hells_half_acre: (Newfoundland)
2009-04-07 01:01 pm
Entry tags:

Death and Traveling

It's no secret that there is always a danger when traveling that something horrible may happen to you. It's not a secret that something horrible may happen to you while at home either, but there's a common belief that the odds of death increase when you leave home. Gabe and I travel a lot, so we have long made peace with the fact that it may kill us someday. Furthermore, we often travel together, so we are both well aware of just how much we have made peace with that fact. Also, over the years, Gabe and I have developed a very strange way of communicating with each other - I like to refer to it as "Do as we do, not as we say."

It seemed odd that I would forget a near-death experience, but then, I HAD been traveling with Gabe... )

(A lion guards a mountain top Mausoleum outside of Xi'an, China. An interesting fact to note is that lions are not native to China, so the traditional lion-guard statues are actually a cultural import from Afghanistan/Egypt and would have only been adopted after the establishment of the Silk Road.)
hells_half_acre: (Mount Carleton)
2009-03-17 05:52 pm


I've been home for a few days now. It's nice to be home. I'm back on my own computer. I have endless amount of time to devote to the myriad of meaningless distractions that I fill my life with. My bed is the most comfortable thing ever invented. My pillow is the perfect mass and density. I can watch Jon Stewart every night. I can drive my car around town and sing along to the radio without shame.

When I got to Vancouver, Susan and I got into a discussion about whether I should move out there or not. At one point in the chat, while trying to explain why Ottawa was losing appeal even though I love the city and grew up here, I said: )

(A walkway near the Museum of Science and Technology in Shanghai, China - it is very hard to get photos without people in them in China - it's like seal hunting: you have to be both extremely patient and very quick)

hells_half_acre: (Default)
2009-01-06 03:36 pm
Entry tags:

16 days

I like this little comic by Somerled.

16 days until my Epic China-Singapore-Vancouver adventure (with side-trip to Redmond, WA)!

I did some laundry last night and realized that I had not done laundry for a month. This means two things: A) I own a lot of underwear. B) I have been wearing nothing but pyjamas way too much.

Really, the only thing left for me to do is to exchange my currency (for which I have to drive into Ottawa) and figure out how I'm packing everything I need for 6 weeks into a carry-on backpack. Thankfully, there's one thing doing laundry has taught me: If I do laundry more often, I don't actually need that much.

I also have to write down phone numbers of the people I'm going to visit, both for myself, and for Mum in case she needs to get in touch with me. Mostly though, I am looking forward to being MIA when it comes to communication. I would like to take this opportunity to run-away completely for a bit.

I want to have adventures and not tell anyone about them, because that is my favorite part of travel - all those secret things that only I know. I like to dance around people's assumptions...tease them with random unconnected details. Make them think they know me, think they know where I've been and what I've done. I'm probably not good at it. People probably figure it out, or at least some do. Others I tell honestly...or as honestly as I get. My friends know me better than I know myself, so there's no point playing with most of them. 

It's because I'm partially obsessed with perception - the way we are all numerous people at once. A thousand parallel worlds that we can never see, but that are the reality for others. I am not myself to you, and I never will be, so why should I try? It's easier to discover - to guess a little at - who you think I am, and play to that. Reinforce the ideas that I like, that I wish I could be maybe, that I'd like to think I am, and try to diminish those things that I don't agree with - whether true or not. I never lie, mind you. I omit.

I think I like traveling because it is a constant state of metamorphosis, in which I never ever change. I am always the same and I know who that is better when there is an illusion of change around me. When things stay the same too long, I forget sometimes what it is like to just have myself and nothing else.

hells_half_acre: (meanwhile)
2008-11-11 01:11 am
Entry tags:

Working from the Inside Out

Sometimes I try to figure out what I should be doing with my life - If I'm doing what I should be doing now or if I should be doing something else. I try to figure out where I want to be and what would make me the most happy. I have tried to answer these questions the same way for years...by trying to look into the future.

Back when I was a kid, people used to ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I never really thought about it normally, but I always felt like they expected an answer. Other kids would always have these grand ideas..."fireman", "singer", "actor", hell even my sister's ambition of being a garbageman was more than I could come up with. In an effort to answer the question, I would close my eyes and try to picture myself in the future. I have never been very good at this. I never really got past seeing only myself, but older...but my older self was usually laughing, and seemed content, so I would answer "Happy."

As usual, back then, just like today, other people could imagine me doing various things far better than I could. "Lawyer", "Judge", "Architect" are the three that I always remembered most. I don't like arguing, so lawyer is out. And I don't like listening to other people argue, so Judge is out. As far as I'm concerned, Architect is still in the running, though we both know that's never going to happen.

When I got a bit older, Imaginary-Future-Me started laughing at her friends' jokes, and being happy because she was surrounded by really cool people. I started thinking "Wouldn't it be cool to have a really great set of friends?" I often wanted a great set of friends, but unlike my sisters I found it very hard to connect with anyone. Being friendly with people was a very big effort, and people could see that about me, and I think that might have hindered the whole "set of friends" goal - until I met the right people anyway. I have a really great set of friends now, and all of my close friends have something in common: They all snuck up on me. One day, I was minding my own business, and the next I had a great set of friends with no idea how I managed to pull it all off. It took absolutely no effort on my part (well, none that seemed a chore anyway).

I can tell my friends are fantastic by the way I dream about them. When I sleep, more often then not I go around my dreams with friends draped over my shoulders...or just to my side, where I don't ever look at them, but I know they are there. Sometimes, the action of whatever dream I'm having will stop and one of my friends will appear and give me a huge hug, say something funny, and then disappear again and the dream will continue. It really much the same role they play in my life, and I love it.

Anyway, back to my point  - picturing my future. I've got the friends, and I've been trying to figure out where I want to be in life. So, I close my eyes and try to picture myself in the future.

When young, all I could see was myself being happy. As a teenager, all I could picture was myself and some friends. And now?

I see an apartment. A really nice apartment. I still have no idea what I do that allows me to live in that apartment, nor where on this planet that apartment is, but man, it's nice. It's cozy. I know where I've hung a couple of my favorite photos and pieces of art. The only room that I keep brightly lit is the kitchen, the rest is all indirect lighting that makes it look like a movie set.

I still live alone in my nice imaginary apartment. In case you were wondering. I haven't been able to picture myself in a relationship since the 6th grade...and even then it was just with a nameless archetype. This fact is either the cause or the result of my abysmal dating history.

So, maybe I'm nesting for no apparent reason other than I'm old....maybe I'll never be able to imagine my way to a perfect job. But, geez, I wish I knew how Imaginary-Future-Me can afford that place.

hells_half_acre: (!!!!)
2008-11-04 01:45 am
Entry tags:

Go to Hull!

Today, for the first time in quite a while, I woke up at 8am and left the house in order to work. I had meetings in Hull. (For those who don't live in Ottawa: Look up Ottawa, ON, on Googlemaps...you see all that city-stuff on the north side of the river? That's Hull). I don't like going to Hull for two reasons: 1)I get lost as soon as I cross over the bridge (any bridge) 2)It's hard to know where to park when you are lost.

I studied Googlemaps before I left, but once again, I got lost the moment I drove over the bridge - this is quite an amazing feat, since the building I needed was RIGHT BESIDE THE BRIDGE. Anyway, I parked over by the Museum of Civilization, because that's the only thing I know how to get to in Hull, and I walked to where I needed to go.

As I was sitting through meetings, it occured to me that I really didn't mind being there. Firstly, Hull isn't as bad as some people (and by some people, I mean me) make it out to be. It's small, and maybe the only thing of real interest is the Museum of Civilization, but there are a couple of streets that are quite pretty, and the view of Ottawa and the Ottawa river are really nice. Secondly, although I have always felt like working for 8 hours a day was a waste of my life, it occured to me that working in the morning really isn't that bad. I'm usually asleep all morning anyway, so working instead wasn't actually wasting my time at all. What I'm trying to say is that working is the same as sleeping. You are alive, but you aren't really living. So, working all morning and sleeping all morning seemed like interchangable things.

I had this revelation as I was driving home (I must say, the drive to and home from Hull is something I don't mind at all - I really like the parkway, especially when there is no traffic). It's a long way home from Hull though. I had left Hull at around 1:15. I had the revelation about working in the mornings being not-so-bad at about 1:30, just as I was coming to the end of the Parkway. At about 1:50, as I was pulling onto Flewellyn for the remaining 20 minutes of my commute, my body decided to remind me why work and sleep are actually NOT interchangable.

Tiredness hit me like a slap-in-the-face. This has always been something that annoys me about myself. I never gradually ease into either tiredness or hunger. I am either not hungry or starving to death. I am either awake or about to pass out. It is never a good thing to be driving when my body decides it is tired. 

At first I cursed the world for being geared towards people who regularly ingest caffeine. As far as I know, it's the only drug that not only is accepted world-wide as harmless, but also has entire societies based on it's consumption. Then it occured to me that back in the day, even before the invention of coffee (or it's widespread availability), farmers used to get up with the sunrise and stay awake all day doing hard labour...this was because they went to sleep when the sun set. 'Huh' I thought, 'What a concept! If I worked in the mornings and didn't want to pass out at exactly 2pm every afternoon, I would have to go to bed earlier...which means that I wouldn't be awake from, let's say, 10pm to 2am, like I normally am. So, not only would I be wasting my time in the mornings, but I would be wasting my time at night too...sleep and work, although similar, are therefore NOT interchangable.'

After a couple of tense moments, I got home, greeted the dog, checked my email and a couple of websites, and went for a nap. MAN, I love naps. I had the best nap ever. I dreamt things that I don't remember now but I quiet enjoyed at the time. Nap dreams are often fun, because they are just like more trippy thinking, they aren't actually dreams. They are, as I imagine, what thinking on drugs is like....the weirdest things completely blow your mind, and you feel like you have stumbled onto brilliance, even though you realize later that it was all ridiculous...or sometimes it's like little movies of thoughts.

The best part about my nap was that I woke up at the perfect point in the sleep-cycle. I woke up feeling like I had slept for 8 hours, when really it had just been one. Plus, since the sun set at 4:48 today, it was dark when I woke up and I was all cozy under my Avatar Blanket.

I'm not sure what the point of all this is. Maybe I just wanted to tell someone about my day. Or maybe it was to illustrate that I really need to find a profession where I don't actually feel like I'm wasting my time on this planet. (The whole notion is quite ridiculous anyway, since I know for a fact that when I don't have work, all I do is sit around all day and waste my life on the internet - or sleeping. Plus, working pays for my trips! and that's all that really matters - Trips and Friends! Trippy Friends! Tripping Friends? Friendly Trips!).

To complete my day, I went to band practice with Mum. It was fun. Then I played games with Gabe. It was also fun. Then I watched Jon Stewart. He was funny. Then I watched facebook videos of Gabe, Frank, and Eric jamming in Gabe's living room last summer. It made me ...umm...Gabe'sHomesick.

I also talked to Max a little today. As usually, he is awesome.

And that is my ENTIRE DAY. Next I'm going to go to sleep. Tomorrow I will start working at 1pm, because I'll be sleeping all morning.

Change of plans: Next I will play games with Gabe for a half-an-hour THEN I will go to sleep. This is why I don't work mornings.
hells_half_acre: (!!!!)
2008-10-30 03:03 am

Boiling Germans

Once again, at a loss as to what to write about (it's hard to have a blog when your life is boring), here is a funny conversation between Gabe and I from the past:

(I was asking Gabe, on behalf of my Susan, how to tell if eggs had gone bad. He told me and we discussed boiling a potentially bad egg...)

Gabe: well, it'll still boil, if a bit unappealing...I don't recommend eating it though, but that' my personal "ew, potential germs' self talking
Alix: Hahaha...I'll pass that along...
Gabe: but then...boiling water kills germs, right...?
Alix: Yes it does
Alix: But, I think you have to boil it for at least 5 minutes to kill all germans.
Alix: GERMS!

Gabe: What ARE you thinking about?!?!?!

Alix: It was force of habit...I went to write germs and my fingers typed germans....even then, I wrote germans and had to fix it!
Gabe: :S
Gabe: well, I'm sure Germans would die after being boiled for 5 minutes, so you're not factually wrong....

hells_half_acre: (oberreid)
2008-10-09 01:41 am
Entry tags:

Flights Booked! Fantasy=Reality!

I have now booked my flight(s) to Asia! My travel plans are now SET IN STONE! (or at least electronic file storage on airline computer servers).

Above is a picture of Gabe and Sarah, back in 2003, during a little class trip down to Luzern, Switzerland. They are posing as part two of what Gabe calls "The Princess Di and Prince Charles pose." (part one is them looking away from each other and clearly looking miserable).

Who knew, that six years later, I would be flying across the pacific ocean in order to visit them. Gabe is in China, as you all know by now, and Sarah is teaching in Singapore with her husband (who happens to also be a friend of mine). So, I have booked 3 of the four flights that I will be taking between January and March. I'll be starting my Asia tour in Shanghai, and ending it in Singapore, all that remains to be purchased is my plane ticket between the two countries, but I'm going to wait until I'm in China to do that.

I'll be gone from January 22nd until March 11th. A little longer than my original "one month" plan, but honestly, who can blame me. Also that includes a stop in Vancouver to see my sister Susan, and hopefully also a jaunt down to Seattle to see my sister Emily.

I'm very excited! A little bit nervous - because things always make me nervous when I realize that they are actually going to happen. Overwhelmingly excited though. I just hope that despite my crappy job, I can earn enough money to have a good time.

In truth, my plane tickets were much cheaper than I thought they would be...almost half as much as I was expecting. "Great Alix! You can save money!" is probably what you are thinking, but that's not where my mind went...my thought was "Wow, I might have money left over...you know...they have pretty cheap flights sometimes between Ottawa and Frankfurt...."

So, here's what I'm thinking now: ASIA TOUR January 23rd-March 11th, followed perhaps closely by TRIP TO GERMANY TO SEE SHERRIE! possibly in April, possibly in June...depends on a few factors, such as "is Sherrie even around then?" And "do people going on trips need me to house sit?" As well as, "do I even still have a job?"

But 2009 could be the year of visiting my long-lost friends! It'd be so much fun!

hells_half_acre: (!!!!)
2008-09-24 11:34 pm
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In regards to my previous post - specifically the part about how annoying it is when you go on about how marvelous your friends are and then they do something annoying - I would like to add this:

Don't you also love it when you figure there's no harm in breaking your "don't complain about your marvelous friends" rule, and then the friend you complained about writes you to say that they are terribly ill, and you feel like a horrible person? I sure do...

hells_half_acre: (Mount Carleton)
2008-09-24 10:29 am
Entry tags:


I had plans for posts here, but now I can't think of them. So here are a bunch of random topics:

Sometimes I'll be wracked with indecision for days. I'll wake, eat, and sleep, only considering the possibilities. There will be a sense of urgency, left over, I'm sure, by some instinctual stone-age aspect of my brain. Then, all of a sudden I'll wake up and think "I don't have to make this decision now" and suddenly it no longer matters as much as it did...or at least, the urgency is gone. I can get back to my normal life without the obsession over gathering information for the decision. Of course, by then the insomniac narcolepsy that's a byproduct of "Alix under pressure" has usually completely messed up my sleep patterns...and I'm up until 4am and sleeping 12 hours (at least) a day.

Supernatural started it's fourth season last week. I still really like that show. Usually I'm tired of dramas by their fourth season. I made it half-way through season two of Heroes. The last season of Doctor Who stopped cutting it for me (though, I have yet to abandon the series entirely - it's saving grace is the humour, I suppose).  I'm looking forward to mini-season three of Torchwood, so that's also a winner so far I suppose. I was about to suggest that maybe Supernatural's saving grace was the fact that I watched the first three seasons in one fell swoop over the summer - but I did that with Kyle XY for a while and I lost interest in it too. Though, I've been told I have to watch it again, because my friend's brother-in-law is going to have a bit part on it. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is "Supernatural is a surprisingly good show!"

I did a rough estimate on how much plane-fare alone may cost me for my planned Asia/Vancouver trip in February...it was not pretty. Well, it was about $500 more than I had pictured, and there's no telling if my estimate is high-end or low-end. Sometimes I wonder if I'm crazy, then I remember that travelling is awesome and it's the rest of the world that's crazy.

That being said, it surprisingly occured to me the other day that I don't really feel like going anywhere. I mean, I feel like travelling - I'm very tempted fly to Frankfurt, for instance. But I don't feel like moving anywhere. I don't feel like taking off to some other Canadian or international city in order to live there. I sort of just feel like sticking around Ottawa. This is very unusual for me. I am not sure whether it is a sign that I am old, or a sign that I am lazy...or both.

Over on myspace I posted about how much I like my friends and how wonderful they were. Then Gabe hid for over three days. I love it when my friends are marvelous and then turn around and do the things I find most annoying about them. Thankfully, the benefit of having known Gabe for over six years is that this time when he wrote and said "Sorry, I've been hiding and haven't been online in days :S...." My only reply was "*shrug*" because honestly, it's not like I was surprised.

Anyway...anything else random I should cover? The new car is going great. I was going to post a picture of it over here, but I am horribly lazy.

hells_half_acre: (meanwhile)
2008-09-09 11:53 am
Entry tags:


Last Sunday or so, the prompt over at Sunday Scribbles was "How I met my ____". I immediately thought of the time both Gabe and I answered this question when asked how we met each other.  Instead of posting it as soon as I thought of it though, I decided to wait until today. I've known Gabe for six years today.

How I met Gabriel by Alix

It was 3 years ago. I had decided to do my second year of university abroad. My school had a program called a Canadian Year in Freiburg, which was an exchange to Germany. I had been taking German for several years, and the opportunity to live in Europe was very appealing so I applied and got into the program.

The program works through 4 of Canada's major universities, so in total about 20 Canadian students from across Canada arrive in Freiburg each year on the program. All 20 of them (no matter if they are from Vancouver or Newfoundland) take the same flight over to Germany.

A couple of weeks before our flight, we started to exchange emails with the group - introducing ourselves before we met in person. I forget what my introduction email was like, but I remember Gabe's. Now, without disclosing his last name, I'll just say that his name is distinctive if you know popular TV culture. So, that caught my eye, as well as the fact that he frequently made typos. The email itself ranged from explaining how a lightening storm had fried his modem, to admitting that he knew we'd make fun of his name, to describing his physical appearance so we could recognize him at the airport. Needless to say, the email made me laugh, and I pictured someone who was far from ordinary. There were also other emails, a Bermudian girl that sounded strange, and a Quebecois, who I couldn't tell if they were a guy or a girl (damn french names :p)

So, the day came where we all arrived separately at Pearson airport in Toronto. It was September 9th, 2002. My sister, who lives right close to Toronto, came to the airport to say goodbye. She brought her 1 year old daughter and her newborn son along too. Now, my niece must have sensed that I was going somewhere, because she refused to let anyone carry her except me. So, there I was standing in line to check my bags, carrying a kid that kept pulling down the neckline of my shirt, while I could see the other students arriving behind me or waiting after being checked in.

I saw a student wearing a black hat walk by, and I knew that was the fellow named Gabe, because of the email he sent. He was talking to a very Scandinavian-looking guy. He didn't see me, but I immediately thought that he was much shorter than I had pictured, and also much more normal looking.

I lost sight of the other students for bit, and then I saw a friend of mine who was also doing the exchange, he was standing with Gabe and the other guy and he waved me over. (my sister held my place in line). So I went over, still carrying my niece, and my friend introduced me to Gabe and Lukas. We shook hands, but because my niece was getting restless, I couldn't stand there for long (plus she kept pulling down the neckline of my shirt and I was worried it would get embarrassing.) I explained that she was my niece, so they wouldn't think she was mine...and then I returned to my sister.

Now, it's important to explain that I have a very distinctive laugh, so when I laughed when we were introduced, Gabe thought I was nervous...he discovered soon after that I just always laugh like that.

So, after checking in, it was another hour or so before I went through the metal detectors after saying goodbye to my family. As I was going through, I saw a Gabe and another student behind me in line, so I waited until they passed through the metal detectors so we could walk to the departure gate together.

The other student quickly walked ahead of Gabe and I, so I soon found myself walking with only Gabe. Gabe told me it was his first time going to Europe. I said that I had been there once before, so if he had any questions, I might be able to help him out. Then for lack of anything better to say, I told him that this was going to be the longest time I had ever spent away from my family (since I couldn't come home for Christmas). Gabe put a hand on my shoulder and said, "Don't worry, I'll take care of you!"

How I met Alix by Gabe

It's interesting to see how Alix's saw her side of the story, especially since some things were similar for me.

Alix also has an interesting, unconventional name that might confuse others as to whether she was a guy or girl; but that was cleared early on when the group sent e-mails before leaving for Germany.

I also imagined Alix differently, more of a wild girl with coloured hair and loves to party. I was sure in for a surprise

When I arrived in Toronto, I was the very first to be there, so I ended up wandering around a lot waiting for the others. I wasn't very concerned because I wear a black bandanna under my black hat, which sort of looks like what Zorro wears (but mine isn't as wide). Thus, I expected others to spot it and act as a beacon to gather the others.

The first to meet me were these two tall, blond-haired, blue-eyed guys from Vancouver. Needless to say, I felt very short around them, but at least the group was getting together.

When more of them showed up, eventually one of them pointed out a group of the others waiting in line. That's when I saw Alix with a baby in her arms. When they were called over, we made quick introductions, and I actually tore my trench coat pocket when I tried to take my hand out too quickly to shake hands with Alix. I don't think anyone noticed, the airport was fairly noisy. Anyway, Alix looked so much quieter and serene than I had imagined, despite how nervous she seemed to me at the time. I assumed it was about the flight...it was, after all, the first year just after 9/11, and we were flying on 9/9...

Eventually, people who were leaving from Toronto (I had left from Moncton) said their goodbyes to their families and hopped into the security checks. Alix had waited for us and walked with us to our gate. I don't have much of a good memory, and don't remember what we talked about on the way, but I do remember when Alix was walking next to me and admitted that she hadn't been separated from her family for very long before. I already thought she looked pretty nervous, then saying something like that, I wanted to make her feel relieved. So, with a big smile and a light tone, I told her: "Don't worry, I'll take care of you!" Trying to be knightly, you know?


And that's how I met Gabe. I find a lot of people don't understand our friendship, but I assure you that I think I'd be a much worse person if Gabe wasn't around. He actually DOES take care of me -  mostly by keeping my head on my shoulders. At this point though, if someone doesn't understand our friendship, I don't think they ever will. They'll either have to take my word for it or just learn to keep their mouth shut. We're nothing if not loyal to the friendship.

I should point out that Sept 9th/10th, 2002, was also technically the first day I met Amy and Max (who were the strange Bermudian girl and the Quebecois guy), but they didn't make an impression on me until the days that followed - that first day they were just faces with names.

hells_half_acre: (Default)
2008-07-21 05:30 pm


As you can tell, inspiration for this journal has not struck me recently. And so, it is time to reach into the vault (ie: my hard drive) and find some amusing things. For this week's addition: Conversations with Hilarious Friends!

Bruno: The Post-Modern Henchman

Alix says: I told him if he stayed I would get my henchman Bruno to crack his knee caps.
Alix says: Because no matter what Gabe says - as long as I believe in Bruno, he is real.
Sherrie says: WELL if Gabe had done his masters he would know that in such a world of relativity like ours, where there is no standard of truth or ability to measure reality, then Bruno is REAL because you say he is.
Alix says: Bruno: The Post-Modern Henchman
Sherrie says: and he is FUCKING scary
Alix says: If he doesn't intimidate you with his physical strength, he will bring you to tears by making you question everything you held to be true.
Sherrie says: and he won't have to hurt you because you will slice open your own veins from the sheer fleetingness of it all
Alix says: Exactly..thus making Bruno's "jobs" untraceable to me


Alix says: You are insane
Gabe says: and getting SANER
Alix says: Really?
Gabe says: Saner: CRAP!! He's after me!!!:-O
hells_half_acre: (lilypads)
2008-07-06 11:32 am

Chance Encounters

So, sure enough, as soon as I decide to use Sunday Scribblings for prompts, the first two they post don't really apply to me.

I never have chance encounters. I've never accidentally bumped into a celebrity. The last time I saw someone from high school in a mall, I ducked out of sight and kept walking... they probably wouldn't have recognized me anyway, but the avoidance was mostly instinctual.

Perhaps my only chance encounter happened when the Coliseum movie-theatre opened in Ottawa. We all went to see Armageddon - the blockbuster that was basically playing on all screens for the grand opening. As we were walking into the theatre, a good-looking tall girl with long strawberry-blond hair stopped in from of me and said my name like she knew me, followed by "How are you?!" So, not wanting to admit that I had no idea whoshe was, I played along. "Good good. We're just coming to check out the movie...how are you?" I carefully didn't try to introduce my brother or his friend.

Then, as she spoke, the features on her face did the most bizarre thing I have ever seen (and what makes it more bizarre, is that it all happened inside my head). Suddenly, her facial features seemed to shift into recognizable places. What I thought was clear skin, developed a light freckling. Her cheek bones slid slightly higher. Her jaw became more square. Suddenly, the long-hair no longer caught my eye - and then I probably blew my cover, because I think I said "Leah!"

And sure enough, my best-friend through most of my elementary school years stood infront of me, a good half-foot taller, as she always was...her normally short hair, hanging down passed her shoulders.

My favorite memories of Leah all pretty much happened in Grade 3. I suppose, because that's the age my long-term memory finally solidified. I remember us walking back from gym class, asking each other why the heck we were friends with each other - "But why do you like me?!" and our answers were pretty much the same - "You're like me. You're sort of tomboyish. You're funny. We have a good time." It was deep for nine-year-olds.

In Grade 4, Leah went to a different school. We got together every few months, and spoke on the phone constantly for a good many years after that...but eventually, we drifted apart. The movie threatre was the first time I had seen her for a very long time. At one point after that I tracked her down, and went over to her place to catch up. It was either just before I was to start university, or just before I was to go to Germany. I remember what shirt I wore - mainly, because it was black, and I missed the bus after leaving her place and had to walk for more than half an hour in the hot sun.

I hear she is married now.

I often want to run into her again, just to see if her face will do that shifting thing halfway through our opening pleasantries.
hells_half_acre: (gabe)
2008-06-21 04:07 pm
Entry tags:

Back to life...

My trip to New Brunswick was great. The weather was fantastic for the first week I was there. It was nice to see Gabe again. It hadn't actually felt like that long since I had last seen him, but in had been nearly a year. His mother told me that she's really enjoyed having him around for the past year - perhaps as if to say "I know you want him around, but thanks for sharing..." even though Gabe always goes where he wants and I have no say in matter.

Anyway, we hung out and did fun stuff. I really love the countryside around where he lives and the sound of the Acadian spoken there. It was actually sunny the whole drive there - I managed to either stay ahead of or behind the thunderstorms. Once again, it rained pretty much the whole way home. For some reason nature really likes providing me with pathetic fallacies whenever I travel to or from New Brunswick.

Gabe enjoyed his birthday presents. I got him Joey Comeau's zombie shirt and Susan gave him one of her old paintings that he really liked while he was here. On his birthday, it occurred to me that my Year of Being Lost was officially over. Technically, I shouldn't be allowed to be completely lost anymore. Luckily, I'm not really. I have plans for the next year. If this job works out, then I am working at it for at least the next year and saving for my eventual trip to China in March. It's still only plans for a year, not a life...but that's ok, and it's more than I had before. I will worry about the year after next when it arrives. My Year of Being Lost is over, and now it's the Year of Travel Plans...and maybe in the midst of my Year of Travel Plans, I will figure out what to do afterwards.

Anyway, Emily is visiting now with the three kids. So, the next few weeks are going to be a bit crazy.

I wanted to write some funny antidotes in here from my New Brunswick trip, but right now it escapes me how to put anything into words. Instead I will be mushy and say that I really feel priveledged to be friends with the people I am friends with.

I'm also going to try out Sunday Scribblings in here on Sherrie's suggestion. I don't think I'll link back to the main site like everyone else does, I'll just use it for prompts. The point of this journal WAS to write and step outside myself a little - and I still intend to do that.
hells_half_acre: (Mount Carleton)
2008-06-06 07:53 pm
Entry tags:

To New Brunswick!

I'm leaving for New Brunswick tomorrow morning. I've packed up the glassware that Gabe left behind. Now all I have to do is pack my own clothes, and remember to throw his leather coat into the van before I go. I'm looking forward to seeing Gabe again. I'm looking forward to getting away for a bit too, not that there is anything wrong with here - it's just nice to get away from time to time.

I wrote a song. Well, I wrote a poem, that I thought (or rather Gabe thought) could be turned into a song. So, Susan wrote me some music, and we recorded it with me singing. Susan made my voice all echo-y on the track, so that you can't tell how rough my vocals are. I don't like the way my voice sounds, but Susan says that it isn't bad, so I'll just assume that I'm overly critical of myself (which isn't really an assumption). It was definitely an interesting process recording it!

Sue and I went to the Hey Rosetta! concert last night. They didn't play as long a set as last time (they were the second of three bands, instead of the feature attraction), and the sound system wasn't as good, but it was still a really good time! I got mostly all of the band to sign a poster, the new CD rocks, and I have a cute button to go next to the "Being in love is totally punk rock" button that I already have on my purse.

Did I mention that I was looking forward to seeing Gabe? It's funny, about a week ago I remembered how horrible it is when I have to leave New Brunswick, and I didn't want to go anymore. I have such strange ingrained survival mechanisms. The one that causes that reaction is actually, I believe, one of Gabe's pet peeves about me...so yeah, sometimes he reads this, so I'll just say "Sorry man, at least I didn't listen to it this time - I mean, even I admit that I was being ridiculous!"

Now I'm just excited though. It looks like I'll be driving under a thunderstorm the whole way! I love thunderstorms, though, I must admit that sometimes driving in them is a little nerve-wracking. Gabe and I will have fun (and drink a lot - sometimes it is hard to believe he is the same straight-edged guy I met six years ago). Then I will come home and start saving for my trip to visit him (and Sarah) in March.

Eventually I will write little stories in here again, I promise.
hells_half_acre: (Mount Carleton)
2008-05-20 01:37 am
Entry tags:

June Vacation

Wow, I did not realise that it had been so long since I last posted here. I am a horrible livejournaler, it seems. It is much easier for me to keep up with my daily emails to Sherrie, (well, almost daily), probably because I don't really feel like I have to be particularly interesting with those. When emailing Sherrie, I can just say "Hey, nice that your motorcycle classes are going well. My life is boring. Miss you." Only for some reason it takes me about five paragraphs to say that. Those emails must be REALLY boring to read.

Anyway, things ARE new. I just haven't figured out overly dramatic or poetic ways to talk about them yet, so I haven't posted. I've given up on that front though, because if I waited until I thought I sounded intelligent, nothing would ever get written here.

Susan is home for the summer. Yay! She arrived about a week and a half ago. It's funny how your mind listens while you are sleeping, and only selectively wakes you up. Every morning this year I have slept through Mum and Dan getting up and getting ready for work and leaving, and I never remember hearing anything...but the morning Susan came home, all it took from her was one quiet laugh and I was wide-awake with the single thought of "Susie's home!"

It's nice to have her back!

In other news, I have changed my vacation plans slightly. Gabe has two weeks off at the beginning of June, so I am going down (across?) to see him then instead of in July. That means I will be in New Brunswick from June 7th to the 18th....close to where the picture in my lovely icon above was taken (that is Gabe in the icon). I am looking forward to it. I don't think we will be hiking Mount Carleton again, though that was fun, and it'd be nice to get up there on a day that is a little less misty...but we will definitely be having some fun times - there will be some alcohol involvement.

It will, however, be the first time that I am doing the drive alone both ways. Every other time I've driven to Gabe's farm, I've had company on the way there. I will be taking my favorite route alone the south side of the river, and I'll be bringing plenty of tunes, so I'm sure I'll have an enjoyable trip nevertheless.

After I come home, Emily is coming for a visit with her three kids for a couple of weeks...so that will be a bit crazy, but awesome. I haven't seen Emily for over a year now, so I'm really looking forward to it.

So yes, that is the update on my life, and also an explanation just in case the next entry is delayed for even longer that usual. Though, you never know, I always found that I did the most internet-participation during my most stressed out and busy periods. I think my problem these days is that I have all the time in the world, so I don't really organize any of it, and therefore I get nothing done...back when I was in school and stressed out, I actually had to MAKE time to do stuff, and for some reason that meant that things eventually got done.

Anyway, I think this entry has served it's purpose - I have avoided sleep long enough - no matter how long I stay up, I will still have to get up and go into work tomorrow.
hells_half_acre: (Mount Carleton)
2008-03-31 03:08 pm
Entry tags:

Work, Travel, and Travelling for Work

This is my new haircut and Hey Rosetta! Shirt. The birdies fly over the shoulder and onto the back of the shirt where it says "hey rosetta!" I had promised Sherrie a picture of my haircut about three weeks ago (though, my haircuts really all look the same to the untrained eye), so it's about time I put one up. The shirt is an army green. All my indoor photos are yellow tinged, because it hides the fact that I never bother wearing makeup anymore, also, my flash is so bright that I'd have to wear stage-makeup in order to look good in a photo.

In other news, the job is going well. I'm finally getting used to it. This past month I only worked part-time hours, but that should change now that I know what I'm doing. I don't mind the job so much, it's kind of nice. This is either a phase, and I will go back to freaking out about where my life is headed soon, or I've actually managed to get it through my head that this doesn't have to be the be-all-end-all of my life, and I might as well enjoy it while I can and keep thinking of future possibilities. Right now though, this job is a pretty sweet deal and I'm happy with it.

Mainly, I am happy with it because I found out that in the next year, I have to take 3 possibly 4 trips...and it really helps to have an income when you consider how much plane tickets are. Firstly, I have to go to New Brunswick to bring Gabe a few things he left behind, and to visit him for reasons discussed in a minute. Secondly, I promised Dana a long time ago that she and I would go to Finland together someday. Well, she's been really patient over the years, but my finances or the timing have never been great. That being said, I would really like to do the trip soon, because I'm starting to feel like it may never happen otherwise, so I'm aiming for next summer. Fourthly, I would really like to go to Germany and visit with Sherrie. I miss her to pieces, however, this trip might not be possible because: Fifthly, I have to go to China/Singapore in the spring. I had told Sarah that I would try to visit her before she left Singapore, and this coming school year is going to be her last out there, also it works out because not only is Vancouver/Seattle on the way to Singapore, but so is China and, as of last week....

...Gabe is officially returning to China.

He's not particularly thrilled about it.

The good old Canadian gov't once again turned him down for a job and so,  feeling useless and unwanted by his own country, Gabe decided to go where he knew he would be welcomed: China. So, he is going back to teach and practice his Mandarin more, in the hopes of being able to eventually become a certified translator/interpreter.  I promised when he came back the last time, that if he ever returned, I would go out and visit him. It's not often you get your own personal guide/interpretor in China, and I figured I should take advantage.

So, there you go. That's what I've been up to the past month. I know this is a news post and originally this was supposed to be a writing/photography journal, but whatever, now it's a catch-all.

I did find a story I wrote when I was eight or nine, that I think has a very good moral...so I might post that this week sometime.

In the meantime, enjoy THIS ARTICLE about why I'm right and the rest of the world is stupid.
hells_half_acre: (Mount Carleton)
2008-02-11 09:18 pm
Entry tags:

Light Up(date)

The job is slowly starting. I had orientation last week. This week they are trying to get us set up with user accounts and email service and stuff like that. It'll be nice to earn money, plus I'm really running out of stuff to do during the day. If the job doesn't start soon, I may actually have to take up one of my long-forgotten hobbies. Heck, maybe I should anyway.

Sherrie and I came up with a new idea for an awesome trip - two words: Ireland and motorbike. So, I have another trip to add to the list and yet another incentive to earn the big bucks. It might not happen for a while, and some of my other trips have time constraints so they get priority, but it's still nice to think of possible future adventures - especially when they involve Sherrie, who is so much fun I think she should be a controlled substance.

In closing, I leave you with the words of Alexander the Great, who knew how to conquer a country:

"Your ancestors entering Macedonia and the rest of Greece wronged us without previous grievance; but I, constituted as leader of the Greeks and wishing to take vengeance on the Persians, have crossed into Asia, something that you people started...And in the future when you send to me, send to me as King of Asia, and do not correspond on equal terms, but as to the lord of all that is yours, tell me if you need anything..."
                      - Letter from Alexander to Darius, King of Persia, 332 BC: Arrian, ii.14

(pictured: part of my lampshade)
hells_half_acre: (!!!!)
2008-01-23 01:43 am
Entry tags:

Outside the Box - A Favorite Photo Post

Time for a game! It's called "Spot the person who will become Alix's best friend." This week I am stealing a photo from my friend Alana, who hopefully does not mind it being posted here:


Not a very hard game, I realize. It also serves a duel purpose, as I can direct people to this picture when they give me gruff about my choices in friends...though, ironically, the person I will most likely be directing here is the guy captured so well in the photograph.

I love this picture, not just because of the subject matter, but because of the poor scanning. I love the fact that Alana didn't try to line it up perfectly, that there is dust, that the colours seem oddly washed out. For the five-year anniversary of our arrival in Freiburg, we all took time to post some of our favorite photos onto Facebook. I loved Alana's uploads because all the photos felt old. They weren't the perfect digital copies the rest of us had, (or the meticulously scanned photos I had), they actually had a dated quality to them. A sense of time passed. Five years isn't a long time, but a lot has changed since then.

I've settled into my friendships and sometimes it's great to be reminded of why they started up in the first place.
hells_half_acre: (Piraten-Tochter)
2007-12-17 10:54 pm
Entry tags:

A one-sided MSN conversation

I found these messages waiting for me when I returned to my room after only a half hour away or so. The whole thing fits in so well with the theme of my previous post, that I figured I had to post it. Enjoy. (Please note that "should die" is often the way Gabe greets me.)

Gabe says:
Gabe says:
Gabe says:
many possibilities
Gabe says:
1) Alix finally hates Gabe enough to ignore him
Gabe says:
2) Alix is engaged in some other activity at the moment
Gabe says:
3) Reggie learned how to sign on to MSN
Gabe says:
4) Alix met someone and is currently having a hot make-out session to the beat of all the MSN messages coming in as they ignore them
Gabe says:
5) The roof blew off in a storm but Alix was so distracted she didn't noticed and froze solid in front of her computer
Gabe says:
6) Someone else accidentally signed onto Alix's MSN and sneaking into what people say to her...shame on you
Gabe says:
7) Alix bought herself some hard liquor and passed out on her keyboard.......Whiskey maybe?
Gabe says:
8) Gabe actually died and is typing stuff in ghost form, not actually sending anything
Gabe says:
9) Alix got a job and is currently working, is allowed to have MSN turned on but forbidden to write replies
Gabe says:
10)  Gabe fell asleep at the wheel coming back from work and none of this is actually happening
Gabe says:
11) The connection between Gabe and Alix right now is intercepted by a time-vortex phenomenon and none of these messages are going to make it there in this lifetime (if these make it into biblical times, some religion is going to get really odd commandments)
Gabe says:
12) Alix is currently busy fighting off hordes of zombies trying to break into her now-fortified home
Gabe says:
13) Sherrie told Alix it was best to forget Gabe ever was a part of her life, and somehow finding this logical, decided Sherrie was right. Gabe just hasn't noticed he is being ignored yet.
Gabe says:
14) The Japanese did it again and Alix is still in mourning, at a loss for words
Gabe says:
15) Alix took a vow of silence which includes written words
Gabe says:
16)...............................Man, I am THAT bored..............
Gabe says:
going to sleep soon anyway, so, best of dreams tonight, talk to you (maybe) some other time
hells_half_acre: (gabe)
2007-12-17 02:45 pm

A Mid-Morning Dream

The buzzing of the damn fly woke me up. It had been stuck between the curtain and the window for days, buzzing incessantly in mid-mornings. I opened my eyes with a small moan to find Gabe kneeling by my legs, staring at the curtain like a cat ready to pounce.

"That fly is really annoying" he greeted. I smiled, made a noise of agreement, and closed my eyes again.

I love dreams like this, I thought. My dreams of Gabe have always very accurately reflected our friendship and for the past two years they have been filled with a (non-sexual) intimacy that remains impossible for me to describe to anyone. I had a flash of concern over my state of undress, but then realized that I was adequately covered by the blankets and Gabe was fully clothed and didn't seem at all disturbed by the situation. I realized Gabe even had his hat on, and wondered how long that trend in my dreams would continue. I haven't seen him wear that hat for almost three years, yet it makes a reappearance in every dream as though it were an extension of his body. I drifted off to sleep again, only to be disturbed by the soft noise of Gabe's fist hitting the window through the curtain and the buzzing of the fly.

Opening my eyes, I saw him with his arm stretched out over me, his fist still pressed against the curtain and window. I gave him a look of concern.

"I can get it" he replied, without being asked. "I thought I had it that time."

"Don't break my window" I said. Gabe responded by scowling at me in that special way that tells me I'm treating him like an idiot. Its effectiveness was not diminished by being a dream. I immediately felt horrible.

"Sorry" I muttered. I thought it best to close my eyes and go back to sleep before I said something else insulting. The idea of sleep was short-lived after a soft thud and a renewal of buzzing. Gabe was in the process of withdrawing his hand from the curtain, a small look of frustration crossing his face.

"Just leave it," I told him, "let's go back to sleep, eh?" I tried to reach for his arm to pull him away from the window, but he was sitting just out of my reach.

"You go back to sleep" he whispered apologetically, "though I don't know how you can with this fly in the window."

I sighed and closed my eyes again. A second later the buzzing woke me up once again. I looked to confirm that Gabe was still kneeling by my legs looking at the curtain. A fleeting thought informed me that one is technically not supposed to 'wake-up' to a dream.

"You better kill it," I commanded, "that fly is driving me crazy."

Gabe nodded as he bit back laughter.