Wednesday 26 February 2014

The Wonder of the Window Seat

I am about to say something terrible.

Years of air travel have made me...are you ready for it?.....BLASÉ.

How terrible! Did you know that blasé is defined as,

'apathetic to pleasure or excitement as a result of excessive indulgence or enjoyment : world-weary'? 

That's the last way I want to be!  I could be accused of excessive indulgence and enjoyment...but heaven forbid it would make me apathetic or world-weary!

It was my Mom who woke me up to who I had become. 

Having worked as a flight attendant and in active international travel for a decade, I had begun to think of a plane ride as simply a means to an end.  A way to get from one place to another.  So as not to inconvenience my neighbour in the event of a bathroom trip (of which I take many), I would choose an aisle seat.  I also liked to think I could get off the plane faster from an aisle seat - in the event of an actual emergency or the ridiculous rushed feeling to leave the plane that I feel the moment we land.  This borders on claustrophobia but somehow combines a need to race to the baggage carousel and jostle for position only to wait for ages for my luggage to emerge.

On my last trip home, Mom came to greet me at the airport (one of the sweetest acts in my book - and it brings me to tears every time).  She swept me into a hug and cheerfully asked, 'Did you get a window seat?'  I was taken aback for a moment.  I couldn't actually even remember.  And the worst part was, I didn't care.  I've had such incredible privilege to fly so much over the years and I had stopped even paying attention to the flight.  The magic of zooming from one existence to a new experience at over 30,000 feet and hurtling through the atmosphere at over 500 miles per hour had become lost on me.  I paid more attention to the pretzels than to the feat of engineering that had me airborne or to the views unfolding below.  I had become like the pathetic passengers in Louis C.K.'s hilarious piece, 'Everything is Amazing and Nobody is Happy' 

I love this - it may be one of the funniest videos I've ever seen.  And yet it's also so very sad.
It's time for us all to wake up to wonder again.
I am so grateful to my Mom for everything - but in this moment, it's for the wide-eyed, engaged and very alive way she has helped me to see the world (and air travel) - for the miracle it is.  For her living example that reminds me to never take a thing for granted.  To board each flight excitedly as though it's my first.  To sit wide-eyed like a child, in wonder and with my nose pressed to the window.  Thanks Mom.

You'll find me in the window seat.

Tuesday 25 February 2014

1st Stop, Hamilton

Heather HEARTS Hamilton!

I heart Hamilton.

Not to be confused with Hamilton, Ontario - the land of my relatives (which I also, incidentally, heart).  It is home to the Royal Botanical Gardens - I'm a huge fan.  That Hamilton is edgy, shockingly rich culturally and fringed by the beauty of the Niagara Escarpment.

This Hamilton may be one of the friendliest, most low-key, yet majestic places I've been.  The gas station attendant felt like my new best friend.  My hotel had a log bed and a balcony gazing out on snow-covered mountains.  As many people live in the entire State of Montana as in my current city of Calgary, Alberta.  People are doing great things - like B.E.A.R. - getting youth outdoors and inspiring them to greatness through wilderness and supportive mentors.  It was my first stop on this year's Radical Reels tour  and what a way to kick things off!  I would guess that half of the audience were too young too drive a tractor, and already busy getting rad in their spare time.  Those at the other end of the spectrum seem to have moved here by choice to keep living the life of their dreams.

Oh yeah, and then there was also that other Hamilton...the time years ago that I applied to the, 'Best Job in The World'.  It was to live on a beach, blog and become the honorary caretaker of Hamilton Island, Australia.  I wasn't chosen.  Their loss.  I still seem to have landed a few of the best jobs in the of which recently landed me in this Hamilton.

So here's to Hamilton - all of them!


Need I say more?

Sunday 2 February 2014

Song 15

Well folks, it's been a while since I've written anything.
And this incident embarrassed me a little.  Well, ok, a lot.  So I needed a cooling-off period.
But here's the story.

I borrowed a friend's car over Christmas.  He's a great friend and we've known each other for 15 years.  He's a good-looking, kind guy.  I left his car in valet parking, with a full tank, a sweet Christmas card, and with the stereo cranked up high, cued to one of his favourite songs - Emmylou by First Aid Kit.  Adorable.  He likes to play it on his guitar.

What I failed to take into account was that valet drivers actually have to drive the cars.  Go figure.  The disaster occurred in those few moments.  By driving the car, the valet inadvertently advanced to a new song and triggered an unfortunate sequence of events....

I got a very long text from my friend a week later.  It was so long that it didn't come through properly.  So I couldn't read it.  No biggie.  I let it slide.  When it's important, someone follows up, right?  Another week passed.  Then I got a call from my friend.  He simply said, 'Would you like to go for a walk?  We need to talk.'  I happily and somewhat cluelessly (typical) chirped out, 'Sure!'

We went for a really nice walk.  We got to a high spot with a gorgeous view of the city.  It was here that my friend said,
'Yes?' I prompted.
'Did you read my text?' he asked.
'No, it didn't come through!' I said in my usual, annoyingly chipper way.
'Song 15?' he asked cryptically.
'Song 15?' he repeated.  This time with his eyebrows raised.
'What?' I repeated more loudly, as though by increasing the volume he might understand that I didn't know what he was referring to.
'You really don't know what I'm talking about?'
I shook my head. 
'Well....maybe you should read this then...' he said, looking pained.
He handed me his cell phone and pulled up a 4 paragraph-long text message.
I read the first line and instantly knew we were in trouble.
'Uh oh,' I exclaimed.
'Ummm.....that's really not what I meant....'
'Don't worry, I think you're great, but I don't feel that way about you either...'
5 awkward moments followed.
Silence.  An embarrassed giggle.
We finished our walk.
More silence.
I left him with an awkward,
'Ahem.  See you soon. Please apologize to that girl you're dating for me.'

I got to my car and immediately advanced to Song 15-
through which I'd inadvertently declared my undying love. 

The source of confusion became instantly clear.

A pounding beat came over the speakers, and then the words,

'Babe, it's half past lonely and you're gone away
But I know that you're feeling the same as me...'

(big beat kicks in here), followed by:

'I don't wanna be your friend no more,

I only wanna be your love!'

Song 15  - just listen.  Trust me.

Sigh, yet another embarrassing moment.  Chalk it up to yet another awkward miscommunication for Little Misadventure.  Or perhaps I should go by Little Miscommunication?

Don't cry for me though - my friend and I are still friends.  And we've decided that the best way to communicate is with words.  Face to face.  Imagine that.