Monthly Archives: May 2010

the decade mix: part one

Now, I give you…the songs I remember listening to, year by year, in retrospect:

“Strange Days”, Matt Good Band. I played this song, on repeat, a lot in 1999 and 2000. It was a tragic song that reminded me of Vancouver, of Doug Coupland books and British Columbia rain. I listened to “Beautiful Midnight” and wept as I realized that everything was just…wrong. As 1999 turned into 2000, I was out of hope, trapped in Texas, and rapidly sinking into a sort of sleepwalk of despair. I was 22 when the new millennium rang in, and I felt like I was forty.

//from texas to seattle::2000//
“Porcelain”, Moby. I remember listening to Play as I drove across America with my then-boyfriend, on the way back to Seattle. I remember an eerily beautiful late-summer night in Oklahoma, as I realized just how much of America there was between Dallas and Seattle.

I actually don’t remember listening to a lot of music in this year…I had pretty much shut myself down and off. I remember listening to pop music on the radio – I remember that annoying Alice Deejay song about being better off alone, and I remember the boy bands getting big, but I’d given up on even listening to music. The decade didn’t start off well at all.

//from seattle to UBC::2001//
“Dream On”, Depeche Mode. I still have the poster from the show I saw on this tour. I bought it on eBay a few years ago as a reminder of how much I love live Depeche Mode shows.

“Kathy’s Song”, Apoptygma Bezerk. I made a foray back into goth in 2001, when my old friend Neil would come down to Seattle and go out with me. Third-wave goth and EBM was just taking off at the start of the decade, and I jumped at it.

“Bohemian Like You”, Dandy Warhols. You couldn’t escape this song in 2001. It was even in a CAR COMMERCIAL for crying out loud.

I think about 2001 now, and it was the Year The World Changed. I don’t think I grasped the magnitude of the 9/11 attacks at the time, on what it would make life like in America, much less the rest of the world. But at the time, I was distracted – this was when I joined the AUS, after all, and met some of the people who would become my dear friends for a long time. The moment I went back to UBC was the moment that my life shifted back onto the course it was meant to be on. Everything went clear; everything was right. I remember going to Whistler that year for the AUS retreat and thinking, these are my people. I’m home. Everything’s right. It would take me another year to finally shake off the rest of Texas, to free myself from Big Scary Mike, to really get back to being me. Which brings us to…

//from ubc to seattle and back::2002//
“The Oaf (My Luck Is Wasted)”, Big Wreck. This is the song I think of when I think of ACF 11, since Big Wreck were a headliner that year. I remember hearing this song a lot on the radio in the days leading up to the show.

“In Repair”, Our Lady Peace. First of all, hello, CANCON. But this actually was a sad summer for me as I wound down my three-year relationship with Big Scary Mike. I spent most of the summer on my own anyways, picking up extra credits at the UW and working on the Argosy boats. I’m still friends with my crewmates from that summer, and have joyful memories…but in between, I was dealing with a horrible breakup, and it was always in repair.

In the fall of 2002, I came back for my last year of college determined to tear it up and make it count. I moved into student housing on campus and proceeded to have a whole series of Wacky Adventures in Vancouver. I loved Vancouver. I loved UBC. I was able to go home to Victoria once a month, had my sister nearby on campus, and had a slew of friends I was with all the time.

in vancouver::2003
“Breath”, Nelly Furtado/Swollen Members. This was a catchy song, dammit. I remember listening to it while biking around campus, or working out in the T-Bird gym. Also, CANCON. It was upbeat, featured an ACF band, and was all over the radio stations in Vancouver.

“After All”, Delerium. I bought “Chimera” as soon as it was released after hearing this song. It had that slightly mournful quality I’m always addicted to. I wasn’t a huge fan of “Silence”, but this was a totally different sound. It also turned into one of the songs I listened to endlessly while recovering from yet another difficult breakup that summer.

2003 stands out in my mind because it was the last semester at UBC, and the year when I knew everything was right again. I had a fantastic second semester of the school year. I genuinely loved my classes, and was thrilled with the subject matter I was studying (I had advanced seminars in history and political science). My student council work, and my work on the Fair, was all done with the same dear friends I went on spontaneous roadtrips to the States with. Even after graduation, I stayed in the orbit of the University, moving just off campus into Kitsilano, continuing to play Ultimate on weekends, go for walks at Jericho Beach, and hang out at Fiction. I started my first job out of college on Bowen Island, at a company that moved to North Van after a month, and had the most gorgeous commute I’ve ever had in my life, over two bridges, twice a day. I was completely in love with Vancouver, and adored living there, but was able to go home to the Island whenever I wanted for a weekend. I lost the last of the Texas weight gain through careful diet and spinning classes, leaving me thin, young and single. At the time I knew life was pretty awesome; looking back now, I know it was fantastic. I wish now I hadn’t let that summer’s breakup with my last-semester-of-college boyfriend throw such a cloud over it, but I was twenty-five and only just realizing why they call it a “broken heart” (it’s because the sadness is so extreme you actually physically feel it, for the record.)

Three years down, seven to go…who knew this would be such a long process?

In a Hyatt, somewhere

I’m in a Hyatt somewhere in America. I can’t say where for non-disclosure purposes just yet. Let’s just say its not the East Coast for once…although by the time my plane circled for twenty minutes and then sat on the tarmac for thirty more WAITING FOR A GATE, I might as well have been flying a lot further.

Anyways. I’m in a Hyatt tonight, in the middle of some office park sprawl. And I got in, and immediately went into my Hotel Routine. I arrive, set up my “office”, unpack my cosmetics and toiletries, and hang up my clothes for the next day. I settle in a bit first, and then go meet my colleagues for dinner if we’re getting together. I like having those few minutes to adjust to the blank space of a hotel room.

I admit, I kind of like being on my own when I am on these business trips. I miss Ben like part of me is missing, but all I have to do tonight is take care of myself. I’ll drink the Tazo herbal tea provided by the hotel, read for a while, and sleep. Tomorrow morning, I’ll get some coffee, work for a bit, and then get dressed and meet the team for meeting prep. No one else to cook for, no one else to take care of. Just me.

I don’t want it to always just be me. But for a night here or there, if I have to travel, I can at least appreciate being single natured.

I do miss Ben though. I miss his little chortle, and his new hilarious refusals (“No thank you welcome”). I miss being able to kiss his fuzzy little head, and I miss the smell of my baby. I miss feeling the solid weight of my toddler in my lap when I read to him. I miss hearing him tell me things – its still a novelty to hear words – real words! – come out in his voice. And, of course, I just miss being able to cuddle him, to kiss him and have him kiss me back and feel him snuggle into me.

Oh, and I do miss Paul too. Its just harder to be away from Ben. Paul, I can handle being away from for a few days before I start to really miss him. Ben, I miss when I’m away from, with an ache that intensifies the longer I’m gone. But both of them, I feel incomplete without. Being away from them both for too long makes me feel like part of me is missing. I have grown into being part of a tiny family, and when removed from it, I’m not quite whole anymore.

But still…even slightly incomplete, I appreciate being on my own. I like being a self-contained unit again when separated from my men.

And this independent career woman now has to get some sleep. I fly home tomorrow night…and then, I will have eight days of being with Paul and Ben all the time. I just need to get home and reunite with them first.

six years and counting

It has now been six years since I left Vancouver. I left for Los Angeles, in my loaded-down Saturn, on May 24th, 2004. I came down here chasing a career – I didn’t realize at the time I’d get a husband into the bargain (Paul came here in 1998 for grad school.) Moving to L.A. that year has turned out to be, hands-down, one of the smartest decisions I ever made in my life. I’ve made good decisions, and I’ve made lucky decisions, and my move to L.A. turned out to have elements of both.

But there are still times, and there will always be times, when I dream of Vancouver, or Victoria, and wish I could go home. A particularly haunting piece of music, a quality of light, the way spring smells after rain, even here in L.A….all things that cause a little twinge in my heart.

I’m going home to BC in a few days. I have a week of vacation there, including a quick trip to Vancouver to see Cool Aunt Naf (and some of the rest of my old friends), and to see Sharolyn and her babies, and to visit my mainland relatives. And the rest of the time, I will spend in Victoria visiting my mom and my sister and my brother-in-law. And, of course, I will be able to be with my son during all of his waking hours.

As for Ben? Ben will love the BC Ferry. Ben will love the beach in Oak Bay, and the seals at the marina. Ben will love everything about being in BC. He’s finally old enough to understand that he’s someplace different, and to recognize what’s going on around him when we visit. I can’t wait to take him to all the places I used to play growing up.

Now, I just have to get through the next couple days, and it’s vacation time for a whole week! (Business trip tomorrow & Thursday, work and packing Friday, flight Saturday). I’m so glad I have a week with my men, in my homeland, very soon.