I had sent word to my dad to let him know when I’d be coming home for a visit after one of my earlier years of college, and I hadn’t heard back from him for several days. While never one for prompt correspondence, it was slightly unusual. But unlike other times when he’d explain his absence with a two-part summation involving an activity and location like “ice climbing” and “Mount Rainier” or “kayaking” and “Bighorn River” this time he simply said that he was sorry he hadn’t gotten back to me because he’d been “out of town for Sibyl’s funeral.” That was how he told me my grandmother, his mother, was dead. The years showed that this was neither out of the norm of the level I was involved nor the worst way he could deliver news, so it’s actually a perfect example. Now I’m actually reeling, completely unprepared emotionally for what I’m feeling, in reading actual messages from the former family. I’m so out of the loop I had to ask my son who this person was with the… Read moreMaybe this’ll be different.
The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one. – Elbert Hubbard This. This is me. When I was younger, a boy growing up in rural Montana, I had little to no real joy. I simply existed, in fear, from one day to the next. I had little to look forward to and little to enjoy, particularly with anyone else. I still live in fear. Fear of not just making a mistake (or many) but also fear of the unknown and unforeseen Bad Luck. It’s hit before and there’s no reason to think it won’t hit again. Despite my inner belief that fear and anxiety draw negativities towards them with the same prevalence that joy and positivity attract good things, I sometimes can’t shake the worry, the fear. I’ve never played to win, really, only playing Not To Lose. It’s a shitty way to do this Life thing. The first time I ever actually played to win, throwing myself completely into something, was hockey. Hell, for a long time that was the… Read moreFear.
From the AIHL’s Sydney Bears to The Hills Shire Council, Hockey to us is a lifestyle. It’s waking up every morning after dreaming you’ve scored a big goal in an even bigger game. It’s about giving it your all on the ice even when your mind tells you to quit but your heart and pride tells you to carry on. It’s about the blood, the sweat and the tears you sacrifice day in and day out for your team. It’s about losing your mind when you win and the pain you feel when you lose. It’s about the friendships you forge with your teammates. It’s not just a game, but also a tradition. We love hockey. It has given us joy, it has given us pain but most importantly, it has given us a home. This is what you want to knock down for a profit. Not just an ice rink, but our home. ******** This is my excerpt, from the petition I signed on Change.org this morning: Because Australia is more than roos and barbies and crocs. It’s rapidly… Read moreIt’s not just an ice rink, it’s our home.
“You know,” my roommate said to me over the wind and traffic noise in his CJ7 Jeep as we blasted down the highway, “Nobody ever had to beg me to play hockey.” We were roommates and teammates on Colorado’s 2nd-ever team in the Major League Roller Hockey comp. The 1st-ever team was the region’s Golden Boys, the top players and shiniest roller hockey heroes in Denver’s surrounds. The Rocky Mountain Wolverines boasted years and years of collegiate and junior ice hockey talent and the leftovers, politically and otherwise, tried out for the “other” team in a bit of a coup (or a fu-coup, as it were). Our coach/owner was as ragtag as we were and we all loved the idea that nobody expected us to even form a team, let alone win anything. Coach was as full of big talk and big promises as he was empty when the bar tab came around. We exchanged looks at times, but we all believed because we wanted to play so badly. We started out as the Mile High Moose and we played… Read moreNobody ever had to beg me to play hockey
Once upon a time, Carguy and Lolclient were introduced through mutual car-loving acquaintances. Carguy was known for making good cars for people that didn’t know how to make their own or didn’t feel like paying somebody a lot of money to make one. Carguy liked to trade cars for stuff he liked. And Lolclient had lots of car stuff Carguy liked. So they talked on the phone (different states) and they liked each other, and they came up with a plan to make Lolclient a really nice car. A car everybody would like that would eventually make Lolclient some good money when he raced it. Lolclient didn’t really know how to drive either, especially not racecars, but Carguy assured him that this car would be easy to learn and easy to drive. It was a fairly common car, you see, and Carguy not only had a manual for it, but another, bigger, manual called “Google”. So Carguy drafted up a few mockups of what the car would look like. Lolclient liked them. So one of the toughest parts was over,… Read moreLolclient and Carguy
It’s not easy to be something other than what we are. It’s made even more difficult when what we are keeps changing, as does the expectations from The World Around Us. Of course, knowing what we are and knowing what The World expects of us makes all this being much easier, but can you count the number of times in your life that you’ve known that to happen? Probably, and with one hand’s worth of fingers even. Whether we’re conscious of it or not, we’re constantly measured against expectations from The World, and many times those judgements, those measurements, are unknown to us. Even if we’re ever informed of them, it’s usually well after the fact when we find out how we measured up. Too often, this leads us to move around through our own lives constantly trying to preempt bad judgements, poor performance, negative thoughts and feelings towards us. If you were to look at it, you might find that notion preposterous. You’re moving through YOUR OWN LIFE, trying to avoid the negativity found in less-than-favourable judgements made by… Read moreJust Be
It’s easy to get impatient about all of this. To get up and get going in your day and only be aware of the Next Thing that you are meant to be doing. The Next Thing is hanging there all Damocles-like because you’d rather be doing Your Thing instead. And every day that you’re not doing Your Thing means that the Next Thing could kill you and you’d NEVER get to do Your Thing. But the bait is there, to just keep doing the Next Thing and you’ll be rewarded someday. Some. Day. But that day isn’t today. Not. Today. Today, you are expected to just keep doing the Next Thing and keep your mouth shut. So… it’s easy to get impatient about all of this. Because you’ve probably never been encouraged to just do Your Thing and say, “Fuck it.” to everything else. Today, say “Fuck it.” to everything else, and go do Your Thing. Go.
There was a time in my life when, if someone asked me about eating salad, I would’ve responded, “Always do! I pop that sprig right into my mouth just before I dig into the steak.” Nowadays, I still don’t make it the Entire Meal, but it can certainly be a star. This is the one I make with cheap and nearby ingredients. First, go to your favourite Green Grocer and don’t buy this shit at Coles or Woolies. The Big Boys probably spray it with Killyadeads or Cancerstarters and the Little Guys need all the help they can get. Plus, they’re more likely to have locally-grown produce instead of garlic grown in a camp in China, fertilised with human excrement and then bleached white to hide it’s poo faults. One head of Cos Lettuce. In Americaland, we called it “Romaine” and I’m still not convinced it’s the same shit. But this is the one you can get at the GG and it’s yum on sandwiches too. Two tomatoes. Go ahead and buy them by the bag if you go through… Read moreMaking a Really Fkn Good Salad
I’ve just gotten his nappy off in front of the tub. I’ve carried him in here, happily coated in pasta sauce, trying not to get any on me, stood him up in front of the bathtub and announced, “It’s bath time!” He’s ecstatic. He’s working his little feet back and forth like it’s Dance Party USA. I get his nappy off and he steps up to the edge of the tub, one hands his doodle, and pisses all over the bath mat. In retrospect, his nappy felt incredibly empty for being on so long. He’s always had a penchant for pissing as soon as it’s off. These are good things, I tell myself, that mean it’ll be easier to potty train him. His next biggest sister comes in behind me while I’m wrestling him into the water. For as much as he Fuckin’ Loves Baths, he’s always funny about the water until he gets used to it. Before you think you’re smarter than me, I’ve tried different temperatures and depths. It’s just how he is. His sister is standing behind… Read moreDays Don’t End Better
A fluffy, perfectly-storybook cloud drifts across the sky, low on the horizon, at the perfect angle to get caught up in the top of a formidable gum tree. I feel that familiar desire lurching in my chest. I need to live in the country. The barbed wire on top of the chainlink fence immediately below the picturesque scene reminds me of where I currently live. Not just in the city, but in a part of the city where a school so routinely gets vandalised that the budget was expended to give it these prison accoutrements. Depressing, if you think about it, so I don’t. It’s a beautiful and sunny morning, and the temperature reminds you that it’s the perfect time of year, when a jacket is only slightly too much and a singlet and boardies only slightly too little. Jeans are fine, shorts are fine, sandals are fine, boots are fine. The weather is fine. The short walk to the park involves yet another freestyle song to an original tune. If I had a guitar and a recording contract right… Read moreThis city life