Saturday, 25 February 2012

an open letter to my passport

yo, dude.

where the bloody hell are ya? it started off being kind of funny; more my curiosty driving an idle question: "i wonder what my passport is up to these days".

then it was more hypothetical, like: "if i was my passport, where would i be?".

tonight i reached the hide & seek stage, where i'm not yet panicking, but can sense that perhaps panic is not far off, and the thinly spread sense of humor is evaporating.

i need it to leave the country.

my little brother just pointed out how funny it would be if my german boyfriend had to leave canada, and i had to stay. i don't know how much i'd be laughing.

so i'm putting it out there: passport, show thyself and make me a happy little vegemite.


Friday, 24 February 2012

things i'll miss about whistler: apres (part 3 in a series of many parts)

i'll just say it now: apres should be a real thing everywhere.

you know how they say "it's always 5 o'clock somewhere"? well, i say, it's always anytime after 11 am somewhere. and you know i'm right.

let me explain to those of you who are uncertain as to the nature of apres. apres-ski is from the French, meaning after skiing. it's something you do, well, after skiing (or snowboarding). generally apres is conducted in outerwear. you go straight from the slopes to the bar. sometimes (this is not for beginners) you can faux-apres, then put in a few more sneaky runs, then do real apres. the beauty of it is that once you've been on the mountain, everything following counts as apres. so you can, literally, apres ski at 11am. it's been done.

if i were on the pro-apres side of a debate on the subject of "apres: should it be a real thing everywhere", these are the main arguments i would use to flesh out my speech.

  • it's a legitimate and comfortable way of drinking during daylight hours.
  • you can have work the next day and still put away a few pints in the early afternoon hours without the dread of hangover.
  • it's the perfect way to process the awesomeness that has just happened to you on the mountain.
  • inevitably, you don'talways end up spend the whole day with all your mates on the mountain, despite your best intentions (mainly applicable on powder days; there are no friends on a powder day)- apres is a good opportunity to swap stories, embellish a little if you must, and check nobody was lost in a tree well (safety first friends: check in with each other on the mountain after each run, ride with a buddy on a powder day). the great thing about telling pow day stories is there's no real words to describe them, but all you need to do is shake your head and use a few choice pieces of jargon, and your friends know exactly what you mean.
  • you can look sweaty, or have funny hair, and it doesn't even matter, because everyone else does too. if you look too pretty, nobody will believe you did the awesome stuff you're bragging about. slaying the pow is a messy business. if you're doing it properly, it gets in your face. in and around your mouth, to be exactly precise.
  • you run into people who you haven't seen in ages. no-one can say no to apres.
  • you can join in even if you haven't been riding, and if your friends are cool (like mine) they don't judge, not even a little bit.
  • best apres spots: dustys, crystal, cinnamon bear bar, elephant and castle. you want to be able to get good and comfy seats. you want your server to be noticing when your drinks are due for refreshing. you want them to tell you the specials. you want them to laugh at your witty banter. you want them to be happy, or at least good at faking happiness. you also want them to have a nice rack.
  • sometimes, apres leads to an all-nighter. why, i knew one guy who didn't change out of his outerwear for 3 days: he rode, he apres-d, he clubbed, he passed out, he woke up, he rode, he apres-d ... repeat as often as necessary.
  • a nice apres time that springs to mind, off the top of my head: kate, phill, kate and i had double caesars at dustys, then phill and i went halves in a bottle of crown royal(and several litres of coca cola) and proceeded to drink a lot of it, were done by 9pm, i was asleep by 10pm, woke up almost fresh as a daisy the next day...
  • or, another nice apres time was when i had an awesome powder day on harmony, then went to merlins and hairfarmers were playing, and the beer was cheap. on a day like that you're untouchable, everything is great, everyone is your friend, because they all had a great powder day and they all love the hairfarmers too. that, my friends, is how you make best friends with a stranger in under 2 hours.
  • 2 beers is more than enough to make you merry after a hectic powder day: it's cheap on the wallet.

these and many more are the reasons that apres should be a real thing everywhere.

i rest my case.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

happiness isn't happiness without a violin-playing goat

how love should be:

i've been watching notting hill with annica and karin. love stories make me feel warm and fuzzy. even more so now i have a boyfriend... they used to make me feel slightly lonely.

Monday, 20 February 2012

haven't we all felt feelings before? well haven't we?

"Somebody That I Used To Know"
(feat. Kimbra)

Now and then I think of when we were together
Like when you said you felt so happy you could die
Told myself that you were right for me
But felt so lonely in your company
But that was love and it's an ache I still remember

You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness
Like resignation to the end, always the end
So when we found that we could not make sense
Well you said that we would still be friends
But I'll admit that I was glad it was over

But you didn't have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing
And I don't even need your love
But you treat me like a stranger and that feels so rough
No you didn't have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records and then change your number
I guess that I don't need that though
Now you're just somebody that I used to know

Now you're just somebody that I used to know
Now you're just somebody that I used to know

Now and then I think of all the times you screwed me over
But had me believing it was always something that I'd done
But I don't wanna live that way
Reading into every word you say
You said that you could let it go
And I wouldn't catch you hung up on somebody that you used to know

But you didn't have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing
And I don't even need your love
But you treat me like a stranger and that feels so rough
And you didn't have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records and then change your number
I guess that I don't need that though
Now you're just somebody that I used to know

(I used to know)
(Now you're just somebody that I used to know)

(I used to know)
(That I used to know)
(I used to know)

secret: the end is the beginning is the end is the...

it's started. that time of the year when people leave.

today, the very lovely mitch jacobsen is getting on a plane and leaving the country. he's been here 4 years. i think it was either leave now or apply for residency, buy some flannel and grow a beard... wait....

but seriously folks, it's the end of an era. mitch was one of the first people i met when i got to town. it was the summer of 2009, and my little brother met me after a few beverages to go see the latest harry potter. i met mitch and austin, workfriends of young hugh's, and we went into the cinema- hugh made loud comments regarding the 'hotness' of hermione and ginny, along the lines of "yeah i'd tap that... wooo" and myself, mitch and austin giggled amusedly. it was a nice old time.

i didn't really understand the greatness that was mitch until i was just about to move in with him- i came over to his place in the vale (interesting fact- i now live in the house next door to where he lived) to go over the rental ads together. he cooked me hot dogs. it was so amazing after such a craptacular day at work, i think that was when i fell in love.

he's been a rad housemate since then, generous and always a fan of 'sweets' (dessert). he drove me all around town, he helped me move, basically offered help and friendliness whenever humanly possible. the only thing i don't like is when he picks me up when he hugs me, but he's taken note of that too, and even managed to remember not to do it while 47 drinks deep last night.

i love that guy. my mum loves him too, and always insists on asking why we haven't gotten married yet.

safe travels mitch, and catchya on the flipside.


I Never Got A Goggle Tan, and other regrets discovered upon leaving Whistler

I've been here almost 3 years now, and at the end of each season there has always been a bunch of things I didn't do. It's been tough to get things done in the last 2 years particularly, having gained a position at work with some actual Responsibility. This particular facet of adulthood really blows, in that it makes you tired, and your days off become about sleep-ins and laundry.

Faced with the actuality of my leaving town, leaving the country in fact, I thought I would put together a list of sorts, in the hope that one day I shall cross off a few more of these activities.

  • I never rented a house with a hot tub: technically. I did couch-surf our friends place (best house of all time) and quite enjoy their hot tub. sometimes [accidentally] fully clothed.
  • I never road tripped across canada: I got as far as banff, but I did want to make it to toronto and to quebec, even after developing suspicions that all the cool ontarians and quebecois were, in fact, in whistler. and not even all of them were that cool.
  • I never spent a week in mexico drinking my face off: the all-inclusive adventure where you stay in the resort, soaking in the pool and drinking drinks you've already paid for, thusly avoiding any brush with actual mexican culture.
  • I never went to vegas: I always thought I might get married in vegas, but I mean, that could still happen one day. I was only really of that mind after watching "the hangover". looked liked fun. good stories to tell the kids anyhow.
  • I never did karaoke and remembered it: I did sing "time warp" from rocky horror picture show once. but I also drank 3 jugs of beer, so I had to check in with reliable sources/my brother hugh to both confirm I did in fact sing, and then there was the mystery of what I had sung... yikes. hadn't even seen rocky horror picture show at that point, just got dragged along by a friend for the ride. weeeeeee.
  • I never did an open mic night: have promised grace and hayley I will play "heart of gold" so they can play their harmonicas. we'll see.

  • I never hiked the chief/black tusk/rainbow
  • I never did the river of golden dreams
  • I never rode any of the lost lake trails
  • I never did a DH lady's night
  • I never hugged a bear
  • I never saw a moose
  • I never went rock climbing
  • I never went to coachella or sasquatch music festivals

  • I never rode: khybers, christmas trees, VD trees, couloir extreme, fraggle's rock, ANY trees on blackcomb, the glacier, never hiked spankys, never rode any back country, never dropped anything epic.
  • never went snowmobiling in the pow
  • never did anything extreme with either of the infamous taylor brothers
  • never poached a hotel hot tub
  • never did a 180, or a 360
  • never did a winter roadie to revelstoke, kicking horse, banff
  • I never rode in a slush cup- official or otherwise
  • I never got a goggle tan

still, I am young and optimistic. so eventually I'll cross a few of the list... and probably add a few more.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

things i'll miss about whistler: shredding (part 2 of a series of many parts)

ignore the fact i've got a day count lower than 10 for this absolute bust of a season, and let's reflect upon the good times (let's face it, they're really all we've got).

some interest points about snowboarding:
  • it's awesome. and rad. and gnarly. it's very important to get the right lingo up and running. thanks to phill, i know all about stuff now:
  • sometimes, when you are riding, in actual fact you are shredding the powpow, slaying the gnar, spanking a lap (that's from mitch, i don't know if it's a mitch original or not), owning the groomers, sending it, dropping in, and many more i can't think of just now.
  • there is just so much paraphernalia involved. a pre-leaving the house checklist includes: gloves, liners, pass, goggles, toque/helmet, bandana/face warmer, ipod, headphones, gopro ("is it on? is the red light on?"). not to mention the baselayer, tshirt with funny slogan and hoodie/fleece under your uber-steezey pants and your rad-as-rad jacket. also, do not leave home without your board. it looks silly.
  • two schools of boarders: those that do up their boots before they leave the house, and those that do them up in the lift line/on the gondola. my little brother advised option A, and was very disparaging of those electing option B, as they got in everyone's way and were therefore annoying. also, he argued, it packs your boots out faster. i took hugh's advice because let's face it, he knows things.
  • riding music: almost worthy of a subsection. it makes things better, and it makes awesome moments even more epic. tunes of this season include gems from the likes of m83, naked and famous, foster the people and awolnation. classics from previous seasons, guaranteed to make you feel badass, include much of bliss n eso's/illy's/hilltops/urthboy's back catalogue, spatterings of angry white guy eminem, "ridin dirty", "get low", and believe it or not, "billie jean" and "bad" by old MJ himself have been known to pop up on shuffle and totally make my day. i've yet to ride with classical music but i imagine that could make riding through the trees even more zen than it already is.
  • the mountains: ah. they are my friends. the beauty of only being a few seasons in with 2 whole mountains to explore is it feels like the terrain never gets old. i can say this comfortably, as i only did green/blue groomers this season. i haven't had to brave the icy days that have popped up now and then, where i have heard that the groomed terrain does, in fact, get old. i prefer to reminisce on the never-ending pow of last season, where anywhere you went was epic, and you really couldn't do any wrong. my favorites aren't epic, and they aren't even really off the well-worn trail, but emerald trees on a windy powder day, chunky's choice followed by anything off harmony on a (reasonably) still powder day, and groomed peak to creek on a bluebird groomer day. i also had some gorgeous days on seventh, in both bluebird and powpow. i know my WB terrain 'vocabulary' needs extending, but it was not to be this season, and so this is what i offer.
  • the days: the opening days, the australia days, the gaper days. the anticipation, the planning, the silly outfits. the cans of beer smashed on chairlifts. the fireball in ski-pole-flasks. with great friends, much fun is always had.
  • the other days: any old day where you met up with 8 friends or 1 friend and shredded the pow or cruised the groomers. with some music in your ear and good company on a chairlift, the world is your oyster; every moment is another moment of winning. those are and will be the days i miss the most.
  • the park: oh wait. i never rode the park. except that one time that i got cocky in the terrain garden and ended up cracking a rib or two on a box. that's right, that's why i never rode park.
  • the riding itself. learning was a bitch, and for the first 2 days up there, i never really understood what all the fuss was about. then i linked a turn or two and i was hooked. the satisfaction in learning something, in gradually enjoying the speed, in experiencing the phenomenon where the slopes of those green runs that were initially so scary almost flatten out to nothing, and you wonder why they used to torment you. in getting to the point where you can look at almost anything and think "yeah i could make it down there" (obviously this does not apply to air jordan, that shit be wack). it feels so good to ride when it's all working and smooth and easy, where instead of throwing your whole body into it you just move your hips a little. when even powder becomes a joy instead of a task.
i'm sure there is more to say, and in fact, as time wears on and "that time i lived in whistler" gets further away and thus more glamorous in my re-tellings, i am sure i will think of more to say. the intrinsic part of a lifestyle that snowboarding becomes when you live here was unexpected for me, and certainly brings a lot of joy-honestly, it's what kept me here all this time. besides all the other things to be mentioned in the ongoing list.

pic found at

things i'll miss about whistler: Snow (part 1 of a series of many parts)

there are certainly things i'll miss about whistler. thinking about leaving makes me feel all sorts of feelings, so i believe a series of numbered lists will serve me well in keeping my thoughts ordered and clear, plus, 50% of my readership are apparently quite partial to a numbered list.

firstly, let's talk about the snow. an obvious choice- for me, a significant part of the whistler i have come to know and love. it's the only form of precipitation that never fails to make my heart flutter just a tiny bit.

  1. the anticipation in Fall as the days get shorter and colder, and in order to get through the rainy gloom of it all you arm yourself with the knowledge that soon the mountain tops will be dusted with the beginnings of the coming winter season.
  2. the ebb and flow of the general happiness levels and percentage of random smiles at strangers relating directly to the snow line creeping down the hill as winter nears.
  3. snowfall as most common chitchat with any and every whistler local, seasonal and visitor.
  4. the snow itself. the way it crunches underfoot, the way it mutes and quiets all the world around. the way it falls in giant flakes, sometimes thick and fast, sometimes fluffy...
  5. snow-related activities. riding will get its own writeup in the series of many parts, but not to be missed are such things as snowmobiling blackcomb mountain up to crystal hut for fondue (parts of life did flash before my eyes when amy nearly drove us off a cliff, but we lived), and drunkenly making snow angels outside Dusty's also earns an honorable mention. one of my favorites is the good old fashioned walk home at night time in heavy snow. it's not like walking in the rain. it's about pulling your hood up, playing something poignant on your iPod, and walking slowly up the hill soaking in the sheer epicness of it all.
  6. that awesome moment when you wake up in the morning and it's been dumping all night, all the trees, houses, cars, roads and people are covered in snow, you're knee-deep just walking to the bus stop...
  7. unexpected late-season snow. as it warms, the rains come, but there are also random snowfalls interspersed with rain and bluebird (that is when we work on our goggle tan).
  8. snow stays about all year round in whistler, whether it's the glacier to be admired from miles away, the glacier open in blackcomb over summer, or just the patches you go and stand on in your skate shoes when you take peak chair up to sight-see in summer.
  9. snow sits on your balcony and effectively makes a fridge for your beer; just be careful not to forget it and let it freeze.
  10. collect snow in a bucket and use it to ice your crappy ankle. it's a nice way to get involved in the fresh snow when you can't go riding; a weird one to end on maybe, but one of the most helpful kinds of snow i've partaken in this winter.

snow snow snow. it sometimes snows in Armidale (the town i grew up near in Australia), but it barely ever settles and it's normally melted by midday. 2cm does not a ski-hill make.

i am not done with snow, and i am not done with white christmases. so let's just be clear on that and leave it there.

Friday, 17 February 2012

anticipated treasure: australia

well folks, i guess the time has come. i am headed back down under for a whole-hearted attempt at adventures in my home country. thankfully, i have my trusty german man friend, who is going to teach me how to channel my inner german backpacker. i need to get me some socks and sandals.

i'm sure i will wax lyrical on the many goodbyes that i'll have to say, and list The Things I Planned To Do In Canada That I Never Did. but for now, i just want to write a list of the things i'm excited for in australia... can't hardly wait.

  1. meat pies. oh the pastry. they can't make it here. they just can't.
  2. cheese. no, scrap that. dairy products. milk, cheese, yoghurt, icecream. mmmmm.
  3. family (is it bad that came in 3rd? oh well)
  4. magpies singing in the morning
  5. getting a tan. yeah, i know, skin cancer. i'm not going wild with soaking up the rays, i'm just so excited that i won't glow in the dark anymore. i haven't had a tan for a long time, as the summer of 2011 was lacklustre at best.
  6. friends. it's hard to choose who to visit first, but i will visit all of you, and it will be lovely. special mention goes out to mat and tash's little iggy, who is a best friend i haven't met yet.
  7. kate and phill's wedding. just set a date guys. just do it.
  8. beaches: the sand, the water, the sky. the attempt at surfing. byron bay.
  9. tax included in prices, and (sorry to say it) no tipping required.
  10. $2 coins. i like the way they sound when they jingle together in my pocket. and plastic money! you can go swimming with that shit.

runners up to the top ten include beer, mum's place at rockvale, bar etiquette on sydney road, driving on the left hand side of the road, no black ice and good coffee.


Sunday, 5 February 2012

secret: solitude

i like to be alone. i like to potter. i like to like my own company.

i've been struggling recently to balance between solitude and depression. there is something slightly anxious about wondering if it's ok to choose to spend the night in, alone, quietly. the key, i've decided, is not to wonder, but simply to do what you feel. sometimes i start to wonder if there's a element of the crazy in me choosing not to be out and about (canadians: oot and aboot) with all my friends. and i do love my friends. there's plenty of evidence to support this claim.

it's important to me that i give myself time to be alone. it has not been an easy time. freakishly, the first 2 years (first working holiday visa sort of amount of time), life was almost peachy. there was adventure, there were new things, there were new and amazing people. and while there still are, since the start of my 3rd year in whistler (july 2011), things started to get more difficult. and also more wonderful- i have a gorgeous german person of my own to love and cuddle and cook dinners with, one that i didn't have (or maybe, didn't even want) before then.

but i can't shred this season. i just can't, and believe me folks, it's not the kind of thing you fake. some days it is the most utterly disappointing fact i have ever had to face. i don't really even want to mention my day count. it's definitely not 100. my secret hope is that my ankle is happy and healthy in time for a spot of spring shredding. it means i miss all the powder, but a spot of spring riding might improve my perspective on the whole snowboarding phenomenon.

so when everyone else is shredding and having the ultimate powder days of all time, i am sitting back with the determined attitude of one who is incredibly jealous but also powerless. i've embraced the solitude.

currently and desperately trying to keep my friends though. i am slightly concerned i will awake from solitude and find myself alone in this world.

alert, but not alarmed.