54 photos from round one muster at my current home/place of employment: Mellish Park Cattle Station in North Queensland, Australia. Taken throughout April, 2013.
I won’t say ‘best’ or ‘favourite’, because that just opens the door for me to obsessively rack my brain (is there something I’m missing? There’s something I’m missing) to be sure I have THE BEST, MOST ACCURATE LIST POSSIBLE. But these are five things, that easily come to mind, that never fail to add a bit of joy to my life here each and every week: Continue reading
Despite being a blogger, there aren’t many blogs I religiously follow. One that I do is The Pervocracy, a sex positive BDSM blog written by a feminist kinkster named Cliff.
Outside of some fantastic articles on everything from combating gender stereotypes to how to butt sex someone up but good, Cliff writes a monthly feature entitled ‘Cosmocking’ in which s/he takes the piss out of that month’s Cosmopolitan magazine (and it’s heavily photo-shopped cover). The series is consistently good, and I tend to share the article with friends via Facebook, along with a quote from a bit I found particularly giggle-worthy. This month’s share was this:
“Anyway, I know kayak sex can’t be done, because I looked for pictures of it, and I couldn’t find any. If there isn’t a picture of a sex act on the Internet, it is physically impossible.”
Because I have the friends I do, one of them sent this photo in response to my share:
. . Touche, Jason. Touche.
(The picture, in case you were wondering, is of former gymnast/body-builder and current professional kayaker Freya Hoffmeister.)
I always wanted to go fast.
On a horse, I mean. Ever since I was a kid. Back during my childhood, whenever summer would finally reach Newfoundland, my mother would take me out for our yearly trip to Prince Edward Park, where I’d get to ride a big black mare with a white diamond on its forehead named ‘Bucky’.
I loved those days. Led by one of the riders, we’d walk worn trails shadowed by dense forest for an hour or so before returning to the stable. A stop would usually be made at the playground afterward, and ice cream would follow for the drive back home.
Glorious though it was for a young girl to simply be astride a horse, where she could imagine herself to be a royal princess (though I was more often Zorro or Robin Hood), the thing I most remember from those days was the short, recurrent argument I would always have with the lead rider.
“Can we go faster?” Continue reading
I like filling the last couple gigs of my iPod randomly. There are albums friends have put onto my iTunes throughout the years that I haven’t had a chance to listen to, or things I downloaded in a set that I still haven’t listened to in full. So, when I’m in the mood, I’ll play my full song list on shuffle.
So between old, familiar good tunes something new will come on and I’ll be like ‘hey, I dig this, nice’, and make a mental note to listen to it more. Sometimes something shit comes on and I’m like ‘right, will be deleting that rubbish.’ Sometimes I don’t even notice the new stuff playing because it either blends in with what I already listen to or is just very successful at being ninja background music.
But every once in a while, rarely, magically, something comes on that, from the very first few chords, makes my ears perk up and take notice and I’m like ‘Oh, hello, what are you?’ And the song just keeps getting better as it goes on and my ears open wider and wider and the song is just just right and maybe even has an unexpected rise or bass drop and if it does it’s like ‘BOOM’, like a second orgasm you didn’t see coming just 30 seconds after the first (which was already pretty fucking awesome) that you feel right down to the very tips of your twitching toes.
And the song finishes, often suddenly, done and gone like a lover who doesn’t stick around to cuddle but just leaves you still dripping with sweat under the twisted covers, covered in goosebumps and wanting a cigarette.
This was one of those songs:
It would be easy to write about how amazing this whole experience has been (and continues to be), and I plan to (though I caution that any plans of mine tend to be delicate, mercurial things). But to focus only on the beauty of this land and the positive highlights of farm life would be dishonest, in the sense that it would not be telling a complete story. And I attempt to write honestly.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said ‘A man is what he thinks about all day long’, and I believe that. It may be our actions that create an image of us in other people’s minds, but it is our intentions, our thoughts, that color our own days; not what we do, but how we feel about it that shapes our perception of our own, current existence.
So what have I been thinking about during all this? Shit, a lot of things. Continue reading
I was living in Melbourne, Australia. At first I was working in a cafe but eventually got sacked for no other reason than everyone got sacked when the owner decided to hire all of his friends to replace us. Which, as is becoming a recurring theme with most shit things that happen to me, turned out to actually be good: it meant that I ended up getting hired on at Absolute MMA and Conditioning, where I’d been training to fight in Mixed Martial Arts. Because becoming a cage fighter is totally a legitimate career change for a 30 year old woman. Continue reading
A short while back, the founder of Australian Girls in Gi (if you’re a woman practicing Jiujitsu in Australia, get in on this awesomeness) posted a before and after (training Brazilian Jiujitsu [BJJ]) pic of herself that prompted a very moving thread in the group’s Facebook forum. In it, a large number of women came forwards with their stories; of how BJJ had helped them in battles against everything from anxiety to overcoming childhood trauma to adult hardships like difficulty conceiving. It was inspiring to have so many women come forth to speak openly about their issues, insecurities and the ways in which they were battling them to create healthier, happier lives for themselves.
But a weird thing happened upon reading it. At the same time I felt inspired, I also felt very, very depressed.
Because I tried a couple times to add my own contribution. I’m a big fan of sharing openly the things we typically hold inside, whether that hesitance to share comes from a fear of rejection or social conventions we were raised with and just can’t shake off. But each of these gals, even the ones still in the heart of their issues, came across as success stories whereas I was feeling like I was. . .still failing. Continue reading
Several months back I was given a stellar piece of advice from a friend who has, throughout the years, given me many stellar pieces of advice. I was attempting to write a submission for a travel writing scholarship that I badly wanted and was having a lot of difficulty with it. When I would write casually, words would come easily, and I’d enjoy the process. But, in striving towards perfection with this submission on which so much was riding, I found myself staring at the screen of my computer with a head full of useless static. Words blurred, sentences ceased to make sense and the harder I tried to focus the more my brain responded with a chorus of ‘no no no no CAN’T’. I was upset and disheartened that the times I most needed my fancy wording skills seemed to be the times they saw fit to wage a surly strike.
My friend, a writer herself, sympathized. She knew the feeling of wanting to polish the shit out of something, to do the absolute best you could with it and, in putting that pressure on yourself, ironically strip yourself of the confidence and focus necessary to do so. The trick, she pointed out, was to relax, and to accept the fine art of ‘good enough’. Which boiled down to her very quotable conclusion – “Care deeply. Then let it go.”
I am not good at letting things go. I am good at wanting things. Fiercely. Continue reading
My research into Australia prior to arrival may have been lacking in some (read:all) areas, but I did know one very important fact: everything in the country had the ability to kill me. Even the tiny things. Especially the tiny things. Continue reading