Tuesday, February 23, 2010

"Boo Boo not only listened to his voice, she seemed to watch it."

I had weekend alone, with my books, my thoughts, and my yard-for me this weekend the yard comprised my world. I did not want to actually go to the beach (but I did), nor did I want to skate (but I did). I really wanted to just move from space to space, following the sun, and later the milky way.

The milky way is not yet in my preferred spot, which is upon darkness arching across the sky I can view from my front porch. Specifically, the strip of stars will be almost eye level while I am seated.

I love the vegetable garden and fruit trees because I hate being in grocery stores, wait that is an untruth, I hate having to actually shop for groceries. If I am alone I will wander for an exceptionally long time, and yet find no more than eight items, and end up with about three meals worth of food.
I managed to eat from the garden all weekend and snubbed the store completely. This was a 'win'.
Thankfully I was fortified, or centered, or something because now my week is being eaten up by derby. A moment ago I had all Sunday stretched before me, and now Wednesday is upon me, not only is it upon me, the whole day is spoken for.
Thursday is little better.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"'Here comes a wave,' Sybil said nervously. 'We'll ignore it, We'll snub it,' said the young man. 'Two snobs.'"

I need to have a certain amount of time on my own. Too many days filled with obligations and I start to feel irritated, and then I fancy myself sick to explain away the irritation. The cure is simply an hour or so, unencumbered to read or lie about listening to music. I suppose that most people would make time by either reading before bed, or getting up early, of course for me this would cut into my sleeping which is the key to my sanity.
Basically, I've been a bit edgy, I did however, get a nice stack of books on loan from the library, which I picked up on my way to practice last night.
I tried my luck at a bit of coaching, we were on the small rink which is ironic as my main goal has been trying to get the skaters here to move on to a larger facility, yet there I was in the same place, but not even on the rink I think is too small to reasonably do blocking drills, I was on a smaller side rink. Trying to make the best of this situation, we did a bit of footwork practice, something I tried to get our group here to do in September of last year. There are my personal concerns though,
The group has made many changes they feel are important, and soon training could follow. They have a group of new skaters they are concentrating on.
For me, however, there won't be much offered until the group gets to rules, reffing, blocking practice and scrimmaging. I will have to continue looking abroad for my derby fix.
I did find them a second suitable venue which is under discussion, and for myself I found (actually Zok found) a velodrome (my new favorite word), which I have been skating on for endurance.
Outside of skating, mostly I have been catching up on garden chores, and trying not to be too sorrowful about the fruit trees having their 'no fruit' year.
I had to pull out a plant I liked because it was diseased, I thought the plant was a native, but the nursery told me that it was not, and although not a 'certified' weed, a good plant for our environment- so I pulled it out.
I went to a BBQ with Zok, where I didn't eat as I am boycotting all non-friendly foods, and this includes any function where 'pulling out the meat' is considered vegetarian.
Zok and I saw a new neighborhood, in a wine region nearby where our friend and neighbor had an art exhibit. Her pictures were lovely, if I am allowed an opinion, I thought her pictures not only suited her, but reflected the same way she describes how she much she loves the landscapes in Australia.
My goal for life starting today is to delve into my books, although regarding those books, I had a set back in my campaign to reclaim my proper name. Lately, I have had 1)my luggage taken off a plane by mistake, 2) told I was not actually enrolled in my Masters program 3) had to hunt around the hold shelves to find all my requests at the library 4) had to have a certified check re-cut costing me about twenty minutes of my time (that I could have spent alone reading).
All these small annoyances are due to the Australian propensity to respell my name into an English fashion, the highlight of these exchanges is when a person is committing this crime of the misspelling while looking at the correct one, in print, in front of their eyes!
Perhaps I just need an alias.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"...a sense of something fleeting and harmonic, longed for and repeated..."

How did a week at home pass by so quickly?
The world without me just continues on; the garden grows, dust collects as the mail becomes a heaped pile, and besides all that-the sun is out and the days so warm that I never have to put on shoes.
No shoes is my equivalent of being sick and not getting dressed, I gaze at the beach yet decide to lay on the grass in my yard and dream or read.
More than that has actually happened but I like this scenario so I'll stay with it.

I found a new honesty box, or honor box, or by Australian spelling honour box. Surely they have these in America, but I don't know of any. I know about places such as 'Terra Bite' in Kirkland (the Microsoft dominated suburb of Seattle) a nice cafe that has no payment system other than a box for patrons to pay as they choose.
These sort of roadside stalls, (although often located in a more remote place as this one is, on a side street, a cul-de-sac even) are common in Tasmania. I actually depend on them during road trips for my snack supplies.
People sell vegetables, or fruit from their gardens, and more aspiring people put up home made items such as jams, or plants they've divided from their gardens. I like to think that many a stall is a project of some pre-teen, where they make their spending money.
I won't go on about the difficulties of Australian soil, but buying plants that have done so well that they needed to be divided is not just a bargain, it is damn smart.
From this honesty stall, I got a huge quantity of mint (read mint julep), and about forty flower bulbs for four dollars.
This is something I love about Tasmania, and home.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Right Cobber Dingo!

I learned a lot of new Australian slang from Lex Fight, and from my exposure on the Army Base in Townsville.
I missed out on many photo opportunities from both our hectic schedule and my forgetting my phone in haste of getting out to practice on time.
The league in Townsville has been going since about last April, and they are fortunate to have a few very seasoned roller skaters, and the benefit of a great attitude. They have a dedicated President, a hockey coach, and access to Lex's coaching and that lady is not just a right cobber dingo but a ferocious blocker and coach.
There was always a beer after practice, some nice chatting, while listening to exotic birds, and avoiding cane toads all under a barrage of rain that was more or less ignored by all locals.
I have often been one of the only women on tour, but the army base was very, very skewed in male to female ratio. Lex handles her situation with great aplomb and she has this natural talent for speech, sounding very eloquent while using more Australian slang than I have ever heard.
Some of my favorites were:
"Ahhh yeah, He is a punish", as in 'That guy is so immature, and brings on so much drama, that being around him is like a punishment'.
"Just gonna have a quick durry", as in 'I am popping out for a cigarette'.
"She's a bloody right cobber dingo, she is", as in 'That girl is a very true and loyal friend'.
"Yeah, Just keeping it real, Mate", as in 'Hi, I am good, but not in the mood for any small talk at the moment'.

On our very last day, the rain subsided a bit, there were some blue patches in the sky and we could see the top of the mountain, and the heat was crushing in! I feel very grateful that there was monsoonal rain because otherwise I would have missed out on some great blocking practice.

An Ode to Willemina the Wombat

I have had many days of adventure, and little to no internet access.
Townsville was amazing, I had only seen the parts of Australia that are subject to Monsoon weather via documentaries, or extras on DVD about movies such as the making of 'Australia'. The experience was of course more intense, to feel the heat, (heat that was very much minimized by the rains) to be in perpetual dampness, and the heavy air.
I write 'rains' because I felt as if we were pummeled by many types of rain, as if storms were converging all the time making such standard practices such as umbrellas completely useless.
Ladies who partake in Roller Derby are not easily put down though, and we went out each day, and the only obstacle that stopped skaters from making it to practice was the actual cancellation of flights, and road closures.
Betty and I stayed with Lex Fight (another original member of the Victoria League) on her army base. I put the words army base in bold for anyone who knows me well, the fact that I ever hung around an army base is pretty astounding.
On our second day, the three of us went to the Billabong Sanctuary: http://www.billabongsanctuary.com.au/

Queensland is the only place where people get to actually hold any of the native animals. As you can see they get different reactions, we, of course were delighted. I learned a lot. Koalas do not have a sternum so a person can actually hug them to death-! This is why the photos always have people cradling them from underneath. A koala can only be handled for twenty minutes at a time before they get freaked out. Wombats are more easy going as you may be able to tell from the photos. I learned that of the three species of wombats, one category is highly endangered, the Northern Hairy Nosed Wombats have a population of only 138.
We were drenched and I mean drenched, the water was rising all around us, and we were really happy that the animal handling actually happened, and lucky because the group was quite small. I had an amazing time, and thought I did quite well under threat of heat stroke, huge insects, flash floods, monsoon weather, and thirteen hours of skating!