The mountain helps you realize that no one really cares about what you are doing. Even when you are being watched and laughed at from the chair lift above.
“You’re turns are looking really nice,” I tell my friend ‘S’. We are standing in the snow half way up Silver Mountain. Well, we are really standing in ski boots, which are bound to fiberglass popsicle sticks with a sliding slick underbelly designed to induce near death visions.
“Oh yah? I kinda don’t feel like I’m doing that well,” she tells me. We’ve stopped to let the internal muscular burn of lactic acid production fade a bit before skiing the rest of the way down to the designated ski lift.
“Ya, when I went skiing with my dad he told me I was looking pretty good on the moguls and I was like, ‘really? I feel like I’m in control, maybe, half the time.’”
“Ya, that’s how I feel too!” ‘S’ laughs and produces one of her elfin smiles, the kind you have to smile back at no matter what.
We go quiet so we can just breathe. It isn’t the first ski of the season for either of us, but we can’t make it quite often enough to stay in shape for our near death experiences that for the same and different reasons, we both love. We didn’t think the rain was going to turn into snow but kept the faith and about half way up the Gandola ride, much to our relief, snow. We’ve skied for four or five hours now and I don’t know about ‘S’ for certain, but my burning quadriceps are starting to accrue a strange sort of squishy feel.
“Well,” I say after a few moments thought, “I guess that’s the secret, everybody’s just pretending, faking it. They really aren’t in control half the time either. “ ‘Hey dude’ “ I change my voice and act out,” ‘that was so awesome!’ ‘Yeah man, it’s cool, no big deal but uh, I got to go to the bathroom now cause I shit my pants.’ “
We laugh about this for a while before skiing the rest of the way down the mountain. It’s the call back joke for the rest of the day, because I guess poop is just funny. Thinking of the oh-so-cool trick snowboarders shitting there pants, is just a satisfying, goofy thought.
But I’ve discovered that this assessment of my fellow sliding-down-snow-lovers applies very well to the big picture, life, being an adult. All adults and grown ups, (and this includes me now, much to my shock and awe) are faking it. They’re pretending. They’re scared shitless. Which is the only reason why they don’t actually shit themselves until the effects of the bran muffin that is Time kicks in after retirement.
So I laugh at my dorky crashes and awkward pole versus skis moments and don’t care what people think because I love skiing, period. Why can’t I do the same with life? Mmh. Well, shit.
My life is pretty ridiculous and overwhelming right now; it’s so unbelievably fabulous that I cannot imagine how I got so lucky. I’m anxious to the verge of tears, I’ve got at least one thing going on every hour of the day.
It reminds me of my prep days leaving for Liverpool. I was finishing a summer session math class, aka math accelerated. It’s not a great idea for someone of my math capabilities, or lack thereof. (I got a ‘C’) I was also moving out of my apartment, into storage/the apartment I live in now with my cool cloned roomy.
I remember leaving my take home final with future roomy to drop off to my professor after spending most of the day hauling things in and out of a U-haul truck, then heading to the bars for my send off party. I rode my bike home (and drunkenly did not make it over the last curb—it’s on a hill, don’t judge me) to my emptied out apartment and slept on the floor with my bags packed for Liverpool.
It’s the kind of delightful insanity that reminds me of what I believe was my second or third day of class in Liverpool. We began in the classroom as usual. Our teacher that day was one Mr. S, who you’ve met with Paul in the Pub.
After some class discussion we went with him to Toxteth, a dodgy faction of Liverpool. “Do NOT come back here by yourself alone, and especially at night,” he said. We saw rows of houses closed up by the City of Liverpool, in the process of gentrification. We saw the new sterile housing made available to people who didn’t want to leave their homes in the first place. There were more shops closed then opened.
Little, and not so little, sparks of the residents fighting back show up. There are two different community centres focused on kids. There was the Merseyside Caribbean Centre, where I got to meet a fantastic soul, named Patrick Graham.
Meeting Patrick, to me, is proof that I had some good karma credit going on. Mr. Graham is a poet and playwright, and has his company called, Blackout Productions. I ended up talking to him for the full half hour we were there, and I didn’t want to leave, but as I said before, happy madness. We had three weeks to experience Liverpool as much as possible, less really, because we took a week to London and another to Antwerp and Amsterdam.
After lunch at a little local place, we went to the town hall to listen in on discussions for the Merseyside/Toxteth community. They were divided into topics, health and wellness services, education, and jobs.
This is where I met Bea Freeman, a film-ographer. I was relieved at a woman’s voice finally. My fourth or fifth day there, I guess I’m impatient? She is fabulous, intensely dynamic and brilliant, but still very approachable. I’m exceptionally glad I met her, because somehow not being mentioned, AT ALL, is worse then being mentioned in a sexist light, or ways I don’t agree with. As far as the curriculum was concerned, women’s issues were a non-issue. Three weeks is limiting.
For my group’s final project I was able to meet up with Mr. Graham and Ms. Freeman again. They made the time for me. I was impressed.
And speaking of women’s issues, a woman’s ‘proper role’ came up in conversation after a group of us had eaten at a local Caribbean restaurant in Toxteth. Chip, Props, Samba, Eyes, Sheik, Echo, Mel, Mr. Graham and Mr. S and myself, all ate there together after official class time was finished. He was talking about how men and women were equal but they had their roles. He comes from a much more violent and scary place than I do, so maybe it makes sense there, but I sure as hell am not nurturing and standing behind my man and having him protect me.
I had Guinness-milk drink. You could get it with fruit too, but I’ll be damned if I can remember what it’s called now. It was amazing and Mr. Graham said he makes them at his house sometimes. I tried oxtail as my meal, which as Chip said, “That is black-people food right there.” He made me share but only after I gave him a sufficient amount of shit first.
We walked to Ken’s Barbershop, where apparently Samual L. Jackson has gone for a shave. Chip is also a barber so he wanted to experience a master of his trade. Chip is the type of person that gets people involved in a central activity. As for me, I was assigned to documenting the event. In the recording you can here my passive-aggressive quips on masculinity. Later, in London, we actually had dialogue on the topic that was really awesome. But me, well, I don’t play so well with others a lot.
I suppose that’s why I didn’t get the internship to return, or one of many of the reasons anyway. I suppose that’s why after we were done there and in safe territory again, I was off to wander by myself.
Sometimes I need that alone time to digest all of that. It was a very full day.
I’ll be digesting all the experiences I had in Liverpool for a while I think. Among the every hour of every day Mon-Friday planned, I am working on a presentation for SSS/Trio/CAMP administrators to illuminate the process and possibilities in University of Liverpool’s three-week, Global Leadership Training Program.
Spring is a ways away depending on where you live. It visited here mid-January randomly. Kind of cruel really, warm weather? Just kidding! And this from a girl who loves winter–and hates spring.
I hate spring because it’s supposed to be all lovey-dovey time, happy, pretty, innocent, etc. The only reason people are happy is because they know summer is coming. Everything is still dead in spring. Spring is the time for preparation for summer, subsequently, lots of hard work.
The spring semester for academia is no different. Did you fill out your FAFSA? Did you hear about that fund that you can apply for? Deadline is coming up! It’s a week after the scholarship deadline but before the internship application deadline. Then register for classes for fall. Fall? Who thinks about fall in March? Oh, and don’t forget about homework for the classes you are in RIGHT NOW!
because I’m pretty sure that most of the people who actually read this site, love me!
I’m currently bogged down with a preposterous amount of writing in lieu of my upcoming finals. Everything is due December 15th, either at high noon, causing me to have to cancel my fast-draw duel, or at 5 pm sharp in classic magazine/newspaper writing method and style, or by midnight, at which point I turn into a pumpkin. It’s convenient really, because my mother and I discovered it’s much easier to ship me home in form of pumpkin.
After a few days I grow back into a woman, ideally. As long as there are no hiccups in that process, I shall then be able to write and post freely in this little haven I have come to love. I’ll also have a shit-ton of stuff to post from the semester, so, there you go!
May 30, 1993 I wrote my first journal entry in pen. Ink color of choice? Purple. And for anyone who doesn’t know me, or doesn’t know my favorite color, it’s purple. My winter ski coat is purple and my old school alpine skiis from the ’90s have purple in them. My beautiful quilt made by my Grandma who I am named after is primarily purple, I have purple sheets, and purple flowers embroidered on a pair of pillowcases. The pillow cases were also of gift from my Grandma, she taught me how to do some of the stitches (which I may, or may not be able to recall how to do at this time). I have purple gloves and hats and at times have had purple hair. My parents gave me purple luggage for my birthday last March in anticipation of my trip to Liverpool, and I have a fair amount of clothing in the purple category. So it makes me happy to know my first pen and ink journal entry was in purple, and that at age of 8, it looks like I already had my fetish for pens going.
Today when I woke up I for found myself in the
same clothes from yesterday and I was on the floor of
the living room. I mopped around for a while. Then
I took a shower and got ready for church but while
I was down in my room I packed to go camping. I
haddent got my shoes and socks on yet and
my mom was calling me. So I grabed my shoes and
socks and ran up stairs. My mom was cleaning up
the kichen a little bit so I slipped on my shoes (scribble out mark here)
and socks. Then I went to get my hair done. My mom
pulled the hair up from the sides and braided it down
and let the rest of the hair go down. We went to church
as long as it lasted. Then when we got home we
changed are clothes and headed of. We travled with
are corsans for at least five hours before we got to a
March 29, 1993 is the first journal entry where I write in cursive. I’m eight years old. It adds a new element of possibility for misspellings. It’s great. Again, there is some things lost in this transfer, because the handwriting is great. I’m still writing with pencil too.
Today I woke up, as usall and hurried to school. I read my
homework tine and got my morning work done. Then after lun
-ch we had a sell. I had nindy two daller at the begening at the
end I had fouredy five daller’s lelt and I only bought four things
Then I plased and playied with my fiend Amanda. Then I ate,
I danced then raid. Then I snugle in bed to go to sleep.