Tuesday, November 29, 2011


brooke is four. brooke is the youngest daughter in the family i work for. her birthday is on december 12th. she talks about it non-stop. she talks about what she wants. she talks about what she will wear. she talks about who is coming. about what food there will be. about how she will do her hair. loot bags, music, party hats, singing happy birthday, not sleeping the night before. every time she talks about her birthday all i hear is december 12th. the date, december 12th. december 12th equals nine sleeps. nine sleeps until i see my family.
every morning i see the orange juice in the fridge. best before december 19th, two sleeps away from utter bliss. the oldest girl has a synchro meet on december 10th, eleven sleeps till i'm home.
everything with a date on it is a taunting reminder of how long i have to wait until my christmas can start. how long i have to wait until i can wake up and smell my mom's christmas spice's mulling on the stove. until i am home with the christmas calendar hung in the hallway with the christmas mouse that moves over one square each morning. until i can cuddle with my dad on the couch when he gets home from work. until i can meet mom at work with my dog and walk home with her. until i get to belt out joy to the world with my dad at the end of christmas eve mass, not because we love hymns, but because joy to the world marks the last song of the mass. and to us signifies that we will soon be on our way home to nana and papa's where my aunts have made mounds of delicious food, that is waiting to be gobbled up and washed down with holiday themed martinis. until i get to walk down main street and know every other person i walk past. until i get to be surrounded by friends i've known since i was five, friends who are like family.
today is november 29th. twenty-two sleeps. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

back on track

i finished the colin angus book on monday and was able to pound back a refreshingly humourous handler book since then. so i am happy to report that i am back on track. and today i am starting to read we need to talk about kevin, winner of the orange prize for fiction in 2005 by lionel shriver.
last night i stumbled upon a mini-series that national geographic produced from the footage rob lilwall got from his cycling home from siberia adventure. i've only watched the first two parts, but it is so cool to have read the book and created images in my head for where he had been, and now to see them and him in on film is amazing!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

so last week my ‘book a week challenge’ didn’t go as planned. cause i’m still reading the same book as two sundays ago. like my last book, this one is about a biking expedition around the globe. i feel like i’m gaining valuable knowledge, stuff that will somehow help me in whatever adventure i happen to set out on next. 
the author details the tumultuous separation from his expedition partner, the struggle of gaining sponsorship for the trip, the stress of being apart from his fiance, and the unrelenting hospitality of the locals he encountered along the way. this is the second travel book in a row that i’ve read. both about male cyclists. i don’t know if avid cycling is in my future. but i sure am lured to the explorer-type wonder that consumes the pages of these books.
emily anne stewart, explorer. it sounds nice. 
emily anne stewart, supertramp. there definitely is a ring. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

week two

camping in mongolia
week two was an utter success. after reading this page-turner, all i want to do is buy a one way ticket to a far off destination and try to make my way home. everything lilwall wrote about i wanted to experience. i wanted to be with him while he camped on a siberian winter night, while he snuck through the checkpoints at tibetan boarders, and when after weeks of searching he had finally found a boat that would take him from perth to singapore. 

he talked about people asking him why he went on the trip. his answer changed each time. 
“to test ourselves, to have an adventure, to learn about the world firsthand.”
i know that i want to go on another adventure. i’m not sure where yet. my possible destinations change daily. today i think about flying to ulan bator, the capital of mongolia and making my way east. toward home. mongolia seems like another world. thirty percent of the population is nomadic or semi-nomadic. it is the most sparsely populated independent country in the world. the country is nicknamed the “land of blue skies”. there is said to be about 250 sunny days throughout each year.
while biking to the cafe where i am writing this from i daydream. what will i need to pack. will the tent that i used for my last trip work for this one. would i be able to do it alone or would i want or need a friend. i would need hiking boots. i would need to start hiking. i would need to get fit. ugh, i would actually need to get fit. i would need to save a lot of money. i would need to think up a plan of what to do when i got back home, i couldn’t play it willy nilly again. i would need to go on mini-treks. i would need to learn so much more about camping and general outdoorsy-ness. i would need a plan. how long could i afford to go for. lilwall spent twelve thousand on his three year journey. and was still able to raise thirty-four thousand for charity. my god it would be beautiful. i would wake up and be the only one around. i would have to poop outdoors. i would have to practice squatting. massive thighs. i would have to get used to not showering for a long periods at a time. maybe i would make my way from mongolia through to kazakhstan and then into russia briefly before entering the ukraine. i wonder how dangerous this would be for a solo female. maybe i could do the trip disguised as a man. who am i kidding my butt is way to big to be a guys. i wonder if i will still want to do this trip in a week. or maybe in a week i’ll want to go to uruguay. or maybe i’ll still be hooked on mongolia. maybe i should learn another language. 
alastair(robs travel buddy) cycling in siberia
“i had a sudden feeling that apart from our two flickering little flashlights, there was no light or life for thousands of miles around us. we were all alone out here in the darkness.”
-lilwall, siberia 
i don’t know why i have these urges. i don’t think i am trying to prove anything. maybe i’m like the lost boys in neverland. never able to grow up. or never wanting to grow up. the thought of buying a place of my own, the thought of having dishes. buying utensils and having my own utensil drawer is scary. i’m not ready for finding a ‘real’ job, or planning for my future. 
i don’t know what i will want when i’m in my thirties. but right now, at twenty-three i know i want to explore and travel and go on adventures. i know i don’t want memories from this part of my life to include dancing in a sweaty sardine packed club with other drunken fools, or of working 9-5 in an office with my travel thrill consisting of a weekend escape somewhere, or having to use all my accumulated vacation days in order to get a three week trip to bali. 
when i am older with commitments and people who depend on me, i can’t decide to fly off somewhere and go on a ten month adventure. so i’m going to do it now. the fear of returning home without a job or a plan makes my stomach knot. but the fear of regret if i don’t go is even worse. 
i have dog-eared the shit out of this book. it is basically double the thickness it should be because i have folded back the tip of so many pages. so now as i start a new week, i pick up another book. i was initially going to go for palahniuk’s fight club. but instead i grabbed another travel book. beyond the horizon by colin angus. it is about a canadian who tries to finish the first human-powered circumnavigation of the planet. i can’t wait to see what it brings. what it urges me to seize. 
i asked him how he came to be a painter. he said, “i liked the smell of paint.”
-annie dillard