Saturday, December 31, 2005
we ran into some of laura's friends first before heading to the bar. there are some very good looking people in vancouver.
as well as some very good looking imports who love judge jules...all the way from san diego:
i even ran into my boy ziggy there. i seem to run into him in the most unusual places. the last time i ran into him was the day before i left for burning man in toronto on queen street.
judge jules bored me though. the beats weren't anything special. not even the drugs made the music better, or maybe the drugs did for this guy.
it was great to celebrate with brett and laura. they are angels to me and opened up their home for me to stay while i am vancouver. i love you guys.
i even have my own room with internet and bathroom at brett and laura's place...and the room is painted red. can things be any more made for norm? on the bathroom mirror, laura had written a message for her friend. it spoke to me too.
you are brave, strong, and loved.
tonight i celebrate new years eve on the sunshine coast. see you next year.
Thursday, December 29, 2005
my shredding partner was lito, a good friend of will (the one who's wedding i attended in vancouver this summer). lito is top drawer.
the drive to washington was a bit sketchy once you get near the mountain. the winding roads up the hill can get pretty slippery covered in snow.
i was surprised to find that mt.baker isn't a huge resort like whistler. with all of the pix i've seen from mt.baker backcountry, i thought i'd be in for a much larger resort. instead, i found a wikkid little mom and pop shop style resort. no high speed quads, hell, there weren't even bars on the chair lifts. its like they were using the second chair lifts ever made. old skewl baby!
but the snow was great. there was some exposed rock, expected for this early in the season, but there was also tonnes of powder....and most of mt.baker's terrain is black diamond. it was extreme! getting out of powder takes so much energy out of you. its exhausting. i understood why mt.baker back country is dreamed about all over the world.
snowboarding rule #1...don't fall.
the picnic tables and old skewl ski resort vibe of mt.baker was a refreshing change to the signature intrawest village that i have been so accustomed to. the $38 cdn lift tickets were also welcome at mt.baker.
riding with lito was awesome. he is a very good snowboarder, and its awesome riding with someone who pushes me to ride harder. EXTREME!!!
thanks for an awesome day out lito. i hope japan is treating you well brother.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
i arrived at the vancouver airport around 7:45pm pacific and ran into my friends adam c and hilary who were waiting for me near the baggage claim. after dropping my bags off in their car, adam and hilary took me to see the bill reid sculpture in the vancouver airport called the spirit of haida gui.
this is the image on the back of the new $20 bill. made out of molded brass, the piece is a brilliant fusion of traditional and non traditional first nations art.
when i think of adam c, i think of the guy who held my hand when i was introduced to the world of raving. he showed me that the ideals that hold raving together aren't just for ravers, but can be applied everywhere. he was the one who gave me my lowrider just because it was 'we love norm' day. he is the originator of the dress shirt and tie phenormenon that swept across the raving community and the plastic chain posse (p.c.p.). i shit you not, he was the first to say 'fuck the corporate world' and wear a shirt and tie to a party. anyone who has a tattoo on his stomach that says 'fucker' that he got in detroit jail doesn't fuck around. gawd i love this guy. and yes jail does change you.
it didn't take long for me to pass out on the sofa at adam and hilary's cozy apartment in kitsilano. the day had been overwhelmingly intense for me. from opening presents with my family...
saying goodbye to the best of friends...
and landing in british columbia to start a new life...i was beat and had a very intense day ahead of me. i was going to live out my childhood dream and shred the shit out of whistler blackcomb.
we woke up at 5am to start getting ready to head to whistler, a two hour drive from vancouver. we were up and out by 6:30am driving the windy and often treacherous hwy99 north to whistler, british columbia. the sun had not yet risen and we were already on our way. riding is life, everything else is just details.
the base of whistler was 1 degree and raining. it was wierd seeing no snow in the parking lot. we suited up and headed towards the whistler ganjala. i mean gondola ;)
being above the cloud line for the first time was an experience i'll never forget. i haven't had to pop my ears because of the elevation since lake tahoe in 2000. i could barely contain my excitement.
after a quick look at the whistler blackcomb atlas, yes the mountain is too big to have a map...
there was a blizzard at the top of the whistler peak, and the flashing light at the bottom of the peak chair meant the peak was open only to experts...but hey man, we're fukkin EXTREME!!!
the visibility at the peak pf whistler was next to nothing. the snow was blowing so hard you could barely see in front of you. the temperature was freezing, the wind was blowing like mad, and snow was everywhere. i really felt the disadvantages of having tinted lenses when the visibility was nil and the light flat.
the whistler bowl is at the top of the map. it was the most extreme run i had ever done in my life. there was a small steep chute leading up to the bowl, and just standing at the top of the chute was nutz scary. i had never ridden whistler before, never ridden powder of this magnitude, and it was all about to become a reality for me.
the run was steep and covered in heavy powder. the visibility was next to nil, making it difficult to negotiate what exactly was coming up next. what a fukkin intense run. i don't think the adrenaline in me has ever been that high while snowboarding. nucking futz!
i stopped half way down the bowl to wait for adam and hilary. adam started riding two years ago and hilary just started riding last year...so riding down a black diamond run at whistler was pretty challenging, even for me.
as i waited, another snowboarder stopped near me to catch his breath. he was riding a race board, on the whistler bowl! that's definitely a guy who is confident in his riding skills. i told him i just moved out here from toronto and was moving to nelson. his recommendation was for me to buy a snorkel. he said that the powder in nelson is so light and fluffy that when you stop in it, a huge wave of snow covers you making it hard to breathe. he says that the locals there use a snorkel and cover it with their scarf so that they can breathe in the world famous nelson powder.
i thanked the guy thinking to myself that he looked a lot like olympic gold medalist ross rebagliati...then again all white people look the same to me in a helmet and goggles. it wasn't until another group of people came up and asked if they could take a picture with him that my suspicions were confirmed.
thanks for the tip ross. you fukkin rool man!
we spent the rest of the day riding incredibly diverse terrain on whistler mountain. the runs take so long to ride that you need to take breaks on the way down just to catch your breath. and the conditions were so diverse. from a blinding snowstorm at the peak to rain, grass, and slush at the base. it was the most epic day of riding i had ever experienced in my life.
soaked from the rain and completely exhausted, we tossed our wet clothes in the trunk and headed back for vancouver. but my first day on the west coast was far from over.
adam and hilary dropped me off at my friend dawn's place on commercial drive in vancouver. she was having a pot luck, and the group she invited were all omies from toronto who now call the west coast home. it was awesome to be surrounded by familiar faces and more importantly people whom i love. i got to relax from the most incredible day of snowboarding with my friends margaret, markus, liz, steph, and dawn in a chill environment. i could not have asked for a better community of people to welcome me to the west coast. thank you guys. i love you so much!
i even got to try on a corset at dawn's place. actually, the corset wasn't big enough for me, so instead we put it on dawn's roommate, ariel. i have yet to find a corset that fits me...it may be the lack of boobs thing, or me not being a skinny little girl...but it sure looked fukkin hawt on ariel.
corsets...the oldest form of bondage *drool*
after a great meal, many tokes of the bc kind, and a spirit or two, i jumped into a cab and headed back to adam and hilary's place for a well deserved night's rest.
that had to be the most intense 24hours of my life. i packed my life up into a suitcase, snowboard bag and backpack, jumped on a plane to the other side of the country, rode powder at whistler, met ross rebagliati, kewled out with loved ones in another area code, and passed the fuck out.
i love it out here...
Sunday, December 25, 2005
and so it begins. right meow i am travelling at 376mph at an altitude of 11,139ft. 402mph....mwahaha! hey, aren't we in canada? we're metric not imperial, eh?
i'm writing in my journal, right here, right meow, capturing this moment in words and pen strokes. i am listening to air farina...god i love this disc.
i was thinking about how much i time and effort it takes to blog my life. sometimes it takes more time to blog it than to live it. sitting down in front of a pc to record what i've already done is a lot of work. what i started noticing is that blogging my life is, or has been, me sitting down, trying to remember what i did, and putting it into words to share with people like you. it was actually my scrapbooks that reminded me that my blog is simply remembering what i did instead of capturing a moment. that's what my scrapbookz are, moments captured within its pages. kinda like a photograph of people's minds. so instead of sitting down and trying to give shape to past memories in words and keystrokes, i thought i'd actually take a pen and paper and capture the moment as it happens. what you are reading is an echo of what i'm experiencing right now. less "i did this" and more "i'm doing this". right meow, i'm looking out the window of my plane at a beautiful and radiant sun. my head is above the cloude, and it is clear and beautiful here.
522mph and on my way to edmonton. merry clitoris and happy shit to me! i am exhausted, excited, fatigued, elated.
i'm really doing it. i'm following my dreams and beginning a new and incredible chapter of my life.
"gotta do what we came to do" is the repeating chorus of the song i'm listening to right meow.
what an intense christmas. at 7:42am this morning, my friend nomi gave birth to a healthy baby girl. the baby was, is, 7lbs 4oz....i guess they really don't grow that fast in 7 hours huh? her name is payton qualls.
congrats nomi and jeff. i know that parker is excited to have a baby sister.
i'm tired and exhausted. nap time. welcome to my olife.
holy shit i wsa tired. i closed my eyes and next thing i knew i was in edmonton....man this airport is an eye sore. you can definitely tell i'm not in toronto anymore, and its not just because i'm the only jamasian dredi here. i guess i better get used to it, cause i sure ai'nt in kansas anymore.
my mommy made me a little food care package that i am currently munching on. no food on west jet flights, i had to bring my own. i've got three sammiches left, some pancakes, cookies, clementines, and a frozen ipod :(
off to gate 18 for the last leg of my journey to vansterdam.
merry clitoris and happy shit to all!
this is hands down the most nutz thing i have ever done in my life. 2005 has been the year of turning my life upsidedown, the year of rotating my canvas. i thought the burn was life changing, but not even the playa comes close to how overwhelming and life altering it is packing up your life into two bags and moving to the other side of the country. oh, and then i've involved you in helping me decide where i should live. what better way to start off this adventure than picking my life up and moving to a place youd ecide for me. actually, i'm the one incontrol. the options i give you are mine to give. i just have to make sure that i'm happy with doing optiona a or option b.
when i tell other people what i'm doing, involving you in my decision making, the first reaction is usually "are you crazy?" to which i normally answer "was it my shirt that says 'nucking futz' that gave it away?"
of course i'll bring this back to my naughty mind....for those who aren't familiar with the scene, it looks like the dominant is in control when in fact its the submissive who is always in control of the situation. the dom can only do what the sub empowers them to do, and the sub can stop it at any time. i am submissive to the decision that i empower you with. let's have some fun.
i'll be in vancouver in 90mins. w3rd!
hmmm...maybe technology doesn't like altitude or travelling. my ipod is frozen and won't play, neither is my backup 128meg mp3 player (it was free so i can't really complain). the satellite tvs on this plane are also not functioning. thank god the plane works, i hope. 90 mins without teknology....what's a geek like me to do? deal with it.
my best friend mel drove me to the airport. my sister joined us too. they were both convinced that my suitcase was over the 70lb limit. the fee for overweight baggage is $10 per pound! holy shit! when my bag was put on the scale, it weighed in at 74lbs. a $40+tax fee was about to be paid, but then the suitcase moved slightly on the scale, and it lost 5lbs! yup, i weighed in at 69lbs. schweet.
saying goodbye to mel was easy. she said friends don't say goodbye, we say "until we see each other again". thalia was a bit more emotionsl though. the tears were flowing like december rain in vancouver. i shed a few tears, but i think my body had very little tears left from the amount of crying i've been doing this past week. extreme sadnesss overwhelmed me this past week. saying goodbye to the incredible people i share my life with in toronto was beyond intense. moving all my shit out of my room was just as intense. there were times were i would just break down in the middle of my room and cry, scream, writhe in pain, yell...just let it out. just as graham, he saw it all. not too often do people see me so overwhelmed with confusion, frustration, and sadness. i couldn't control my tears.
the last time i wsa this overwhelmed with sadness was october 2003. i moved out of a great home i whared with my best friends michelle and naomi and moved into a place that was worse than any place i lived in at university. i don't know what i was thinking. did i also mention that i attended the funeral of a good friend the day of my move? she had taken her own life a week before. i was also convinced my roommate michelles was going to do the same thing as she didn't have a job or a place to move to one week before we were to move out of there.
i hated my new home and was trying to make sense of the first suicide of a close friend. tanya was the first woman to call me a playa to my face...and i was finally able to say "don't hate the playa, hate the game." i miss you tanya.
i was so upset and confused that it only took someone askin "hey norm, how are you?" to make me break down in tears. i learned some valuable lessons that fall. first, i learned that the only person who can tell you why they killed themself is not there to tell you. and even if they were they don't have to share shit with me. all i need to know is that i choose to be here, and my life is better having known those who may not be here anymore. the people who choose to be here are the ones most deserving of my time and strength.
but most ipmortantly i learned that i rule my own destiny. i have the ability to not only change how i think, i have the ability to act on those thoughts and make a difference. there are some things i can't change, and there are some things i can. so i moved out of my shitty home after six weeks and into the room that i lived in for the past two years.
i can change things. i have made a difference in this world.
satellite tv is now working on my flight. my 128meg mp3 player is also working. we are beginning our descent into vancouver.
breathe, life is what you make it.
Saturday, December 24, 2005
so much to do, so little time. so no big blog entry here, just a quick recap of my last two weeks in toronto.
i went snowboarding with my friends bobby and karen at blue mountain
i celebrated my going away with the tip of the spear at the raq n waq
i rampaged through the city with a hundred other santas spreading anarchist christmas cheer
i went shredding for one last time at blue mountain
and i've packed up my life into a suitcase, a snowboard bag and a backpack and i'm moving to british columbia. thanks for helping me decide where i'm going to live.
i have never been more overwhelmed with emotion before, not even at the burn. i've been so happy, so sad, so excited, so scared, extremes of all emotions. i haven't shed so many tears before in my life. i'm going to miss all of you dearly. for those of you who are eagerly awaiting my arrival out west, i'll see you soon.
catch y'all on the flipside! may the force be with you.
i love you as much as i know you love me.
Monday, December 12, 2005
i woke up early sunday morning to go to movie church. yes, i actually went to church two weeks in a row, and i did so by choice! crazy eh? it was the second part of the series god@the movies: the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe. i met thalia and her friend janelle at the theater and we found ourselves a spot to sit. i really love the way pastor bruxy carvey approaches his lessons. he does so in a way that is not so in your face, a way that allows you to glean whatever lessons you hear from his message without judgement or prejudice.
they showed a clip from the bbc movie when the little girl met the faun in narnia. the faun invited the girl back to his place for toast and sardines, and cake! the little girl obliged. when the clip was over, pastor bruxy said "wow, all it takes are sardines and toast to get little girls to come back to your place. that definitely won't work with my kids, but hey, i guess things were different in the uk back then." good on ya bruxy, ya hit it dead on, dealt with it, and then moved on to something else.
even edmund was tempted by the white witch with turkish delight and power. all it takes to get a little boy to come back to your castle is turkish delight and the promise of royalty.
the sermon got me thinking about who god is. actually, it was my conversation with my mother the week before that got me thinking. ok, i'm always thinking about who god is to me. in the movie what the bleep do we know, one of the scientists said "trying to describe what god is is like asking a fish to describe the water in which it lives."
i think the problem with most people's definition of god is that they believe that he is some entity that is separate from us, deserving of our time, our worship, or penance, in exchange for a reward of eternal life that they will receive when they die. do i believe that god exists? of course i do. to me, god is the part of all of us that we believe is greater than us...and there are an infinite number of ways to create god. she's not just in some of us, she is in everyone. by believing in something greater than us, we become greater than who we once were.
pastor bruxy said "your kingdom is the range of your effective will." i kinda liked that. thy will be done. if you think it, if you believe it, then you are it. "thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." why wait for some promised land when you can make heaven a place on earth...oooh heaven is a place on earth!
after movie church we went to the dairy queen at union station to pick up a birthday cake for thalia and karen. they both share the same birthday, december 12, and funny enough they were born in the same year too. thalia and janelle went to zelda's in the gaybourhood for brunch while i stopped off at darryl and isa's to drop off the cake. karen then came and picked me up and we headed over to zelda's to meet up with thalia and company.
zelda's brunch buffet is fabulous, just like their restaurant. thalia had a good turnout of friends, and my friend terri even showed up to share some good company and a great brunch. and c'mon, all the sausage and bacon you can eat! who could ask for anything more?
after zelda's, thalia, karen, janelle, and i went to the science center to see gunter von hagens' body worlds exhibit. it is an anatomical exhibition of real human bodies that runs until february 26, 2006. the primary goal of the exhibit is health education through the use of a preservation method called plastination.
The invention of plastination is an aesthetically sensitive method of preserving meticulously dissected anatomical specimens and even entire bodies as permanent, life-like materials for anatomical instruction. The body cells and natural surface structures retain their original forms and are identical to their condition prior to preservation, even at a microscopic level. The specimens are dry and odorless, and remain unchanged for a virtually unlimited amount of time, making them truly accessible. These characteristics lend plastinated specimens inestimable value both for training prospective doctors and for educating non-professionals in the field of medicine.
the exhibit was mind blowing. looking at bodies that once lived, just the vessels that once housed a soul. or does the soul still exist in the body even after a person is dead? no matter what you believe, the exhibit was beyond educational. it was a trip! looking at brains after the person had suffered a stroke, or the lungs of a person who smoked cigarettes, or a woman who was pregnant with the fetus still inside her when she died. it was fascinating. slices of human life right in front of you, preserved for your educational pleasure. they were pieces of art.
this skateboarder was actually in this position, with nothing else holding it up. if you touched him, he would have fallen over.
many of the pieces had parts opened up so you could see what muscles were being used. they even had a camel that was plastinated.
if you get the opportunity, go see this exhibit. it will teach you what's beneath your skin. it will remind you that in the end we are all human beings, despite what colour our skin is or what religion we claim. if you want to donate your body for plastination, go here. those crazy germans *lol*
thanks to my friend andrea gurekas for hooking me up with passes for the exhibit. i only wished we had more time in the science center...man that place is fun. i think the last time i was at the science center was in 1997 for the citrus rave. yup, we raved inside the science center...and they had all of the exhibits open too. they had two parties there. i still can't believe we partied there. i remember there being five fire alarms during the night. all it took was one raver to light up in the building, cigarette or otherwise, and the fire alarm went off. 10,000 people outside of the science center freezing, waiting to get back in...it was just nutz! and raving!
after the body worlds exhibit, we ended up at darryl and isa's for dinner and the finale of survivor. survivor used to be a weekly thing at darryl and isa's. i have many fond memories of yelling at the television every thursday night before little v arrived. after 11 seasons though, i&d kinda lost interest. maybe it had something to do with a new baby, or maybe because jj abrams decided to go head to head with survivor by putting alias on at the same time. whatever the reason, it was good to be in darryl and isa's new place to watch the finale.
umm, can this baby be any cuter? well, looking at her parents, you just knew their offspring were going to be deadly gorgeous.
karen had also just got her new snowboard gear delivered that week, so we took the time to put it together at isa and darryl's place. even baby valentina helped with the installation. she's starting to feed the extreme part of her personality before her first birthday. that's a good baby.
dani won survivor. we ate chicken wings and cake. enjoyed some lifted spirits together, and darryl and isa gave me a christmas present...fear the power of darth tater! together he could rule the universe as father and spud!
happy birthday thalia and karen. thanks for your hospitality isa and darryl. i will miss you guys like crazy!