best find at the store (this also often happens: occupational hazard). lo and behold, this was the very same australian boy who had purchased the heavenly red onesie all those years ago!!!

i discovered that he had spent 20 of his last 40 dollars (at the time) on the onesie. i discovered that he had been offered $1000 for it on the hill one day, and he had refused the offer. the red onesie lives on a special hook in this guy's house. his female housemate thinks it is hideous. but he doesn't care: he loves the onesie, and it shall travel with him back to australia when he finally leaves this place (we did not establish when that might be, for, who really ever knows?).

it is a true and pure love he has for the onesie. i am so happy that such a beautiful thing found such a warm and appreciative home.