Tuesday, July 1, 2014

When you're told to sit down...

I made a huge error on Sunday. When I'd put on my #12 guernsey on, taken the train into Adelaide, and walked down to the Oval, somehow I'd made the mistake of thinking I was going to a football game.

Even more confusing were the football players in front of me, including the excitement machines of Lord Walker and Eddie Betts.

See, having been to the Collingwood game, to the North Melbourne game, I thought that screaming your head off and jumping up and down was the whole point of going to the footy, the free expression of those emotion-charged, high-pressure situations, and to put your heart into your voice, and will the boys over the line.

Being on the front row, I feel that effect all the more, because I know the players are close enough to hear what we say. Like when Jaenschy pushed on when he had taken a huge hit to the rib. I hoped he could hear us cheer him on.

And then of course there was sirengate, where everyone was screaming so loud that it has been disputed whether Jenkins goal was kicked before or after the siren. Tens of thousands of people on their feet screaming drowned out the Adelaide Oval siren.

But despite all these experiences indicating otherwise, someone had the kindness to point out to me that I was not, in fact, at the biggest game in South Australia for the season, but instead had somehow stumbled into an orchestra. "Can you please sit down? We can't see!"

Ah yes, that mortal crime of standing up at the footy. Imagine being so callous and careless as to block the view of adults who are capable of standing up, but want you to sit down so they don't have to partake in the emotion of the game.

It really is awful to create an atmosphere that Eddit Betts (who has played more games at the 'G than he could count) to say it is the best place he has ever played. And I will tell you, you won't hear him say that he loves it because all of the fans sit down.

Matty Wright goes for an amazing smother, and I am up and screaming for him because of that courage and execution at such a critical moment. Lyons then picks up the spill and kicks it on to Danger. Screaming on my feet, Danger doesn't quite get it on the chest, but has the cleanest pickup, and hands it off to Crouchy who is streaming forward, and kicks it into the goal. And I jumped up as I screamed. What an immense goal, just as Port were surging. On the television replays of that moment, you can hear an immense roar.

Then later Eddie takes the mark in his pocket, and everyone is screaming his name and bowing to him. And he close off the game by kicking that goal. These are the moments you come to the footy for.

It is why you keep coming after losses to Melbourne, to Carlton, to Essendon. You keep coming, because you believe. And what better way than to stand with your boys?

There will be people around the ground who ask you to sit down. Please Adelaide, ignore them. Please, Adelaide, stand the fuck up.


Hey, I know a lot of people who read my blog are offended by swearing, so just thought I'd give a heads up, that I am going to just write what I want from now on. I've been on a non-swearing thing, but that has been a year without me writing something, so if you don't want to see swearing, I'd suggest unfollowing my blog.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

We have arrived

I fell asleep on the couch last night with the Cricket on. The Ashes have started, and Andrew and I were watching them. I knew they would go late into the night, and so I would have to sleep through part of them. I always woke up momentarily for the yell of a wicket, and amazingly woke up 2 seconds before a wicket one time.

At one point I woke up, and Mark had joined Andrew on the couch. We shared easy conversation about the bleak chances of our batsmen when we were 3-22, laughing and just sharing the camaraderie of following a sport together.

The cricket finished up around 3am, and we all went to bed around the same time. I got up at 6:30 again to get ready for work. I ate my soup, and put on my green socks. I love my green socks, and I enjoy the simple freedoms of choosing what I wear each morning after so long being stuck in one look every day, down to my sock color.

I went to the bus stop and there was a beautiful sunrise. I had to keep looking back and forth at it and the direction the bus would be coming from, to make sure I hailed it in time for it to stop for me. It came eventually, and I rode into work. As I came into the city, I thought about people and their morning coffee rituals, and thought though I didn’t want coffee that this morning I might want something.

I found myself about 10 minutes later walking through Rundle mall with an iced chocolate in my hand. It was a telling moment. Andrew and I confirmed our falling in love walking through Rundle Mall. The first night I was in Australia, we’d wandered Rundle Mall  late into the night, and it always reminds me of those free times, and the hope I felt for our future, and the wonder I felt at being with this amazing person.

As I walked through this morning, I didn’t just remember the optimism of those moments, I felt it. I felt  an optimism for the future, simply because I didn’t even really remember the decision to buy this iced chocolate. Over the past two years, we’ve both spent so much time weighing up Every. Single. Purchase. Thinking and contemplating every $5 nothing purchase, and most often coming to the conclusion that such a purchase could not be justified.

I remember looking forward to having Mark come over, and doing things together the three of us doing things together. I remember thinking of the sort of job I might get, and just enjoying life here.

And today, after 2 years and 3 months, I felt like those moments had finally come. Mark may be gone in a week, but I always knew he wouldn’t be with us forever, and I am just glad for any time we get together.

I walked to a job that I love with a small purchase in hand that I hadn’t spared a thought for, wearing the locks that I love. This is the life I dreamed of. And it is here.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Can't. Yet.

It occurred to me today. I was spraying on the mirror in the shape of a sloth/monkey/generic animal hanging from a tree. It didn't turn out the best.

I have a big hang up about drawing. I've always believed I can write, and so I've always written with ease, and felt like I am in my domain. Drawing feels weird and uncomfortable, something I can't do. But it is also something I desire to do. I mean, the reality is that I can draw, but that I can't draw as well as I want to.

But if all we think about is what we can't do, we are just perpetuating thinking that will stop us from growing. And it occurred to me, staring at that dripping bit of lines that one word could change my thinking. And the word is yet. It is okay to think of what I can and cannot do. It is just a part of assessing where I am, being self-aware. But to not let that assessment define me, and become me, I want to think instead of can't, can't yet.

Can I draw as well as I would like? I can't yet. It makes me feel so much more open to possibility, it makes it feel like I am chasing my dream, because I have labelled what it is I can't yet do, but that I want to be able to do.

So when you are thinking you can't, either you can, or you just can't yet.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Child of the Stars

I stumbled across this video on pinterest. I don't do videos on Pinterest. Too much time to watch a video when there are so many images to get through, but for some reason the title and the image intrigued me, and so I watched it, and I was blown away.

I remember learning about this fact in my science class at BYU, and Carolyn and I were talking about being star children. It just was too cool. Reminding myself of this fact, and just the wonderful way the video is presented has inspired me. It's made me think a lot over the past while.

And today it inspired me to write.

The following is a quasi-poem. It is designed to be read to yourself, sort of in an affirmation fashion. Softly spoken or whispered to yourself. And it is all amazingly true. That is what I love.

Child of the Stars

I am a child of the stars.
Stars heated, and in that heat formed the atoms of my body
The oxygen I breathe was forged in those flames
The trees I look at
The birds I hear
Were formed from the superheating of massive stars
And I am part of it.
My brain matter
My muscles
The food I take in my mouth
It has all come from the stars

When I run my finger across my hand
I am running my finger across the matter of stars

I look up in the night sky
and I see things very far away
But also myself reflected in those stars
They teach me a bit of my own history

The tears I cry.
Star tears.

My laughter.
Star laughs.

My eyes.
Star eyes.

I am one, one person in a huge and cosmic universe.
It is massive.
It may know no bounds.

But I am a miracle. 
The unique combination that is me
The subtle differences in pattern that make me
like nothing else in the universe

A star exploded and created life
Created my life
Created me

Sampy & Echo

We got Sampras from a house in Aldinga Beach. After Lexi (our first cat) had run off, we'd vaguely talked about getting another cat, maybe a kitten, but hadn't made a firm decision. When I saw the picture of Sampy, I just thought he was so beautiful, and that we had to have him.

We knocked at the door, and the lady just handed him to us, said thanks, and he was ours. We put him in a cat box, but he seemed very distressed, so I took him out and held him and sang to him, and he seemed to calm down a bit. He was cute and tentative at first, and then his attacking nature came out. Never hard, always playfully, but very insistent about it, and lots of times when it was not wanted.

Andrew was always saying that he needed a friend. So we got Echo, and he calmed down so much towards us when we got Echo, and just left his play fights to Echo. Echo is a very docile and sensitive cat. He spent his first while here hiding behind the washing machine. When he did come out, Sampy would take a swipe (not very hard) at him, and Echo would just sit there and take it. Eventually they worked each other out, and they became very close.

We used to say that Echo felt like the neighborhood kid who always hung out at our house, because he had a bond with Sampy, but didn't seem to have much of a bond with me or Andrew. He used to annoy us quite a bit too, because he likes to be around you, but he doesn't like to sit on your lap. He just likes to come up and stand on your lap, or next to your laptop.

But we've always known how much he cares about Sampy. Sampy is an adventurer. He likes to go out and wander around, and has brought back a few of his finds. Echo is more of a homebody, and doesn't like to go out farther than the confines of the fenced backyard, but he likes to be where Sampy is. If Sampy is off adventuring, Echo prefers to be outside, but as soon as he hears that Sampy has returned through the front door, Echo will be crying at the back door to come in. When Echo comes in, he will run around the house until he finds Sampy, and then will often go up and nudge him.

Over time, we've come to just see what a special cat Echo is. He is very sensitive. He has an innocence in his eyes. His tail curls back towards his front as he runs, always, and it is very cute.

Sampy loves to suckle. He will get a look in your eyes, and you know he is just coming to your neck. He just likes to lick and knead the skin with his claws. It is not the most pleasant experience. He used to suckle on me a lot when he was young, but I got suckled out, and so I don't let him suckle on me anymore, so Andrew's his target now, though he will occasionally still try to sneak a suckle on my much more soft neck skin.

We're going away, and it's going to be the first time since we got them that we'll be without them. They are special cats and they have a very special bond.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Bittersweet Symphony Symmetry

I was driving home today and this song (Bittersweet Symphony) came on the radio.

It took me back to when I was flying over to Europe when I was 12. During the tremendously long 9 hour flight, there was plenty of time to cycle through the pre-recorded radio lists, and so I heard that song a couple times on that flight. It was my first time being off the continent. I'd been to Canada before, but that was just a jaunt up over the border. This was a trip that was pretty big, and showed me what another part of the world was like.

I never thought I'd live overseas. It's not something I planned. It wasn't until I came over here to see Mark that I thought of seriously moving over here.

There was just something odd about sitting here halfway around the world, driving -home- halfway around the world. It was not something that my 12-year-old mind would have even ever dreamed of.

But now that I'm here, I can't really ever imagine leaving either. It is a great place to live.

I was in the toilets the other day (that's the world they use for restroom/bathroom over here) cleaning, as that's my job, and saw a sign for post-partum incontinence and how it's normal. The ad was placed there not by someone pushing a drug, but by a foundation sponsored by the government. They were just there to give out information. I like that about things here. You see the government paying for advertising to encourage people to get fit, not to smoke, to take breaks while driving. I guess it makes me feel empowered. It makes it feel like I would have a voice, like I can affect change.

I like that I don't have to be concerned about getting a horrible illness, and also that I know people around me are going to be taken care of if they get cancer. They aren't going to be bankrupted by it.

I love the high minimum wage. I've worked harder than I ever have as a cleaner over here, and I don't think they work any less hard in the states, but they are compensated so much less. I appreciate that I can have a good life even if I just have a very simple job. Certainly I am looking to chase opportunities and do something that interests me more, but I love that just having a job is enough.

I also love the sporting culture, but that's a whole other issue and could have lots of individual entries of its own.

I'm not a huge fan of the heat (which actually hasn't been bad since I've been here, I just keep bracing myself because I think one day I will not be able to stay ahead of the heat), and I miss the snow and Autumn. I miss the people I care about who are back in the states. But I love my life here.

This is not how I saw my life panning out. I never dreamed of it. But I am glad I am here now.